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FS: Sox Get Hynick, Fuller for Contreras, Thome

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Jason Gage

Accountant By Day, Sports Analyst By Night

SoxNet.net has looked to its sister site, FutureSox.com, to break down the youngsters heading to Chicago as part of the Thome and Contreras trades. 

Thome and Cash for Justin Fuller

This move had more to do with financial savings and sending Thome to a contender than it did prospects. Fuller is a 26 year-old middle infielder who hasn't made it past high-a ball. Combine that with a career .244 average and we are talking about a pure organizational guy with zero upside. 

Jose Conteras for Cash and Brandon Hynick:

The Sox got surprising value for Contreras.  While I think every Sox fan owes Jose a thank-you for the 2005 season, we should also thank Kenny for acquiring Brandon Hynick.  Hynick isn't a can't miss prospect and he might not pan out, but he is a guy that possesses an above average change-up, very good composure, and the ability to develop into a potential back of the rotation starter.

In fact, Rockies.com went on to say the following about Hynick:

"This guy has a lot to set up hitters -- a fastball, a little slider, a changeup and a split-finger -- and he is very efficient with those pitches," Rockies player development director Marc Gustafson said. "He has the command to be very efficient, meaning he does not get deep into counts.

"He prepares himself very well. He probably reminds me of [Rockies lefty] Jeff Francis when we had him in the Minor Leagues. Jeff was a very good student of an opponent and how he's going to pitch to each guy. Brandon communicates well with his catcher."

Part of the reason the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Hynick frustrates hitters is he thinks like one. In his final collegiate season, he played first base and outfield when he wasn't pitching and batted .301 with 12 doubles, leading Birmingham-Southern in home runs (15) and RBIs (49) in 50 games.

"In college I had a very good coaching staff that gave scouting reports on the hitters, and I was a two-way player," Hynick said. "I developed some knowledge as a situational hitter, and I brought that into my pitching."

"I just want to show that I throw a lot of strikes, that I don't throw away pitches, and I have the poise to pitch anywhere."

If that wasn't enough for you, the Denver Post added the following on Hynick:

"He's a thinking man's player," Weinstein said. "A pitcher such as Greg Maddux comes to mind. You can tell the kind of pitcher he is by virtue of his statistics, but his strong suit is the mental side of pitching."

Weinstein sees Hynick studying the hitters.

"He has a handle on the hitters he's facing before the game starts," Weinstein said. "He's not a spectator in between starts. He keeps notes so he's not trying to feel out the hitters in the early innings. He's not a strikeout pitcher per se, but he throws strikes."

Hynick's command has earned him 51 strikeouts and just seven walks.

"I have a plan for each hitter," Hynick said. "I take into consideration what pitches seem to be my strength on that day."

Hynick learned the importance of run support from his college experience. He played outfield and first base when he wasn't on the mound and was one of the team's better hitters.

Even when he pitched, he hit in the third or fourth spot in the lineup.

"I didn't hit very well when I was on the mound," Hynick said. "I didn't get a lot of run support in some of my games, but I had no one to blame but myself." 

Bottom Line:

I like this kid.  I love this move.  Regardless of what happens with Fuller and Hynick, I have to commend Ken Williams for making a move.  The Sox had clearly fallen out of contention and by trading a respected veteran like Thome (albeit to a contender) you are sending a direct message at the remaining veterans who have failed to put this Sox team over the top. 

On top of sending a message, you are also opening up valuable playing time for top prospects Tyler Flowers (Catcher) and Dan Hudson (Rotation), who I expect to be called up tomorrow.   

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4 Comments

Mario Scalise said:

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I think I'm going to like this Hynick guy. He seems like a pitcher and not a thrower. A student of the game and himself, and for a guy who was gone after this season. I like it.

Jason Gage said:

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I'm with you on Hynick. He doesn't have plus stuff, but he's got a great change and good mound presence. I think he projects as a potential back of the rotation starter or a long reliever.

Jason Gage said:

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Evidently Peavy's injury was identified as nothing but a bone bruise which is great news.

Also, Cowley is reporting that Josh Fields will be called up tomorrow and that we should "look to see Pods get most of the starts at DH".

My guess is we'll see Pods get a few starts but we'll also see a lot of T-Flow (aka, Tyler Flowers).

Dan Santaromita said:

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I'm surprised and impressed with the return for Contreras. Hynick isn't a big time prospect, but he has a shot to make it on the White Sox roster at some point. That's way more than I expected to get back.

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