Certainly the Phillies acquiring an All-Star reliever from the Tigers over the weekend captured headlines.
On Monday, however, the Phillies made another trade that did not find itself blasted across all things sports.
The team made a move to trade away top prospect Erik Miller, a left-handed pitcher, to the San Francisco Giants.
The Phillies have acquired RHP Yunior Marte from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for LHP Erik Miller, President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski announced today.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) January 9, 2023
The Phillies have acquired RHP Yunior Marte from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for LHP Erik Miller, President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski announced today.
Miller is a player who has shown he has the stuff to succeed and even represented the Phillies (along with former-Phillies prospect Logan O’Hoppe) at the Futures Game this past season.
A fourth-round pick in 2019, Miller has struggled with injuries. In three seasons since being drafted, he has made just 48 appearances and 32 of them came in 2022.
Miller was impressive in AA Reading last year, holding opposing batters to a .198 average on route to a 2.23 ERA and a 44:17 strikeout:walk ratio. He was not as impressive when he reached AAA Lehigh Valley, where, in a third of the innings he allowed opposing batters to hit .280 with a 7.50 ERA and a 18:14 K:BB ratio.
Miller was left unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft in December and actually was not picked, meaning no team felt he was a player they could keep at the MLB level for the entirety of next season in order to improve the talent in their organization.
Miller was the Phillies number 9 prospect at the end of both the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
In exchange, the Phillies will receive the right-handed Yunior Marte. To no surprise, Marte is a player who throws hard but has struggled with his command a la Jose Alverado, Sam Coonrod, or the recently-acquired Gregory Soto.
Marte will enter the 2023 season at 28 years old. He has shown signs of dominance at AAA, but simply doesn’t get the swings and misses at the major league level.
He does have the stuff that has overpowered batters and leaves him in the top 10% for things like barreled balls and velocity, so that may be the reason the Phillies are looking to take a chance on him as a potential buy-low option.
In 48 innings with the Giants in 2022, Marte posted a 5.44 ERA with a FIP just over 4.20. He allowed five home runs and posted 44 strikeouts to 22 walks.