Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gary Brown = Gregor Blanco?

Baseball Prospectus details the outlook for Gary Brown, who seems like he's on his way to being a decent MLBer -- except for uncertainty over his batting skills.  Here's part of Hudson Belinsky's post --

In 2012, Brown was promoted to a much more pitcher-friendly Eastern League. He struggled to make contact in the first few months of the season, but after a strong June/July push ended up with a .279/.347/.385 line. Serious doubts about his hit tool resurfaced, and his approach hadn’t seen significant improvements.
Its easy to see what scouts love about Brown. He’s an elite runner and a superb defender in center field. There’s also a smidge of power, but it isn’t an impact tool. In order to provide value as a big leaguer, Brown probably won’t need more than an average hit tool. Unfortunately, that’s the mystery around him, and sources offer varying opinions on him.
Some scouts think he’ll turn into a pesky up-the-middle-player who hits in the .270 neighborhood while bothering pitchers on the bases. Others see him as a fourth outfielder whose hit tool just won’t play well enough to give him a career as a solid regular. Personally, I see Brown’s hit tool as a 50 at maturity. He can square up prime-time velocity, and the swing is short enough for me to be comfortable with an average grade. It will be fun to see how his speed impacts his offensive output. With routine groundouts turning into hits and singles turning into doubles, Brown’s offensive deficiencies could be somewhat shielded by that speed.
This coming season is going to be a big one for Brown. Many believe that he won’t be ready to contribute in the majors, but a strong year in the PCL could put Brown in consideration for the job in center for the next several seasons.

My reaction is that he sounds a lot like Gregor Blanco, who racked up a 2.0 WAR this year, according Baseball Reference 

The WAR ratings can be a little perplexing. Pablo Sandoval's is also 2.0 for the year, partly because his defensive WAR rating is -0.4. It seems to me that Sandoval is a little more valuable than Blanco...

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