Last night the Chase Utley Era came to an end in Philadelphia, the Phillies sending the veteran second baseman to the Dodgers in exchange for two prospects: infielder Darnell Sweeney and right-handed pitcher John Richy. Here's a quick look at the two newest members of the Philadelphia organization.
Darnell Sweeney, 2B-SS-OF: Sweeney was drafted by the Dodgers in the 13th round in 2012 from the University of Central Florida. He emerged as a multi-category contributor immediately, hitting .275/.329/.455 with 11 homers and 48 steals in High-A in 2013, then .288/.387/.463 with 14 homers and 15 steals in Double-A in 2014. Sweeney has spent all of 2015 with Oklahoma City in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, hitting .271/.332/.409 with 30 doubles, nine homers, and 32 stolen bases.
Sweeney is 6-1, 195 pound switch-hitter born February 1, 1991. His best physical tool is above-average speed, although his stolen base success ratios have never been that good and he relies more on pure speed than baserunning polish. He will flash above-average power at times but his plate discipline is mediocre and cuts into his on-base production. Oftentimes he looks like an excellent athlete still learning how to play baseball.
Sweeney has made greater progress on defense, reducing errors and looking better at second base this year and holding his own in the outfield. He also looked good in a brief trial at third base, but his past track record at shortstop was less than inspiring.
Video via Fangraphs
John Richy, RHP: Richy was drafted in the third round in 2014 from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He has spent all of 2015 pitching for Rancho Cucamonga in the High-A California League, posting a 4.20 ERA in 124 innings with a 105/34 K/BB and 143 hits allowed.
Richy is 6-4, 215, born July 28, 1992. He works with a low-90s sinking fastball, an average slider, an average curve, and an average change-up. None of his pitches are excellent but none of them are bad, either, and he mixes his arsenal effectively. His feel for pitching and overall sense of command are his best attributes, profiling him as a fourth/fifth starter.
video via Jarred Massey
SUMMARY: I think this is actually a pretty decent return for Utley on the downslope of his career. Sweeney comes with no guarantees and is still rather raw for his age, but it is plausible that he can become a regular second baseman with power and speed contributions. At worst he should be a good super-utility man, while Richy should be an efficient inning-eater type.