Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Gabe Gross Report

Gabe Gross, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Drafted 15th Overall, 2001 Draft, Auburn
Bats L/Throws R
25 YO, 6'3", 210 lbs

Gross is thumping Grapefruit League pitching and forcing his way past Frank Catalanatto and Reed Johnson in the quest to be the Jays starting left fielder. It's a nice development. I don't believe the power spike is anything more than a sample size fluke, but at this point he doesn't have anything left to prove in the Syracuse. He also has more of a future than Cat or Johnson, so it would be wise of them to give Gross 500 at bats at the expense of the veterans.

2004 Syracuse: .294/.381/.454, 29 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 53 BB, 81 K, 377 AB
2004 Toronto: .209/.311/.310, 4 2B, 3 HR, 19 BB, 31 K, 129 AB
mL Career: .279/.381/.444, 95 2B, 14 3B, 38 HR, 221 BB, 302 K, 1439 AB

He's 25, he has over 1400 minor league at bats under his belt. He has some on base skills. He isn't going to hit a ton of home runs, but he's at least a league average left fielder on a team that has used a platoon at the position for the last couple years. He's already better than both of these guys, and he's only going to improve over the next few years.

He's limited on the basepaths and in the field. He's no threat to steal bases, as he has below average speed and unipressive instincts when it comes to chosing his opportunities. In his minor league career, he's taken only 20 bases by theft, and he's been caught 13 times, meaning he probably shouldn't even try unless the catcher has two broken arms and is under the influence of several halucinogenic drugs. In the field, he won't embarrass himself or his team, but his range is limited and his arm is average at best. These two weaknesses are mitigated by the Jays themselves. he won't be expected to steal bases since the Jays play pretty close to the vest in the running game. He also looks to be sharing the outfield with the rangy pair of Vernon Wells and Alexis Rios.

Gross is a good example of what a friend of mine used to call the Sid Bream test. He used to say that if Sid Bream is your 4th outfielder, you're probably looking at a pretty damned good team. However, if Sid Bream is your best outfielder, you're in deep shit. In reality, most teams will just sit him in left for 150 games a year and toss him in at the 6 or 7 spot in the lineup.

ETA: Early 2005
3 1/2 Stars

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