Keith Law, in a recent online chat, mocked the idea of Evan Gattis as a prospect. He’s 25, wrote Law, and still in Single-A. Gattis has since been promoted, and in his first 16 ABs, has 7 hits — 2 doubles, 2 HRs and 6 RBI.
Does that make him a prospect? I dunno, but dismissing him out of hand seems foolish. First, he’s not 25, at least not in baseball years. He missed out on 4 years of development, blowing his scholarship at Texas A&M. After a year at Oklahoma Junior College, Gattis dropped out again. Then, following three years on the road, Gattis managed to land at a Texas college I’ve never heard of before being drafted by the Braves (which, considering his background, speaks of his talent).
You could make the argument, and you would be right, that Gattis is dominating more seasoned competition. They may be younger, but most have more minor league experience and/or hail from programs a tad more prestigious than Texas Permian-Basin.
You can’t ignore the numbers. In his last 113 games, Gattis has 33 homers, 33 doubles, a 340 BA and an OPS hovering around 1.100. He’s struck out only 67 times.
Again, I don’t know how to judge Gattis. I’d like to see how he handles LF. Considering his size, I’m skeptical. But Gattis has defied enough odds to make me intrigued, if for no other reason than I like to see the Keith Laws of the world humbled. As if that were possible.
Elsewhere on the minor league front …
Andrelton Simmons, who attended Oklahoma State Junior College, continues to surpass expectations at the plate, hitting .319 with a .377 OBP and 6 steals. He’s committed 1 error.
At Lynchburg, the DP combo of Tommy LaStella and Nick Ahmed continue to produce (.940 OPS and 7 steals for the former, .377 OBP and 8 SB for last year’s second-round pick). Matt Lipka is doing okay, while Edward Salcedo is struggling.
Up the road at Gwinnett, Julio Teheran bounced back after a bad start, though he’s nowhere near what he was a year. As you’ve probably heard, JJ was solid in his first outing, allowing one run in 7.