Monday, November 03, 2008

For Comparison: Jarrod Parker vs. Madison Bumgarner

Baseball Prospectus, under Kevin Goldstein's leadership in the area, has started publishing their annual Future Shock Top 11 Prospects list and just published the Arizona D-backs Top 11 list.  I bring this to Giants fans attention because if things hold to form, the Giants will be one of the last teams to get a review plus, they usually only release the top #1 prospect and Villalona could take the Giants top spot, as well as now Posey.

However, while Madison Bumgarner has a good chance of taking that mantle away from Villalona with his great 2008 season, he might not and thus I take this opportunity to compare him with the D-backs #1 prospect, Jarrod Parker.  He is appropriate because he was drafted in the same draft as Bumgarner,  couple of picks ahead, was also from high school, is a lefty, and pitched at the same level, A-level.   I thought a comparison would be apt and would give insight as to how Goldstein might rate Bumgarner when the Giants turn comes along.

Comparision of Top 2007 Picks

Parker was rated a Five-Star prospect, the highest rating a prospect can get.  He, in 24 starts, pitched 117.2 inning, giving up 113 hits and 33 walks, with 117 strikeouts and 8 HR, for a 3.24 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 3.5 K/BB, 0.6 HR/9.   He ended with a flourish, striking out 39 over 33 innings with a 1.91 ERA in his last six starts.

Bumgarner is one of three top prospects in the Giants system.  He, in also 24 starts, pitched 141.2 innings (24 more IP) , giving up 111 hits (2 less hits) and 32 walks (1 less walk), with 164 strikeouts (47 more strikeouts) and 3 HR (5 less HR), for a 1.46 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 5.1 K/BB, 0.2 HR/9.  He also ended with a flourish, winning seven straight decisions, including victories in his last six starts, plus reeling off 38 consecutive scoreless innings from July 28 to August 27 (six starts) and he ended up winning the pitching triple crown, leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA during the regular season.  He won pitcher of the week award 5 times during the season plus was named SAL Most Outstanding Pitcher as well.

And he continued to do well and won accolades after the season ended.  In the playoffs, he helped Augusta win the Sally Championship by winning his two starts, allowing just one unearned run while striking out 16 over 14 innings, and giving up only 2 walks.  He also won Minor League Baseball's Most Spectacular Pitcher Award for 2008 for recording the lowest ERA in the minors.  And he was named to Baseball America's 2008 High Class A All-Star team.

Given how he gave up less hits and walks while striking out more and giving up less homeruns that Parker did, and pitching 24 more innings, he should rate at least as well as Parker, if not higher.  Thus Bumgarner should be rated a 5-star prospect, easily.   Goldstein notes that Parker's Perfect World Projection is as a Number 2 starter with All-Star possibilities.  That means Bumgarner should be at least a Number 2 with All-Star possibilities as well.  

He Might Not Even Be Our Top Prospect

That's not too bad considering that he might not even be named the Giants top prospect for 2009, as Villalona and Posey will also vie for that position.  A Number 2 starter with All-Star possibilities would be gilding the lily on a MLB team with already two pitchers capable of being aces in Lincecum and Cain plus Sanchez has shown the potential as well, earlier this season, and Zito when he's pitching well is capable of Number 2 performance.  

His pre-free agency years could span the period 2010-2016 or 2011-2017, depending how he progresses and how aggressive the Giants are in promoting him to the big leagues (the Giants thus far have been particularly aggressive in bringing up players once they exhibit enough to warrant promotion to the majors).  

I know many Giants fans would say that Bumgarner succeeding would free the Giants to trade off one of their best starting pitchers to get another offensive player added to the mix, but I would rather add him to the mix and see what our rotation could do with Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Zito, and Bumgarner in 2010-11.  I don't believe that we could get equal or better value by trading off Lincecum, Cain, or Bumgarner.  It would be much better to keep them and dominate other teams with our pitching and defense.  I think our offense can develop to be strong enough to win with them as our pitching staff.

Or, alternatively, I would be OK with Sanchez being traded hopefully after he proves in 2009 that he's capable of being a top line starter for a whole season, and we should be able to pick up a good young hitter for him, after all, the Twins picked up Delmon Young from the Rays for Garza, who I would say was comparable to Sanchez except that he was prepared to start for a whole season whereas Sanchez wasn't.  If Sanchez could do what he did for over half a season for a full season in 2009, he would be a prime pitcher to trade for a good hitter, of which we'll have a much better idea of what we need by the end of the 2009 season, whereas right now we have a whole bunch of question marks and maybes.

2 comments:

  1. No doubt that Madison will be a 5-star prospect. I probably like his upside better than Parker's but I haven't compared the leagues that they pitched in to try and adjust for league difficulty. At first glance, the Midwest and SAL look pretty similar with the SAL being a tick harder to pitch in. That gives Bumgarner a little, tiny bump.

    Also, Parker is a RHP, not a lefty. I wonder if KG will stick Alderson as a 4-star? He had a very good year for his age and league but might not have the ultimate "stuff" or upside of a Bumgarner or Parker.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, I like MadBum better too, he was much better than Parker overall, there is no league so different that such superiority could be reversed in Parker's favor. But I didn't want to seem like such a homer boy. Thanks for commenting on that.

    Dang, should have checked, just did by memory, thanks, Parker is a righty, which makes Bumgarner that much better as a lefty and doing better.

    Yeah, I think 4 Star is Alderson's slot by KG. Most reports I had seen on Alderson were not that impressed with him, so I expect that bias to continue until Alderson proves everyone wrong in the majors. I think Tim2 can do it because he was only 19 years old and handle Advanced A level with no problem at all, the only negative was that his K/9 wasn't over 9 (7.7 ), which Cain was able to do at 19 and in fact got promoted to AA that same season (unlike Alderson; though they probably wanted him in one place for his first full-season) because he was that much more dominating than Alderson.

    OK, maybe my impression of Alderson is overrating him. Still, if he can reach middle-of-rotation performance (which a 4-Star prospect I would think could accomplish if a 5-star is only a #2 like Parker), that would still be pretty good to have. And I still think he can do that.

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