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Phillies Spring Training: Phils Get Albert Cartwright from Astros

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After DFA’ing Sergio Escalona a few days ago, the Phillies found him a home in Houston. Making another deal with former GM Ed Wade, Ruben Amaro dealt Escalona for second baseman Albert Cartwright. Wade, who had signed Escalona in 2004, has made multiple moves with the Phillies since he’s left, including the Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt deals.

Cartwright, 23, was drafted by the Astros in the 2007 Draft and played most recently for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in the last 35 games of 2010. He struggled in his first promotion to AA, as most prospects do, getting on-base at a .289 clip and slugging just .271. His career norms are much higher though, as he posted a .932 OPS in Single-A Advanced for the first 92 games of the season. He hit 10 home runs and 13 triples in those games, flashing his speed for 31 stolen bags between the two levels.

As is typical with toolsy speed guys, he strikes out too much and walks too little, but he’s got some pop in his bat and now that he’s around, could challenge Delwyn Young, Robb Quinlan and Brian Bocock for a utility position behind Wilson Valdez. He’d primarily be a pinch runner because of his weak fielding, but he’d be a cheap option for a couple years that can help the team.

It’s hard to deem a winner and loser in minor moves like this, but if I had to pick, Cartwright has a higher ceiling than Escalona and should continue his professional successes at Double-A Reading this year with a September call-up ahead.