Minor League outfield swap

At first glance, the Greg Golson-for-John Mayberry trade is one that might be tough to figure out. Two first-round picks, Golson in 2004 out of high school and Mayberry the following year out of Stanford. One a power guy with a little speed, the other with great speed and some developing power. Neither having fully lived up to expectations, but still with potential. Both on the 40-man roster.

The question is: What was the point, really?

Depending on who I talked to, I got a variety of answers. The most common theme was that this was a “change of scenery” trade. The idea behind it is that perhaps both young players will benefit from a fresh start, a chance to learn from different coaches. Sometimes a trade ignites just the right parts of a previously incomplete player and he takes off. Golson is just 23; Mayberry 25. As one scout put it to me: Neither player is an uber-prospect right now, but both can still be pretty good players.

The knock on Mayberry, another scout told me, is that he’s been an underachiever. Everything points to the fact that he should be a prolific power hitter. But he’s been too laid back and relying solely on his talent. That being said, he’s a guy with some pop at a more advanced level of the Minors who might be able to help soon.

Golson, for his part, is a great kid with tremendous athletic ability. He’s made great strides defensively and could play center field in the big leagues right now. Offensively, he still needs some work. He can do many things well, but the hitting end hasn’t come easily. He did hit for average in Double-A, perhaps a good sign, but he does need to find a greatre level of consistency.

In the end, this trade may not seem like much to most fans. And it may never materialize into anything monumental. But it could also end up being good for both teams, as one executive told me, with both guys figuring things out with their new organizations.

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