Thursday, January 2, 2014

Prospect Countdown: #30 Aaron Brooks

30. Aaron Brooks Right Handed Pitcher

Age: 23
Height: 6'4" 
Weight: 220
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 9th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft

Landon Adams (NR): I was a little surprised to see Aaron Brooks make this countdown and thanks to Twitterless Joe's ranking, Brooks has cracked the top 30. Joe will point out that Brooks does a decent job in soliciting ground balls. While it is true, I don't believe that this talent is strong enough to to overcome his inability to miss bats. Poor strikeout rates in the minor leagues typically translate to impassable strikeout rates at the Major League level. The best case for Brooks is that he can continue to limit walks and get ground balls, if he can do that perhaps he can carve out a career as a ground ball specialist middle reliever.

Paden Bennett (NR): Not a huge fan of Brooks; so far in his career he has been consistently in the ERA range of 4+.  He does through strikes and gets a fair amount of ground balls but I just don't see much upside from Brooks.  Look for him to be in Northwest Arkansas and post an ERA of around 4.

Joe Cox (20):   I am the only person to rank Brooks, but I am glad I did.  I am a sucker for strike throwing ground ballers who can throw hard.  Brooks is exactly that, his fastball tops out at 94-95, and he also has a 2-seamer to go along with his off-speed pitches.  Brooks is a guy who will tell you his philosophy is to go out to throw strikes and rely on groundballs to get out of trouble.  How has it gone?  Well, we have seen mixed success at this point.  

2013 was Brooks third year in professional ball, and he spent it between A+ and AA, throwing a cumulative 160 innings.  Looking at his 16 starts in AA we see good and bad.  The good: 11 walks in 103.2 innings, less than one per nine innings.  The bad: more home runs, 13, than walks.  One thing I do like to see his significant drop in hits per nine, lowering his whip significantly from 2012.  

We did see a decrease in strike outs, and that may never be a strong point, but if he can continue to keep his velocity up he just needs to find an out pitch, similar to what folks are saying about another ground baller in the majors currently, Joe Kelly.  Brooks’ has had a much better FIP than ERA at each level; in part because of a BABIP over .300 each season and poor LOB% each season.  As an Aaron Brooks optimist, I look at what another no walks pitcher did at age 23, Doug Fister, and see room for growth from the 6-4 righty. 

Dan Ware (NR): Like reliever Michael Mariot, Aaron Brooks has been a model of consistency.  Unfortunately, his ERA has been consistently above 4, which isn't exactly what you want to see.  Although his ERA was at it's lowest since the 2011 season, at 4.17, Brooks can give you innings, as he averaged 6.1 IP per start for Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas, so that's easily a plus.  Aaron will likely start the 2014 season with Northwest Arkansas.   

Total Points: 11


  1. um... he never had surgery. WTH! i think his Mother would know

  2. I apologize. We had received that bit of information from Greg Schaum of Pinetarpress and since he normally is on top of it, we added it to the post.

  3. Pitcher of the Year in AA in 2013
    Pitcher of the Year in AAA in 2014
    Omaha Stormchasers post season MVP in 2014
    Glad to see people finally noticing!

  4. lol his mom commented on this to correct an error. lol