Owner of a plus fastball that registers between 92-93 MPH with good sinking action and occasional cutter-like movement. Has been known to top 96 MPH before. Second best pitch is a low-to-mid 80s slider, followed by a curveball that has 12-to-6 breaking action and an occasional changeup that flashes average potential. Mechanically there are some concerns. He throws across body – awkward at a glance – which adds good deception but at a price. This motion places excessive strain on his shoulder and arm which lead some scouts to state it’s not if he gets an arm injury but when. Scouting reports detail that he needs to improve his pitch efficiency to work later into games. Projects as a mid-rotation starter (a number three/four) or power reliever.
Career Stats (inc. 2011): 7.9 K/9 | 2.4 BB/9 | 321 IP | 3.14 ERA | 1.17 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 8.1 H/9
2011 Stats (AA): 6.5 K/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 143 IP |3.15 ERA | 3.68 FIP | 1.14 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 7.7 H/9 | .270 BABIP | 72 LOB%
Some of you may have noticed that Richards has already logged a few major league innings; 6 2/3 inning to be exact. He has made two starts, the first start was against the Yankees on 8/10/11. It was a 5 innings shellacking: 6 ER, 2 home runs, 8 baserunners (2 BB) and 2 Ks. The second start was all of 2/3 of an inning before a strained groin caused an early exit, which happened to be followed up by a 15-day DL trip. Results should have been expected. He was called up from Double-A where more advanced hitters weren’t missing his pitches as often. Strikeout rate was a full 1.4 K/9 less at Double-A than in the low minors. Control remained which is an excellent sign. By limiting walks and home runs (.6 Hr/9), sustaining an average LOB% (72%) and being lucky (.270 BABIP), Richards succeed at Double-A. He’s not going to miss many at-bats with average pitches across the board in the majors. By limiting the gopher ball and keeping the free passes down, he could provide solid real-life value more so than fantasy. Reminds me of Carl Pavano.
Gindl has always played at a level more than his age would generally be placed. Scouts love his swing and not his body – the equivalent of a butterface in the prospect world. His swing is compact, has strong plate-discipline, average home run power and good gap power. Scouts believe his bat will allow him to reach the majors. Physically, he has a “squatty build.” When combined with an average to slightly above-average arm, average defense and below average speed, he becomes a defensively liability. Baseball America and John Sickels disagree on his overall defensive capabilities. BA has him regulated to left field while Sickels believes that due to good instincts, strong reads and a good arm he could play right. Either way, they both project him as a third to fourth outfield. Has a strong competitive drive and is a “grinder.”
Career Stats (inc. 2011): .300/.378/.466 | 2044 AB | 206 XBH | 59 Hr | .166 ISO | 52/23 SB/CS | 445:258 K:BB
2011 Stats (AAA): .307/.390/.472 | 472 AB | 43 XBH | 15 Hr | .165 ISO | 6/5 SB/CS | 93:63 K:BB | .357 BABIP
Like his scouting report detailed, his defense, not his offense, will limit his rise to the majors. Statistically, he has benefited with slightly above-average to above-average BABIPs each year. Power is evidently gap-based. 2010 saw his overall home run numbers falter (down to nine in 534 at-bats at Double-A). This year in the Pacific Coast League he was able to return to double-digits. Steals have been in decline with each promotion up the ladder. Plate-discipline has improved each year. Furthermore, every full season he has had a walk-rate of 10.9%-plus, while his strikeout rate has been manageable – not of high concern – less than 19% strikeout-rate. Deep leagues and NL-Only leagues could be looking at a .290, 15 home run and 5 to 7 steal hitter over a full year come 2012. In his hitting prime (four to six years from now), could see increased home runs (up to low 20s) while the steals dissipate.