Author Topic: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu, OF  (Read 2293 times)

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Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu, OF
« Topic Start: August 25, 2011, 10:20:30 PM »
Erik Komatsu

5' 10", 175 lbs.
Bats & Throws: left
Born 10/1/87, Camarillo, CA
college - Cal St Fullerton

8th round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.  Acquired on via trade for Jerry Hairston on 7/30/11.

Current team - Harrisburg Senators

Strengths - Plate discipline, base running
Weaknesses - lack of power and CF range

Stats
2008 - Helena (Pioneer League - RK) .321 / .394 / .538, 316 PA, 277 AB, 89 H, 11 HR (34 XBH), 8 SB (4 CS), 30 BB, 42 K, BABIP .344, wOBA .405

2009 - Injured - < 100 PAs at Az (Rk) and Wisconsin (midwest - A)

2010 - Brevard (FSL - A+) .323 / .413 / .442, 572 PA, 486 AB, 157 H, 5 HR (42 XBH), 28 SB (9 CS), 68 BB, 61 K BABIP .356, wOBA .399

2011*- 2 teams (Sou, EL) .282 / .374 / .394, 472 PA, 404 AB, 114 H, 7 HR (30 XBH), 20 SB (8 CS), 60 BB, 59 K
 * Hunstville, Harrisburg. Roughly 4:1 for PAs at Hunstville v. Harrisburg as of 8/24/11. Hunstville - BABIP .321, wOBA .372; Harrisburg BABIP .273, wOBA .275

Sources - BR Page, FG Page

Rankings
Sickels - Brewers #10 Prospect - C+ grade ("can be a good role player but unless he turns the power up he will be stretched to start.")
[will add BA and BP ratings if someone can quote]

2010 Brewers Minor League Player of the Year

Also, FWIW, Baseball-Intellect.com had him as the Brewers #6 prospect preseason, and Brewersprospects.com had him #1 in the system at the beginning of June.


Comments

Certainly the cold start at Harrisburg has dampened the enthusiasm at WNFF for Komatsu as prospect.  His offensive output in the Brewers system made him look like a potential leadoff solution if he could play defensively in CF.  However, while some of the minor league trackers mention a good first step and good speed, there seems to be a consensus that he's not likely to stick in CF.  His age relative to level, while not too old, takes a hit due an injury causing him to miss much of his age 21 season. 

The repeated reference to his high floor as rosterable bench outfielder, with the possibility that he could stick in CF and be more, are the optimistic notes for Komatsu.  The pessimistic view, that the lack of power will lead to pitchers challenging him and limiting his BBs, would suggest a weakness to track.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #1: August 25, 2011, 10:27:07 PM »

Articles at the time of trade

Fangraphs - Eric Seidman Discussing Trade
Quote
Heading to Washington is 23-year old outfielder Erik Komatsu, who has put up wOBA marks of .399 and .372 over the last two seasons at High-A and Double-A. He has several attractive skills, including patience at the plate — he walks more than he whiffs — and smarts on the bases evidenced by his 41 steals since last season. Word has it that the downside to Komatsu is his lack of position. Despite his baserunning abilities, his speed is merely adequate in center field.

He isn’t a full-time starter up the middle, but his ability to play all three outfield positions and take a walk makes him a quality fourth outfielder. While that might sound like a back-handed compliment, teams need those types of players, and all the Nats had to give up was an aging veteran under contract for two months.


Baseball America - Jim Callis - discussing trade:
Quote
Komatsu's best attribute is his plate discipline, which is among the best in the minors. He's collected more walks than strikeouts this year, showing the ability to work deep counts and lay off pitches outside the zone. His quick, line-drive swing and advanced approach at the plate help him hit for a high average and get on base at a strong clip. He ranks fifth in the Southern League in walks (53) and on-base percentage (.393). The questions for Komatsu are the typical tweener profile issues: Will his defense be enough for center field, and will he have enough power for a corner outfield spot? His speed is a tick above-average and he gets good jumps off the bat, but he doesn't have the pure range to stack up against most regular big league center fielders. At 5-foot-10, Komatsu has below-average power, a difficult tool to live with from a corner outfielder and a reason why his OBP could take a tumble as more advanced pitchers attack him with greater aggression. Still, the Nationals did well to turn Hairston into a player with some on-base skills who will almost certainly be a big leaguer in some capacity, though his ultimate role might be as a solid backup.


Hardball Times article on traded prospects
Quote
Receiving a usable piece to a future team like Eric Komatsu in exchange for a role player of your own during a non-contending season is a victory for Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals. Jerry Hairston fills a void for the Brewers, and in return the Nats get Komatsu, who profiles as a fourth outfielder on a contending team or a potential second-division regular. Komatsu controls the strike zone well, walking as much as he strikes out, and he can play center field, although probably isn't a true center fielder. The Nats have kept Komatsu in Double-A and he could be playing a role in the majors around the time the team begins to compete.


Sickels
Quote
Eric Komatsu, OF: The Brewers drafted Komatsu in the eighth round in 2008, from Cal State Fullerton. He missed most of 2009 with injuries to his hamstring and wrist, plus complications from a concussion, but returned to health in 2010 and hit .323/.413/.442 for High-A Brevard County, with 68 walks and 28 steals. This year he's hitting .294/.393/.416 with 53 walks, 44 strikeouts, and 13 steals for Double-A Huntsville. A 23-year-old left-handed hitter, Komatsu lacks power but has decent speed. He has excellent strike zone judgment and is a very polished hitter, but as a tweener-type who lacks big power, he'll likely fit best as a reserve outfielder. I gave him a C+ pre-season but he's probably more on the upper edge of a straight Grade C as a useful future role player.


Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #2: August 25, 2011, 10:28:02 PM »

Other articles and mentions

Fangraphs - Bryan Smith 2010 article discussing EK in an article on adjusting minor league numbers when looking at prospects in the  FSL:
Quote
One constant refrain in minor league statistical analysis is that Context is Everything. Statistics mean very little in a vacuum, but instead, we need to know factors like their age relative to level, their league’s run environment, their park’s run environment. These are all factors that can wreak havoc on our attempt to judge a basic AVG/OBP/SLG batting line. We’ll be playing around to make things context-neutral all winter, but today, I wanted to magnify an environment that is universally known to favor pitching: the Florida State League.

Scouts and statisticians alike know the difficulty hitters face in the FSL, and both are long ahead of me in making adjustments. If you want to see the specific proof, I always point to a great offseason article at the Hardball Times by Justin Inaz. In terms of runs and BaseRuns alike, the FSL is the hardest league in professional baseball for hitters. As a result, I think most of us (I know that I’ve been) are guilty of seeing a batting line out of Florida, and saying, “Well, he’s played in the FSL, so I should boost up those numbers relative to other High-A players.”
* * *
The Brewers have something really interesting in former Cal State Fullerton star Erik Komatsu. He’s another guy that even looks positive superficially (.325/.407/.442 thru 101 games), but even better with park adjustments. Komatsu has just nine extra-base hits in 203 at-bats in Brevard County, versus 23 extra-base hits in 182 road at-bats. With good baserunning, corner defense, and patience, a boost in his power projection really makes him an interesting prospect. Though at 22 years old, it’s important to mention that by the ARL context, his numbers would take a hit.


Milwaukee Jounal Sentinel Preseason "Prospect Madness" write-up
Quote
OF Erik Komatsu

Komatsu was very impressive in 2010, earning the Brewers’ Minor League Player of the Year award and hitting .321/.411/.440 in High-A Brevard County – a very difficult offensive environment.

The 23-year-old missed most of the 2009 season due to injury, but proved this past season that he still possesses an advanced feel for the game. He walked in 11.9% of his plate appearances, walking more than he struck out. He can handle center field defensively, and even swiped 28 bases.

Though he shows great plate discipline and hit for a high average, his success may not translate against better pitching. He cannot keep opposing pitchers honest with a power threat, and his batting average was bolstered by a very high .356 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). That can somewhat be tempered by the knowledge that his swing is solid. The high average should always remain intact.

His nuanced approach to the game should eventually earn him a spot on a big league roster, but it seems unlikely that he will be anything more than a 4th outfielder unless he can either show more power or become a plus defender in center.


Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #3: August 25, 2011, 10:34:06 PM »
Are there any light hitter who draw a ton of walks? Sorting this year by walks, it looks like all of the leaders (basically first page on fangraphs-I'm too lazy to look further) hit for decent power

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #4: August 25, 2011, 10:42:01 PM »
Are there any light hitter who draw a ton of walks? Sorting this year by walks, it looks like all of the leaders (basically first page on fangraphs-I'm too lazy to look further) hit for decent power
Well, for starters, Brett Butler was the prototype there.  Komatsu does not have that defense and speed.  But a 10% walk rate is good, but not outrageous.

David DeJesus is a guy with comparable offense and questionable CF defense who had pretty similar stats through age 23.  He was promoted very quickly and had success in AAA, but his power was not that much better through age 23.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=dejesu001dav

Offline Slateman

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #5: August 26, 2011, 12:07:51 AM »
Lets play him in left and start Bryce in center. We need guys who can get on base. Hit him leadoff and have Lombo hitting second.

This guy reminds me of Kevin Youkilis right before he developed power

Offline Tyler Durden

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #6: August 26, 2011, 05:42:11 AM »
Brett Gardner plays a corner OF spot for the Yanks.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #7: August 26, 2011, 08:20:03 AM »
There's nothing in Komatsu's record so far to suggest Gardneresque speed.  Gardner is really a CF playing in a big LF.  The Granderson / Gardner OF is similar to when Franklin Gutierez played right b/c Grady Sizemore was in center.  It's sort of fad among stat geeks to promote playing a CF in a corner slot to pile up defensive runs saved in lieu of the drop in production.

Slateman may be onto something. Given the Nats line up and personnel, a combo of Harper - Komatsu - Werth, with either H  or K in CF, probably compensates a bit for the lack of stellar range in CF. You'd still have the offense you'd want out your outfield (or at least the problem would not be due to LF or CF).  If your middle infield ended up Espinosa and Rendon, you'd only have  one non-power bat in the lineup, and that would be the leadoff hitter.

I'm not saying that EK should have a line up spot in preference to a Lombo (Antonelli) / Espinosa infield, a Hood - Harper - Werth OF, or even a Taylor - Harper - Hood OF with Werth at 1st, but what I think this shows is that with this organization's critical need for a leadoff hitter, there may be a slot for Komatsu in the long term line up as an option or a plan B.

Offline Slateman

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #8: August 26, 2011, 11:45:37 AM »
This would be my thinking: I seriously doubt Harper is ready to play full time by next September, but he may get a call up anyways. By 2013, I could see it, but center field is going to be a struggle for him. If by 2013 we can't find ourselves a speedy, lead off type center fielder, we should take a look at Komatsu in LF. Komatsu is an okay hitter with some power, but he has some great plate discipline and works a walk well. He plays LF well enough and he can steal some bases.

So our lineup would look like this:

1. Komatsu - LF
2. Lombardozii - 2B/SS
3. Zimmerman - 3B
4. Morse/Harper - 1B/CF
5. Harper/Morse - CF/1B
6. Werth - RF
7. Espinosa - SS/2B
8. Ramos/Flores/Norris - C
9. Pitcher

Thats assuming that Komatsu's OBP translates to the big leagues. If it doesn't, or if he struggles, we can hit him 8th and move Lombo to leadoff and Werth to the two hole.

Obviously, not the classic lineup and speed you'd want. But we'd be getting guys on base for the big hitters in the middle. Thats one of the reason I put Norris up there in the 8 hole. He likes to get a walk too. Essentially, every game, we'd be living and dying by our 3/4/5 hitters. But I'm okay with that.

Offline Terpfan76

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #9: August 26, 2011, 12:01:45 PM »
I don't think it would be that much of a struggle for Harper to play CF. He has all the athleticism needed to excel there, but it is possible. If needed, Werth shouldn't have to much trouble moving there until a better option can be found.

Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #10: August 26, 2011, 12:08:10 PM »
With an OF of Werth (not tradable) Harper (assuming he lives up to the hype) and Komatsu, I would assume Komatsu would play center. both corners would have the speed to shade towards center so CF range wouldn't be that huge a hinderance

Offline RD

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #11: August 26, 2011, 12:16:18 PM »
Komatsu is an okay hitter with some power, but he has some great plate discipline and works a walk well. He plays LF well enough and he can steal some bases.

Komatsu has barely any power. He hit 11 in rookie ball as a college kid with teens, but has hit 13 in 3 years since. And the reason he would move off CF is because he doesn't have the speed to man the position, meaning he's not going to steal a whole lot of bases in the bigs either. Hes smart on the bases, so he'll move around from first to third and such, and will steal a few bags, but nothing worth mentioning.

I like Komatsu. Ive seen him play in college. I think he was good value for Hairston. I think he's got a chance to be a backup outfielder at the big league level. I just don't buy him as a regular. He has a great eye at the plate, is a smart and aggressive ball player, but he's simply limited physically. Maybe he's more than that, but I just don't see it. And when we have guys like Harper, Hood, and potentially Rendon at AA and higher next year, I don't see how he beats any of them out long term for an OF spot. I know you won't have stars at every position, but I just don't see Komatsu as a starter in the bigs, on a good ball club. He was 10th in a crappy Brewers system. He really shouldn't be top 15 in ours, maybe not even top 20.

I also don't think CF will be a problem for Harper. It's an easier position to judge the ball off the bat, and he's got the athleticism to play the spot, at least for a couple years. They just need to put him out there and let him develop.

And unless Harper gets hurt next year, he's going to be in the bigs in June. The kid is special. His numbers at AA weren't amazing, but he's held his own. With a full AFL and Spring Training, he's going to tear up AAA. He'll be in the bigs in short order next season.

Offline Slateman

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #12: August 26, 2011, 12:38:13 PM »
Komatsu has barely any power. He hit 11 in rookie ball as a college kid with teens, but has hit 13 in 3 years since. And the reason he would move off CF is because he doesn't have the speed to man the position, meaning he's not going to steal a whole lot of bases in the bigs either. Hes smart on the bases, so he'll move around from first to third and such, and will steal a few bags, but nothing worth mentioning.

I like Komatsu. Ive seen him play in college. I think he was good value for Hairston. I think he's got a chance to be a backup outfielder at the big league level. I just don't buy him as a regular. He has a great eye at the plate, is a smart and aggressive ball player, but he's simply limited physically. Maybe he's more than that, but I just don't see it. And when we have guys like Harper, Hood, and potentially Rendon at AA and higher next year, I don't see how he beats any of them out long term for an OF spot. I know you won't have stars at every position, but I just don't see Komatsu as a starter in the bigs, on a good ball club. He was 10th in a crappy Brewers system. He really shouldn't be top 15 in ours, maybe not even top 20.

I also don't think CF will be a problem for Harper. It's an easier position to judge the ball off the bat, and he's got the athleticism to play the spot, at least for a couple years. They just need to put him out there and let him develop.

And unless Harper gets hurt next year, he's going to be in the bigs in June. The kid is special. His numbers at AA weren't amazing, but he's held his own. With a full AFL and Spring Training, he's going to tear up AAA. He'll be in the bigs in short order next season.

There is more to base stealing than pure speed. JJ Reddick is fast, but he sucks at stealing bases. Its about the jump and timing the pitcher. Komatsu has done it in Double A. I could see him grabbing 20-25 a year.

He's shown the ability to hit balls hard. He gets doubles. He's only 23. Power will come as he gets a little older and works out more.

Nothing is sure of course, but its worth taking a look. At least until Rendon is up and we put him in LF.

Offline RD

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #13: August 26, 2011, 01:13:21 PM »
Komatsu has not done anything in AAA, because he hasn't reached that level. Hes got a career stealing % of 70, with a career high of 28 in the minors, where teams/coaches/players are a lot more aggressive in stealing bases, and you think he'll get 20-25 a year in the bigs? That's definitely a stretch.


Offline Tyler Durden

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #14: August 26, 2011, 03:39:16 PM »
JJ Reddick might not be able to steal bases, but he can damn sure hit a jump shot.

Offline Slateman

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #15: August 26, 2011, 04:06:50 PM »
JJ Reddick might not be able to steal bases, but he can damn sure hit a jump shot.
Damn you ... I meant Josh ...

He's clearly got speed. He could play centerfield. Yet, his minor league career totals are less than impressive. 33 out of 57 attempts.

Komatsu has not done anything in AAA, because he hasn't reached that level. Hes got a career stealing % of 70, with a career high of 28 in the minors, where teams/coaches/players are a lot more aggressive in stealing bases, and you think he'll get 20-25 a year in the bigs? That's definitely a stretch.



Ian Desmond had a 72% rate in his minor league career. He's got 20 so far this year. Just saying.

Offline welch

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #16: August 27, 2011, 10:50:42 PM »
I saw Komatsu last Saturday, and think he is not much of a CF. He could not cover center in Harrisburg, which is your standard -- smallish -- minor-league OF. Watched him play a fly ball into a triple, a drive that Bixler would have run down and that Ankiel would have already been positioned under. Ball bounced about six feet beyond Komatsu as he ran full-tilt...ran hard enough that he caught up with the ball on the first or second bounce. CF fence is marked about 405 feet, and he was not near the warning track, but he could not hold the runner to a double. Not a fearsome thrower.

He was the smoothest hitter on the team, but the good hitters got promoted to Syracuse about a month ago, so that doesn't say much.

Maybe Komatsu makes it to Syracuse, but Bixler and Bernadina are much better extra OFs.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #17: May 01, 2012, 03:02:52 PM »
Selected in rule 5.  Broke camp with the Cards due to outfield injuries.  DFA'd.  could be returned.

Offline JMUalumni

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #18: May 01, 2012, 03:06:17 PM »
Will have to clear waivers first, I could see a few teams that are in need of OF help putting a claim in on him.  Would love to have him back though.  I was pretty surprised the Nats left him and Meyers unprotected, given that they had the space on the 40 man.

Offline CNU2007

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #19: May 01, 2012, 03:30:11 PM »
I would assume he will clear as I don't think Rule V guys get claimed very often and he clearly isn't ready to be a major leaguer but you never know.

Offline JMUalumni

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #20: May 01, 2012, 03:47:29 PM »
I would assume he will clear as I don't think Rule V guys get claimed very often and he clearly isn't ready to be a major leaguer but you never know.

I'm thinking some team may claim him as a short term option, but I still think he ends the season back in the Nats organization.  Unless of course a trade is worked out.  It wouldn't make too much sense for them to trade him though, considering the lack of options at CF, but then again they left him unprotected in the first place.  So, who knows?

Offline Tyler Durden

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #21: May 01, 2012, 03:53:40 PM »
Do the Nats still like Brian Broderick and is he still in the Cards organization?

edit - the ansewr to this question is yes.  But he's not pitching very well for them.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=broder001bri

Offline CNU2007

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #22: May 01, 2012, 03:56:06 PM »
I don't think teams view Rule V guys as short term options as most of them should ideally be in AA. It is certainly possible that the Nats aren't enthralled with him and allow the Cards to keep him for a player to be named or cash. I would assume that if he was worth Jerry Hairston a few months ago, he would be worth having now.

Offline Lintyfresh85

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #23: May 01, 2012, 04:06:51 PM »
I don't think teams view Rule V guys as short term options as most of them should ideally be in AA. It is certainly possible that the Nats aren't enthralled with him and allow the Cards to keep him for a player to be named or cash. I would assume that if he was worth Jerry Hairston a few months ago, he would be worth having now.

They should have protected him on the 40 man to begin with.

I'm not sure why they let a few weeks of play dictate their decision making when the rest of his career up to that point had been solid.

Offline JMUalumni

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Erik Komatsu
« Reply #24: May 01, 2012, 04:07:38 PM »
I don't think teams view Rule V guys as short term options as most of them should ideally be in AA.

St Louis did.  Teams are going to view Rule V guys as the 25th guy on the roster, someone who is only going to get a few at-bats a week and be a defensive replacement.  Komatsu can play all three positions in the outfield, has good speed, and will be cheaper than veteran options.  I'm not saying he is definitely going to be claimed, just that there are a handful of teams that would most definitely be willing to carry him as a short term option.  With that said, my hope is he ends up back with this organization.