Brendan Lafferty has had a hell of an offseason already.
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— Brendan Lafferty (@blaff32) November 23, 2011
But today, it got even more hellish as the 6′ 4″ lefty was torn away from the Kansas City Royals organization at the age of 26 to start his career as a Philadelphia Phillie.
Lafferty, not the award-winning DJ and pianist seen here, is a scrappily-facial hair’d gent whose minor league tenure has seen him scrape as high as double-A Northwest Arkansas. Over 265.1 career innings, he he has allowed 112 earned runs, landing him a not-shabby 3.80 ERA. His 0.8, 3.5, and 8.4 HR/9, BB/9, and SO/9 ratings, respectively, are in the right places, though the walks are approaching troublesome. It was the high-A/double-A level that got him tangled up a bit, sending his ERA up from mid-3’s to darker 4.00 territory.
But these are minor league numbers in the Rule 5 Draft; they are there to generate interest and indicate potential, not represent a player’s crystal clear capacity to perform.
He left UCLA in ’09 with the third-most pitching appearances in their baseball teams history, and later went to the Royals in the 18th round of the draft. He was a history major.
So, it remains to be seen if the Phillies, whose one minor league strength lies in a wealth of future 4-5 rotational starters or middle relievers, are truly interested in harvesting Lafferty into an effective Phillie or just know that they could dangle in front of somebody else in exchange for some highly-touted 36-year-old infielder that no one wants.