Much like the draft, the first evaluation point for a trade, is a shortly after everyone has played games and it is just double check that you got what was advertised. With the Hamels trade dominating the news around the deadline, the other trade returns got overshadowed. The goal is loop back around to the trade returns, but for now we are going to start on the three players that were overlooked since joining the Phillies.
Nick Pivetta, RHP, Reading
Stats Since Joining Org: 3 GS 15.2 IP 13 H 9 ER (5.17 ERA) 10 BB 17 K
Here is what I wrote about Nick when he came over Jonathan Papelbon. The reports were 92-94 can get to 96, curveball will flash plus, and the changeup is behind the other two pitches. There was some acknowledgement that he was a bit raw and unrefined for the AA level. The raw and unrefined showed up in his first 5.1 innings when he racked up 9 walks 3 strikeouts and 8 earned runs. Over the next 11.1 innings he has allowed 7 hits and 0 walks, while striking out 14 and allowing only 1 run. He has been up to 97 with the Phillies and was in the whole 91-96 mph range with his fastball in last start, but mostly 93-96. His curveball has looked like a real out pitch with the ability to bury it and throw it in the zone to freeze batters for strikes. The changeup and the fastball command still need to come, but if they do he could be a nice mid-rotation arm. But he has already shown the fall back is a really nice looking reliever. Overall I have been more impressed with Pivetta than I expected based on the reports.
Jimmy Cordero, RHP, Reading
Stats Since Joining Org: 6 G 6.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 2 BB 6 K
When the Revere trade went down I wrote up Cordero has a pure velocity arm with a fastball pushing 100+ (has been to 101 with Reading), but even with that kind of velocity he was really undersold. The velocity is special, he has been sitting in the 97-99 range touching 100 and 101 in some appearances. The slider is way more advanced than I was lead to believe and will flash at least plus in some appearances. In many ways he is similar to Ken Giles at the beginning of the 2014 season in Reading. Cordero actually throws harder than Giles and there is some movement to his fastball (Giles’ fastball is arrow straight) and the slider might be more advanced then Giles at the same time. The big growth point for Cordero will be finding consistent fastball command. He has looked really good in some outing and wild in others, and that jump is not a small one and it is why Ken Giles is so special. But Cordero has already passed Edubray Ramos for me (and I like Ramos a lot), and you can see a scenario where he joins the Phillies soon and helps jumpstart the stagnated bullpen rebuild.
Alberto Tirado, RHP, Clearwater
Stats Since Joining Org: 4 G 6.0 IP 6 H 1 ER 4 BB 7 K
The first two guys on this list have been more than advertised, Tirado has been as advertised. His control is a mess, but he has run the fastball up to 96. But his stuff is just nasty, as seen in this video by Baseball Betsy of him abusing and opposing batter with an unfair slider.
The most interesting thing with Tirado though is that the Phillies have given every indication they are going to stretch him out as a start next season. It is a risky strategy (the safe route here is to continue to clean him up as a pure reliever), but given their pitching depth it is one they can pursue. When Tirado was working out of the rotation he flashed a 70 fastball, 70 slider, and 60 changeup (to go with non-existent command), which means the payoff here could be a front line starting pitcher. Now that is a high risk proposition, but we could check back in a year and the Phillies could have an incredible steal here.