Reader Profiles: Morris, Brinson, Graham, and Brown

These are some of the readers profiles that you all requested for me to write on, and will be in the format of the Top 100 Prospect list style (a paragraph on each).

Hunter Morris (1B, MIL) - Morris provides a good case of what a true power hitting first basemen looks like. He reminds me of much of the traditional types of players, who profiled exactly as their position said they would. In 2012, Morris ripped 28 homers and hit for a slash line of .303/.357/.563, good for a wRC+ of 155. That’s pretty damn good for a neutral Double-A league. It was his first truly great season overall, with 2011 owning a 106 wRC+ in High-A, not all too hot for a 1B prospect. If he sticks closer to his 2o12 than 2011, he could see serious time in 2013 at 1B, depending on the injury for Corey Hart. He could even break camp with the team. Defensively he’s limited to 1B and won’t do much else, but he’s live-able at that spot and you could do worse, I guess. If Morris’ bat can hit like 2012, he could be a viable NL-only or deep mixed league option. And since we’re talking deep leagues, he’s one to store as breakout potential. Icasino canada wouldn’t be upset with a .280 line with 20-25 HR. But I would note that if I do own him, and he starts off super hot with the major league team, I’d flip him for some more proven assets, as good as you can find. But holding him has potential as well, as a long term UTIL slot guy in your league.

Lewis Brinson (OF, TEX) - Brinson is to tools what the sun is to yellow. He’s pretty much the superstar of tools in play. Raw power, raw speed, raw defense, raw hit tool, raw approach. All raw everything. Yes, that was a bad reference, but so be it. Brinson surprised a lot of people by displaying a little more polish in his game than some expected out of the 2012 supplemental round pick. I mean, the scouts were right when he struck out 28% of the time, but he did walk 8% of the time and had a decent approach at the plate. He stood out among the draftees for being so productive though. He swiped 14 bases while knocking 7 homers out of the park in Rookie Ball in 2012. Not bad for a HS Draftee. He also hit .283/.345/.523, good for a wRC+ of 122. He played good defense and came out ahead of what most expected of him. In the future, I think he fills out and is a corner outfielder. A free-swinging type of player who’s a power-speed monster, with high K rates. I could see a less powerful Curtis Granderson. Maybe an Austin Jackson? Either way, you’re going to have to bite the bullet on his K rate, but you might get a ton of production and see some 20-30 seasons, peaking at 25-35? That’d be a pretty awesome fantasy player to have.

J.R. Graham (SP, ATL) - Graham is a small college pitcher, drafted in the fourth round. Many have already determined that he’ll move to the bullpen because of his size (6’0, 185) but I’m not so sure. His results in 2012 show a pitcher who knows how to use his stuff and he could be a MLB starter in a few years. Graham threw 102.2 IP in High-A, and 45.1 more in Double-A in 2012. He recorded a FIP of 3.19 (3.19 in High-A, 3.18 in Double-A). He didn’t strike out a ton in High-A (6 per nine) but his K/BB was a great 4.00. When he moved up to Double-A, his K-rate increased (8.34/9IP) but as did his walk rate, leading to a 2.47 K/BB. Obviously he can be an asset in striking guys out, but that comes with the risk of missing the corner and walking a guy. Graham doesn’t have a clear shot in the future to an ATL pitching rotation spot, but he might fit in as a RP for a few turns until they have a slot for him (a la Arodys Vizcaino). I’m a believer in Graham as a #3/4 starter. He isn’t better than Teheran IMO, but he’s closer than people think.

Gary Brown (OF, SFG) - Brown really fell off the radar with his mediocre season in 2012. He didn’t do what he does best, swipe bases. Now, you may look at his line and wonder how he didn’t do that when he stole 33 bases last year. But for a guy who’s premier tool is speed, stealing 33 isn’t elite. Not even close. And worse than that, he got caught 18 times. So he stole bases at a rate of about 65%. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but that doesn’t help the team. I believe the sabermetric break-even point of stolen bases is about 72%, so anything less is really costing the team runs and wins. Brown hit absymally in 2012 as well, further deflating his stock. He dropped from his .336 average in High-A to his .279 average in AA. He hit half the homers, had less doubles, and his OPS dropped from .925 to .731. Look at this drop. He went from a wRC+ of 138 to a wRC+ of 104. Still slightly above average, but that includes the org depth guys. Needless to say, he has a huge tumble in 2012 and needs to bounce back in 2013 in order to maintain relevance.