Prospect Roundtable: Which First Half Performance Gives You Most Concern?

With half of the minor league season in the books, we're recapping the first half of the season this week on Prospect Roundtable.

In the other article, we looked at which player made the biggest jump in our rankings in the first half.

This article explores the opposite, looking at the player who gave us the most concern going forward.

As usual, all picks were submitted without knowledge of anyone else's picks. Ryan Palencer's picks were limited to Indianapolis prospects.
JOHN DREKER: Matt Fraizer, OF
We did an article early in the year about concerns after the first month. My pick was Matt Fraizer, who got off to a rough start while repeating Double-A, with a huge strikeout rate. One month is too short of a time to pass judgement on someone who looked so great last year. It was ...

PREMIUM CONTENT

 

Pirates Prospects has been independently covering the Pittsburgh Pirates and their farm system since 2009. All of our content on this site -- a site that features no advertisements and only our content -- is made possible from subscriptions. Your support allows this unique media company to continue doing what we do best -- and as an added bonus, you'll get to read the rest of this article. Learn more about a Pirates Prospects subscription.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please check your account page to verify your subscription status.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
35 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ArkyWags

Gonzales. Martin never looked like anything more than a quad A guy so my expectations were never high.

AdministrativeSky236

Just want to point out that none of these articles even mentioned tank… the amount of hank davis concern i see is concerning me for my fellow fans

MShaeffer4444

He’s done nothing but hit when he’s been healthy. He hasn’t been healthy in a bit and he was aggressively moved to AA. No reason for concern with him.

TNBucs

Gonzales’s K rate last year had raised such a red flag for me that he wouldn’t top my list this year. Martin is similar in that regard. So I might go with John on this one or go with Triolo—Fraizer and Triolo were two guys who I thought would be pushing for a promotion to AAA by now.

bradlej31

It’s Frazier in a landslide, others can point to youth or injury. Not him.

bradlej31

Gonzales has had plantar fasciitis all season. That’s not a fun injury

ricramer

Nicky G. for sure.

Cobra

Tim’s last sentence on Gonzales :

NMR

Painful to read, but appreciate everyone’s takes.

I think these are all relative to the expectations each of us had going into the year, so with that context I’ll say Jared Jones gives me the most concern.

I got no problem having patience with arm strength HS dudes who need to learn that max effort deliveries don’t lead to big league command. But what concerns me about Jones, who really fits in the context of this rebuild as one of the very few arms with potential to be better than a mid-rotation starter, is how damn much he gets hit around when in the zone.

A commenter asked about comps for Nick Gonzales, and I have the same question for Jones.

We’ve seen many big stuff-little command young dudes come through and every single one of them had no problem keeping runs off the board in A-ball…except for Jones. Who are the comps for kids like this?

Runner up, and this kills me, is Hank Davis. Again, all relative to expectations, but his defense is far worse than I anticipated and the poor quality of contact (popping up almost half of his fly balls!) starts to trigger a question of how much work his unorthodox swing needs to succeed at the highest level.

Scrappy2499

For Hank, probably need to hope for the robo ump sooner than later. I wonder how much the wrist injury may be playing into his hitting issues lately. He seemed to be fine prior to the injury.

NMR

We all hoped Kebryan’s power outage was a hand injury too but turns out it was a product of his swing, not strength.

Not gonna jump to any conclusions, just worth a watch for me.

I also wonder how much taking framing away from catchers impacts their value. It’ll almost certainly raise the bar on offense massively, as big bats no longer are forced to 1B. A blessing and a curse.

HeisenbergWW

Off the top of my head I thought of Chris Stratton, Tyler Beede, and Kyle Crick. Their MiLB WHIP is similar to Jones. Stratton, Beede, and Crick were all first rounders so they have similar pedigree… just spitballing

roibert.kasperski

Crick actually was doing quite well until he broke Crash Davis’s golden rule. He hit the Pitcher who shall remain nameless with his pitching hand in a clubhouse fight and tore tendons that needed surgery. Was never the same afterwards.

HeisenbergWW

True. I was attempting to find high pedigree pitcher who got hit fairly hard in the low minors. I thought Crick might arguably fit the bill.

roibert.kasperski

Yes you would be correct. I just could not resist pointing out the stupid thing that Crick did that basically killed his career.

roberto

He just went on the IL for the CWS. But his issue since 2019 remains too many walks.

roibert.kasperski

ripping up the tendons in the index finger of his throwing hand no doubt has affected his grip on the ball and the spin for movement. Stands to reason that if his grip is changed, his control changed as well, hence the increase in walks.

Last edited 1 month ago by roibert.kasperski
NMR

Sorry, I meant at similar stages of development.

What dudes without supposed lights-out stuff got hit this hard in A ball.

NMR

Didn’t miss as many bats as he should have, but also never allowed an ERA over 4 in spite of pumping fastballs like 80% of the time.

Wonder how Jones would fair without leaning on his slider.

HeisenbergWW

I think their minor league whip is comparable to Jones including A and A+ although Crick was the only one straight from HS.

Last edited 1 month ago by HeisenbergWW
John Dreker

You are definitely correct when you say it’s relative to expectations. I’ll use Jones as you mentioned him. When he was drafted I felt like he had reliever upside, and after watching him a lot last year, I felt the same. I hate how little Greensboro is online, but what I’ve seen still makes me feel the same, so he’s basically been stagnant since being drafted for me, just closer to reaching that power reliever upside.

The only reason I didn’t pick Gonzalez is because he was having better at-bats before he got hurt, but he’s a good choice here as well. Early in the year it just looked like he was guessing fastball a lot and swinging at anything that was in the zone for any amount of time, but I didn’t see that as much late. I think he started pushing himself when he got off to a slow start and took a long time to recover. Martin was ranked 34th for me I believe, maybe 35th, I don’t have the list. So he plays to exactly what you said. I didn’t have high expectations, so I don’t have high concern

HeisenbergWW

Can anyone think of a successful comp for Gonzales at this point? Any guys with average power and average defense with +30% strikeout rate in AA ever have a successful major league career?(Joey Gallo, Mark Reynolds etc don’t count)

Last edited 1 month ago by HeisenbergWW
NMR

This has really been my argument over the past two seasons.

The comps you’re asking for literally don’t exist.

There’s a large groups of analyst types stubbornly holding onto their eye test of whatever a plus or better big league hit tool looks like when playing against the Little Sisters of the Poor while somehow refusing to accept performance against real competition.

Would anyone with eyes scout this dude as having even an average hit tool if they never saw him in college?

roberto

Yup. Last year counts too. AA pitchers are better, so plenty of players struggle. Some move forward; some don’t.

tmcgowan

Keston Hiura if you squint? I’m not sure if he counts as successful.

HeisenbergWW

Wow. That’s really good! Hiura actually struck out 35% of the time for his minor league career. I was not expecting to find anyone with a presence in an everyday lineup. I guess there’s some hope. I was expecting an unsuccessful, Cole Tucker-like trajectory for Gonzales’ future.

Last edited 1 month ago by HeisenbergWW
NMR

Oh for sure, I just don’t know that I’d call Hiura “successful” at this point. What an insane season he’s having, giving Mason Martin some hope lol.

roberto

Making the bigs counts as success. Doing well in the bigs is better. Repeated success is elite.

NMR

That ain’t gonna cut it, partner.

roberto

It may not cut it, but that’s reality. About 30% of first round choices never make the bigs. Most who do have really modest career numbers. If you’ve got a plan to change that, please share it with us and BC.

NMR

I do!

Hire Matt Arnold, who helped build a perennial winner in Milwaukee without a disastrously long rebuild based on accumulating talent you just said has a low probability of success.

jon6er

Potentially missing on #1 picks always stick out the most especially when the next 3 or 4 guys behind him in that draft might be excelling. I don’t have the heart to check out exactly what those picks are doing, lol.

roberto

Well, they are not. Three of the next five were high schoolers. Detmers just got sent down and Crotchet sounds like a TJ candidate.

Most Voted Comments

Menu
35
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x