More HQ minors grades

HQ's minors grading system fully explained here.  The MLBA annual available here.

1-10 sets their ceiling for a given player, with 1 being "minor league roster filler," 7 being ML average, 9 being All-Star.  One player in the book has a 10 grade, "Hall of Famer," that being Stephen Strasburg.

Strasburg at SD State ran a 16.1 DOM, 1.6 CTL and 0.3 HR/9 for a hilarious 322 Base Performance Value. 

MLBA says that Strasburg's 94-99 fastball "has late run in on the hands of RH hitters," that his "nasty slider has sharp late downward action" and that he has a quality changeup that he does not have to use. 

Yeah, we heard the same thing about Tim Lincecum's change...


A-E sets their projected probablity of hitting that ceiling, A being 90%, E being 10%.  They give Strasburg a C, 50%, chance of becoming a HOF-caliber ace.


=== Greg Halman, 9E ===

About a dozen players have the highest* 9 ceiling, including Greg Halman, crossed against the lowest E chance of hitting it.   This 9E is sort of a joke rating they have a lot of fun with.

Halman is "athletic and powerful," leading his league in HR but also the minor leagues in K's.  He has an "exciting blend of tools," with plus-plus (40+ HR) power and excellent speed -- even rating Halman as a better-than-average center fielder.


They believe that Halman simply must shorten his swing if he's going to get his K's under control.  This is an interesting suggestion on their part.

We were asked earlier why Halman's K's bother us, when Tui's don't. 

Part of the answer is that Halman's EYE last year was 0.16; nobody stars with an 0.16 K/BB ratio.  Tui's was over 0.40.   For a young, toolsy player, 0.43 isn't a worry.  But for any player, 0.16 is a huge worry.

More to the point, as MLBA notes, the EYE differences also illustrate the compactness of Tui's powerful swing compared to Halman's long stroke.

It seems to me that it shouldn't be tough for Halman to take a slightly shorter path to the ball and get on top of it more.  And we have little doubt that, cutting down his swing one notch, Halman will still get his 440-footers.

Sandy Koufax jelled the same way:  he just took the volume from 11 down to 10, stopped yanking his head and throwing with all his might ... and found out he was still throwing the ball by hitters.  Hopefully this will be the year that Halman figures out he can swing smoothly and still clear the fence.


=== Tyson Gillies, 8C ===

To my complete amazement, called "the key to the deal" by the Phillies, MLBA sided with SSI in rating Gillies the third player in the deal (Aumont 9D, Juan Ramirez 8B).   But 8C is a whaaaallllllllllle of a rating for a #3 player. 

Wow.  Three very feasible plus-ML-players for one walk year's worth of an ace. Tell me again how cheap these TOR pitchers are in the trade market.

With an 8C rating, they assign Gillies a 50-50 shot at becoming an impact ML player, projecting him to high AVG, SB's, plus gap power -- while offering a plus glove in CF.  In other words, they see him with a great shot at being a young Johnny Damon, add defense.


Figure Phillippe Aumont a 30% chance at All-Star and 50% chance at impact ... Ramirez a 70% chance at impact starting ... and Gillies a 50% chance at impact ... and you're looking at $100m worth of performance from these three players before they hit free agency.


How come these Tyson Gillies guys are only future ML stars after they leave the M's?  :- )


Dr D


misterjonez's picture

I would imagine that if Felix were a USA draftee, he would have received similar hype to what Strasburg has received, and Strasburg might be better than him.
All of this minor league prospect talk has reminded me of Bryce Harper, a 16 (still?) year old catcher who throws 96mph and hits the ball 500+ feet from the left side of the plate.  Rumor has it he already got his GED (so he can skip out of the last two years of HS) and is enrolled in a local community college, presumably to qualify for the draft a year or two earlier.
There's an article on Sports Illustrated's website about the guy, which is where I actually learned about him.  I can't figure out links here :(
Gist of it is, if Washington continues to stink up the NL, they could potentially end up with Strasburg and Harper on the same team.  Scary.


I think because he is fast and hits for good average, he immediately got type-cast as a 4th outfielder by Mariner fans. The reality is that he is an all around good player: a legit center fielder who draws walks, has gap power and good discipline. Is he a great prospect? I'm not sure. But think of it this way: Gillies can definitely become a better player than Juan Pierre and Pierre was solid average despite being a two trick pony (raw speed and contact ability).
Is he a better prospect than Saunders? I'm also not sure about that. I see him differently than you do. Instead of a high chance of being a decent player, I think Saunders has a low chance of being a great player. Either he's going to be an All Star hitting 35+ home runs or he'll be struggling to keep a regular job. I'd probably prefer him to Gillies, at least because he is more advanced and has already put up numbers in Triple A.
As for Halman, there's really not much to say about him, he is was he is: a super-talented hack. No point making any predictions or wondering how he'll develop, just sit back and watch show.

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