Jorge Alfaro and Jake Thompson highlight the return package the Phillies received in exchange for homegrown ace Cole Hamels.
by PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
July 30 2015, 5:15 AM EST.
PHILADELPHIA - Talk about going out on a high note.
Cole Hamels tossed one of the most memorable games of his career on Saturday afternoon in the form of a no-hitter at Wrigley Field and, as fate would have it, it was his last appearance in a Phillies’ uniform.
Sources confirmed to the Philadelphia Baseball Review late Wednesday night that the Phillies and Rangers have agreed to terms on a deal to send Hamels and reliever Jake Diekman to Texas. In exchange, the Phillies will receive five prospects to assist in their rebuild.
Jorge Alfaro, a 22-year-old from Columbia, becomes the organization’s top prospect behind the plate. He projects as a power hitter, but has struggled with his eye and patience at the plate. Through 450 career minor league games over the span of six seasons he struck out 492 times and draw just 95 walks. He also is coming off an ankle injury he sustained earlier this season that required surgery, though he is expected to play again this season.
Nick Williams, 21, is a left-handed hitter and entered the season as one of the Rangers’ top outfield prospects. He was hitting .299 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs in 97 games at Double A. Similar to Alfaro, he is prone to the strikeout (averaging a little more than a strikeout a game) and needs to improve his approach at the plate.
Jake Thompson is a 21-year-old right-hander and was drafted in the second-round by the Detroit Tigers in 2012. He performed extremely well in 2014 and joined Texas late in the season as a part of the Joakim Soria trade. Scouts project him as a mid-rotation starter with three major league caliber pitches. He is 6-6 with a 4.72 ERA over 17 starts this year at Double A.
Alex Asher is a 23-year-old right-hander who had been at Triple A. Jerad Eickhoff is a 25-year-old right-hander, also at Triple A.
Three of the five prospects – Alfaro, Williams and Thompson – are listed in the Rangers’ top 10 prospect list on MLB.com.
Along with the prospects, the Phillies also acquired 29-year-old Matt Harrison. The lefty underwent spinal fusion surgery last June and has made just nine starts following the 2012 season. Over three starts this season he has a 6.75 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP through 16 innings. He likely will assume a spot in the rotation immediately.
Money was also involved in the deal, but specific details have not been confirmed.
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