Monday, December 26, 2016




Prospect: Joe Gatto Rank: 23

2015/16: 5                         Position(s): Right Handed Pitcher

Level: A Ball                    Age: Entering Age 22 season in 2017.

Height: 6’3”                       Weight: 220 lb.

Present - Future
Fastball         55 60
Curve 55 60
Change 40 50
Mechanics 60 60
Command    45 60
Control         45 50
Overall         45 55

Floor: Swing Starter or bullpen depth. Ceiling: A mid-rotation, workhorse starter.

Likely Outcome: A back-end starter that can go 180+ innings. 

Summary: Gatto's career hasn't taken off the way many thought it would after being taken in the second round of the draft.  Generally speaking, prep pitchers taken in the second round have quite a bit of upside and can climb the ladder rather quickly.  Gatto sort of bucks that trend.  While he has some upside, it isn't the front of the rotation type attached to prep arms from his draft position.  But his floor is also higher than that of most pitchers taken in that position, because it looked like from the get-go that Gatto is all starter.  He has the right frame, mechanics and arsenal to log a lot of major league innings.  His upside is that of a John Lackey type of starter, which Angels fans are familiar with.  Joe comes straight downhill with his pitches, all of which have sink or a straight downward break, which makes Gatto a ground-ball inducing machine.  His fastball sits 92-93, his curveball in the low 80's with a 12-6 break and his change up at times can look like a bugs-bunny type of pause.  For the most part, his change up still isn't a consistent weapon yet, and he's missing low a lot with his fastball and curve (could be worse).   

The results this past season in A Ball weren't quite what I or anyone else was expecting.  Gatto was shelled in a pitching friendly environment to the tune of an ERA over 7.00 and only 15 starts.  The Angels mercifully shut him down for the remainder of the year to rest his arm and try to figure out exactly what was happening.  But the thing that Gatto has in his favor is time.  He's only 21 years old, and repeating A Ball wouldn't be the worst thing for a pitcher like himself.  Once Gatto is settled in and figures out how to get hitters out, he should have a steady climb to the majors.  At that's something we can say with a degree of relative certainty, is that Joe Gatto looks like a future major leaguer.  He has all the tools, now he just needs to put it all together.      

What to expect next season: We should see Gatto get another shot as a starting pitcher in the Midwest League this year.  He'll likely spend the entire season there, which isn't a bad thing by any means.  What Gatto needs right now are quality innings, and if he can rack those up in A Ball and get his season innings up into the 150 range, the foundation will be set and we could see Gatto experience considerable future success.  It may not be a make or break season for Joe, but I do think this will likely be his final opportunity to show he can succeed as a starting pitcher before the Angels try tinkering with him in the bullpen. 

Estimated Time of Arrival: Middle of 2020, Gatto's age 25 season. 

Grade as a prospect: C+ 

Check out our interview with Joe Gatto that was conducted over the summer of the 2015 season.

Joe Gatto 07-30-2015 from AngelsWin.com on Vimeo.


Grades are given from the 20-80 scouting scale.  20-being non-existent ability, 80-being the best I’ve ever seen.  MLB average is 50.
Love to hear what you think!

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