On November 9th, James Chipman launched the 2012 Seedlings to Stars Florida State League All-Star Team with an intro post. He went on to reveal 8 members of the team before leaving our site to focus his writing efforts on out Detroit Tigers site, Motor City Bengals. Nathaniel and I decided that we needed to reveal the rest of the team to take the series to its planned endpoint. To tie up the loose end I will be unveiling the rest of roster and will follow a similar format to what James was doing for consistency.
Today I am pleased to announce our selection for the team’s #3 Starter.
Name: Darin Gorski
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 210 lbs
2011 FSL Team: St. Lucie Mets
2011 FSL Stats: 138.2 IP (27 G/21 GS), 2.08 ERA, 0.995 WHIP, 7.1 H/9, 1.9 BB/9, 9.1 SO/9 and 4.83 SO/BB
Darin Gorski was born in Mount Joy, PA and attended college about 60 miles away at Division II Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. The “other KU” has a enrollment of about 11,000 in a town of about 5,000 and while I’ve never heard of the place – it does boast 2011 NL All-Star Ryan Vogelsong among its alumni base. Vogelsong is one of 18 players to be drafted out of Kutztown and is the only one who has pitched in the majors to date. Gorski and Nathan Reed – taken in the 40th round of the 2010 draft by the Mariners – are the only other two Golden Bears still playing in affiliated ball.
Darin’s college resume consists of 3 seasons of work, most of which came as a part of the rotation:
2007: 41.0 IP (14 G/6 GS), 2.63 ERA, 30 H, 15 BB, 35 SO
2008: 81.1 IP (12 GS), 2.43 ERA, 63 H, 27 BB, 83 SO
2009: 78.2 IP (12 GS), 2.17 ERA, 60 H, 24 BB, 100 SO
Between his 2008 and 2009 seasons he pitched in the Atlantic Collegiate League during the summer and was ranked as the league’s #1 prospect. The New York Mets selected Gorski in the 7th round of the 2009 draft and signed him for a bonus of $118,000
After signing he was assigned to Brooklyn Cyclones of the New-York Penn League (A-) where he appeared in 13 games, 11 of them as a starter. In his first season he wound up with a 4.91 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 51 H, 26 BB and 50 SO in 62.1 IP. For a 21-year old who pitched in Division II it was a solid opening act but nothing overly exciting.
The following season he pitched for the Savannah Sand Gnats in the South Atlantic League (A) and again had a decent season. Gorski finished with a 4.50 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 125 H, 43 BB and 109 SO in 114.0 IP. He gave up more hits against better competition but he also dropped his BB rate and bumped up his SO rate at the same time. He showed progress but no one could have predicted what he would do in 2011.
Behind and Beyond the Numbers:
Pitching alongside Matt Harvey, one of the organization’s top prospects and #5 starter for the 2011 S2S FSL All-Star team, it was Gorski that stole the show.
Despite moving up a level and despite facing more advanced competition he set career marks across the board; ERA, WHIP, H/9, HR/9, BB/9, SO/9, BB/SO and IP. Outside of setting his own career bests, his 2.08 ERA was far and away the best in the league among SP. In fact it was almost three-quarters of a run better than the 2.76 ERA of fellow S2S FSL All-Star Julio Rodriguez. Gorksi’s 140 SO finished 3rd in the league behind Rodriguez (168) and Trevor May (208).
All of this led him to take home a bevy of honors including: Topps Class A All-Star, MLB.com Class A Adv. Starting Pitcher of the Year, FSL Most Valuable Pitcher, FSL Post-Season All-Star, and FSL Mid-Season All-Star. On top of all those awards, Darin Gorski was also named the New York Mets pitcher of the year.
It was quite a stunning season given the two years that preceded it but also because he’s never been regarded all that highly as a prospect. In Baseball America’s 2011 Prospect Handbook he wasn’t even listed in the team’s minor league depth chart let alone cracking their Top-30 Mets list. Not surprisingly he also didn’t get a mention in John Sickels 2011 Baseball Prospect Book and had the look of just another organizational arm.
Obviously given that his 2011 FSL performance was nothing short of a rousing success, he’s started to pop up in Mets prospect rankings (Mets Merized Online ranked him 13th this offseason and Sickels ranked him 15th) but he’s still on the outside looking in on a lot of Mets Top-10 and Top-15 lists. Outside of that, Darin Gorski is the only one of the 5 starting pitchers named to our FSL All-Star team that didn’t crack our Top-100 prospect list. For whatever it’s worth, he’s also the only lefty of our FSL 5-man rotation.
As you can imagine the reason behind his lack of standing as a prospect comes down to his scouting profile. I could give you a breakdown of his stuff, but why relay something secondhand when we can go to the source? Thanks to an interview with Mets Merized Online and a very astute question on their part we have a breakdown of Darin Gorski’s stuff by Darin Gorski himself:
I throw a 4-seam fastball, which is usually in the 89-91 mph range maybe a tick or two higher at times. I also throw a slider and a change-up, both of which come in somewhere around the low 80’s. Both the fastball and the change-up have arm side run and a little sink to them. The slider naturally has glove side break. Personally I try to read the hitter, I believe his body language or how he takes a pitch says a lot about how you should pitch him. I like to get in on hitters at times because that will give me the opportunity to pitch more comfortably away without him leaning over the plate. I started working on a 2-seam fastball late last year and I have been throwing it since so we will have to see how it is looking come spring training.
The interview as a whole is truly excellent and I strongly encourage you all to take a moment to head over there and check it out. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Seriously, the link is just above the quote so go read it already.
Are you back? Alright good lets move on.
It was a fine season but he still has a lot to prove as evidenced by his ranking (or lack thereof) on Mets prospect lists. Most places you’re going to find him in the teens at best and often times he will be left off completely even though the Mets system is still relatively thin, though improving.
Of course, as is the case with all prospects, we’re going to get to watch the rest of his career play out. In 2012 Binghamton and the Eastern League (AA) will be his proving ground. The quality of hitters is going to be ratcheted up and it will be interesting to see how his aggressiveness translates to that stiffer competition.
His stuff still has to give us pause as it’s far from overwhelming but his changeup and control – both rated as the best in the Mets system by Baseball America this offseason – as well as his mentality on the mound lead me to believe that he will be able to hold his own in Double-A. He’s got a good frame, figures to be durable and has a good idea of what he’s doing on the mound. Those are all additional feathers in his cap and let’s not forget that he was blessed with the ability to throw a baseball left-handed.
The complete package leads me to believe that he’s got a decent chance to wind up as a back of the rotation starter at the major league level. If he doesn’t reach that projection, he should, at the very least, be able to carve out a solid career as a Triple-A starter who gets a look or spot start in the majors every now and then. Of course that is all based on my assumption that he will get through Double-A.
If nothing else he should feel comfortable in his surroundings as Binghamton, NY is just 3 hours away from where he was born and a little home cooking never hurt anyone.
To review the rest of our 2011 Florida State League All-Star Team, click here.
For more on the Mets, check out Rising Apple