It’s kind of funny because Keith and I were talking about Guillermo Pimentel last week. Speaking specifically in reference to tempering ones excitment for great prospects that were or are still are in short season (ironically Lonnie and I had a similar discussion via gmail chat…). The conversation of course came as we were talking about ranking prospects and where each fits in our minds in the future of the organization. It’s always hard to find and equate values for different players, that play different positions in different leagues at different ages.
Pimentel shows great potential and there have been a lot of fans of his popping around the baseball prospect circles (kind of like rabbits). The common thread around has people talked about his athleticism, hitting ability and his huge raw power. While what Keith and I mostly talked about was amount of strike outs he recorded, the lack of walks, the reports on his arm (not nesscarily good things) and the routes that he’s run according to another set of reports.
Now, I’m all for giving passes on certain things. As you all know I’m of the frame of mind that hope springs eternal. That there is a positive side to nearly every situation. Now while I have that frame of mind, it’s difficult for me to at the same time know that many of these young players will A) most likely never reach their actual potential/ceiling and B) Most likely not even see the major leagues.
So it’s always a game of reassessing your thoughts on someone. Heck, during the prospect rankings I couldn’t figure out what I honeslty thought of Nick Franklin for near three weeks. But, sooner or later you have to develop within your own mind an reasonable evaluation of a player and just to be honest with what you think. Sure, there are going to be people that tell you that your wrong and some times that’s more than just internet trolls. Some times that is people that take prospect evaluating pretty seriously and have a lot of knowledge on the subject.
more after the jump.
One such example is the much heated debated on several different forums and sites concerning Dustin Ackley and his future. There were many people that thought that he was an average 2b/of at very best. They didn’t see power in his swing and they felt that his speed and athleticism was overhyped. Obviously at this point we can see those were inaccurate conclussions. Not that they are bad evaluators but they just missed the mark concerning Ackley.
That’s the good and bad thing about a near arbitratry art. It’s up the individual to come up with their own way of determining worth from a unpolished product. I’ve said all this as a precursor of sharing a brief thought by Baseball Prospectus’ own Jason Parks who is very knowledgeable when it comes to baseball and even more so in the evaluation of prospects.
"Guillermo Pimentel (Mariners)TCF: It remains to be seen if Pimentel is a left fielder or a right fielder, as I’ve received mixed performance reviews at both positions. Regardless of which corner of the diamond his body ends up in (I’m going to guess left), his path to stardom is paved by the gargantuan power of his left-handed stroke. His approach is aggressive, his hit tool has its detractors, and his athleticism isn’t overly impressive, but his power has elite potential, and that’s enough to turn a blind eye to the other deficiencies in his skill set. The 80-grade power potential puts Pimentel in a special class, but the development process is going to take time, and you have to show patience when the payout is so extreme.Jason Parks, Baseball Prospectus"
This is some really positive news for system that is devoid of position player star power. We have some solid players and we even have a few that retain the potential to be above average major leaguers. But, few if any have real STAR potential. The ability to be 5+ WAR type guys and Pimentel is one of those guys. (SPOILER ALERET!!!) It was really hard for me not to rank him in the top-5 of our upcoming prospect list (SPOILER ALERET!!!) but despite all the great things that can be said about him there are still defects in his game and he’s far enough away that there is so much that can still happen.
At the beginning of the season I thought we would almost certainly see Pimentel in Clinton and now I’m glad the organization is taking it slow with him. Beyond the July struggles he’s run a 3:2 K/BB ratio in 21 plate appereances so far in August so we can hope maybe the worst is behind him.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he spent a couple of weeks in Everett this year. But, even that seems a bit much. All of his home runs this season have come by pulling the ball and while it’s important the’s able to use that right field in Safeco it’s more important that we see him go the other way more and more. This of course is really early to start point it out. But it could be part of his struggles in July.
Programing Notes: as has been asked the SodoMojo Top-100 Watch list is being reworked and will be released next week at this time. We already have the top-20 banged out and are busy re-working on the rest of the top-100. Just like how we did it in Spring it’ll be revealed using five different posts. We hope that you guys enjoy it as much as we do.