I always get excited when I see people talking about young Braves position players so I have definitely enjoyed all the talk of Tyler Pastornicky this year, even if a lot of it has been pretty negative. So I was pumped up when I saw Mike Newman’s article on TP at Fangraphs. You really should read the whole thing especially if you are a Pasto doubter, but if you really don’t want to I will give you the last paragraph:
In struggling to find a strong comp, I keep coming back to Pastornicky scouting similarly to Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart with a bit less pop and better speed. However, Cozart was 23 in double-A in 2009 when Pastornicky pushed through the same league at 21 which points to the potential for a higher ceiling in the end. With a 4.2 WAR Fans projection for Cozart though the combination of solid, but unspectacular offensive numbers and above average defense, the formula for Pastornicky to replicate and make doubters look silly is laid out in plain sight.
Generally people have been pretty high on Cozart and lower on Pastornicky. It would be pretty awesome if Tyler turned out a better season than him.
I wrote a piece on Pastornicky back in August for MLB’s out of the Zone and I want to show you guys just a little bit of that here:
my past ‘scouting’ on Pastornicky and my predictions for him in 2012 after the break…
Even if he doesn’t increase the power numbers the Braves could easily have one of the better all-around shortstops to start out the 2012 season. He is above average defensively for the most challenging defensive position, he has plus speed and is a legitimate base stealing threat, and if he can hit like he has in the minors he will even be an above average hitter (for his position). Throw in the fact that he still could develop the power and it’s a wonder that Braves fans haven’t really given him a second look. Besides Julio Teheran (who will more than likely be in the big league rotation next year) Pastornicky could easily have a bigger impact on the Atlanta team than any of the ‘golden arms of Gwinnett’. So you might want to give Tyler Pastornicky a bit more than a quick glance.
Now that I read this I know that I was definitely optimistic about his defense as he is much closer to average and maybe even a bit below average for a MLB shortstop. We will have to see. But I still feel pretty confident in the other things I mentioned about him especially the part about him having a bigger impact than all of our young pitchers. Right now it is looking like TP will be our starting shortstop so I thought I would give my projections for him.
I have always been a big fan of Pastornicky but I am going to try and take that out of it when I give you my predictions for him in 2012.
He doesn’t have great walk rates at the plate but he does hit for contact and utilizes his speed which should help to keep his OBP at a reasonable rate. I think he will struggle offensively as he adjusts to the pitching in the big leagues and have a lower batting average than he normally puts up. I am no sabermatrician so these are more of just ‘educated guesses’. Even if he puts up a slash like the one above and plays average defense he will be more valuable than Alex Gonzalez.