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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/19/21 : Phillies Trade

Phillies announce trade: they have acquired RHP Nick Nelson and C Donny Sands from the New York Yankees in exchange for LHP Joel Valdez and 1B T.J. Rumfield

Nick Nelson is 25 years old and was the Yankees 4th round draft selection in the 2016 draft from Gulf Coast CC, Gulf Coast CC, FL. He pitched in 11 games with the Yankees in 2021 and 29 games at the AAA level with Scranton Wilkes Barre. At SWB he posted a 3.81 ERA in 52 IP with 62 K’s and 29 BB.

He relies on 4 pitches - 4-Seam Fastball (53.8%) Changeup (34%) Slider (8.3%) Curveball (3.8%) with the fastball sitting at around 96 mph and topping out at 99 mph as a reliever. For the majority of his minor league career he’s been a starter ( 79 of his 105 appearances ) but moved to the bullpen in 2020 making 11 appearances with the Yankees.

Donny Sands is also 25 years old and was the Yankees 8th round draft selection in the 2015 draft from Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson, AZ. He hit .272 with 8 home runs and 29 RBIs for SWB in 2021 … this is what is written about him on MLB which had him listed as the Yankees 28th best prospect -

“ The Yankees fell in love with Sands' bat when he played on one of their scout teams and had an impressive workout at their Tampa complex, so they took the Arizona high schooler in the eighth round of the 2015 Draft. They moved him from third base to catcher after his pro debut and watched him develop slowly, as he totaled just eight homers in his first five seasons and struggled to learn his new position. He was left unprotected in the past three Rule 5 Drafts and was left to at-home development during the pandemic last year, but he has returned in 2021 and looked better than ever offensively and defensively.

Sands still stands out most with his pure hitting ability, displaying quick hands and a smooth right-handed swing. After his stroke was geared more for line-drive contact in the past, he's now tapping into his strength by driving the ball more consistently in the air. He slammed 10 homers in 52 Double-A games this year and then went deep three times in his first four Triple-A contests.

Sands has the soft hands, solid arm strength and enough quickness to stick at third base. After years of hard work and battling through injuries, he has made himself into a capable receiver whose arm plays as average behind the plate. He projects as an offensive-minded backup and has drawn trade interest from other clubs this summer.”

Both players will be added to the Phillies 40 man roster.

Here’s my notes on Rumfeld and Valdez.

TJ Rumfield - 3B/1B - Birthdate : 5/17/00 - 2021 12th round draft selection - Virginia Tech University - appeared in 13 games ( 76 AB’s ) with the Threshers where he posted a strong .426 OBP - 19 hits, 21 BB. Participated in Fall Instructs as well. Looks like a solid defensive first baseman, big target at 6’5” … left handed bat.

Joel Valdez - LHP - Birthdate : 4/28/00 - signed as an international free agent - 9/22/18 - El Seibo, Dominican Republic - we saw him in 2021 Fall Instructs - good form, compact delivery … fastball has touched 95 mph … generally sits in the 91-93 range … made 15 starts in 2021 DSL play - 1.63 ERA in 55 1/3 IP, 56 K’s and 16 walks - 1.07 WHIP.

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