The Rare Prospect Swap

The Deal
With the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster staring them in the face Thursday, the Phillies and Rangers arrived at an inspired decision as they contemplated the organizational futures of Greg Golson and John Mayberry Jr., their toolsy but slow-moving outfielders. They traded their prospects straight-up for one another.

Philadelphia sent Golson, its first-round pick (21st overall) in 2004, to Texas for Mayberry, the Rangers’ first-rounder (19th overall) in 2005. Both players are on their new clubs’ 40-man rosters, making them exempt from December’s Rule 5 draft.

The Young Players
Golson, 23, offers huge speed, arm strength and range in center field, but his hitting tools and pitch recognition remain unrefined. A product of Austin’s Connally High, he batted .282/.333/.434 for Double-A Reading in 2008, chipping in 13 home runs, 18 doubles and 23 stolen bases in 28 attempts. The righthanded batter struck out 130 times in 426 at-bats, a rate that was in line with career norms, while drawing 34 walks. Even with a low contact rate, Golson’s power plays as average, and Eastern League mangers named him the league’s most exciting player. He’s batted .265/.309/.406 in 2,101 minor league at-bats, and he went 0-fot-6 for the Phillies as a September callup.

Mayberry, a Stanford product who will be 25 next season, is the opposite of Golson in many ways. He’s a slow-footed righthanded batter and a fringy corner outfield defender with an OK arm. The advantage Mayberry holds is more usable power: he’s slugged .472 in four minor league seasons and averaged 24 homers in his three full ones. He batted .264/.317/.480 in 519 at-bats this season, clubbing 20 homers, 38 doubles and even seven triples in a year split between Double-A and Triple-A.

Quick Take
If he hits lefthanders like he did in 2008, Mayberry could be a tactical asset for Philadelphia next season. After all, this is a player who swatted lefties at Double-A (.357/.400/.643) and Triple-A (.350/.393/.700), and he’s the type of player who could thrive in Citizen’s Bank Park. For the Rangers, Golson immediately becomes their best defensive outfielder, and maybe the bat develops with further repetitions.

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