While the circumstances are a bit different, the premise is the same.
If Brandon Marsh can ultimately produce like Shane Victorino did for the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies and celebrate a championship, the trade will have been well worth it.
The Phillies selected Victorino in the Rule 5 draft in ’04 and he went on to become a standout player both offensively and defensively.
Victorino’s impact at the top of the order and in the outfield was noticeable on an everyday basis.
Marsh was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels and required the Phillies to part with a key prospect in catcher Logan O’Hoppe.
Marsh hit .226 with the Angels in 93 games and improved to .288 in 41 games with the Phillies. There were also seven hits and two home runs in his first 16 career playoff games through the postseason.
For Marsh to ascend to Victorino’s status... well that won’t happen overnight. With J.T. Realmuto finishing arguably his most complete season in the Major Leagues and Garrett Stubbs becoming a more than capable backup, giving up O’Hoppe for Marsh appears to have been a shrewd move.
O’Hoppe could still turn out to be an All-Star catcher for years to come. That’s the risk taken with any trade involving prospects. You just never fully know.
Some players develop early and some never develop past Double-A.
Marsh is 24 and showed promising signs of becoming a more consistent hitter as well as an improved center fielder in his time with the Phillies.
“I think it was the most undervalued trade throughout that whole trade deadline,” left fielder Kyle Schwarber said during the National League Championship Series. “The things that he’s brought to the team, he’s a natural center fielder. The way that he plays the game fearlessly. He’s a heck of an athlete. He makes plays look easy.”
Marsh crushed a clutch home run against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series. He was solid in center field. Sure, Marsh needs to improve his consistency at the plate. Doesn’t every player?
The trade that brought Marsh to Philadelphia was clearly a winner.
And it should pay dividends in ’23 and beyond.
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