According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Phillies signed 25-year old outfielder Brandon Short to a minor league deal. Short was a 28th round pick by the White Sox in 2008 out of St. Johns River Community College in Palatka, FL. Short showed particular promise through the lower levels of the minor leagues, hitting .314/.369/.481 in two stops in High-A Winston Salem before stalling somewhat in Double-A (.251/.314/.383 in 813 PA). Short struggled in his first shot at Triple-A last year (.186/.275/.268 in 114 PA) before being released by the White Sox and being picked up by the Reds. At Double-A Pensacola, Short hit .227/.278/.303 in 74 PA. Short showed some flashes of power in 2010 and 2011, hitting 15 and 13 HR respectively, but has hit two homers since. The gap in power, and playing time for that matter, is due in large part to a torn labrum Short suffered near the beginning of the 2012 season that sidelined him a bit.
In what appears to be a corresponding move, the Phillies have released Kyrell Hudson. Hudson, 23, was a third-round pick in 2009 out of Evergreen High School in Portland, OR. Hudson excited many when he hit .275/.322/.375 with 28 steals in a repeat trip through Williamsport in 2011 but has struggled since. In five seasons in the Phillies organization, Hudson has hit just .224/.271/.286 with three homers and 72 steals.
Analysis: On the basis that these moves link to each other, this is certainly an upgrade. Short was believed by some to be a target for other teams in the December 2011 Rule 5 draft when the White Sox left him unprotected. Short was climbing the White Sox ladder fast before tearing his labrum and, if healthy, can be reasonably expected to compete for the center field job in either Reading or Lehigh Valley. Hudson, drafted for his athletic tools, never quite found his bat or plate approach and reached only High-A Clearwater after five seasons.