Today I wanted to very briefly discuss the three young starters in the system I think have the highest upside. That’s two 2012 draftees, Mitch Gueller and Shane Watson, and recent international signing Franklyn Vargas.
So I was going to write a long “thing” about why I have Shane Watson so high. But instead, I’ll tell you I have him at 5. I think based on all of the scouting, having him ahead of guys like Pettibone and Martin is not necessarily a stretch. He was BA’s #30 draft prospect, and he profiles as a mid-rotation starter with top-of-the-rotation potential. That’s my take.
As for the other two, I have Gueller at 16 and Vargas at 21. The discussion on Gueller is likely whether I am undervaluing him compared to his draft status. I know some will look at his tiny sample in the GCL and freak out. I’m not really looking at it that way. He’s got time to develop, and any GCL stats he put up in 27 IP shouldn’t be much of a flag.
Yes, I will admit, seeing a guy who’s supposed to be a prospect pitch so poorly is disheartening, but we all know there are plenty of reasons a young guy might get roughed up in his debut season. Now, if he shows us nothing in 100IP in 2013, then I think there’s reason to be a little concerned. But for now, no one is profiling him as an ace, (he would have been drafted a lot higher if they were), so comparing him to, say, Cole Hamels stats, seems a bit unreasonable to me.
I am curious where people are slotting Vargas. He was a serious signing a couple years ago, netting a reported $330k bonus. He pitched pretty well in 2012, showing a good K rate, with a pretty high walk rate. He’s listed 6’4″ 205 lbs on MiLB.com, and what I have read about him he profiles as a possible power lefty with a plus fastball and two mentioned off-speed pitches. Sounds like a starter profile, and if he fills into his frame, he would be a beast. I am looking forward to seeing how he does in the NYPL this year, (I doubt he goes to Lakewood, personally).
So, what do you all think. Is Vargas too high? What about Gueller? Do his GCL stats scare you or are you walking away from them like they’re nothing and waiting to see what he does in 2013? Where does everyone have Shane Watson?
Tomorrow, I will wrap up this little series with low-level infielders. Should be a good conversation there, I hope. And then next week it’s time to vote. Can’t wait.