McDonald, seen here celebrating his only homer in 2013 as a Phillie with Chooch. Photo by AP.
Color me surprised: Ruben Amaro Jr. found a taker for Major League Baseball’s most statistically ineffective player John McDonald, shipping the utility infielder he got for nothing for Nefi Ogando, a 24-year old reliever from the Dominican Republic in his fourth season in organized baseball. McDonald hit .174/.208/.304 with one homer with the Phillies. This nearly tripled his entire triple-slash line at the time the Phillies acquired him (.053/.163/.079).
From Sox Prospects, here is a scouting report on Ogando:
Dominican right-hander signed later in the 2009-2010 international signing period. On the older side for an international signee. Fastballs sits 92-93 mph and tops out at 94 mph in shorter bursts. Currently being stretched out to sharpen arsenal. Loses velocity as outings progress due to max-effort delivery. Does not easily generate velocity. Below-average fastball command due to inconsistent release point and lack of fluidity in delivery. Rough overall mechanics that must become smoother to enhance command. He may struggle to reach average fastball command. Also features an 83-86 mph slider with tight rotation. Plus potential and the ability to miss bats with the offering. Feels slider well, but does not mix well into sequences. Still learning how to pitch. Slider’s effectiveness is suppressed because of inability to consistently get ahead of hitters. Not much room left on his frame to fill out. Profiles as a reliever. Potential for considerable improvement if delivery can be cleaned up.
Analysis: At the time of the trade for McDonald, many crushed Amaro for trading something of value for the veteran infielder. Now? Without hurting the Phillies too much, Amaro was essentially able to turn a small amount of cash that went to Cleveland for McDonald into a minor league bullpen arm. Ogando has a live arm and is eligible for this year’s Rule 5 draft, although it is highly unlikely a team will select him. Should no team select him, the Phillies will have all of 2014 to get a good look at Ogando before deciding if they want to protect him or let him become a Minor Leauge Free Agent.