Minnesota Twins: Closing the book on Phil Hughes

jgeigerii
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 14: (L-R) Eduardo Nunez #9, Phil Hughes #45, Kyle Gibson #44 and Glen Perkins #15 of the Minnesota Twins look on during the ninth inning of the game against the Chicago White Sox on April 14, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 3-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 14: (L-R) Eduardo Nunez #9, Phil Hughes #45, Kyle Gibson #44 and Glen Perkins #15 of the Minnesota Twins look on during the ninth inning of the game against the Chicago White Sox on April 14, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 3-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Minnesota Twins have unloaded a bloated contract with a minor trade today. Unfortunately, the cost was steep, further showing the perils of signing starting pitchers to long-term contracts.

The Minnesota Twins acquired catcher Janigson Villalobos from the San Diego Padres earlier today. The good news is that Minnesota found somebody to take on some of Phil Hughes‘s remaining contract. The bad news is that it cost Minnesota the 74th pick in June’s draft and according to Mark Feinsand, the Twins will still pay the majority of his remaining contract.

Hughes failed to live up to expectations during his time in the Twin Cities. He struggled to stay healthy following an impressive debut season for the club. Hughes compiled a 32-29 record with a 4.43 ERA and a solid 5.71 K/BB ratio during his Twins career. He played in 92 games with 79 starts and a 1.287 WHIP in 489 2/3 innings pitched.

However, Hughes started only 22 games during the last two-plus seasons with Minnesota and has appeared in only 33 games total. He joined the Twins rotation in late April this season, following another injury setback, and looked like a shell of his former self. Following a failed attempt at coming out of the bullpen, the Minnesota Twins designated Hughes for assignment.

Thankfully, this brings an end to the Phil Hughes era in the Twin Cities. Unfortunately things didn’t work out according to plan with the Twins, but hopefully, he can have an impact for the Padres. That being said, let’s take a brief look at the prospect Minnesota acquired in this trade.

More from Puckett's Pond

Janigson Villalobos

Villalobos is not ranked among the Padres Top-30 prospects and has yet to play above Rookie ball. The 21-year-old native of Venezuela has appeared in only 62 games across two levels of the low-Minors for the Padres. However, he has yet to appear in a single game during the 2018 season.

The young catcher hit .275 with eight extra-base hits in 98 plate appearances during the 2017 season with the Padres Rookie League team. Villalobos finished the season with 23 strikeouts and 14 walks and shows a lot of promise at the plate.

He also shows promise behind the plate with a career .977 fielding percentage. Villalobos has thrown out eleven of a possible 36 stolen base attempts giving his a solid 31% caught stealing. He is still raw and has a long way to go in his development with the Minnesota Twins.

Next: Who is performing well from the 2017 draft class?

However, Minnesota doesn’t have a lot of depth at the catcher position throughout the organization and Villalobos gives the team some depth with a little bit of upside. Who knows, maybe Villalobos turns into the next Twins All-Star catcher. Only time will tell and Puckett’s Pond will be here to keep you up to date on his progress.

facebooktwitterreddit