Tyler Pastornicky was born 12/13/1989, which is crazy young, good lord.
Certainly he’s too young to have been a fifth round draft pick THREE YEARS ago by the Toronto Blue Jays. Or not, I suppose.
He made his way down to Georgia as part of the semi-big trade that exiled Yunel Escobar and his “’tude” to Canada, which isn’t a portion of the United States of America.
Still, the trade was largely considered an Escobar-Alex Gonzalez swap and it wasn’t entirely unwarranted. While he was still relatively young, Pastornicky hadn’t acquitted himself all that well in Rookie Ball or at A/A+.
That didn’t stop the Braves from putting Pastornicky right at AA, where he hit .254/.333/.366 with two homers and 11 steals in 160 plate appearances – not exactly inspiring.
However, he started off 2011 at AA and looked good: .299/.345/.414. He earned a promotion to AAA after 90 games and played quite well. He hit .365/.407/.413 at Gwinnett in 117 plate appearances.
Apparently the Braves are sold as they’ve gone after no shortstops in free agency and look prepared to pencil Pastornicky into the starting SS position to milk him for all his potential, but should you be buying the cow?
I think not, the clearest path — given his abilities — to fantasy baseball success would be with his legs and stolen bases. However, the Braves seem to enjoying burying their young hitters. The odds that Pastornicky bats eighth in the order are pretty high. If that’s the case, his stolen base chances diminish incredibly. You don’t send a guy with a pitcher bunting and then the order turns over. So, even if Pastornicky gets on base, a bevy of SB chances aren’t following.
I really think his 2011 will be similar to Alcides Escobar’s 2010. In 2008, Escobar hit .328/.363/.434 at AA. In 2009, he hit .298/.353/.409 at AAA. In 2010 in 552 major league plate appearances, Escobar hit .235/.288/.326 with 10 SBs in 14 tries. He batted 7th 225 times and 8th 207 times.
I’m going to be a bit more optimistic on Pastornicky. I’ll pencil him in for a .250 average, 50 runs, 5-7 HRs, 40 RBIs and 15-20 SBs. That’s got a decent NL-only odor. Otherwise, ignore the hype, there is a chance Willie Bloomquist has a better year than him!
For those of you in keeper/dynasty leagues, Pastornicky has far more appeal. While his numbers look like Escobar’s, Pastornicky was younger than Escobar at each level. In addition, shortstop remains a terribly thin position, so any chance at stabilizing it with a solid option is worth taking. I’d be trying to grab him in most keeper leagues. Speed from short for the long-term is not something to let pass by. I would draft him in the late teen rounds (depending on league rules) in keeper drafts and earlier in dynasty while barely giving him top 180 player status.