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2007 Bullpen Preview: Adam Bostick

Mike SteffanosMonday, January 15, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

The Mets acquired left-hander Adam Bostick along with lefty Jason Vargas in November of 2006 in exchange for right-handed relievers Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom. Here is a scouting report on Bostick from Baseball America's Matt Meyers at the time of the deal:

Bostick is a sixth-round pick in 2001 from a high school in Pennsylvania. After missing all of 2002 following surgery to transpose a nerve in his elbow, Bostick emerged as a prospect in 2004 when he struck out 163 batters in 114 innings to lead the low Class A South Atlantic League. In 142 innings this season between Double-A and Triple-A, the 23-year-old was 9-9, 3.74 with a 139-80 strikeout-walk ratio. He pitches at 88-90 with a fastball that features a late hop that hitters have a hard time with. He can be over-reliant on his fastball and needs to trust his offspeed stuff more.

Here is Baseball Prospectus' take on Bostick following his 2004 season:

Call us crazy, but we think if you lead your league in strikeouts, and do so at a rate of nearly 13 per nine innings, you have to be one of the top 20 prospects in the circuit. Baseball America left Bostick off their Sally League list. Conceding that BP and BA run at things a bit differently, I don't see how that kind of performance doesn't make you a prospect until you prove otherwise. Bostick throws a big deuce -- cause of the strikeouts and, by extension, BA's apathy -- and a reasonable fastball, and should be watched at Jupiter this year.

Used exclusively as a starter in the minors, here are Bostick's minor league numbers since his breakout 2004 campaign:

Adam Bostick
Year -Team Games Innings Hits/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA WHIP
2004 - Greensboro (A) 23 114 7.9 12.9 4.6 0.8 3.79 1.39

2005 - Jupiter (A+) 17 91.1 9.4 9.3 3.6 0.7 3.84 1.43
2005 - Carolina (AA) 9 44.1 8.5 7.9 5.1 0.6 4.67 1.51

2006 - Carolina (AA) 22 115.0 7.8 8.5 5.2 0.6 3.52 1.45
2006 - Albuquerque (AAA) 5 27.0 13.0 10.0 4.3 1.3 3.52 1.93

Minor League Totals 102 483.1 8.9 9.8 4.7 0.9 4.23 1.50

Bostick's righty/lefty splits from last year show how effective he can be against left-handed batters, and show promise of being a lefty specialist in a major league bullpen:

Adam Bostick 2006 RH/LH Splits
  Innings Hits/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 AVG OBP SLG 
Carolina (AA)
vs. RHB 84.2 8.2 8.7 5.3 0.6 .244 .350 .361
vs. LHB 30.2 7.0 7.9 5.0 0.3 .218 .358 .318 

Albuquerque (AAA)
vs. RHB 18.2 14.5 10.1 4.3 1.0 .370 .429 .506
vs. LHB 8.1 9.7 9.7 4.3 2.2 .265 .342 .500 

The one number that's bad is on-base percentage. He just walks too many batters. If Adam Bostick can learn to cut down his walks, he can make it to the major leagues and help someone as a starter or reliever. He has a plus curveball and gets enough movement on his fastball for it to be effective, particularly when he can set it up with that big curve. A walk rate of 5 per 9 innings just isn't going to cut it, though, especially for a bullpen role. Expect Bostick to begin the year in Triple-A New Orleans and provide insurance for both the rotation and the bullpen.

2007 Bullpen Previews:
Jon Adkins
Adam Bostick (This Article)
Ambiorix Burgos
Marcos Carvajal
Pedro Feliciano
Aaron Heilman
Guillermo Mota
Clint Nageotte
Juan Padilla
Chan Ho Park
Duaner Sanchez
Steve Schmoll
Scott Schoeneweis
Aaron Sele
Joe Smith
Jorge Sosa
Billy Wagner
Other Candidates
Four Other Names for You

2007 Pitching Previews: Summing It All Up

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Comments (4)

Bostick was a very intriguing part of the trade for Vargas. As we all know, you simply can never have enough talented lefty pitchers. If he can improve in New Orleans to the point that he puts up numbers similar to what he put up in AA in 2006, I can see him getting a shot with the big club at some point in 2008. Who knows, if he shows promise in AAA, he may become a valuable trade commodity later in the year.

I agree. I didn't know anything much about him at all until I started researching this, and now I'm a little intrigued.

It is interesting, a minor league pitcher who gets his K's from his breaking ball. I don't know how optimistic we should be about him lowering the walk total. How many curveballers do we know who never get a handle on it?

A parallel of a sort: remember Eric Cammack? There was a guy, a righthander who got lots of strikeouts without a big pitch; he was a little wild too. He was credited with having a skill at simply going after the batters for the strikeout.

I was all ready to enroll into his special fan club when he got promoted in 2000, hit a triple and quickly hurt himself so badly he never made it back.

They say there's no such thing as a pitching prospect. I have also read that of the pitchers who make it to prospect status, nearly ALL of them can pitch; and the single greatest determining factor of who will succeed is who can stay healthy. I believe both statements to be generally true.

dd - I always find guys like Bostick interesting. I agree he's not a top prospect. I also agree on pitcher's health, although some of the medical advances have given guys a better shot than they had 20-30 years ago.

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