With things finally seeming to settle down in our Outfield for this year…Well, sort of, still alot of juggling going on (Taveras rotating between CF and RF, Jay getting time at CF and as a pinch hitter, Bourjos playing some CF and being a defensive replacement, and Craig rotating between RF and 1B) I thought I’d take a look at the minor league OF’s who may make an impact next year by either being promoted or forcing trade. After all, we already are juggling 5 OF’s for 3 spots. Next year we have 2 definite candidates for promotion and a possible 3rd, ending up with a possible 8 outfielders for 3 spots…And someone mentioned a 4th candidate, so now we’re at 9 for 3 spots…oy…
The idea here is to evaluate those prospects and what skills they bring to the table. (BTW, I’m an OBP freak. I love a player with good OBP and am especially critical of that category.)
Randall Grichuk: Level AAA: He’s a thumper. He’s hit 15 home runs 16 Doubles and a Triple in 263 AB’s for Memphis, resulting in a .521 Slugging Percentage. Decent average at .281, OBP is a bit low at .329. His K Rate is high at 22%, but that’s true of a lot of sluggers.
Stephen Piscotty: Level AAA: A guy who hit’s for good average but not much home run power. He’s currently hitting .305 with a .361 OBP. The OBP, while good, could be better as he is hitting over .300. He only has 6 home runs in 328 AB’s but he has a soild .437 SLG thanks to 25 doubles. He has a dash of speed with 8 steals in 10 attempts.
James Ramsey: Level AA: A well rounded and very promising player. He’s batting .306 with a nice .386 OBP. He has 12 home runs, 8 doubles and a triple in just 193 AB’s, resulting in a .544 SLG. Average speed. Overall I like him alot. There is a small sample size issue with the AB’s, but I still think he should promoted to AAA asap.
Tommy Pham: Level AAA: Another well rounded player. He’s hitting .322 with a good .387 OBP. He has 9 steals in 11 attempts, so there’s some speed there. Finally he has 6 home runs, 10 doubles and 4 triples in 174 AB’s resulting in a nice .529 .SLG. He’s never hit double digit home runs in a season, so he’s more of a line drive hitter. Still, he seems ready for some major league at bats.
The verdict: None of the three AAA guys has all the tools. Grichuk is a slugger, while the other two are guys who hit for average with a little pop at the moment. I’d probably promote Pham, partly to give him a shot, but also to open up a spot for Ramsey at AAA, who intrigues me the most of these 4. Would Pham play regularly? Probably not. I’d stick him in a super sub role, spelling all 3 OF positions and trade either Jay or Bourjos, depending on which one would net the better value. Heck, since both are arbitration eligible in 2015, trade them both, replenish the farm with some prospects and promote Grichuk with Pham, giving us a power and average combo.