Prospect #47: Brian Gump

Brian Gump had a nice first season in the pros, but the thought is that he'll get much better. After revamping his swing, Gump is poised to put up better numbers in 2010 than he did in 2009.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 26th round of the 2009 Draft.
Bats: L   Throws: L
Height: 6' 2"    Weight: 195 lbs.
Birth Date: June 16, 1987
2009 Team(s): GCL / Lakewood
Positions/Games: RF (18), LF (16), CF (6), P (1)
School: University of California, Santa Barbara

Batting and Power: Brian Gump hasn't needed a whole lot of time to adjust to professional baseball. The scary part about him is that he can be a much better hitter than he showed in his first season, with a few tweaks in his mechanics. Gump could develop more power potential if his sessions with Lakewood coach Greg Legg pay off. Legg has been working with Gump to get him to use his lower body more and put his hands in a better position to hit. As it stands now, Gump has good power, but he could well take that to a higher level. He should be able to hit for a good average as he continues to adjust to pitching at higher levels.

Category Brian Gump GCL average
PA/2B 20.00 23.58
PA/3B 140.00 128.68
PA/HR 35.25 109.08
PA/RBI 7.37 10.39
PA/R 5.18 8.87
PA/BB 10.00 11.58
PA/KO 5.60 4.89
AVG .317 .283
OBP .386 .316
SLG .484 .335
Categories with numbers in white show areas where Gump outperferformed the average player in the Gulf Coast League during the 2009 season. Categories with numbers in black show areas where he was below the league average.
Baserunning and Speed: Gump has good speed and he combines that with smart natural instincts on the bases to make him a threat to steal a decent number of bases. At UC Santa Barbara, Gump stole 54 bases in 69 attempts, for a 78% success rate. He learned quickly that minor league pitchers and catchers can be a little tougher and he was successful in just seven of 12 attempts (58%) in the GCL and Lakewood. As he learns the art of stealing bases, his percentages will go back up and while he may not win any league stolen base titles, he should be able to help a club with his speed.

Defense: The Phillies have liked the way Gump has handled himself defensively. He made just one error in 75 chances last season in the minors and has good range and instincts. His arm is average.

Projection: Gump projects as a corner outfielder, who at this point just needs to play more and develop his skills against minor league pitchers. While Gump has publicly said he thinks he stands a chance to start at High-A Clearwater this season, the Phillies may be a bit more conservative with him and start him back at Lakewood, where he finished the 2009 season. Don't be surprised though is Gump does make his way to Lakewood at some point during the year as he shows that he can handle better pitching. It will be interesting to see how his winter sessions with Legg and others in the Phillies organization will pay off when he gets a chance to face real pitching this spring and into the summer.

Comparison: Imagine the Kansas City Royals version of Raul Ibanez, but with more speed. In his time with the Royals, Ibanez averaged 18 home runs per season and hit .291 in K.C. It's not out of the question that Gump could put up those types of numbers and add some speed into the mix. If he were to fall short in any area, it might be that his home run totals would be a little lower than Ibanez' during that period, perhaps in the 12 to 15 range.

Brian Gump's career stats

2009 Phillies 37 126 21 40 7 1 4 19 6 5 14 25 .317 .386 .484
2009 Lakewood 10 35 6 7 0 0 0 2 1 0 5 9 .200 .317 .200
1 Season 47 161 27 47 7 1 4 21 7 5 19 34 .292 .370 .422

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