I can’t lie. Right around July of 2011 I wanted the Phillies to trade for Hunter Pence. At that time the Phillies were rolling and living up to preseason expectations. During the month of July they had a 17-8 record and would finish the month with a 69-39 record over all (Haha I said 69). The four aces were killing it with three of the four making the all-star game. Oswalt was hurt or else he would have had a good chance of making it as well. All of us were starting to taste the World Series. But having been knocked out by San Fran the year before after finishing with the best record in baseball, Phillies fans wanted a little more insurance.
That insurance went by the name of Hunter Pence. A right handed bat who could protect Ryan Howard. A high energy guy that hustled on every play. It felt like it was the perfect match for this city. Plus he wasn’t a rental he was under contract for another year. All we had to do was convince Ed Wade to hand him over to us. Shouldn’t have be hard after Wade basically gave us Roy Oswalt the year before for practically nothing. We would get Hunter Pence but it was at a much higher price than we got Oswalt for.
When the trade went through I think most people were ecstatic. But after hearing the pieces involved it gave most knowledgable fans some pause. We got Pence but we sent Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zied and a player to be named later which turned out to be Domingo Santana.
The big pieces were Cosart and Singleton. Cosart was the 50th ranked prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America. Singleton was ranked 34th. Cosart was expected to be a middle of the rotation pitcher but has been dominant since moving to the Astros organization. Last night was his major league debut and Cosart went 8 shutout innings striking out 2 and walking 3 and got the win. He had a no hitter through 6 1/3 innings before the Rays broke it up. Tampa had won their previous 8 games and Cosart was pitching against David Price who also pitched a gem. Price went 9 innings giving up only 2 runs.
Last year in AA ball Singleton batted .284 with 21 HR’s, 79 RBI’s in 461 AB’s. He also had 88 walks and 94 runs scored. Singleton has just been promoted to AAA ball after only playing six games in AA this season due to being suspended for failing a drug test. It wasn’t for PED’s, it was marijuana, which I think is a performance reducing drug. PRD’s? If it wasn’t for the suspension Singleton may be in the majors already and he’s only 21. Singleton is expected to be the future #3 or #4 hitter in the Astros lineup.
If these guys meet their expectations we will have paid a huge price for a player we didn’t get much out of. I’m not saying he’s a bad player, I think he is decent. But put it this way, in the 105 games before the Pence trade, the Phillies scored 4.32 runs per game, while scoring 4.54 runs per game in the 57 games after the Pence trade. In the 2011 NLDS he went 4-19 with 4 RBI’s and no extra base hits in five games. That’s a .211 batting average.
We still are in need of a right fielder and a right handed bat that can hit fifth. If Pence was that good he would still be on this team. Unless Tommy Joseph is a stud Hunter Pence costs way more than he was worth. Pence is a good guy and I don’t really hate him but if Cosart and Singleton become studs I will curse Pence forever.