Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Francisco To Get Opening Day Duties in Right Field

   The mystery has been solved. Jayson Werth's replacement is now known for sure. It is Ben Francisco, the utility player that the Phillies acquired in 2009 when Cliff Lee and Francisco came to the Phils from the Indians when Ruben Amaro Jr. emptied the Phillies minors of all of it's top prospects. The Phillies gave the Indians: Lou Marson, Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Donald in that deal. In hindsight, it now looks like a great deal as none of the then 'hot' prospects the Phillies traded has risen to the top and got much attention since.

  The 'value' of a prospect is an interesting subject, a lot can be said about a certain player by the experts that teams pay and outside analysts and still the player can turn out to be a bust.

   Francisco is matched up in Baseball-Reference  for players most similar to him at age 28 to a certain few players that we know a lot about. One of them is Wes Chamberlain, and at the bottom of the 10 players listed  is a player named Jayson Werth. That is what you don't know about what a player will do in the future when given the chance to play. Francisco has been primarily a bench player, but his is said to have the same statistical match up as Jayson Werth.

  Werth wasn't a top prospect when the Phillies acquired him, he had already been in the league a few years with the Blue Jays and Dodgers, he didn't seem to be ready to turn into the player that emerged in the last two seasons with the Phillies. When Werth was on the Dodgers, he was injured in 2005 in the beginning of Spring Training, this caused him to miss the entire 2006 season, and the Dodgers let him walk after he became a free agent.

  That is another interesting thing about baseball, things like Jayson Werth's sudden acceleration to semi-superstar status has been unpredictable. Maybe the same thing can happen with Francisco? Francisco does have power, and if harnessed, he can develop into even a better overall player.

  42,558 fans watched the Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates last night, as the Phillies returned to town for the "On Deck" Series. These pre-season type games don't usually fill up as this one did and as it will today in the 1:05 pm matchup. This town has Phillies Fever, that is for sure. It's been a long cold winter my friend, oh by the way... snow in the forecast for Opening Day with temps into the 30's? That just isn't right.

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