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Cole Gillespie-by the numbers


Ok, some of you may think I have too much time on my hands, other may claim that I have a Pickler-esque fettish, and others may claim that I'm just a dork.


That's all fine by me, but I wanted to dig deeper and look at Cole Gillespie's success last spring against some of the top pitchers he faced as part of Oregon State's impressive CWS run. A few college stat guys out there are now looking at how the best college hitters fare against the best college pitchers, and I wanted to see how Gillespie, the Pac 10 player of the year and an All-American, faced under these parameters basically to see if his success was a fluke (did he feed off of inferior competition?).


Oregon State final stats: .374/.493/.685 in 238 AB

Helena final stats: .344/.464/.548 in 186 AB


All of the opposing pitchers as listed below were high profile prospects for the '06 draft or are high profile prospects for the '07 draft.


February 17, vs. LHP Paul Coleman/Pepperdine

2-2, 2B, RBI, R


March 17, vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (21st overall pick)/USC

0-1, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 R


April 7, vs. RHP Mark Melancon, Arizona

1-1, BB, 2 R, SB, 2 RBI


April 8, vs. LHP Brad Mills, Arizona

1-1, 2B, HBP, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI


April 13, vs. RHP Greg Reynolds (2nd overall pick)/Stanford

2-3, BB, R, CS


April 21, vs. RHP Brandon Morrow (5th overall pick)/Cal

0-3, R


May 5, vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (10th overall pick)/Washington

2-3, HR, BB, SB, 4 RBI, 1 R


May 26, vs. RHP Hector Ambriz/UCLA

2-4, HR, 3B, 3 RBI, R


May 28, vs. LHP David Huff/UCLA



June 10, vs. RHP Greg Reynolds/Stanford (Regionals)

2-3, BB, R


June 17, vs. LHP Scott Maine/Miami (CWS)



June 20, vs. RHP Carlos Gutierrez/Miami (CWS)



June 20, vs. RHP Chris Perez/Miami (CWS)



June 22, vs. RHP Eddie Degerman/Rice (CWS)

0-1, BB, K (1st K vs. a notable NCAA pitcher)


June 24, vs. LHP Andrew Miller (6th overall pick)/UNC (CWS)

1-2, HR, 2 RBI, HBP, K


June 25, vs. RHP Robert Woodard/UNC (CWS)

0-1, BB, K


June 26, vs. RHP Daniel Bard/UNC (CWS)

0-3, K, HBP



.429/.583/.914 in 35 AB, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9:4 BB:K, 2-1 SB, 4 HBP, 12 R, 14 RBI


Yes, a small sample, but a pretty impressive small sample against some of the top pitchers in all of college baseball, most notably his performances against Greg Reynolds and Tim Lincecum.


I especially wanted to point out these numbers after his success in the Pioneer League, in which some people have noted that we have to temper our expectations with college draftees enjoying a high level of success in that league given the past success of hitters such as Kenny Holmberg and Tony Festa. Neither Holmberg nor Festa have the tools Gillespie has, nor the individual collegiate accolades. Gillespie's plate discipline is particularly impressive, and it's important to note that his defense in left field drew rave reviews from farm director Reid Nichols and league managers, and he also played a little bit in CF and also spent a few games leading off with a fair amount of speed to boot.


Discuss http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif .

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Help me out here Patrick, the guy did that well, was an All-American, etc...why did he last as long as he did in the draft?


As always, I'm sure it was a collection of factors, but first and foremost I think it came down to his background and familiarity with the scouts. He didn't play during the summer of 2005 on the Cape (or anywhere else from what I can tell) as he was recovering from shoulder surgery. I'm not sure if he played anywhere during the summer of 2004, but again, he didn't play on the Cape, and therefore never was able to prove himself hitting with a wood bat against some of the better college pitchers in the nation. Basically no one really knew if Gillespie's success was a fluke as they didn't have any notes to support it.


His shoulder surgery played a part in it, as his arm strength is his one tool that is below average which may limit him to left field. Left fielders, like first basemen, typically have to have obscene power in the early rounds to garner attention.


Playing in the Pacific Northwest didn't help, however Oregon State was well-scouted given their pitching staff. Tyler Graham, not Gillespie, was expected to be the next-best Oregon State outfielder after Jacoby Ellsbury was taken in the first round in the '05 draft, so that may also have caused him to be a little overlooked.


While his tools overall are good, no one tool stands out. His bat speed nor his foot speed are electric and he doesn't possess light-tower power. He's just good to very good across the board, but not necessarily great.


He red-shirted his freshman year, and technically was a college senior academically. He could have been drafted after his sophomore year.


We heard some reports of the Brewers having a pre-draft deal with Tony Butler for the 3rd round, but decided to go elsewhere when another player fell to their selection. Of course, Gilliespie was that player, so it would seem that not even the Brewers felt he would fall to the 3rd round. But even then, they obviously didn't consider him for their 2nd round pick, taking the incredibly athletic & toolsy Brent Brewer instead.


Of course these scenarios happen every year, and Gillespie does have a long way to go, as it's not like I'm proclaiming him to be the next Albert Pujols or anything. But, so far, so good, and as noted, I like his success rate against some of the top arms from last year. I think his progression and initial placement next year will be one of the more interesting minor league stories to follow, and I'm starting to think he opens '07 at WV even if he may deserve to be promoted more aggressively. I just don't see him getting skipped up to AA, and we have already heard some inside comments that Ford, Brantley and Cain will make up the BC OF.

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Thanks Patrick. If Gillespie opens one level lower than he might have because there's talent ahead of him in the system, I can live with that. If he's better than those other guys, he'll move past 'em soon enough.


You saw it right here....Patrick mentioned Cole Gillespie and Albert Pujols in the same sentence! http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif

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I especially wanted to point out these numbers after his success in the Pioneer League, in which some people have noted that we have to temper our expectations with college draftees enjoying a high level of success in that league given the past success of hitters such as Kenny Holmberg and Tony Festa.


I reserve the right to be pessimistic given my status as a long suffering Brewer fan....if he suceeds, well, just look at my sig. :)

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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Interesting breakdown. Thanks for taking the time. I've often wondered about how different players do against good pitchers. Prince especially seemed to get most of his home runs off crap pitchers, but I may just be giving that game against Glendon Rusch too much weight in my mind.
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