I posted much of this in the trade thread, but it got lost in the whirlwind of a dozen different discussions occuring simultaneously.
Anyhow, regardless of how we feel about the trade itself and whether or not we feel justified that the return was enough, let's ignore that for a second here and try to grasp what we did receive in talent and whether or not the future outlook for this package is promising or dismal in any way, shape or form. I'll leave Daryl Thompson out of this since he's in the low minors, but the other four players may very well see action on the big club this season and in the future so here's a quick'n dirty look at the talent we just brought in this afternoon.
*Minor League statistics for Bray and Harris include their 2006 stats
Gary Majewski: 26-years-old
Basically we're getting a guy in Majewski who's been maybe slightly BABIP hit lucky, doesn't strike many guys out at all, walks too many guys, but has the uncanny ability to keep the ball in the yard.
Lifetime K/9 ....... 5.32
Lifetime BB/9 ...... 3.71
Lifetime HR/9 ...... 0.44
Lifetime K/BB ...... 1.43
Lifetime DIPS ERA .. 3.92
Lifetime ERA ....... 3.27
Lifetime BABIP ..... .292
Road HR/9 .......... 0.54
Road DIPS ERA ...... 3.88
Key question for Majewski: How will his HR/9 rate fare once pitching half his games in GABP? His road HR/9 rate, while a small sample in only 83 innings, does look promising so hopefully the spike up in home runs allowed for Majewski is minimal.
Still, if this guy starts serving up the long ball, he could start getting torched real quick. If Majewski can continue his success in keeping the ball in the yard, he should have some success, though our poor defense may shine through and bump his ERA up close to his DIPS ERA level.
Bill Bray: Just turned 23-years-old
Based purely off statistics, Bray's a solid prospect lefty out of the pen. I'd like to see him carry his solid minor league K/9 rate up to the majors, but time will tell if he's able to accomplish that. His home run rate in the minors may be a tad worrisome as the combination of major league hitters + GABP could send that figure spiking higher than merely one bomb per nine innings.
Lifetime K/9 ....... 6.26
Lifetime BB/9 ...... 3.52
Lifetime HR/9 ...... 0.78
Lifetime K/BB ...... 1.78
Lifetime DIPS ERA .. 4.09
Lifetime ERA ....... 3.91
Lifetime BABIP ..... .310
Minors K/9 ........ 11.44
Minors BB/9 ........ 2.63
Minors HR/9 ........ 1.14
Minors K/BB ........ 4.35
The good news for Bray is he's a young 23-years-old and he's already reached the majors. Hopefully development will continue for him over the next few seasons and we may have a solid, young reliever on our hands if he's able to carry his high K/9 rate onto the big club.
Brendan Harris: 25-years-old (26 in August, 2006)
Minor league projections over 600 PAs ... 30-35 doubles, 50 walks and 15 home runs.
Minors BA ....... .293
Minors OBP ...... .361
Minors SLG ...... .465
Minors OPS ...... .826
Minors PA/BB .... 11.45
Minors PA/HR .... 39.58
Minors PA/2B .... 16.56
Minors SB/CS .... 40/23
Harris' plate discipline in the minors wasn't abysmal, but it's not looking promising that he'll be able to draw walks with a great frequency at the big league level. That could pose serious problems since he could very well become an out machine without the ability to hit for much power. He looks to be primarily a singles and doubles hitter, and the key questions for Harris are how many walks will he take at the major league level, and how good is his defense. If both questions provide good news for the Reds, he could be a useful player for us. If one is lacking, then he could become a source of frustation for fans.
Royce Clayton: Old Veteran
Royce Clayton - who according to Jerry Narron really knows how to play the game the right way - is simply a veteran trash heap. Offensively, he's a lifetime .682 OPS (wow, that's bad). I wouldn't expect anything better than that out of Clayton while in a Reds uniform, and honestly if he's able to somehow give us an OPS over .700 we should consider ourselves fortunate.
How about defensively? Clayton is rumored to be a slick glove guy, but I'm not seeing any evidence supporting that assertion anymore. Defensively, here were the bottom eight shortstops in PMR for 2005:
Royce Clayton was a very good defensive shortstop from 1994-2003. In 2004, however, he had -10 fielding runs above average. In 2005, he had -3 fielding runs above average. In 2006, he has -6 fielding runs above average so far.
Runs Above Average
Derek Jeter -13.2134 -14.3688
Russ M Adams -13.4525 -13.4673
Royce Clayton -13.8171 -18.4288
Jhonny Peralta -15.0402 -14.8627
Felipe Lopez -18.5375 -21.2106
Angel Berroa -18.5556 -10.7785
Michael Young -19.2755 -17.3725
Jose Reyes -22.9404 -25.8656
Whoever in the Reds organization is telling us that Royce Clayton is an outstanding defensive player is living in the past. Age has seemingly caught up to Clayton, and what was once a very good defensive shortstop is now below average.