Selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 12th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Georgia Tech, right-handed pitching prospect Brandon Gold wrapped up his first full pro season in 2017 by appearing in 12 games (all starts) for High-A Lancaster, throwing 75.2 innings and finishing 4-3 with a 4.40 ERA and 50:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Across all of 2017, spent at Low-A Asheville and then Lancaster, Gold started 25 games and threw 146.1 innings, finishing 8-8 with a 4.37 ERA and 191 hits and 21 walks allowed against 112 strikeouts.
A control artist with a fastball that, in my looks, didn’t register 90 mph even a single time, Brandon Gold relies on plus command, guile, and changing speeds for success. Extremely hittable, that success may come less frequently as the righty transitions to the upper minors, but an extreme ground ball profile with a deep arsenal could yet find him some kind of value one day with the Colorado Rockies. Below, we’ve got a full end-of-season Brandon Gold scouting report, including game video, tool grades, projection notes, and more on the right-handed pitcher.
Brandon Gold, Colorado Rockies — 2017 Scouting Report
Dates observed in 2017: September 8; September 13
Brandon Gold Scouting Report — Colorado Rockies — 2017 Game Video
Brandon Gold Scouting Report — Notes & Analysis
It’s tempting to compare Brandon Gold to Thomas Eshelman, but the Phillies pitching prospect has a few more things going for him — namely a deeper arsenal, better command, and slightly more velocity — than does this Colorado Rockies prospect who just wrapped 2017 with High-A Lancaster. Gold’s command profile is enticing, and his control legitimately rates double-plus, but he seriously lacks even average velocity and that’s going to hurt him against better hitters when he’s unable to miss bats and too often finds barrels in his quest for ground balls. Now, it should be noted that he has so far proven extremely good at getting ground balls; perhaps there’s a chance that will continue. I’m skeptical about that, though, because he isn’t doing it with a projectable power sinker but rather an 85 mph two-seamer, and that just isn’t sustainable against the game’s best hitters. His will be an interesting career to track, because he just survived what’s typically a brutal environment for pitchers in Lancaster; in a way not unlike Rockies pitching prospect Craig Schlitter before him, Gold didn’t let below-average stuff impact how he took on The Hangar in 2017.
Brandon Gold Scouting Report — Future Projection
Just like Colorado Rockies left-handed pitching prospect Jack Wynkoop a year ago with High-A Modesto, Brandon Gold has probably pitched his way out of High-A and earned a shot to start in Double-A in 2018. I don’t personally believe he’ll have much success beyond that level, but we’ll see. Gold is going to have to re-prove himself at every stop he reaches simply because he lacks projectable stuff that on its own can remain in the conversation for a future rotation role. Long term, I think he ultimately proves far too hittable and slides into a long relief role, or remains a starter in the upper minors and serves out as organizational depth with maybe a rare shot to be an emergency call-up arm dependent on outside factors.
Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Low-leverage long relief ceiling with possible spot starts; more likely organizational depth with emergency call-up potential (37.5)
MLB ETA: 2019