Stephen Piscotty, momentum athlete:
This past offseason, shortly after he asserted the kind of prospect he is in the Arizona Fall League, Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty went to a training facility near Stanford University to jump six times and find out the kind of athlete he is. The goal was to calculate how to become the athlete he wants to be.The Force Plate tells Piscotty that he is a "momentum athlete," who needs to work on building his drive to increase not only his speed but his strength.
Piscotty enrolled in a program at Sparta Performance Science, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based, trainer, that helped him improve by first identifying his category of athleticism. Piscotty stood on what Sparta calls its “Force Plate” and leaped six times.
Each jump was measured and quantified and “run through these algorithms that I don’t know how they work,” said Piscotty, who, it should be noted, majored in engineering at Stanford.
I can't speak to Sparta's taxonomy, but scouts would probably nod at their conclusion; Piscotty's career ISO is .163, which puts him about where Kolten Wong was last year.
I like a lot about Piscotty—the quick work he's made of three leagues in two years in particular—but I think a comment from Big in Japan on Thursday's Zack Cox/Brett Wallace eulogy says something about my fondness for Piscotty, too:
I've noticed (in myself and others) a weird, irrational tendency to feel more confident in our B hitting prospects than our A ones, and in the health and performance future of our top pitching prospects over our top hitting prospects. I almost expect Oscar Taveras to flame out and end up exiled for the next gen of Matt Holiday or Adam Wainwright (Or jeebus forbid, the Edwin Jackson puu-puu platter), whereas I fully anticipate Stephen Piscotty will hit like Matt Carpenter and Alex Reyes will wind up the next Shelby Miller, against all reasoned analysis and probabilistic tendencies.This almost certainly is irrational, rather than the rapid and unexplainably brilliant work of our pattern-matching subconscious, but I can't help feeling it, too. If Piscotty were more athletic, and hit the ball harder, I'd probably be more nervous about him. Put Oscar Taveras on the force plate and tell me he's really a fifth-rounder scouts keep forgetting about.