Friday, February 15, 2013

DrB's 2013 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention Part 4

Jarrett Parker, OF.  DOB:  1/1/1989.  6'4", 210 lbs.  B-L, T-L.
High A:  .247/.366/.443, 15 HR, 28 SB, 70 BB, 175 K in 409 AB.

Former 2'nd round draft pick in 2010.  Somewhat surprisingly repeated the Cal League in 2012 with pretty much the same results as 2011.  Low BA, moderate power, good speed, great BB rate, frightful K rate.  Would be a sabermetric darling if he put up the same numbers in MLB.  The K rate and BA are disturbing, but I'm not ready to totally write him off.  I say, send him to Richmond and let's see what happens.  If he puts up the same numbers there, he could be a serious prospect.

Rafael Rodriguez, OF.  DOB:  7/13/1992.  6'5", 198 lbs.  B-R, T-R.
Short Season:  .235/.287/.364, 3 HR, 7 SB, 9 BB, 31 K in 162 AB.

Former international bonus baby.  2012 was his 4'th pro season without much in the way of progress.  This was his highest IsoP since 2010 when he repeated the AZL.  If you take his numbers and multiply by 4 to get a full season's worth of AB's, they don't seem quite so terrible.  Another kid who I think it's still too early to give up on.

Alex Burg, UT.  DOB:  8/9/1987.  6'0", 190 lbs.  B-R, T-R.
High A:  .252/.341/.429, 10 HR, 41 BB, 77 K in 345 AB.

I have to say I was disappointed that Burg got sent back to San Jose for 2012 after a terrific season in 2011.  His 2012 numbers were not as good, but not bad either.  Hopefully he gets a chance to show if he can handle AA in 2013.

Ryan Cavan, 2B.  DOB:  6/27/1987.  5'10", 180 lbs.  B-S, T-R.
AA:  .228/.283/.338, 10 HR, 32 BB, 89 K in 426 AB.

These aren't great numbers, but go take a look at Brandon Crawford's AA numbers.  The EL is one tough place to hit.  Have to say things aren't looking too promising for Cavan, though.

Justin Fitzgerald, RHP.  DOB:  3//3/1986.  6'5", 230 lbs.  B-R, T-R.
AA:  7-8, 3.22, 164.2 IP, 60 BB, 130 K, GO/AO= 1.25, BAA= .225.

Fitz repeated AA in 2012 and put up slightly better numbers. Big bodied pitcher who can pound the zone.  NoCal kid, so you gotta root for him.


  1. Unfortunately for Parker, that's just too low a BA, that's probably likely below Mendoza line, so low that his walk rate won't mean anything. And if he's striking out like Mark Reynolds in Advanced A, he's going to be striking out over 50% of the time if he's in AA, let alone the majors.

    I don't know what is wrong. With that much power, they should be afraid of putting the ball into the zone, yet he strikes out so many times. But he must have some zone discipline because he walks so many times. Might be an issue like DrB noticed on Villalona, where once he gets to 2 strikes, he's just swinging away at anything.

    I don't see the value in pushing him to AA yet, he's still only 24, and he really needs to get his K's down by a lot if he's to do anything in the majors.

    I agree on RafRod, as he's still only 20 years old for this season. Clearly he's not going to be a difference maker, barring any sudden epiphany, but I still think that he can still be a decent player for us if he continues to develop. As you noted, his stats aren't too bad over a full season. And one reason his K's are so high is that the other players there had 2-4 years of age and experience over him, so as he catches up in age of the league, he should start to do better. The key is what his peak will be.

    Low double digits in homers and SB is not too shabby a contribution, plus some defense as I heard he has good range and arm in the OF, and he could contribute much like we hope Crawford will contribute, with good enough offense and good defense.

    I'm not too impressed by Burg's or Cavan's performance, and Crawford was much younger than Cavan in AA, Cavan was already 25 hitting that in AA, Crawford was a couple of years younger.

    Nice numbers for Fitz and, yeah, got to root for the local kids. I think the Giants gave him a shot at AFL too, didn't they? That usually means that they see something in the prospect. And he got a lot of groundballs, which is a good sign. Will have to improve his K/BB if he wants to make the majors, though, I think.

    1. Again, you might be getting a little too dogmatic about age vs level for my taste, ogc.

      One problem with selective/patient hitters that I keep pointing out, but nobody seems to remember, is that in order to strike out, you have to get to 2 strikes first. Free swingers often put the ball in play, not necessarily effectively, but put the ball in play before they get to 2 strikes, so they tend to not strike out as much. That's not to say all selective hitters strike out at a high rate, but it is exceedingly rare to find a very selective hitter who does not also have high K rates.

      I do not think it's a given that Parker's BA will go down at AA or that his K rate will go up. Another year at San Jose is a death sentence for his career. I say send him to Richmond and see what happens. If he can't hack it, nothing lost because he's never going to make it sitting tight in San Jose.

    2. Have to agree with OGC here DrB, Parker has an absolutely horrible contact rate that can't just be explained away with 3 true outcome patience. I have to say I really don't like his stance, or his bizarro baserunning techniques. I think he will get eaten alive in the Eastern.

      But Honey Fitz was a nice story toiling quietly with Heston and Kickham! Got to love the local boys and a prove out at every level guy who throws strikes. I think he might be the first break glass option over his Richmond soon to be Fresno mates.

    3. Hypothetical situation: A batter gets into a 3-2 count on 30% of their PA's. They take the 3-2 pitch 100% of the time. Statistically, the 3-1 pitch gets called a ball about 50% of the time. Their K% is 50 in that situation, but their BB% is also 50. Now, I am not at all a fan of striking out with the bat on your shoulder, but those numbers are pretty compelling. Something to think about.

    4. Parker had 173 Ks in 487 PAs, a 35.5%. He had 121 swinging, 49 looking, 3?s. He did throw down a .197 ISO, with 15 HRs and 7 3Bs. In 2011 he had 144 Ks in 571 PAs, for a better 25.2%. 104 swinging, 40 looking, and a .144 ISO with 13 HRs and 3 3Bs.

      So in two years he's K'd 245 swinging, 89 looking. Although I always say be patient, in this case it looks like a pretty big problem. Its enough for me to almost completely write Parker off as a prospect actually.

      I'll definitely keep in mind your scenario. I love 3 true outcome guys. But they need decent BAs in the minors to have a shot most of the time. And huge power. Parker is missing those, and I have to think the swinging strikeouts might be tied to pitch recognition issues.

    5. Noramlly, at his age, one gets a little better a year older.

      Does it mean as he got worse that we throw out the 2012 numbers?

      Maybe he played hurt?

    6. Well, everything actually got better in 2012 except his K's and a slight dip in BA.

    7. I guess I tend to believe that Parker's K's and low BA are more a byproduct of his approach and therefore may hold up at higher levels, in which case, a 15/20 guy with an OBP of >.350 is pretty valuable.

    8. DrB, I don't see where I'm being dogmatic regarding age. Not that I don't do that, but I am lost as to your reference.

      For Parker, if anything I'm being very loose regarding his age as a prospect. Really, to have any strong value as a prospect, he needs to be at a higher level, but I didn't note that up above. I mainly noted that I didn't think that his batting discipline would improve if you pushed him up a level, and would, in my opinion, decrease. Nothing to do with age, just really bad plate discipline, striking out so much, no matter what age he is in the league. Hitters do not tend to get better at plate discipline (or at best the same) rising a level in pro ball, and that was what I was talking about.

      For RafRod, I agreed with you that he's too young to give up on. I noted that because he's much younger, he has less experience and thus should see some improvement, again, agreeing with you that he's too young to give up on.

      Perhaps you are referring to my comments about Cavan. I find that to be generally true, a hitter age 23 hitting as well as a hitter age 25 in the same league tends to be a better hitter ultimately. The way you worded your comment, it sounded like you are trying to say that Cavan could be like Crawford offensively. On top of that, in any case, Crawford hit much better than Cavan did both years he had significant ABs in AA. Cavan hit.228/.283/.338/.621 110 ISO (age 25), while Crawford hit .258/.294/.365/.659 107 ISO (age 22) and .241/.337/.375/.712 134 ISO (age 23).