OK, I see all 3 of these will likely be on the ballot at #29, and each contain some intriguing storylines - oddly similar ages (McGee almost exactly 1 yr younger than Hurley and Davis), oddly similar stats, yet at different levels. They also threw similar enough innings for the past 1.5 years that their comparisons might be truly meaningful.
My time zone is so far behind the rest of you that I often don't get a word in until people have moved on. But this early AM, I saw a post in debate #28 regarding Davis's better rate stats, and thought I'd try to stimulate discussion before the flurry for Poll #29. My final claim is that...well, read thru and see, FWIW.
Hurley - 6'4", 21 YO (Sept B-Day), RHP. + FB (93-96), +SL, - CU. BA comment: throws harder in latter innings. Johns comment: A- grade, can be a staff ace if he improves CU. AA at start of 2007, moved up to AAA for last 2 starts.
Davis - 6'5", 21 YO (Sept B-Day), RHP. + FB (up to 95/97), "solid" CB, SL, CU. Command and control are issues. BA comment: FB tends to flatten out, needs to work on command, has potential for 3+ pitches. John's comment: B+, but command issue keep him out of top echelon of young pitchers. A+ at start of 2007, moved up to AA for last 3 starts.
McGee - 6'3", 20 YO, (Aug B-Day), LHP. +FB (90-94), avg CB and CU. BA comment: has potential for 3 + pitches. John's comment: improved control will make him an elite prospect. FSL for all of 2007.
My overall comments:
Guys, this is an intriguing trio to rank/discuss!
In the #28 vote, Hurley leads Davis, with McGee trailing. There are plugs for Davis based on HRA and GB rates. Mcgee is a lefty. Hurley is awful young, yet is coping really well in a much better series of hitters leagues. Davis has great GB and HRA rates. Hmmm.....
In 2006, Hurley/McGee/Davis tossed 134/137/146 innings. Mcgee and Davis both had incredibly similar K/BB numbers (171/65, 165/64); Hurley had fewer K's, but also fewer walks (137/43). One thing I learned from Arties' posts last year was to look for dominance (Thanks Artie), but to back it up with scouting. Clay Buccholz, for example had great dominance numbers, and rave scouting reviews; Will Inman, great dominance, but scouting reports were tepid. Thanks to Artie, I skipped Inman in my draft, targeted Buccholz, and am smiling like the Cheshire cat.
Anyway, my notes from last year were McGee had a dominance of 1.02, coming at age 19 in A ball; Davis was also in A ball, but at age 20, and had a lower dominance of 0.88; Hurley was also 20 and had a dominance of 0.88, but was a level higher at A+ (mostly), in the pitcher's graveyard of the Cal league. Scouting reports on all 3 were that each had high ceilings, but all 3 had some rough edges. Based on scouting, age vs level, and stats, it seems clear that McGee or Hurley were awful similar, and Davis was a tick behind.
Now, flash forward to 2007. Davis has moved up a level, kept the ball on the ground, and had held hitters to a sub -.200 BA. His HRA is outstanding (5 in 78IP), and his GB?FO is something like 1.3. His dominance has moved up from 0.88 (in 2006) to 1.05 (or so), Most recently, he has repeated these stats in his first 3 starts at AA. Has he solved his command issues that both John and BA felt kept him from elite status? Perhaps. Has he moved ahead of Hurley and Mcgee? I don't think so.
McGee, not yet 20, has moved up to A+. He has the same dominance stats as in 2006, at a level higher, and his BB rate has fallen. He's a year younger than Davis, with almost identical stats, but is now also a full level behind Davis (though only for 3 starts). It's awfully close between these guys.
Hurley now has the most pedestrian numbers of the 3. He started in AA at the tender age of 21, and excelled immediately, but not anything off teh charts. Dominance score is about like 2006, as is walk rate. So he has basically handled the promotion in stride. Now at AAA, one of his two starts has been poor, another brilliant. Although his raw stats are not as good as Mcgee/Davis's, he is pitching in much better hitting leagues (Texas and PCL), and at a more impressive age relative to league. I don't think he has overataken Mcgee; I don't think he has slipped behind Davis. Though his raw stats are not as impressive, he seems to be handling some really tough assigments ith aplomb. Could Hurley dominate if he were pitching 2 levels lower, in the FSL like McGee? I think so, but Mcgee's ceiling is probably a touch higher. Could Hurley match Davis's numbers if he were pitching in FSL/SOU instead of TEX/PCL this year? I think so, because he seems a little more refined still.
So all in all, I would rate them:
Mcgee (age, performance, scouting atone for low level)
Hurley (age, scouting, high level atone for middling stats)
Davis (performance and GB% not enough to atone for middling ARL).
Thoughts? Do you buy the idea that McGee is fulfilling his promise as a flamethrowing lefty with the potential for 3 plus pitches and a top-10 rating (John's words, not mine)? Do you buy that Hurley is passing a Nitschke-esque sentence of the CAL, TEX, and PCL leagues at a young enoigh age that we can forgive lower dominance score ins 2007? Or has Davis found the elixer and moved past him?
I don't find too many compelling 3-way comparisons of 2nd-tier guys who all have such high ceilings, so am especially intrigued at what everyone can add to this debate.