The Farm Boy Files: John Gaub

Because I enjoy being “up” on the Cubs’ farm system, and because every time I write about a prospect the blog seems to get a ton of hits, I’ve decided to start profiling individual players.

To kick it off, we are going to take a look at left-handed pitcher John Gaub. Let’s giddy-up!

Basic Info – Born 4/28/85, 6’2”/200 lb., College- Minnesota. Selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 21st round of the 2006 draft, acquired by the Cubs on December 31, 2008 in the Mark DeRosa trade.

Statistical Stuff – Solid in 2009, John split the year between AA Tennessee and AAA Iowa. He went a combined 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 60.0 IP… 33 BB/80 K, .172 OpAVG, 1.15 WHIP. He struggled in Arizona Fall League, going 1-1 in 9.2 IP with 9.31 ERA.

Repertoire Includes – Fastball in the low 90’s, above average slider.

Socks – CHECK!

In case you were wondering – John is a hockey fan (favorite team, Minnesota Wild), he is annoyed by ketchup packets, his favorite boardgame is Candyland, he never leaves home without chapstick, he wanted a new arm for Christmas, he enjoys the lakes of Minnesota, and he can bend his fingers all the way back so they touch the back of his hand.

Minorleagueball.com says[John Gaub is a] guy who could help in the bullpen in 2010. Command is an issue but great K/IP ratios and low hittability stand out.

Marc Hulet of fangraphs.com says – The southpaw began the year in double-A where he allowed 19 hits in 28.2 innings of work with a walk rate of 5.34 BB/9 but a strikeout rate of 12.56 K/9. Gaub, 24, has now allowed one hit in 5.2 triple-A innings, with three walks and four Ks. In his career, left-handers are hitting just .158 against him, so he could have a career as a LOOGY* if he cannot sharpen his command and control. (July 2009)

*Left handed specialist

Marc Hulet also says – The organization may have regretted trading veteran infielder Mark DeRosa to the Indians, but it wasn’t all bad. The club received back three interesting arms in the deal. Gaub is the closest to having a key impact at the MLB level. The left-handed reliever had a dominating season in the minors, even with below-average control (5.34 BB/9 in double-A). At that level, he also allowed just 19 hits in 28.2 innings of work, while also posting a strikeout rate of 12.56 K/9. Moved up to triple-A, Gaub allowed 17 hits in 31.1 innings with a strikeout rate of 11.49 K/9. His control improved a smidgen to 4.60 BB/9. His stuff – especially his fastball velocity – has improved each of the past three seasons. Impressively, he’s equally as effective against left-handed and right-handed hitters (.167 average/12.57 K/9 vs lefties and .175/11.45 vs righties). (December 2009)

I sayThat what you say is what I say.

But seriously – Other than his shaky AFL showing, I don’t see any reason why John Gaub shouldn’t be able to make it to the bigs at some point in 2010. I would not expect him to make it right out of spring training, but we’ll have to wait and see I suppose. With injuries and such, one never knows. Oh my goodness… that rhymed.

Because that accidental rhyming just inspired me

John Gaub

ain’t no slob.

For his job

a ball he lobs.

And if you’re interested in a YouTube video of John throwing, here is one.

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