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Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Most Interesting Man in the Minors - Grantland

How does a legend begin?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joey gallo, rangers

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   1. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 12, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4724055)
The most interesting man in the minors to me is Julio Urias. The guy is 17 years old and striking out over a batter per inning!
   2. The Good Face Posted: June 12, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4724130)
The "batted-ball speed" data was particularly interesting. Not surprising perhaps, everybody has long known that Gallo has immense power, but still cool to see it put into context. Sounds like there's a reasonable chance Gallo turns into a lefty Richie Sexson who can play an adequate 3B; that would be a very nice player. Who would be a best case scenario comp for a guy with Gallo's skillset?
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 12, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4724140)
This is a great piece.

Shortly after labeling Gallo the 95th-best prospect in baseball, Parks said, “If he takes a step forward with his swing mechanics without losing any of his raw power and shows a little bit more bat control, a little bit more ability to stay with pitches and maybe take a double or take a single every once in a while, he could be a guy who goes from no. 95 to no. 25.” There’s a good chance that that’s going to happen.


And there will still be bozos who try to mock Parks for not seeing into the future and knowing that Gallo would massively improve and ranking him #25.
   4. Ziggy Posted: June 12, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4724166)
Part of the problem with that "best case" question is that it's hard to know what his skill set is, he's changed so much since last year. If the modifications that the article discusses (and it's a good piece, you should read it) make his new walk-to-strikeout-ratio stick, best case outcome is very good indeed. Eddie Matthews without quite so many walks (hard to adjust off-hand, since strikeout rates are up so much since matthews played). If he returns to a 4-1 K/BB ratio, it's hard to see him being a good major leaguer. I'm optimistic though, he did well two years ago and is doing well again.
   5. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: June 12, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4724197)
The most interesting man in the minors to me is Julio Urias. The guy is 17 years old and striking out over a batter per inning!


I clicked on this link completely expecting the article to be about Urias.
   6. The Good Face Posted: June 12, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4724207)
Eddie Matthews without quite so many walks (hard to adjust off-hand, since strikeout rates are up so much since matthews played).


That's a pretty good call; lefty hitting 3B with immense power, although Eddie Mathews would be one hell of a best case. Of course, a slightly worse version of Eddie Mathews would still be a borderline HOFer.

The K rate bears watching, but if anybody can overcome an extremely high K rate it would be a player like Gallo, who hits the ball harder than pretty much everyone not named Miguel Cabrera.
   7. Ziggy Posted: June 12, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4724230)
One interesting bit in the article is a measure of the speed of the ball of hitters' bats, and it turns out that Gallo hits the ball HARDER than Cabrera. (In the minors of course, we'll see what happens in the majors.)

And yeah, Matthews would be a best of the best case. But that's what #2 asked for. On the other hand, if you're interested in the full range of his range of possible outcomes, we should note, of course, that Matt LaPorta is still a possible outcome as well. (LaPorta did hit 318/392/750 in a short stint a A ball.)
   8. Willie Mayspedester Posted: June 12, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4724264)
Hickory Crawdads


Sounds like a fun team to go see.
   9. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 12, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4724293)
Or Brandon Wood!
   10. Walt Davis Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4724413)
How about the "great but not Eddie Mathews" comp of Killebrew?

I see Gallo is in AA where he's K'd 5 times in 13 PA. Of course the 909 SLG kinda makes up for that. :-)

EDIT: Or Kingman.
   11. RJ in TO Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4724440)
Looking at the minor league numbers, they look reasonably similar to the sort of things Mike Stanton did, for whatever that's worth.
   12. zenbitz Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4724537)
I see Gallo is in AA where he's K'd 5 times in 13 PA.


Ichiro could K 13 times in 5 PAs. If he wanted to.
   13. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:58 PM (#4724563)
Yeah, a little surprising Giancarlo Stanton hasn't been mentioned in relation to bat speed/power. He's scared a few baseballs out of ballparks.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4724579)
Of course Stanton was in the majors when he was Gallo's age ... almost exactly in fact as Stanton's debut was at age 20, 212 days and Gallo is currently 20 and 206 days. If the kid's not in the majors by next Friday, he's no Mike Stanton!

Thanks b-r!
   15. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4724580)
Yeah, a little surprising Giancarlo Stanton hasn't been mentioned in relation to bat speed/power. He's scared a few baseballs out of ballparks.

TEH FEAR 2
   16. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4724587)
Yeah, a little surprising Giancarlo Stanton hasn't been mentioned

Gallo’s 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame is nearly Giancarlo Stanton–size...According to PECOTA, Gallo’s most comparable player prior to the 2014 season was Stanton...That’s Gallo’s good side, where his stats look like Stanton’s.
   17. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: June 12, 2014 at 11:41 PM (#4724644)
I don't always hit home runs, but when I do, I prefer grand slams.

Stay hungry, my friends.
   18. Boxkutter Posted: June 13, 2014 at 02:29 AM (#4724683)
I see Gallo is in AA where he's K'd 5 times in 13 PA. Of course the 909 SLG kinda makes up for that. :-)

After tonight's game, he now has a Double-A batting line of 357/471/1.071. That's an OPS of 1.542. With 3 homers, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts in 17 plate appearances.
   19. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 13, 2014 at 05:06 AM (#4724686)
Or Brandon Wood!


Brandon Wood's OPS his first 2 minor league seasons, .760

His 3rd MiLB season, 1.047, with 13 ABs per HR.

Rest of his minor league seasons, .830ish. And around 25 ABs per HR.

So yea, not really the same. Every prospect is a snowflake.

   20. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:11 AM (#4724703)
How's Gallo's glove? It's only mentioned in passing a couple times in the article, and I can't really get a feel for what kind of defensive player he is from "he can play third base".

If he's an above average defender at third, he'll be a really good major leaguer even if his bat is Russell Branyan 2.0. If he's more just a guy who can stand there and fake it without embarrassing anybody, he'll need to be more than Branyan to be an everyday player.
   21. AROM Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4724721)
Must be the age/level thing, since Crush played a bit of college and was drafted by the Rangers when he was about the same age Gallo is now. Other than that, I'm surprised Chris Davis's name has not come up as a comp. It's pretty easy to look at Davis's 53 homer, 199 strikeout season and think, yeah, that could be Gallo.
   22. The Good Face Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4724754)
How's Gallo's glove? It's only mentioned in passing a couple times in the article, and I can't really get a feel for what kind of defensive player he is from "he can play third base".


He projects to average-ish at 3B. He's a pretty good athlete with a very strong throwing arm, but somewhat mechanical. Better than "can fake it without making a mockery of the game," but nobody's going to mistake him for Adrian Beltre or Evan Longoria with the glove. Most scouts I've read say he can stick at 3B in MLB, but it wouldn't shock me if he winds up in RF; his arm would be an asset there, and he runs OK despite his size.

Must be the age/level thing, since Crush played a bit of college and was drafted by the Rangers when he was about the same age Gallo is now. Other than that, I'm surprised Chris Davis's name has not come up as a comp. It's pretty easy to look at Davis's 53 homer, 199 strikeout season and think, yeah, that could be Gallo.


Gallo walks a lot more than Davis did, but they both definitely have the "huge lefty with OMGWTFBBQ power" thing going on.
   23. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4724760)
EDIT: What The Good Face said.
   24. Joe OBrien Posted: June 13, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4725429)
The most interesting man in the minors to me is Julio Urias. The guy is 17 years old and striking out over a batter per inning!


Urias is the most interesting person in the minors precisely because he is not yet a man.
   25. Boxkutter Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4725702)
2 for 5 tonight, 2K and another HR. That makes 4 in 5 AA games.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:50 AM (#4725722)
I assume the Brandon Wood reference meant Dallas McPherson (who was also a 3B and a LHB). McPherson was older but at rookie ball he hit 395/449/605. He slumped the next year but was 310/410/595 then a ridiculous 317/387/670 at AA/AAA. The next year only 92 PA but a ridiculous 304/380/734. And he K'd about 30% of the time all the way up.
   27. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4725886)
As you referenced, Joey is age 20 in AA at age 20, at that age McPherson was in Rookie ball. The flaw for those who got excited over Dallas's gaudy hitting was that he was only a year or two younger than average at his levels, which is a bit too old for a true prospect. By the time he got to AAA he was 4 years younger (23) but that didn't mean as much given AAA is full of ancient ex-prospects, and also his AAA numbers were PCL assisted that year.

And still Dallas could hit, his career line in AAA is .276/.349/.572/144 HRs over 530 games. He only got 139 MLB games to demonstrate that tool and put up a line of only .241/.292/.446/.738 w/18 HR (with only 133Ks!), but he only got 2 callups after age 25 and they were both 15 PA stints where he hit terribly. I'd like to think given more time to show it, he would have been an acceptable DH/PH option.

So while there are clear similarities between the two, their relatives ages are a huge difference. It's one of the most important things about Gallo, the thought being that he's still young enough that he's got significant improvement (and we hope, adjustments) left in him.

Edit: To contrast, Gallo was 3 years younger than average in A+ ball this year, with his promotion to AA he's 4 years younger than average. If he merits a promotion to AAA at years end, he'd be 7 years younger than average. I feel the most exciting thing I can see in a prospect, no matter what their toolset is, is if they dominate much older competition and especially at every stop in the minors.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4725977)
He only got 139 MLB games to demonstrate that tool and put up a line of only .241/.292/.446/.738 w/18 HR (with only 133Ks!), but he only got 2 callups after age 25 and they were both 15 PA stints where he hit terribly. I'd like to think given more time to show it, he would have been an acceptable DH/PH option.


Sounds like Juan Francisco. And he was a 2nd round pick - funny that he never got another real chance.
   29. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 14, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4726171)
Urias is interesting only because he's a 17-YO playing in high-A ball and holding his own. He would be more interesting if he were turning the lineup over a couple of times before leaving games; he's averaging barely more than 3 IP per outing in his minor league career, and while I get that he's only 17 and you don't want him to burn out, it remains to be seen whether and to what extent batters will adjust to him after one time through the lineup.

The main thing that I look for with 3B defense in the minors is the DP/error ratio. Gallo's at 17/12 this year after being below 1 in each of his first two seasons - definitely an encouraging sign.

I wanted the Pirates to draft Gallo - yes, even at #8 overall (although I knew they wouldn't - that was the year they picked Appel and didn't sign him). Gallo's going to be, IMO, what the Pirates hoped that Pedro Alvarez would be, but isn't.

-- MWE

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