Promotion: Peter Bourjos

According to Tom Krasovic of AOL Fanhouse, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will call up OF Peter Bourjos from Triple-A Salt Lake. Bourjos might not crack the lineup on a regular basis, but let’s take a look at his long-term fantasy value.

Bourjos, 23, was selected in the tenth round of the 2005 amateur draft. The Arizona prep product intrigued scouts with his scorching speed and ability to cover wide swaths of territory, and the Angels opened up the check book to give him an above-slot $325,000 signing bonus. Bourjos batted .292/.354/.472 in 279 Pioneer League plate appearances during his ’06 pro debut, stealing 13 bases and getting caught five times. Following the season, Baseball America called him an “easy, graceful runner” and said he had more power than his 6-1, 180 pound frame suggested, but BA also called his strike-zone control “crude.”

Unfortunately, Bourjos wouldn’t get a full season’s worth of reps in 2007 to work out the kinks in his plate discipline. The righty batter suffered a left hand injury that he initially tried to play through, but he finally gave in and had surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in May. In 270 PA in the Low-A Midwest League, Bourjos put up a .274/.335/.426 line, with a 7.4% walk rate, a 22.4 K% and a .152 ISO. He nabbed 19 bases, though he was caught stealing nine times as well. Talent evaluators continued to question whether Bourjos’ bat would play at the upper levels of the minors. “His approach,” BA said, “vacillates from at-bat to at-bat, he’s busy in his setup and he often lacks balance through his swing.”

The next season, Bourjos was bumped up to the High-A California League. He hit .295/.326/.444 in 545 PA, and he was a monster on the base paths (50-for-60 in SB attempts, good for an 83.3% success rate). Bourjos just about never walked (3.5 BB%), while K’ing 18.9% and posting a .149 ISO. The Cal League is a great place to hit, so Bourjos’ park-and-luck-adjusted line was a little less impressive at .280/.311/.429. While again praising Bourjos’ plus defense and base-stealing talents, BA said:

There are still questions about Bourjos’ bat. He has a funky swing and tough he showed improvement, he still chases pitches out of the zone and rarely walks. He’ll need to show a much more patient approach to realize his potential as a leadoff hitter.

In 2009, Bourjos made some strides in terms of not getting himself out. The speedster slashed .281/.354/.423 in 504 Double-A Texas League PA, drawing ball four 9.7%, whiffing 17.6% and compiling a .142 ISO. On the bases, he was 32-for-44 (a 72.3% success rate). A ligament tear in his left wrist necessitated off-season surgery, but that didn’t put much of a damper on a season in which he progressed at the plate. Baseball America was most enthusiastic about Bourjos’ prospect status, ranking him #97 on the publication’s top 100 list. John Sickels graded him as a B- talent. Bourjos didn’t make Keith Law’s top 100.

At Salt Lake of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, Bourjos has hit .314/.364/.498 in 455 PA, with 27 SB in 32 tries. His park-and-luck adjusted line, by contrast, is .289/.341/.467. Those strike zone gains didn’t make the trip with him to the PCL, as Bourjos as a 5.3 BB%. He has struck out 18.9% and has a .184 ISO, the product of lots of triples (twelve) and a park-aided 13 home runs.

Chances are, Bourjos would struggle mightily if given everyday ABs in the big leagues. His major league equivalent line is .255/.294/.401 according to Minor League Splits, and CHONE projects him for a .255/.300/.375 showing. It’s worth noting, however, that Sean Smith‘s Total Zone adores Bourjos’ defense. That could come into play, considering the Angels’ outfielders have been a collective 18 runs below average, according to Ultimate Zone Rating.

Bourjos isn’t likely to have much fantasy value right now. His wheels make him attractive to fantasy owners in the long-term, and his run-saving D gives him a good chance to carve out a starting role in the not-too-distant future. It’d surely be appreciated, though, if he could stop hacking so much.




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A recent graduate of Duquesne University, David Golebiewski is a contributing writer for Fangraphs, The Pittsburgh Sports Report and Baseball Analytics. His work for Inside Edge Scouting Services has appeared on ESPN.com and Yahoo.com, and he was a fantasy baseball columnist for Rotoworld from 2009-2010. He recently contributed an article on Mike Stanton's slugging to The Hardball Times Annual 2012. Contact David at david.golebiewski@gmail.com and check out his work at Journalist For Hire.


One Response to “Promotion: Peter Bourjos”

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  1. Zachary says:

    How much of the park-and-luck adjusted line’s adjustment comes from “park” and how much from “luck”?

    I’m wondering specifically if it underrates high babip guys like Bourjos may be.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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