CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Phillies traded Matt Rizzotti, once considered a fringe prospect, to the Minnesota Twins for cash considerations Friday.
Rizzotti, 26, had become a cause célèbre for a portion of the fan base. But ultimately, he did not have a position in the field and scouts did not believe he could hit for power above double A.
In 2010, he started the season in single-A Clearwater and ended in triple-A Lehigh Valley with an overall .343 batting average and 17 home runs. That earned him prospect status despite his older age.
The Phillies were intrigued enough to add him to the 40-man roster that winter for a look-see in 2011 big-league camp. But it was short lived. He played six games last spring and was 2 for 5 with a home run. He was outrighted off the 40-man roster and spent all of 2011 in double-A Reading, where he predictably mashed Eastern League pitching.
The Phillies had attempted to use Rizzotti in the outfield following the successful 2010 season, but it didn't take. He played some first base, a position at which he was below average, but mostly served as a designated hitter.
Rizzotti was originally drafted by the Twins in the 46th round of the 2004 draft. He didn't sign, attended Manhattan College, and was drafted in the sixth round of the 2007 draft by the Phillies.