More Transaction Analysis
Arizona signed Bonifacio out of the Dominican Republic back in 2001. Though his trek through the D-backs farm system was relatively slow, he excites scouts with excellent speed as well as strong defensive ability at both second base and shortstop. A 23 year old switch-hitter, he was hitting .302/.348/.387 with 17 steals for Triple-A Tucson before the trade, and went 2-for-12 (.167) in eight games for the major league team. Bonifacio lacks power and his strike zone judgment is mediocre, which could prevent him from taking a regular job, but his defensive skills and speed should keep him on major league rosters for some time as a utilityman.
Reineke was drafted by the Astros in the 13th round in 2004, out of the University of Miami-Ohio. Not considered a hot prospect, he nevertheless moved steadily through the system, reaching Triple-A last year, though he has yet to receive a major league trial. Reineke was 5-9, 4.41 with a 100:35 K:BB ratio in 112.1 innings for Triple-A Round Rock before the trade. A tall 6-6, 210 pound right-hander, Reineke has an average 89-91 MPH fastball, but his slider can be overpowering. His changeup comes and goes, and as a result of this inconsistency, many scouts believe his major league role will be in relief. His command is usually very good.
Ford was a draft-and-follow pick, selected by the Brewers in the 18th round in 2004, then signing in the spring of '05 after playing for Chipola JC in Florida. An excellent athlete, Ford is best-known for his blazing speed and has swiped 48 bases in 59 attempts this year for Brevard County in the Florida State League. He's also hit just .230/.322/.303 in 91 games for the Manatees. While Ford will take a walk, his extreme lack of power is a handicap that could prevent him from making the speed useful at the major league level. He is just 22, so he still has some time to develop, but projects best as a fifth outfielder.
Steve Hammond, LHP (Brewers to Giants in the Durham Trade)
The Brewers selected the 26 year old Hammond in the sixth round of the 2005 draft, out of Long Beach State. A typical finesse lefty, his fastball hits 91 MPH on a good day but is usually 3-4 MPH below that. His slider and changeup are decent, but he needs sharp command to survive. He was 7-4, 3.45 in 15 starts for Double-A Huntsville this year, with a 78:33 K:BB in 89 innings, but is 0-4, 7.41 in four starts since moving up to Triple-A Nashville. He projects as a spot starter or long reliever in the majors.
Article first appeared 7/23/08