FanPost

Gerrit Cole, Tony Cingrani, and the importance of "deception"

Tony Cingrani, Baseball America's #82 prospect coming into this season, is set to make his season debut tomorrow (Thursday). Cingrani put up "video game" stats throughout the Minors. Through 211 MiLB innings, Cingrani has a 1.62 ERA with an 11.8 K/9 and a 2.6 BB/9. Cingrani was a third round selection out of Rice University in 2011. He is a 6'4" lefty who throws a low-mid 90s fastball and has, according to most scouts, some pretty pedestrian secondary offerings.

In spite of Cingrani's lack of elite "stuff", he struck out 26 batters in 14.1 innings at AAA this season. According to a newspaper article I read (sorry, I can't fine the precise source, so I will have to paraphrase), Cingrani was quoted as saying that he kept throwing fastballs, and hitters kept missing them. Apparently Cingrani does a phenomenal job of hiding the baseball in his delivery, and hitters simply cannot pick up the baseball in time.

Cingrani is, in many ways, the complete opposite type of prospect as Gerrit Cole. Cole has some of the best stuff in the Minors, and everyone knew it coming out of college. In spite of Cole's MiLB numbers not being nearly as impressive as Cingrani's heading into this season, Cole was ranked in the top 10 in all of the prospect lists I saw, including being ranked as the #1 pitching prospect by Baseball Prospectus. Cole's Achilles' heel is that he gets hit too hard ... that he shows the ball too early, and hitters can see the ball relatively easy off of him.

Cole's lack of "deception", as I would like to call it, was merely a footnote in his scouting report when he was drafted by the Pirates. Conversely, most scouts seem to believe that although Cingrani has completely fooled MiLB hitters, he will not have the same success against Major League hitters. Most scouts see Cingrani as a decent mid-rotation option.

With Cingrani due to debut tomorrow, I'd like to get the pulse of Bucs Dugout regarding Tony Cingrani, and specifically, comparing him to Gerrit Cole. Would anyone take Cingrani over Cole at this time? Do we think Cingrani's Houdini act won't fool hitters in the Majors? What about the importance of "deception" in general when it comes to scouting players?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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