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January 27, 2010

Golson Traded

In November 2008, I punched out two paragraphs about the Mayberry-Golson trade that could’ve been better expressed with just a weary sigh.

One disappointment for another, as Texas relinquished the nearly assured blandness of Mayberry for the potential of Golson. Mayberry (19th overall, 2005) showed impressive power but otherwise failed to improve during his steady ascent through the minors. He’s never hit for average or drawn many walks, and at 25, his upside is limited. Philadelphia added him to its 40-man roster.
Golson (21st overall, 2004) likewise hasn’t advanced as hoped. Though a fine baserunner with moderate home-run prowess, his production is sabotaged by an atrocious batting eye that hasn’t improved an ounce in four years. Chris Davis might survive with a 5:1 ratio of strikeouts to walks. Golson won’t. He’s two years younger than Mayberry, can play center field, and is far toolsier. The Rangers win if they can instill in him some selectivity at the plate. A tall order.
Even though Mayberry was the better player, Golson had the upside, so the trade was defensible. Golson had a slight chance at becoming a valuable player if he could ever rectify his horrid plate approach, whereas Mayberry’s stoic performance would never stray far from replacement level. Think of their potential this way:

Golson’s removal from the 40 seemed a bit odd in terms of roster management. He still has an option, whereas shortstop Joaquin Arias is optionless and has an employer that acquired/re-signed no fewer than four backup infielders during the offseason (Greene, Inglett, German, Olmedo). That said, the Rangers indicated what lay in store for Golson when they let him cool his heels in September and instead retrieved AA center fielder Craig Gentry from AA.

Hilligoss is a shortstop who has moonlighted at third and first, positions at which his bat appears totally unsuited. Regarded as an intriguing hitter out of Purdue in 2006, he hasn’t cracked AA in four professional years and posted a dire .239/.286/.299 across two seasons in the Florida State League (which is pitcher-friendly, to be sure, but not nearly enough to rescue that line). He turns 25 in June and doesn’t rank among Texas’s top 50 prospects.

Posted by Lucas at January 27, 2010 11:52 AM