Out of the entire list of Braves Top Ten Prospects, Tyler Pastornicky will have having the biggest impact on the Atlanta Braves in 2012 as he takes the starting shortstop job from day one. I have written more about Pastornicky than any other Braves prospect both here on the Take and on my previous blog which is now somewhere in the internet abyss. There are two simple reasons for that:
- TP is my favorite Braves prospect
- I called him getting the starting spot around September last year
Let’s get on with yet another Pastornicky report.
the rest after the break…
Offensively Tyler Pastornicky has always been considered as a high average, low power, decent OBP type guy. That was true for most of his minor league career until 2011 in double A. In Mississippi, TP hit better than he ever has and posted a higher slugging percentage as well. He had a .414 slugging percentage in 90 games in AA and a .413 slugging percentage in 27 games in AAA.
We shouldn’t expect him to hit anything close to the triple A slash he put up (.365/.407/.413) and his double A slash might be a bit optimistic for the majors as well (.299/.345/.414).
Way back in December, I predicted that Tyler would hit for a slash of .265/.330/.380 in his first year in the majors. I am going to stand by that prediction but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if his average was somewhere between .270-.280.
Once (if) he adjusts to the pitching we should see him continue to develop his power, and maybe keep it somewhere in the low .400’s range. Power normally develops in players around their mid twenties and if Pastornicky could become a .275/.340/.415 shortstop he might shut a bunch of people up about Andrelton Simmons and Zack Cozart for that matter.
Defensively Pastornicky is average at best. Some scouts have him as slightly above average but most say slightly below. His arm is adequate but nothing special, he has good range and good decent hands.
We probably need to see a lot more of him at short in the majors before we can really tell where he stacks up but don’t expect anything special. Simmons is miles ahead of Pastornicky defensively and one of the best defensive shortstops in the game right now (including MLB).
Pastornicky’s biggest strength is his above average speed. In 421 minor league games Pasto took 147 bags. In that same span he was caught stealing 44 times which is a bit more than you would like (77%) but nothing a bit more patience and coaching wouldn’t help.
In A Perfect World- Tyler becomes a league average defensive shortstop while building on his offensive performance in the upper minors. He maintains his ability to hit for a high average, learns to take a couple more walks, and grows into some solid power. He becomes an all-around solid shortstop with slightly more emphasis on offense than defense.
According To The Mayans- Pastornicky botches the ball too often at shortstop and proves his critics correct when he fails to hit for any power at all. The MLB pitching is too much for him to hit for a good average and he becomes a career utility infield type player.