Back after clearing waivers (Dave was trying to clear some cap space), but like Mikey Lowell, I’m putting the past behind me and moving on with professionalism. An bitchin through the media…. (be quiet, Mike). Ready to hop back on the post train- let’s roll, I’ve got a thought:
James McDonald, let us first start off by saying, is built like a pitcher. At 6’5” 195, the lanky righty has the look of a kid who would whip the ball (he does). It has always been a matter of him putting his makeup together. But if simply looking like a player was enough, Gabe Kapler would be the highest paid player in the league. Alas, Gabe the Babe is just an excellent reserve outfielder and McDonald is a “flameout” prospect who’s only 26… so I’m not giving up yet, and neither should you. Scouts, for the most part, are not dumb. If they say a kid has good stuff, he has good stuff, or at the very least the signs of good stuff. So I have collected some scouts with a far deeper knowledge of prospecting than I and their thoughts on Ol’ McDonald:
I realize there is not as much there as some of the other guys we’ve hyped, but that’s part of the point- they stopped hyping him 2 years ago (they meaning the ‘baseball intellectuals’), having given up on this kid. But I was convinced by that Pittsburgh debut. Watch it. His stuff is electric. So let’s look at what he has done to date. Here’s his fangraphs page. Look at any of his numbers and say what you will, but what sticks out to me is the K/9. You’re looking at a guy with pretty solid 8-10 K/9 potential. His numbers in the minors (an 11+ K/9 ?!?!?!) show his stuff, his rates in the majors show it translates, even if not to that degree. The big thing with McDonald is having guys on base. He has a staggering strand rate, due mostly to his 4+ walks per 9 innings rate. This is too too too many walks. I liken McDonald to Edwin Jackson. They actually have similar stuff and makeup. Their stuff is so good it’s hard for them to harness it in on the Major League scale. A change of scenery (or two or three) and harnessing control of his pitches made Edwin a really solid pitcher (and an enticing fantasy player). I’m saying get in on the McDonald farm early, and reap the benefits of an early planting season (ouch).
Poorly crafted farm terminology over,