Swing recognition and Bryan Anderson talk

Baseball America presented its Top 20 NY-Penn League Prospects.  The only Cardinal to make the list was Jess Todd at Number 13.  Of note is that first round pick, Clayton Mortenson, fell 5 innings short of qualifying for the list.   

 

BA also had its Low Class A recap.  Brandon Buckman was second in extra basehit rate.  2007 draftee, Steve Hill, ranked 19th and sleeper prospect, Luke Gorsett, ranked 21st.  Jim Rapoport finished rated 21st in speed score.  Brandon Buckman’s partial season at the Quad Cities was considered to be the third best season put together by a MWL player.

 

The Swing put quite a few more pitchers on the list than they did hitters.  P.J. Walters ranked tied for  9th in strikeout percent.  Tyler Herron, Brad Furnish, and Elvis Hernandez all tied for 21st in the same category.  Of note is that those 3 only finished 3 percentage points behind Walters.  Brandon Dickson finished 4th in groundout to flyout ratio while Walters finished 5th.  Tyler Herron’s season was considered to be the 4th best put together by a MWL pitcher. 

 

 The following comment was left by Cardinal 70 regarding Bryan Anderson’s possible increase and it caused me to do some a little more digging.  Also, be sure to check out his website. 

How likely is that on Anderson, though? I don’t follow the minors as much as I should, but the power dropoff was pretty noticeable. I packaged him in a mock trade on my site today, thinking that Molina’s improvement makes him expendable. Is that crazy talk?

No, that is not crazy at all.  With the exception of Rasmus, who to me is untouchable, he is definitely our most valuable trade piece.  A lefty hitting catcher who hits for average is very valuable and hard to find.  His lack of power is intriguing if not disturbing.  I went back and compared his 20 year old slugging percentage to Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, and Yadi.  The only player Anderson outslugged was Yadi. 

In McCann’s 20 year old season, he slugged .494 at High Class A Myrtle Beach.  Mauer slugged .412 at High Class A Fort Myers before being promoted to New Britian where he slugged .453.  Yadi on the other hand, slugged an anemic .332 at Double A Tennessee.

I then went over to BP to look at his comparables and at the top of the list was Brian McCann while Joe Mauer was also mentioned.  Also on the list were some interesting names like James Loney, Adrian Gonzalez, and  Hank Blalock.  Looking at Loney’s 20-year old season, he slugged an incredibly lightweight .327. 

And to be honest, my theory of him wearing down was wrong.  He slugged .582 in April but that number fell to .304 in May.  That number bounced back to .487 in June but Anderson slugged an abysmal .300 in July and August.   But there is hope as Loney has improved to slug .491 in 77 games for the Dodgers this year.

 So what does all this mean?  I don’t know.  Being that Anderson is only 20 the jury is still out.  I do know that I would take a .300 hitting catcher everyday of the weak no matter how much power he has.  After seeing Anderson several times in person, I just don’t see his future behind the plate.  His footwork leaves a lot to be desired as proven by 15 pass balls this season.  He does have a strong arm and is athletic enough to move out from behind the plate.  I could definitely see him taking a Biggio path and moving to second.  His strong arm would be great on the turn.  I know the Cardinal Brass say that he is going to stay behind the plate, but let’s be honest, a .300 hitting catcher is much more valuable that a .380 slugging outfielder. 

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1 Comment

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One response to “Swing recognition and Bryan Anderson talk

  1. Thanks for both the answer and the plug!

    There are a lot of intriguing names on that list. And I think it’s possible that he could turn out to be a better offensive catcher than Yadi, though I don’t know if he could beat him in the all-around game if Molina keeps up with this offense.

    That said, sometimes you have to let others bite on potential if you can get a proven commodity, especially with this management regime.

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