Sports Outside the Beltway

Atlanta Braves trade Oscar Villarreal to Houston for Josh Anderson

The Braves are looking for someone to replace Andruw Jones. From AP-

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves traded reliever Oscar Villarreal to the Houston Astros for speedy outfielder Josh Anderson on Friday. Villarreal went 2-2 with one save and a 4.24 ERA in 51 games for the Braves this season. The right-hander turns 26 next week.

Villarreal is 23-12 with a 3.71 ERA in two years with Atlanta and three seasons with Arizona. In 2003, he set an NL rookie record by pitching in 86 games for the Diamondbacks.

With free agent Andruw Jones gone and outfield spots open, the Braves might try the 25-year-old Anderson in the leadoff spot. He hit .358 in 67 at-bats for Houston after stealing 41 bases at Triple-A Round Rock.

Anderson was MVP of the Double-A Texas League All-Star game in 2006. He led that league in stolen bases for two years, and topped all of minor league baseball with 78 steals in 2005.

Anderson is at best a B- prospect. He will turn 26 next year, and that’s late for someone to turn into a quality MLB player. In addition while Anderson can steal bases, his On base percentages are not of the type you want a leadoff hitter. He can’t steal first base, and 27 walks with 560 AB is not good statistics for the person who is needed to set up an offense.

Other things of note-

If Anderson is a hot prospect, why did he spend two years in AA?

Also Anderson had only 17 Doubles in over 500 PA this year. He’s a singles hitter.

Thirdly Anderson’s SB totals have been in decline since 2004(Those 78 stolen bases were in 04, not 05).

Basically the trade was a middle reliever for a fourth outfielder.

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