In the case of Jesus Montero, I think we are now getting enough data to see what others may have missed.
...The four year trend line is headed straight down in OBP, SLG, wOBA and wRC+. As the competition he’s faced has improved, the concerns about plate discipline and pitchers exploiting his aggressiveness have come to pass. Since peaking in High-A in 2009 his results have gone down annually when you look at his advanced numbers. This is not one bad season, its a manifestation of an underlying trend that’s becoming more evident as the sample gets larger. If anything, Jesus has been lucky with the bat this year. His .346 BABIP is higher than it was in AA or last year in AAA, though it has to be noted that 09 was a split season between two levels and it’s very tough to come up with a reliable xBABIP for a player in the minor leagues.
Another disturbing trend is his exploding strikeout rate. He appeared to be improving in that area in his initial promotion to AA, but his K% has almost DOUBLED in the past two seasons. That’s not an accident, pitchers have found holes in his swing and have exploited them mercilessly. These are minor league pitchers with minor league stuff and minor league scouting reports. There’s no publicly available Pitch Type Value numbers, spray charts, Inside Edge hot/cold zones. We can only imagine what big league pitchers with their experience, ability and the resources available to them would do to Mr Montero. A 22.3 K% would be even higher at the big league level, and looking at the MLB leaders guys like that who don’t field their position well typically provide very little value to their team.
Thanks to Coot Zeal.
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