I’ve spent the last couple months watching Peacock’s prospect stock rise in Washington behind the veil of Bryce Harper and the recovery of Stephen Strasburg. Before 2011, Peacock’s prospect status has been difficult to evaluate, but acquired John Sickels “Sleeper Alert” status. With a quick, loose arm action, he throws a 92 to 94 MPH straight fastball, a plus knuckle-curve ball with sharp downward action, and an average changeup. As the 2010 season progressed, his velocity climbed; when pitching out of the bullpen in the Arizona Fall League, he was hitting 96 MPH consistently. Possesses the arm strength and stuff and talent to become a mid-rotation starter. Fields position fairly well and has average athletic ability.Worst case scenario, power bullpen arm.
Career Stats (inc. 2011): 8.3 K/9 | 3.0 BB/9 | 567 1/3 IP | 4.01 ERA | 1.26 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 8.3 H/9
2011 Stats (AA/AAA): AA: 11.8 K/9 | 2.1 BB/9 | 98 2/3 IP | 2.01 ERA | 1.87 FIP | .86 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 5.7 H/9 | .262 BABIP | AAA: 9.3 K/9| 4.6 BB/9 (AAA) | 31 IP | 4.35 ERA | 4.97 FIP | 1.36 WHIP | 1.5 Hr/9 | 7.5 H/9 |.263 BABIP
September is around the corner, Jordan Zimmerman is getting shutdown and all the focus in on Strasburg potentially getting major league innings this year. Peacock has equal opportunity to sneak his way into a few spot starts to show off his low-to-mid 90s fastball and strong knuckle-curve. Statistically speaking, there are several areas of concern. First, Peacock’s BABIP has been extremely low, unsustainable low, this year (.263 BABIP) and since pitching in the high-minors. Triple-A has been especially rough: 4.35 ERA, 4.97 FIP, 1.5 Hr/9 and a 4.7 BB/9. He has been able to keep strikeout rates, but he hasn’t been as effective. Fatigue shouldn’t be a factor. In 2009, he threw 147 2/3 innings, followed by 142 innings last year. Looks to have the ceiling of a strong number three starter, and at worst a strong bullpen arm.
Lavarnway was Boston’s 2010 co-minor league offensive player of the year (with Anthony Rizzo). Offensively scouts only have minor concerns. Owns above-average power to all fields and controls the strike zone well. Long arms give above-average length to his swing which creates holes on the inside of the plate. Even with these holes, he manages to make consistent and solid contact. Still projects to have a higher susceptibility to low batting averages and a decreased OBP. Defensively is where all the concerns lie. Scouts predicted early in his pro career that he would not be able to remain behind the plate. However, he has worked hard improving his receiving skills. Currently he possesses an average arm, but slow feet delay his delivery to second. With a thick lower half, below average running speed and defensive expertise, he lacks positional flexibility. Will have the opportunity to contend for a big league job in 2012.
Career Stats (inc. 2011): .285/.375/.520 | 1352 AB | 166 XBH | 75 Hr | .235 ISO | 3/3 SB/CS | 337:178 K:BB
2011 Stats (AA/AAA): .294/.373/.561 | 415 AB | 51 XBH | 30 Hr | .267 ISO | 1/1 SB/CS | 102:50 K:BB | .298 BABIP (AA); .348 BABIP (AAA)
He’s making a strong case for following up 2010’s co-minor league offensive player of the year, to be the sole player of the year in 2011. To quote myself from mid-July, “Promoted to Triple-A during early June, he has continued to display his hitting ability. Defensively, Lavarnway will always be a liability. With above-average power to all fields and solid control of the strike zone, Lavarnway has the potential to be the perfect fantasy catcher: 15 to 20 home runs with a poor average.” Same holds true now.