Jeremy Gabryszwski will anchor the New Hampshire Fisher Cats rotation while providing the Blue Jays with minor league starting depth in 2017
Saying a lot of work goes into scouting and drafting prospects would be the understatement of the year. Some scouts will spend weeks, months in some case years cultivating a relationship with a particular player. It’s for this reason, the value of certain prospects is at it’s highest when they’re drafted.
New Hampshire’s Jeremy Gabryszwski is a 2011 draftee. As an 18-yr-old Gabryszwski was selected in the 2nd round out of Crosby HS. He wowed scouts with a 94 mph fastball and a large frame that screamed, “Imma inning eater”.
While Gabryszwski is able to put a little extra mustard on his fastball, to get it into the mid-90’s, it is more of a high 80’s or low 90’s fastball. Actually, in 2016 his sinker (91 mph) had a higher average velocity than his fastball (89 mph).
Along with a solid sinker and average fastball, Gabryszwski throws a low 80’s change and 12-6 slider that is a low 80’s offering. His fastball breaks in on left-handed batters and his change breaks in on right-handed batters. This has allowed Gabryszwski to post even splits throughout his minor league, posting the following splits in 2016:
vs LHB- .287 BA
vs RHP- .290 BA
As you’ve probably deduced from the high batting averages above, Gabryszwski gives up his share of base hits. Baseball Reference (link) shows Gabryszwski has averaged 10.1 H/9IP throughout his 6 minor league seasons. Thankfully, Gabryszwski’s above average control of the strike zone and ability pitch to contact to get flyball outs has allowed him to limit walks (1.9 BB/9) and maintain a decent, if not spectacular, WHIP (1.33).
Gabryszwski’s WHIP, BB/9 and K/BB have experienced some regression as he’s moved through the Blue Jays minor league system. In 2016 Gabby posted a career-high 3.0 BB/9, while maintaining career norms 10.3 H/9 and 5.9 K/9. Coupled with a pair of disastrous months and Gabryszwski’s 2016 was the worse season of his career.
The 6-foot-4 195 lb righty finished with a record of 8 wins and 11 losses in 28 starts and one relief appearance. He posted a 5.23 ERA and 4.53 FIP in 146.1 IP, while striking out 96 and walking 49.
Breaking down Gabryszwski season, we notice a stark contrast between his first half stats and second half stats.
1st Half-5-6, 4.24 ERA in 18 starts. .256 BA
2nd Half– 3-5, 7.51 ERA in 10 starts. .352 BA
After a posting, a 2-3, 3.74 ERA June, Gabryszwski season went off the rails with a record of 0-4, 8.69 ERA in July. He followed a miserable July with slightly, very slightly, better 2-3, 7.53 ERA August.
There’s been no indication the righty was dealing with an injury and it’s hard to believe that fatigue was an issue for a guy with a pair of 120+ IP seasons under his belt. It’s possible the league adjusted to the big Texan and he failed to make the proper counter adjustments.
Below are Gabryszwski’s 1st half and 2nd half Hitter Spray Chart showing only hits, courtesy of MLBfarm.com.
In the first half, we see a spray chart typical of a flyball pitcher. Almost all the hits occur in the outfield.
While his second half spray chart shows more home runs, we all also see a lot more singles between the infield and the outfield. This would indicate more balls being squared up resulting in line drive rather than flyball outs. Simply put, the balls hit in the 2nd half were hit harder than those hit in the 1st half.
It is likely that Jeremy Gabryszwski will repeat Double-A in 2017. This isn’t as bad as it sounds. With Gabryszwski entering his year 24 season, there is still time. For a prospect that has never made it onto a Top Prospect List or been considered to possess anything greater than a bottom of the rotation potential, repeating a level isn’t the end of the world.
Another year in New Hampshire should allow him another year under the tutelage of Fisher Cats pitching coach Vince Horsman. It should also allow Jeremy a chance to make the necessary adjustment(s) to have a more consistent season.
This last video shows a good Gabryszwski 94 mph heater. Pay close attention to where the catcher sets up and the movement in his glove as he receives the ball.
Gabryszwski may appear to be a longshot for a major league roster in the near future. He may even appear to be a longshot, at this time, at a Triple-A starting gig. You may think he is destined to be an org guy, destined to be the next Casey Lawrence or Scott Copeland. But before you give up on this young man, there are two things to remember about Double-A:
- The transition between Advance-A and Double-A can be the hardest transition than any other for a prospect to make
- Double-A is one step away from being one step away, so making one simple adjustment can be the difference between a Major League 5th starter or AAAA pitcher or MiLB org guy.
Good luck in 2017 Jeremy Gabryszwski Jays From the Couch will be watching your progress.
*Featured Image Credit: Manchester City Library UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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