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Astros Minor League Open Thread (and five Phillies prospects)

Another day, another batch of Roy Rumors.  Over the past week, the Phillies have emerged as the frontrunner to trade for Roy Oswalt.  Today's rumor mill only reinforced that feeling, with the Cardinals and the Dodgers rumored to be dropping back in the running (although the Reds did reportedly express interest in Oswalt's services).

Things can change very quickly this time of year, but if I had to place a bet today, I'd bet on Roy being in a Phillies uniform this time next week.

I already discussed four players who could be centerpieces of a deal with the Phillies in my post a week ago on the subject.  The two most likely to be included have emerged as finesse lefty J.A. Happ and young slugging first base prospect Jonathan Singleton, although nothing regarding the player package has been confirmed by reliable sources.

Since I already talked about some of Philadelphia's best trade pieces, I thought I'd do a post about some other intriguing prospects who could be obtained as additional pieces in a Phillies deal; lesser prospects who are either fringy contributors soon or have the tools to potentially develop into impact players down the road.

In the meantime, since today's was a day game, consider this your minor league open thread as well if you wish to discuss today's farm activities.

Without further ado, here's the list.

  • Harold Garcia, 2B (AA).  Garcia presents an intriguing combination of power and speed; he stole 42 bases in 118 games last year, and while he's more a gap-to-gap hitter, he does have enough power to hit plenty of doubles and triples and perhaps double-digit homers down the road.  His speed makes him an above average defender at second base.  His one foible is his strikeout rate; it's not terrible, but at around 20%, it's a little higher than you'd like to see.  He has all of the tools to be an everyday major league second baseman, and if he can improve his plate discipline, he could be a good one.  That's a big "if", however.
  • Jonathan Villar, SS (A).  Somewhat similar to Harold Garcia, Villar is a young shortstop in low A with plus speed and some issues with strikeouts.  The strikeouts are less worrying from 19-year old than for a 23-year old like Garcia, but they are still a concern.  Villar also has yet to hit for much power, but his swing suggests that may change as he gets older and gains strength (video).  His best attribute is his speed, which has allowed him to steal 37 bases this year.
  • Matt Rizzotti, 1B (AA).  Never much on prospect radars prior to this year, Rizzotti is having a breakout season with the Phillies' AA affiliate, batting for a .362/.438/.598 line with solid but unspectacular plate discipline numbers.  He won't continue to bat .362, so all of those numbers will come down, but he does appear to have a compact, powerful stroke (video), and it's possible his bat could be good enough to start at first base.
  • Scott Mathieson, RHP (AAA).  Surely on the Astros' radar, since he was drafted and developed by Wade's front office, Mathieson is a hard-throwing relief pitcher who has battled with injuries throughout his minor league career.  He has an excellent strikeout rate and profiles as an immediate contributor to the Astros' bullpen.
  • Austin Hyatt, RHP (A+).  I haven't been able to find either scouting reports or video on Hyatt, so this is purely a stats entry.  I don't know anything about him other than that his strikeout rate, and consequently his K/BB ratio, are spectacular.  He's old for his level (24 at A+), but age relative to league isn't as important for pitchers, and this is only his first full pro season. More importantly, when a guy strikes out 136 batters in 105 innings, you sit up and take notice.  It suggests he's either doing something deceptive hitters at that level can't get a read on, or he has very good stuff.  He also doesn't appear to have any problem throwing strikes, with a solid 2.7 BB/9 rate this season.