Updated: Dec 16, 2018
Prospect #35: OF, Chase Pinder
Previously Unranked in preseason. Ranked 24th at July reranking
Drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 draft
The Quick Write Up
I've always been higher on Pinder than most other evaluators. Entering the season, I like Pinder more than I like any of the lower-level outfield prospects that weren't named Dylan Carlson. A common theme among the hitters in the Cardinals system at the onset of the season was struggle. There weren't a lot of hitters that were hitting the cover off of the ball to start the 2018 season. The exact same thing could be said about Pinder. Pinder started the season with an aggressive assignment at Palm Beach and the league really got the better of him. Pinder went on the Florida State League DL on May 2nd. He was hitting 169/261/260/521 in 89 Plate Appearances at the time. Like with many of the other hitting prospect in the organization, it seemed like Pinder was being wayyyy to aggressive for his own good early in counts. Pinder was falling down my rankings and he wasn't even a member of the Dirty 30 to begin with. It wasn't looking good. Since coming off of the DL, Pinder has turned his season around. In 130 PA since coming off of the DL he's hit above .300 with an OBP above .370 and a OPS above .800. He is striking out more than 25% of the time during that period but he's also walking more than 10% of the time over that period
Like with the other outfielders that I've talked about already on the countdown, there isn't much in the way of power for Pinder yet. I don't know if I see a swing that has 15 home run potential, either. He's an average center fielder in every aspect. I'm really looking forward to following Pinder during the second half of the season. *UPDATED ON 8/26/2018*
I kind of gave Pinder the high-hard one here. I couldn't decide exactly what to do with him on the list. With so many other hitters having a great and/or standout month of August it was hard to justify keeping Pinder in the Dirty Thirty-Five. He's just solid and predictable and that kind of takes some of the luster off of his prospect value. He was almost 33rd originally with Scott Hurst off of the list, but I kept Hurst over Pinder because Hurst was destroying the Florida State League after being promoted there and before he was put of the DL. Anyway, I love Pinder and everyone knows that. Here's to hoping that getting away from the FSL starts to bring out a little bit of his power potential before the end of the season.
WHY TO GET EXCITED
More of a side note than a reason to get excited, Pinder's brother Chad is a member of the A's organization. Love that brotherly major league connection.
Like with Scott Hurst, Pinder has the chance to be a doubles machine and the legs to... leg out.... doubles and triples.
Pinder straight WALKS. He's another prospect in the organization that takes a great at-bat.
Pinder went on the DL on May 2nd and came off of the DL on May 18. From May 18th until July 16th he's hit an impressive 280/387/385/772 with 2 doubles, 3 triples, and 1 home run in 143 at-bats.
His walk rate since May 18th is 13.6%
A product of Clemson, Pinder has collegiate pedigree as a champion and a team leader.
I believe that Pinder is an above average center fielder. What I know for a fact is that Pinder has a flare for the dramatic defensive play. He's a high-flier in the outfield.
Pinder dominates left-handed pitching. Even the more advanced left-handed pitchers.
Pinder is smart. He's a smart kid with a smart baseball mind. He has some question marks, but I believe he's the type of player that will evolve and adapt to eliminate those questions.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
His stat line on the season leaves a lot to be inspired. It's being held down because of how bad Pinder was during the first month of the season.
Pinder's power potential has all but evaporated in the Florida State League. It's easy to wonder how much of that has to do with the League and how much of that it has to do with Pinder's abilities. But the sheer stunning level of his power vacancy is reason to believe it's more his profile than anything else.
While I bragged above about his offensive out put since May 18th, I left out that his strikeout rate has been 23+% over that time period. It's nice to see him hitting better and walking more, but the high strikeout rate increase isn't a positive.
While I believe that Pinder is a fine defensive center fielder with a fine arm to match, other scouts worry that he doesn't have the range to stick in center.
Pinder has really struggled against right handed pitching this season. Right-handed pitching is the reason why Pinder's strikeout rate is as high as it is.
Pinder would do well to push the ball to the opposite field more, especially against those tough right-handers.
Another prospect in the Cardinals organization that isn't easy to compare with someone else. More than likely, just like with most prospects that are in the back-half of nearly every prospect list, Pinder ends up being a organizational depth piece with a chance at a debut. Something along the lines of Nick Martini. Pinder is toolsy, and, with that in mind, his 5% chance of reaching his ultimate-ceiling would make him something in the vein of Marlins utility player Derek Deitrich at the plate. His realistic ultimate ceiling, and I guess we'll just go ahead and stay in Miami, is something similar to another Marlins utility player, Brian Anderson at the plate. Again, like with all non-elite prospects, there is probably a 20% chance that a prospect reaches his ceiling.
Fangraphs provides the stats and we are all better off for it.
Thanks For Reading!