Gordon Graceffo

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  • #188598
    bccran
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    How long has it been since we’ve had a prospect who could hit 100mph on the gun and at the same time had excellent control?

    Career professional numbers so far –

    IP – 101 1/3
    Hs – 80
    ER – 19
    K – 115
    W – 15
    K/W – 7.67
    ERA – 1.69
    WHIP – 0.938

    Will that control continue when he has to be a little finer with his pitches at AAA and MLB? Keep it on the black much of the time.

    #188605
    Bob Reed
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    Pretty much a rhetorical question, eh, cranny? Graceffo in Double-A so far is allowing 0.61 walks per 9 innings (after 0.79 in High-A) and no Redbird farmhand with elite velocity has ever to my knowledge approached that sort of consistent control.

    Jordan Hicks’ lowest walk rate at any level is a so-so 3.45 BB/9IP at 22 in MLB. Ryan Helsley had a very good 1.80 in Low-A at age 21. And Trevor Rosenthal posted a solid 1.97 at age 20 in rookieball. Those are the three hardest throwers who immediately spring to mind. (I have no doubt this experienced internet community can come up with one or two more names.)

    Getting back to Gordon Graceffo, with his 7 innings yesterday he has 75.1 IP this year and thus has taken over the minor league lead in innings — not for the Cards, for everyone. He’s averaging nearly 6 innings per start at a time when even the very top arms are often limited to 4-4.5 frames per outing. That’s a major positive so long as his pitch counts are reasonable, which they most certainly have been.

    One other positive: Graceffo has been tougher on lefty bats than righty this year. Righties have a meager .545 OPS, which is terrific…but lefties have an even more paltry .446. Finally, GG has better numbers on the road than at home; he is yet to allow a road home run in 145 ABs, for example.

    The arrows are all pointing up for Graceffo, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t quite put him at the same level as Liberatore yet. But he’s getting quite close to Libby, and definitely a top 100 type right now.

    #188624
    mudville
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    Speaking of Rosenthal there’s a parallel between him and Hicks in that they both wanted to get out of the bullpen and into the rotation. It didn’t work out for Rosenthal and, so far, it has not worked out for Hicks. When you’re a starting pitcher, and you make a mistake, you have other innings to redeem yourself, or at least, camouflage your mistake. If you make a mistake as a reliever, depending on the circumstances, you could wind up being dog meat.

    #188649
    1982 willie
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    The difference between starting and relieving is that relievers generally only face batters once per outing where as starters will face the same guys two or three times or more depending on how long they go.

    #188656
    Cardinals27
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    Is it too soon to use Graceffo in our bullpen? After all, I imagine he will have an innings limit at some point, and will move to the pen in a month or 6 weeks.

    #188664
    Bob Reed
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    Not Graceffo, no way. No Jordan Hicks Treatment for him, please for the love of all that’s holy. Throwing 101 out of the bullpen, over and over, is the surest path to injury and a busted career. But now that this has been suggested, I would not be one bit surprised if Marmol does this eventually. After all, he’s the one who said in Spring Training that if Jordan Hicks is throwing 103 MPH in April, then “Let it eat.” It’s the kind of thing that idiots say.

    Liberatore or some other experienced AAA arm should’ve supplanted McFarland weeks ago. In fact, Liberatore should have never left the majors after his first excellent MLB pitching performance. Either he should have entered the rotation in place of Pallante, with Andre switching to high-leverage long relief, or Libby should’ve been deployed via the Earl Weaver Young Pitcher Template, and used for multi-inning relief himself.

    That McFarland has lasted this long on the roster when you’re in a division dogfight is a discredit to the organization. Blame whomever you choose, but it’s a black mark.

    #188671
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

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    Rosenthal was far more experienced than Hicks, having made 20 starts between Double-A and Triple-A, two levels that Hicks skipped over entirely.

    #188702
    bccran
    Participant

    Bob –
    Not only Liberatore, but Thompson too.

    #188725
    gscottar
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    But now that this has been suggested, I would not be one bit surprised if Marmol does this eventually

    Bob, I consider you to be one of the most respected and knowledgeable posters on this board and we agree on much more that we disagree on but I am confused as to why you think this would be Marmol’s decision. I understand that you don’t like the manager but it seems clear to me that the manager in the Cardinal organization serves as a consultant only on promotions/demotions and what role a minor leaguer would play. And I use the word consultant generously. This would almost definitely be a decision from above.

    #188823
    Cardinals27
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    Graceffo hopefully has the ceiling of a number 2 starter. I wonder if he would get a cup of coffee at Memphis before this season ends. Either way, he should pitch for St Lou next year, if he can stay healthy.

    #188836
    stlcard25
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    A guy with a K/BB ratio of 13 and with 100 mph heat certainly has the ceiling of at least a #2 starter. We will see if he keeps it up but he’s a high end potential talent.

    #188837
    CardsFanInChiTown
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    If he keeps this up all year, we should see him on some top 100 lists this offseason. In my opinion, he’s definitely passed McGreevy.

    #188838
    stlcard25
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    #188840
    CardsFanInChiTown
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    Nice! Gorman has less than 50 AB’s to go until he’s off the lists. Side note, what a game last night for the young 2B!

    #188841
    bccran
    Participant

    Looks like Graceffo may be a better draft pick than McGreevy. We’ll see.

    #189188
    bccran
    Participant

    Gave up two home runs tonight. Maybe he’s human after all.

    #189189
    blingboy
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    Maybe he’s human after all.

    Maybe he’s a pitcher with 30 innings in AA under his belt and we don’t know if he will excell in the upper levels or fade or something else.

    #189198
    bccran
    Participant

    True, BB, but that 100mph heater and excellent control may set him apart a bit.

    #189203
    blingboy
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    I am optimistic, but those kind often flame out. Unless you are Nolan Ryan an arm only has so much 100 mph with excellent controll in it. Maybe they should get him up here while the getting is good.

    #189371
    bccran
    Participant

    BB –
    Maybe Graceffo is another Helsley. High leverage bullpen guy. Less innings that way.

    #189395
    Bob Reed
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    When Alex Reyes was in the minors, the reg flags were there indicating he was likely headed for the bullpen. Shaky health record, and more importantly he needed roughly 20 pitches per inning (over the course of entire seasons) even when he was posting low ERAs as a starting pitcher.

    That’s not Graceffo. He’s been both healthy & efficient, as well as effective. He’s a starter and no amount of velocity or perceived MLB need should alter that fact one jot.

    I hope and pray that Graceffo is given plenty of AA and AAA time — like Wainwright and Lance Lynn were given — to fully grow into the best possible version of himself, which could be special based on his amateur and professional performances thus far. There is no compelling reason right now NOT to project G.G. as a top-of-the-rotation MLB arm in a few years. He just needs time. He needs the patience of the organization. The patience Hicks & Alcantara & Gallen did not get.

    #189398
    CardsFanInChiTown
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    Agree with Bob Reed 100%.

    Do not like seeing the names Alcantara and Gallen though, brings a tear to my eye!

    I’d love for them to find a way to get Gallen back, but I’m sure the DBacks view him as a “key piece to their next winning team”. MadBum wouldn’t be a bad pickup if they chip in a little money for 2023, in 24 he’s only owed 14M.

    #189427
    Bob Reed
    Participant

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    Thanks for seconding my opinion, ChiTown.

    Why can’t everyone just agree with me all the time about everything? Salma Hayek could move to central Illinois to live with me. The government could finally bestow that lucrative grant to shoot pool and watch baseball all day and drink beer all night. And the Birds could replace Marmol with Stubby.

    And I agree with you, cranny, that Graceffo is certainly a superior prospect than McGreevy right now. McGreevy has done quite well for his first full minor league season, and a mid-rotation career is not implausible at all. But Graceffo has been on a different level. I think if Gordon had toiled for a more prestigious baseball college/conference, he would’ve been drafted a couple rounds higher. But maybe the Cardinal farm coaches have also helped him a lot in his maturation as a pitcher.

    #189439
    CariocaCardinal
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    Graceffo supposedly did a heavy off season training regime that added about 4 Mph tĂ´.his fastball. I’m hopeful some other system pitchers might see this and emulate him with similar results

    #189448
    bccran
    Participant

    You’re right, Bob. Villanova hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of baseball talent. This century, only 3 Villanova players have made it to the Major Leagues.

    Brain Slocum – had a cup of coffee with the Indians. In 19.2 innings he gave up 35 hits.

    Kevin Mulvey – in 27 major league innings he had an ERA of 7.90.

    Matt Szczur – journeyman outfielder with a career OPS of .666.

    So maybe Gorman can enhance the image of Villanova Wildcats baseball and in turn help with their recruiting process.

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