Just a couple days away from the crowning of the Reader #1. I have a guess who it might be…(cough Biddle cough cough)…Jesse Biddle. Sorry for the coughing. I’ve been sick.
So today, I’m going to take a brief look at Kelly Dugan, Zach Collier and Tyson Gillies, and where they appear on my top 30.
I’ve got Dugan at 19, Collier at 22, but I’m going to talk a little about Gillies first - I will say that if he can stay on the field for a whole season, Tyson Gillies could be in Philly in September, or earlier. He could be the kind of player that works his way into a fourth OF role, eventually breaks into the lineup, and never looks back, getting better as he goes, hitting and swiping bases and making great plays all over the outfield. Or he could do what I think most of us fear at this point – get hurt every year, never get more than a cup of coffee, and be in Japan by 2015. I hope that’s not the case, because you can see the skills when you watch the guy play. But until he proves his health, he’s just going to keep sliding down my list of prospects. He was my #6 in 2011, he was my #16 in 2012. And now he’s my #27.
So how should we differentiate Dugan and Collier? It’s a difficult task, as both have had injury concerns in the last couple years. Dugan finally had a near-full season in 2012, and he took his hitting to a new level. The club moved him to 1B for a stint early in the year, (which I think was related to others in the OF, and not Dugan’s injury issues), but he eventually played the majority of his time in right field.
He racked up a triple slash of .300/.387/.470, for an OPS of .857, and ISO of .170, both very solid numbers. His walk rate was a respectable 9.7%, but his K rate of 24.6% was a bit high for someone who’s not hitting for a ton of power. He has 33 2b and 12 HR in just shy of 500 PA in 2012, so if some of his doubles are going to turn into homeruns, and he winds up with an ISO closer to .200, I’d be totally ok with a K rate at 25%. If not, it would be nice to see that number come down.
Collier missed the beginning of the year after testing positive for a banned substance. I won’t pass a judgment on him for not going to the doctor before taking what doesn’t have to be a banned substance if he really needs it. Ok, yes, I will. That’s dumb. But he’s not the first and won’t be the last guy to do that same dumb thing. SO DUMB!
Ok, coming back to baseball now – Collier took what could have been a wasted season and made it respectable by posting a .269/.332/.399 slash. He impressed even further in the Arizona Fall League, where he went .371/.461/.532 in around 75 PA against generally more experienced (if not overly talented) pitching. He probably earned his spot on the 40-man roster with his regular season performance, but he cemented it in Arizona.
At this point, we’re putting a lot of faith in Collier based on mild improvements in his stats and general concensus of scouting, which says he has the tools to be a big leaguer. He flashed a little bit of power, (6 HR is nice, and an ISO .130 in not great, but markedly better than 2011′s .094), and reports of his defense continue to tell the story of a big league center fielder.
So I guess I’m projecting Dugan’s power and hitting to be a bit more valuable that Collier’s hitting and defense in the long run. What do you all think? I imagine some of you have Gillies outside of your top 30, but does anyone have him first in this group? Anyone have Jiwan James or Leandro Castro in their top 30? Am I missing anyone? Hewitt in anyone’s top 50? He’s my #66, FWIW.
Tomorrow I will take a look at some young starting pitchers, and then low level infielders on Friday in the lead-up to voting season on Monday.