After not making the playoffs since 2011, the Phillies kept trying to recapture the past magic by signing veterans to fill holes as the core of Howard, Utley and Rollins were on the decline. 2015 was no different at the team’s fan-base was growing restless with that approach and it was showing in the declining attendance rates.
Then-GM Ruben Amaro finally came to reality and decided to move their biggest trade chip – Cole Hamels. Amid rumors of the Dodgers and Red Sox being in the mix, the Texas Rangers came seemingly out of nowhere to win the sweepstakes for the three-time All-Star LHP.
Texas was 50-52 on that day but saw an opening in the division to go for the win. They finished winning the A.L. West on the final day of the season thanks in part to their new acquisition’s 7-1 record.
The Phillies obtained five prospects in the deal, three of which were ranked in the top 10 of the Rangers’s farm system and all five were in their top 30, according to Baseball America at the time. Let’s take a look at how the prospects have fared since the trade.
Jake Thompson – RHP – Then ranked 2nd in the Rangers’ system. Thompson has struggled in the majors and over the two years he’s been bouncing back and forth between Philadelphia and Triple-A. In 100 IP over the two years (as of 9/29/17), he has a 4.86 ERA and an even worse 6.05 FIP. His 4.5 BB/9 and 6.0 K/9 shows he needs more seasoning in the minor leagues. He struck out more batters in the minors and walked less and is only 23-years-old so there is still time for him to progress.
Nick Williams – OF – Then ranked 3rd in the Rangers’s system. Williams showed great power potential in the minors for both Texas and Philadelphia. In 300 at-bats for the Phillies this year through 9/29 his slash line is an impressive .283/.334/.467 with 11 HR and 50 RBI. He showed this year that he will be a solid run producer in the middle of the lineup for years to come.
Jorge Alfaro – C – Then ranked 5th in the Rangers’s system. After 17 at-bats for the big league club in 2016, Jorge was back at Triple-A this year. Alfaro was called up to the Phillies after a solid showing in the minors. For this season (as of 9/29) he’s slashing .304/.343/.461. He is thought to be a potential 30 home run hitter and his future looks very bright.
Jerad Eickhoff – RHP – Started 3 games in the minors for the Phillies then started 8 games in 2015 for the Phillies. Eickhoff looked very solid in 2016 with 11 wins, 3.65 ERA and 167 strikeouts. He struggled with control this year and wasn’t as effective pitching to a 4.71 ERA in 128 innings. Jerad did strike out 8.3 batters per 9 IP so injuries could have impacted him this year. He is currently on the DL with a hand injury and missed time earlier in the season with a back problems. Jerad has the makings of a 3 or 4 starter at minimum in the majors.
Alec Asher – RHP – Asher had some nice numbers in the minors but struggled in The Show with the Phillies before being injured then suspended 80 games for PED use in 2016. He is now with Baltimore after the Phillies let him go.
Looking back the trade made sense for both teams at the time and it still does today. The Phillies jump-started their rebuild and added solid prospects who have played well at the major league level.
Article featured image of Nick Williams – courtesy CSNPhilly.com
Tony Bps Spina is a lifelong baseball fan hailing from the City of Brotherly Love - Philadelphia! Tony has loved baseball since 1980 and has followed the Phillies through good and bad times. Tony is married with 3 kids and works for a financial institution but has enough free time to play in 20 fantasy baseball leagues with 75% of them being Dynasty Leagues. He lives a few blocks away from Citizens Bank Park and attends many Phillies games per year in addition to their minor league teams in Lehigh Valley and Reading. He can be reached on Twitter at @TonyBps1.
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