Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dr B's 2014 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #34 Ian Gardeck; #35 Stephen Johnson

Ian Gardeck and Stephen Johnson are like two peas in a pod they are so similar as prospects.  Hard throwing RHP's whose FB's have been clocked in triple digits and who kicked around a bit in college but got drafted for their velocity and upside.  Both pitched at Low A Augusta last year with similar levels of success.

Ian Gardeck, RHP.  6'2", 215 lbs.  DOB 11/12/1990.

Low A:  4-3, 3.21, 56 IP, 40 BB, 66 K, GO/AO- 1.71, 1 Save.

Gardeck had his ups and downs and as you can see, continued to have control issues.  He did turn in a 1.35 ERA over his last 10 appearances but still had 8 BB's against 12 K's in that stretch.  It's probably enough to get him promoted to San Jose for 2014 where I would expect him to continue pitching out of the bullpen trying to hone his game.  Still very much a project.

Stephen Johnson, RHP.  6'4", 205 lbs.  DOB  2/21/1991.

Low A:  5-1, 3.61, 52.1 IP, 30 BB, 71 K, GO/AO= 1.52, 8 Saves.

Johnson also had his ups and downs but seemed to settle in late in the season as he moved into a closer role when Tyler Mizenko faltered.  He started off the season strong allowing 0 ER in 10 appearances in April but his ERA ballooned to 11.37 in May.  It came back down to a manageable 4.15 in June and 3.24 in July.  He finished up with a flourish going 3-0, 0.00, 12.2 IP, 6 BB, 15 K over his last 11 appearances in August and September.  Looking over both stat lines again, Johnson's finish to the season seems a bit stronger so I probably should have ranked him ahead of Gardeck, but they are very similar in tools, current level of development and future ceiling.  I also would expect Johnson to graduate to San Jose next year where he should team up with Gardeck, Tyler Mizenko and Dan Slania to a powerful right side of the bullpen.


  1. Usually, the Giants would have them try to ease back a bit on velocity to gain better control.

    And better off speed pitches.

    Easier said then done, I guess. But that's why they play the order to get better and take control of their own careers by altering the stats-projected trajectories.

  2. Johnson is the guy I like here. His late season performance really caught my attention, and looked good as the Greenjackets' closer. In his late-season Augusta rankings, David Lee called Johnson's slider arguably the best pitch on the staff. Even if he's not pumping the 98-99 mph fastball like he was known for in college anymore, that slider could really help him get moving. Although I will say, Lee's assessment of Gardeck wasn't too far off... but he ranked Johnson just behind the starters and Duffy, while Gardeck was the #11 honorable mention... for whatever that's worth.

  3. Johnson had a 7.33 H/9 and batters slashed 220/338/328.
    Gardeck had a 7.07 H/9 and batters slashed 222/367/308

    Both these guys cut those walks out, they have a bright future. That's tough.

  4. What was the story about Mizenko? He started on fire, but then he faltered.

    1. Not sure. I assume he got a tired arm or else the league developed a scouting report on him.

  5. From David Lee, re: Mizenko at the end of the season: ."..he ran into bad luck, mental blocks and a need for rest down the stretch, which threw some of his second half out the window."