Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Last weekend, the Phillies new GM, Matt Klentak, made his first move and acquired RHP Jeremy Hellickson for Minor League pitcher Sam McWilliams. McWilliams was ranked as the 27th prospect in the system, which was assembled by former GM Ruben Amaro Jr, now with Boston.
Hellickson, a former AL Rookie of the Year (2011) and Gold Glove Winner (2012) joins a Phillies team in the midst of a rebuild.
Hellickson is a low risk, high reward acquisition as Klentak makes his mark on the Phillies.
Hellickson’s 1.329 WHIP is slightly above of the NL average of 1.299 and MLB average of 1.294, while his FIP of 4.44 comes in just behind the average of 3.96. For next season Baseball-Reference projects Hellickson as the below chart:
For Hellickson, he averages 194 innings pitched per 162 team games, so when healthy, he is an innings eater which is useful for the Phils. Going forward, there’s really downside to him. He’s arbitration eligible, so he’s cost controlled and he hits free agency in 2017. The Phillies aren’t tied to him, nor will he break the bank. With the rebuild coming and the Klentak era beginning the Phils have to hope that Hellickson is good enough to become a trade deadline rental either in 16 or 17. If they are lucky, Hellickson finds his groove and gets rented back to an AL team for something good.
Given Hellickson’s track record in the AL East with Tampa, it’s very likely the Yankees or Red Sox or Blue Jays will come calling about his services in July 2016 if Hellickson stays healthy and returns to the form of a couple years ago.
And, there is no real reason to worry about Hellickson pitching at Citizens Bank Park, he did just fine in the AL east in some hitter friendly parks against massive slugging teams. But, dial back the expectations, he’s a rebuild piece, not a future ace. This is the start of a rebuild, the Phillies have acquired a piece for the sole purpose of flipping it at the deadline for something for the future when the team is ready to contend again.