Tag: phil humber

Phil Humber Claimed by Oakland Athletics

According to Bob Dutton’s tweet and MLB.com, the Oakland A’s have claimed former Mets prospect Phil Humber off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.

Ironically, Humber was placed on waivers to make room on the 40-man roster after the Royals signed another ex-Met — Jeff Francoeur.

Though Humber came nowhere near fulfilling the promise he showed as an ace pitcher for Rice, I’ve always had a soft spot for him. After leaving the Mets organization in the Johan Santana deal, Humber struggled in two AAA seasons in Twins’ organization — not a good thing for a team as deep in young pitching as Minnesota. He pitched most of last year for the Royals’ AAA team and his numbers don’t look great. But, he did compete in the PCL, which is considered a “hitters’ league”. Indeed, most teams in PCL averaged over 5 runs per game and .780 OPS (to put that in perspective, the average AL team scored a little less than 4 1/2 runs per game and posted a .730 OPS last year). The average PCL pitcher has a 4.78 ERA and Humber’s was 4.47 in 118 IP. Not great, but what stands out is his 1.5 BB/9 IP and 4.0 K/BB percentage.

Personally I haven’t seen him “in the flesh” since he left the Mets so can’t comment on his velocity, command, or anything else about his stuff. But the fact that the Royals were protecting him on their 40-man, combined with the Athletics jumping on him so quickly, suggests that there are people who believe that Humber might still have a chance to contribute in some capacity at the MLB level. And since he’s in the Adulterated League, I feel comfortable wishing him the best of luck.

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Royals Sign Phil Humber

In a fairly under-the-radar move, the Royals have signed former Met Philip Humber to a minor-league deal.

Since leaving the Mets in the Johan Santana trade, Humber has been underwhelming — both in AAA and in brief stints at the Major League level.

Personally I’m a bit sad that Humber hasn’t been able to “put it together”. I’ve liked him ever since we played together at Rice (oh wait, that was PAUL Janish).

Seriously though, I thought Humber had a good mechanics, a nice repertoire of pitches (including a plus curveball), and solid command, but might not have the right personality for New York. The more laid-back Minnesota seemed to be a perfect fit for the quiet Texan. But he’s been very hittable for the past two years while toiling for the Rochester Red Wings, allowing 280 hits and 36 homeruns in 256 innings. His curve remains big-league caliber, but he tends to spot the fastball too high in the zone. It’s surprising that he hasn’t been able to get more sink on the fastball.

Though it’s been a tough go for Humber, his career isn’t yet over. He’ll turn 27 next week, and there’s still time for him to “figure it out”. Maybe it’ll happen in Kansas City.

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Where They Are Now: Philip Humber

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A little over a year ago, former #1 pick and Rice alum Philip Humber was one of the crown jewels of the Mets’ farm system and a key component in the trade that brought Johan Santana to the Mets. Today, he finds himself on the junk pile.

Humber, who barely made the Minnesota Twins out of spring training, was DFA’d the other day to make room for fireballer Juan Morillo.

Aaron Gleeman put it best:

… many Twins fans have simply assumed that Humber is a good prospect because he was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2004 draft after a brilliant college career and once received a ton of hype coming up through the Mets system. However, his stuff hasn’t been the same since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in July of 2005 and little in Humber’s post-surgery performance suggests that he’s capable of becoming more than a fifth starter or long reliever.

Humber certainly still has some value and keeping him around to soak up low-leverage relief innings and perhaps make a spot start or two would have been just fine, but the payoff is minimal given that he’s already 26 years old and the Twins develop pitchers in such a way that they will rarely be lacking in back-of-the-rotation starters or long relievers.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Humber, and hope he can one day make it back to the bigs.

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