School: University of California - Irvine
Selected 2009 stats
Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)
Dustin Mattison (25): The 22-year-old went through a rollercoaster 2009 but remember that it was only his first full professional season. Gorgen started the year at Palm Beach and performed admirably, posting a 2.92 ERA while striking out 73 in 74 innings. He was promoted to Texas League and the hitter-friendly circuit was not kind to the former fourth-round pick.
Gorgen can partly blame himself for his struggles; he walked 36 in 55 1/3 innings. His command issues continued in the Arizona Fall League where he issued nine free passes in 11 1/3 innings of work.
With a fastball that sits in the high 80's, Gorgen must depend on his control and command to keep him in games. When these fail him, he is inevitably going to struggle. His changeup is a plus pitch but he needs command it to make it most effective. But like was mentioned earlier, this was just his first full season as a professional. Durability is a question with the right-hander as well, he is just 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds and he has already had a shoulder surgery. But if is able to command his pitches, he could become a valuable starter at the back end of the Cardinals' rotation.
Message board community (45): Gorgen is making his second consecutive appearance on The Cardinal Nation/Birdhouse top 40 list though his ranking has fallen from #26 last year to #36 this year. Gorgen's fall in the rankings is precipitated by his stats which have deteriorated at every level. In his defense, he has risen quickly through the ranks including the advanced steps of reaching Double-A and the Arizona Fall League in his first full season. In addition to his inexperience, he was also considered young age-wise for both of those leagues.
While Gorgen's K rates have remained strong at nearly one per inning, his walk rates and home run rates have skyrocketed. Despite his struggles in advanced leagues, Gorgen still gets good reviews from Scouts and those who have seem him pitch. That is due mainly to an outstanding change up that is way above average and expected to be good enough to be a major league out pitch. Currently a starter, many also believe that Gorgen's statistical profile and effectiveness would improve with a move to the bullpen, where most think his eventual future lies.
Gorgen will most likely return to Double-A Springfield to start the 2010 season. If he shows improvement he could get an early call to Triple-A as either a starter or a reliever. - CariocaCardinal
Brian Walton (42): Making Double-A and pitching in the AFL during his first full professional season should be considered a major accomplishment, even more so given that Gorgen had a spring health scare.
Shoulder pain that was initially suspected to have been a labrum tear was instead discovered to be a nerve problem. With the surgery and recovery not nearly as lengthy as the tear would have caused, Gorgen was anxious to pitch as soon as possible after the late-January procedure. The delay ended up costing him only a month of the regular season but it took him much longer to get his mechanics back in order.
The nerve issue is not expected to be a lingering problem, but the 22-year-old had a long and eventful first full season out. As such, I will give Gorgen a mulligan for his overall disappointing showing in Arizona this fall, recognizing he was specifically working on command on his two- and four-seam changeups and experiencing the role of a reliever for the first time in his career. I look for Gorgen to start fresh and strong with Springfield in 2010.
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