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Phillies trade Howie Kendrick to Nationals for prospect McKenzie Mills

Phillies also receive international bonus pool money

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday evening the Philadelphia Phillies traded veteran infielder Howie Kendrick to the Washington Nationals. In exchange, the Phillies receive minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills and international bonus pool money. Here’s a quick take on Mills, the newest member of the Phillies farm system.

McKenzie Mills, LHP: The Nationals drafted Mills in the 18th round in 2014 from high school in Marietta, Georgia. After some initial struggles in rookie ball he took a step forward in 2016, posting a 3.71 ERA in 53 innings in the New York-Penn League with a 46/28 K/BB. 2017 has been even better: 12-2, 3.01 ERA in 18 starts, 105 innings in Low-A with a 118/22 K/BB.

Mills is listed at 6-4, 205, born November 19, 1995. As noted he’s in the midst of a breakout season with substantial gains in all metrics. His fastball has increased from the upper-80s when he signed into the lower-90s now, and both his curveball and change-up flash above-average. He’s cut his walk rate in half compared to last year thanks to improved mechanics.

Mills is a fly ball pitcher and can be vulnerable to home runs when he makes a location mistake, but overall he’s improved remarkably over the last two years and is a nice acquisition for the Phillies.