Why Ranked Here: Gorski is the pitcher with the largest gain on this list, as he followed up a very disappointing 2010 with Savannah, by leading the Florida State League in ERA in 2011.
What changed? Well, lots, glad you asked. The first and most important difference that led to everything was a small mechanical change that led to more repeatable mechanics. Gorski started with his hands lower in 2011, which cut down on the movement in his delivery so that he could get his arm back with the same timing every pitch. He explains more in the video below.
With a more consistent delivery/release point, his control took a major step forward. This is reflected in drops in his walk rate, hit rate and an increase in his strikeout rate. He was much more effective throwing to both sides of the plate, and his pitches had better life down because he was on top of the ball better.
Also, Gorski was throwing harder. In 2011, he was 88-91, so basically average-ish type velocity from the left side. In 2010, he was mid-to-upper 80s often. It’s a pretty important difference. Also, the added velocity makes Gorski’s changeup more effective. The changeup always had good arm action and a little run and sink, but when the fastball was middling, there wasn’t enough separation between the two pitches, now there is. And the slider has more depth as well.
This is one of those rankings where ceiling is less important than the fact that Gorski was really good in 2011, and that deserves recognition. If he can make that kind of progress in one season, and maintain that improvement, he’s a big leaguer.
2011: So, you led the Florida State League in ERA at 2.08? What else did you accomplish? How’s third in strikeouts? Or holding left-handed batters to an obscene 172/.229/.201 line in 145 PA. His K/BB was 4.8!
He struck out over a quarter of the batters to face him (25.2% K/rate)!
(Technical note: this is why I’m trying to use SO% instead of K/9 except as a shorthand. Gorski was so efficient in 2011 both by limiting walks and hits, that he was working shorter innings. If you looked at his K/9 it increased by 5.8% whereas his SO% increased by 18%.)
Dr. Pangloss Says: #4 starter
Debbie Downer Says: Up and down kinda guy.
Projected 2012 Start: AA Binghamton
MLB Arrival: Summer 2013