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Bergesen stellar again!


Big Mac

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1970 posted in another thread a compelling case as to why Bergesen, based on his peripherals may be largely unsuccessful in the Majors. I'm a bit busy and dont remember the thread but I will try to dig it up later if I have a chance. I'm not saying dont give him a shot, but its a long shot.
Its always scary when a guy can't strike out minor leaguers.

But, he doesn't walk them or let them hit HRs either. He can get by being an extreme GB guy without striking guys out if he can continue to keep the ball in the park and not give up the HRs. But, as he starts facing better competition, the K-rates tend to go down and the BB-rates and HR-rates tend to go up.

I'd really like to see what he can do against better competition, which is why I think he should be in Norfolk for all of August, and then if he's still doing well there, call him up for September.

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Its always scary when a guy can't strike out minor leaguers.

But, he doesn't walk them or let them hit HRs either. He can get by being an extreme GB guy without striking guys out if he can continue to keep the ball in the park and not give up the HRs. But, as he starts facing better competition, the K-rates tend to go down and the BB-rates and HR-rates tend to go up.

Even the Chien-Ming Wangs of the world had 6ish strikeout rates in the minor leagues. To me this is like thinking strikeouts/inability to hit for average aren't issues for prospects because hey, Adam Dunn.

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To me this is like thinking strikeouts/inability to hit for average aren't issues for prospects because hey, Adam Dunn.
Strikeouts/inability to his for average aren't issues for Major Leaguers because of guys like Adam Dunn. If you can produce, it doesn't matter if you strike out a lot at the MLB level.

But in the minors, not being able to hit for average and striking out a lot is a bad sign, because when you struggle to hit against mediocre competition, you usually can't carry over that success against the elite MLB competition.

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Strikeouts/inability to his for average aren't issues for Major Leaguers because of guys like Adam Dunn. If you can produce, it doesn't matter if you strike out a lot at the MLB level.

But in the minors, not being able to hit for average and striking out a lot is a bad sign, because when you struggle to hit against mediocre competition, you usually can't carry over that success against the elite MLB competition.

I'm pretty sure that's what Leitch was saying. He just suggested it, whereas you were more specific.

In Bergesen's case, keep in mind two related points:

  • He started last season at Delmarva, so he's gone from Low-A to AA in just over a year, and at 22 is young enough to be very much a work in progress
  • At each of the previous levels, he has needed time to adjust...after 86 mediocre innings at Delmarva in 06, he improved dramatically last season, increasing his K/9 from 5.1 to 7.0; similarly, he posted a mediocre 5.6 rate at Frederick last year, but started this season with 15 Ks in 17 innings before being promoted.

BTW, the aforementioned Chien-Ming Wang pitched at AA at a year older than Bergesen, and posted a decent but underwhelming 6.2 K/9. I think if we gave Bergesen another half season at AA, he would post a similar rate.

I concede that he won't ever be a power pitcher, the scouting reports tell you that. But to be fair, I think his command of all his pitches is good enough that he can miss enough bats to have decent success, assuming he can maintain the low walk counts and groundball tendencies.

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Barring the acquisition of a starting pitcher by the deadline, all signs point to Bergesen getting the call on August 5. If the inclination was to leave him in Bowie, Trembley could just as easily have said the same words, but switched the order (by putting the sentence I bolded up front, and then qualifying it by using the "but" clause for the part he put first).

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-osnotes0729,0,3821877.story

"We're aware of what those guys are doing," said Orioles manager Dave Trembley. "I think you have to make sure before guys come up here that they're ready physically and mentally -- not only to compete but to have a certain amount of success. If that means taking the time and taking it one level at a time, that's the way we're going to do it. But I don't think I'm opposed or Andy's opposed to moving somebody up here from Double-A if they're ready to go. I think you have to almost be pretty sure."

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Here's the thing with Bergesen, he has to be perfect with his stuff to succeed in the major leagues because none of his pitches grade out above average. Now the good thing is his command is definitely above average almost near the plus-plus range on the scouting scale. He gets good sink and run with his fastball but he gets a little too enamored with it because he's getting Double-A hitters out with it.

My concern is unless he can spot his slider and change up for strikes on the corners as well, major league hitters will be able to hit that sinking fastball. Will they ground out, certainly, but they are going to hit him and hit him hard when he doesn't hit his spots. Look at Daniel Cabrera. The movement on Cabrera's fastball is down right nasty most of the time and he still gets hit and hit hard when he doesn't hit his spots.

Now the good thing is his velocity keeps improving and he's sitting at 90-92 with an occasional 93 and that helps him to keep batters honest. His slider has improved although it's still below average but he'll need to use his change ups more effectively, especially against lefties.

He's having great success right now and I think when it's all said and done he's going to have a nice long career in the major leagues due to his great control and moving fastball. Whether he can stay as a back of the rotation starter remains to be seen and that will depend on the command and quality of his off speed offerings and his ability to stay out of the middle of the plate.

I think Bergesen will show he's ready for the major leagues when he's comfortable enough to throw his off speed pitches in any count and at any time and still have success.

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  • 2 weeks later...
How does Jon Garland stack up as a comp?

Begesen as a 22 y/o at AA this year:

21 G, 132 IP, 127 H, 4.4 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, .61 HR/9, 3.00 ERA

Garland as a 20 y/o at AAA in 2000:

16 G, 104 IP, 99 H, 5.45 K/9, 2.77 BB/9, 2.25 ERA

Fairly similar overall numbers, but Garland was two years younger and at a higher level. He also missed more bats, although still not many. The two years / higher level thing is the big thing. I don't really think they are great comps because of that.

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They really should be working with Bergersen to develop an out pitch. His success in the minors shouldn't foreclose that very real limitation.

His numbers are great - and his low Ks shouldn't foreclose a call-up (you don't deny an opportunity based on predictive statistics) - but I'm afraid his MiL success may be (in a sense) stunting necessary growth.

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Do you think it would be worthwhile having throw either a Screwball or Forkball?

Both are reported to cause injuries…. But both could be effective out pitches, especially since neither is seen much currently in the bigs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screwball

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forkball

Don't see too many RHP forkballers, for whatever reason (though some change-ups are turned over like one, I guess.)

The fork has basically become the splitter. I'm not sure what to think of that.

Better secondary pitches might do it: a sharper slider, a better change? Who knows.

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Don't see too many RHP forkballers, for whatever reason (though some change-ups are turned over like one, I guess.)

The fork has basically become the splitter. I'm not sure what to think of that.

Better secondary pitches might do it: a sharper slider, a better change? Who knows.

maybe a circle change? seems to have worked for Doug Jones

I would hesitate to bring most of our AA prospects up at this point. The team is obviously just treading water, and there is a real lack of pitching to stop the bleeding if the starter gets shelled. I would rather see someone like Penn or Liz back up just to give them more seasoning rather than bring someone like Hernandez or Tillman up. I'm not really that thrilled with Liz's development per se' but I would be inclined to move Sarfate to the pen add Liz there, put Penn in the rotation and drop one of the nameless retreads we have getting knocked around.

Promote Bergensen to AAA and start him off there next year. I do worry that his low K rate translates into a quality AAAA a this point, and the addition of a solid go to second pitch would help immensely.

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