The Phillies traded Greg Golson to the Texas Rangers for John Mayberry, a right-handed corner outfielder who turns 25 next month. The Rangers took Mayberry with the 19th pick in the first round of the 2005 draft. Golson was taken by the Phillies in the first round of the 2004 draft, but is about two years younger than Mayberry. Golson turned 23 in September.

Both of these guys are going to need to figure out how to get on base to have a career. Mayberry has a career .330 on-base percentage in the minor leagues while Golson’s is .309. Golson plays center field, though, and has a couple more years to develop.

In 764 at-bats above A-ball, Mayberry has hit 257/314/471, with 34 home runs, 54 walks and 168 strikeouts. That’s not a huge strikeout rate. Mayberry is a monster physically, 6′ 6″ and 230 pounds — it’s nice to see he’s kept his strikeouts under control. The .314 on-base percentage as he turns 25 is a big problem, though. Strikeouts are an issue for Golson, who whiffed 130 times in 426 at-bats at Double-A for the Phils last year in what is his most promising pro season to date.

Mayberry put up a .474 slugging percentage in 437 at-bats in the PCL last season. Sounds nice, but a little less nice in the context of the rest of the PCL– his .474 was 40th in the league. Val Pascucci, another right-handed hitter who the Phillies released in April of 2008, for example, hit 290/410/553 with 27 homers in 396 at-bats in the PCL in ’08.

My reaction to the trade is mostly surprise. I think Golson could still develop, but if he does it’s not going to be for several years. I worried the Phillies saw him as someone that could help them in the next year or so. Given his age and athletic ability it’s far too early to give up on him. Glad to see the Phillies add a potentially big right-handed bat to the organization in Mayberry, an area where they need a lot of help. I do find some comfort in the trade knowing that it ensures that Golson will not be seeing any time with the Phils in the immediate future.

I would guess there is close to zero chance Mayberry starts the season with the Phillies, but I think he is a lot closer to helping them than Golson was.

Elsewhere, Chase Utley will have hip surgery and probably miss the start of the season. Jason Donald appears to be a candidate to see time at second to start the season. You would have to think that the Phils would consider bringing back Iguchi as well. I’d rather see them bring back Iguchi (or another veteran free agent) than take a chance on Donald at this point.