Thursday, June 16, 2011

Collin Cowgill and Paul Goldschmidt

Based on recent comments by Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, Dennis wonders how soon we will see Arizona prospects Collin Cowgill and Paul Goldschmidt.
A few weeks ago, you had discussed N.L. West prospects and 1B situation in AZ. Now with the recent comments of AZ GM upgrading within. Can you elaborate on their 1B and LF situations? Gerardo Parra vs Cowgill/Juan Miranda vs Goldschmidt.
This is a nice catch by Dennis. Towers apparently spent five days touring the minor league system and gave the impression that Goldschmidt and Cowgill could be up next month.
"I wouldn't say we're at that point right now, but probably leading up to the All-Star Game, that's when we'd probably have to decide to make moves," Towers said. "I think we're always looking for ways to improve the club, and the first place we're going to look is internal.
Of the two, Goldschmidt looks like the absolute no-brainer who you should pick up now if your league allows you to do so. His minor league line at Double-A (348/469/687) is just plain silly, and Goldschmidt's line is all the more impressive because Mobile is a pitchers' park.

The knock on Goldschmidt in the past had been that his approach is so bad that he could strike out 200+ times in the Majors and the power wouldn't translate because he wouldn't get any pitches to hit. I don't know what he's been working on in the minors, but his strikeout rate is down quite a bit and he's walking a lot. Some of these walks are intentional, but by all accounts Goldschmidt is definitely a different hitter.

He still might grow up to be Mark Reynolds and not Adrian Gonzalez, but for now what matters is that I believe he's going to get a real opportunity in Arizona. Neither Xavier Nady or Juan Miranda have done enough to keep the job and I think the Goldschmidt promotion is inevitable.

I'm not as clear on Cowgill. His numbers are great, but at 25 he's not at a prime prospect age. Unlike Goldschmidt, he's raking at Reno, which is a favorable hitting environment. Cowgill definitely has a future in the Majors, but even his great performance this year hasn't changed the perception that Cowgill might be more of a fourth outfielder than a starter.

It also isn't as clear cut whether or not Cowgill would represent an upgrade. Gerardo Parra's numbers aren't inspiring on the surface. However, his on-base percentage isn't bad and his defense is a big plus. And while it may seem like Parra's been around forever, he's a year younger than Cowgill. I don't know how much upside Parra has, but he's not a fading veteran either.

I still think Cowgill's going to get a look, but it could be as a part-timer at first. The stolen base potential makes him appealing in N.L.-only but if he's not a regular he might not be the greatest play if you're going for it this year.

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