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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Byron Buxton promoted to Double-A

Last night, the Twins promoted Buxton to Double-A New Britain. It has to be more off of feel for his development than performance, as a recent slump has saw his numbers dip to .240/.313/.405 in 134 plate appearances for the Fort Myers Miracle. A slower start might be expected for any player whose season was as start-stop-start-stop-start as Buxton’s has been, but it doesn’t sound like that’s a concern for the Twins’ brass.

Our favorite quote regarding Buxton is Terry Ryan saying that he’ll set his own timetable. In this instance, the club appears to be helping to set it for him. There are 22 games remaining on New Britain’s schedule, and as Mike Berardino notes, a good performance could merit a September callup.

And that’s pretty exciting, all things considered. How excited would you be to have an opportunity to watch Buxton play Major League games in September?

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:29 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: byron buxton, prospects, twins

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   1. JRVJ Posted: August 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4769349)
He is still ridiculously young, so let's see what he does in AA.
   2. bfan Posted: August 12, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4769376)
How excited would you be to have an opportunity to watch Buxton play Major League games in September?


It depends. A .240/.313/.405 line in the minors is not very exciting, but all of the tools guys say he is much, much better than that. So, if he is much, much better than that, then it would be exciting to see him. But another fast as heck, muscular guy who cannot hit? Not so exciting.
   3. spycake Posted: August 12, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4769392)
To be fair, Buxton slashed .326/.415/.472 in almost twice as many PAs at the same level last year (high-A). His relative struggles there this year have been mostly sandwiched around injuries (in fact, he likely would have opened the season in AA had he not been injured in spring training, the high-A assignment was almost an extended spring/rehab thing).

Overall line in high-A: .295/.380/.448, 8 HR and 29 SB in 87 games
   4. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4769426)
Yes I know Buxton was hurt most of the year, but just for giggles the following is a list of 20 year olds who have out hit him (by OPS) in the FSL this year:

Jorge Polanco, who was actually up for a week a month ago... I'm actually puzzled by his absence from prospect lists (not including Twins only lists), played very well in the Appy league at 18 and played very well in the MidWest league last year at 19.

Dilson Herrera: I'm also puzzled by his absence from prospect lists (not including Mets only lists), played decently in the Sallie league at 19 last year, and played well in the Gulf Cost league the year before that- has absolutely raked in the EL this year after being promoted from the FSL- looks for all the world to be player having a break out

Tyrone Taylor: Pretty decent last year in the Midwest League, hasn't quite done as much prior to this year as Polanco or Herrara

Harold Castro: meh, actually played poorly in 20 games in the Midwest league this year, so despite his slight FSL OPS advantage over Buxton on the whole hasn't actually played as well this year, didn't do much prior to this year either, value is 90% singles, 10% BBs, no power, no walks...

Honorable mention:
JP Crawford, beat Buxton in OPS but isn't 20 (he's 19), #78 by BA prior to this year, looks like he has a good batting eye and some pop
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4769487)
Also Billy McKinney is a 19 year old carrying an OPS of .873 in 132 PAs of FSL play. He did spend most of this year in the Cal League with a bit less success.
   6. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4769530)
He is still ridiculously young, so let's see what he does in AA.


Overall line in high-A: .295/.380/.448/.928, 8 HR and 29 SB in 87 games


Joey Gallo us the same age, 20, and his overall line in high A this year was

323/.463/.735/1.199, 21 HR and 5 SB in 58 games (64 strikeouts in 189 ABs)

With his promotion to AA he has hit

.255 /.347/.568/.915, 17 HR in 52 games (89 strikeouts in 192 ABs).

Byron has been anointed the #1 prospect so our bias is to think he just had a temporary "slump", and it's not evidence of a lack of ability or of skills. Gallo wasn't even a first round pick, analysts/scouts have always been skeptical of him due to his high K rate. His K rate has jumped back up to dizzying heights. The analysts question whether he will bust.

Let's review. This year Joey's "slump" has him hitting much better in AA as Buxton is hitting at a level lower, even Buxtons full A+ line including last season is barely better than Joey's AA line. Yet Buxton's slump is rejected as useful data and treated as an outlier/errata, because it does not match our high expectations for him, despite it being the latest data on his actual abilities. But Joey's AA performance is accepted as confirmation of our existing hypothesis that he's at great risk of failure, despite his full year hitting

.289/.409/.651/1.060, 38 HRs in 110 games (153 strikeouts in 381 ABs) across A+/AA

Both cases demonstrate the inertia of analysis sticking to original evaluations and evaluation frameworks despite contrary evidence.

In Joey's case, he's been a super productive hitter despite a ridiculous K rate. High K rates have always been bad indicators for young hitters, but we are in the highest K rate era of all time, so traditional K rates aren't very useful indicators anymore. Yet we persist to view hitters through that lens without adjusting it.

Joey also has a ridiculous HR rate (9.98 ABs per HR), but we are no longer in the record HR era. If this was 2001 his HR rate would almost be reasonable, but in 2014 it isn't, are we blinded to how much bigger an outlier his HR rate is than his K rate because we are slow to factor in changes in eras?

None of this is to claim that Joey Gallo is as good a prospect that Buxton is, just that one may be overrated while the other is underrated. Buxton is fast, and offers all sorts of defensive value Gallo never will. But it's not just a near a half season of a .700 OPS that's troubling for a #1 pick, it's that he only really hit at age 19, last year, and even then only in A was he a dominant hitter.

At same age Jeter (5th pick) was in A+/.808, AA/.968, and finished in AAA/.931. A-Rod was in the majors at 19, as was Griffey. The great players don't seem to have these kind of struggles in the minors.

Maybe that sets the bar too high. Looking at more recent comps, BJ Upton was in AAA/Majors at 19, and repeated AAA at age 20, after his MLB stint fizzled. Justin Upton was also promoted at age 19, though had a cup of coffee in AAA at age 20 before becoming MLB starter. Jason Hayward put up a minor league .900+ OPS before becoming MLB starter at age 20. Elvis Andrus was in AA at age 19, then a starting MLB shortstop at age 20. Juricksen Profar was a SS in AA at age 19, age 20 was 37 games in AAA and then the Majors.

If you expect Buxton to be a superstar (which is what the #1 prospect in baseball should be), you don't expect him to be still in A ball at age 20, even A+, and certainly not scuffling there. You expect him to be scuffling in AAA or the Majors.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4769602)
Both cases demonstrate the inertia of analysis sticking to original evaluations and evaluation frameworks despite contrary evidence.


It sounds like you've got an argument in search of evidence here.

Joey Gallo has rocketed up the prospect rankings and into the consciousness of baseball fans. At mlb.com he was the pre-season #92, and now he's #8. When he dropped his K rate in the beginning of the year it was widely remarked upon.

Buxton's status has likewise fallen somewhat. Coming into the year he was a consensus #1 and looked like he could go do one of those meteoric Andruw Jones or Bryce Harper rises, but it didn't happen. Sickels has dropped him to #3. Fangraphs has dropped him to #2. Also, Buxton suffered a wrist injury which everyone says can dampen hitting statistics for months -- and several of his colleagues in the top 10 also had bad injuries (Correa, Russell, Sano, Walker) which made it less likely for one of them to steal the top spot.

I see zero basis for your claim that people are just lazily clinging to old evaluations. (And I actually agree with you that this happens a lot.)
   8. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4769622)
Joey Gallo us the same age, 20, and his overall line in high A this year was

323/.463/.735/1.199, 21 HR and 5 SB in 58 games (64 strikeouts in 189 ABs)


come on 2-3 guys hit like that in high A every year :-)

Seriously, for the Carolina league (for any full season league not named the California League or the Pacific Coast league), those numbers are just silly
250 points ahead of #2
180 point ahead of last year's #1
170 points ahead of 2012's #1
220 points ahead of 2011's #1
160 points ahead of 2010's #1

you get the point.

I mean he's had a dropoff in the Texas League (2nd in OPS so far- by 1 effing point)

In a year without Kris Bryant I'd say that Gallo had a shot at BA's player of the Year...
   9. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4769667)
His K rate has jumped back up to dizzying heights. The analysts question whether he will bust.

As well they should. He's strikes out far too much and with no secondary skills to fall back on, yeah, bust is in play. Your argument that everyone strikes out now so it's cool is...not a winner.

You are probably right though that people are seeing what they want to see when it comes to Buxton.
   10. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4769668)
If you expect Buxton to be a superstar (which is what the #1 prospect in baseball should be), you don't expect him to be still in A ball at age 20, even A+, and certainly not scuffling there. You expect him to be scuffling in AAA or the Majors.


BA's historical # 1s:

1. Brien Taylor, lhp, Yankees (oops)
1. Alex Rodriguez, ss, Mariners (MLB superstar at 20, evidently roided to the gills. also possibly a human/horse hybrid)
1. Andruw Jones, of, Braves (hit .231/.329/.416 in MLB)
1. Ben Grieve, of, Athletics (hit .302/.388/.476 in A/AA)
1. Bryce Harper, of, Nationals (hit .274/.368/.486 in MLB)
1. Byron Buxton, of, Twins
1. Chipper Jones, ss, Braves (hit .311/.360/.504 in A/AA)
1. Cliff Floyd, 1b, Expos (.307/.396/.535 in AA/AAA)
1. Daisuke Matsuzaka, rhp, Red Sox (Japan)
1. Delmon Young, of, Devil Rays ( .316/.341/.474 in AAA, .317/.336/.476 in MLB)
1. J.D. Drew, of, Cardinals (NCAA)
1. Jason Heyward, of, Braves (.277/.393/.456 in MLB)
1. Jay Bruce, of, Reds (.319/.375/.587 A/AA/AAA)
1. Joe Mauer, c, Twins (.338/.398/.434 in A/AA)
1. Josh Beckett, rhp, Marlins
1. Josh Hamilton, of, Devil Rays (.200/.250/.290 in AA/A)
1. Jurickson Profar, ss/2b, Rangers (.278/.370/.438 in AAA, .234/.308/.336 in MLB)
1. Mark Teixeira, 3b, Rangers (NCAA)
1. Matt Wieters, c, Orioles (NCAA)
1. Rick Ankiel, lhp, Cardinals
1. Steve Avery, lhp, Braves
1. Todd Van Poppel, rhp, Athletics


Buxton hit .334/.424/.520 as a 19 year old, got ranked #1

The problem is that he got hurt and has played all of 30 games- the fact that he was hurt and missed time worries me more than his SSS slash stats for the year - if he hadn't been hurt he probably would be scuffling in AAA at the very LEAST...
   11. andrewberg Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4769683)
the fact that he was hurt and missed time worries me more than his SSS slash stats for the year


This. And the fact that there was a recurrence of the injury. And the fact that it's a wrist injury (although that could be viewed as a mitigating factor against his poor hitting).
   12. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 12, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4769761)
As well they should. He's strikes out far too much and with no secondary skills to fall back on, yeah, bust is in play. Your argument that everyone strikes out now so it's cool is...not a winner.


It's impossible for me to make the case that a 48% K rate isn't a problem if he continues that small sample trend size in AA. But if he had a 30% K rate I can make an argument it's not a big problem.

MLB hitters are striking out at an all time record 7.7 times per game this year, an average of 22.6% of ABs. There have only been 5 years in MLB history with a K rate of 7 Ks per game, this year and the last four years. 1994 was the first year in MLB history above 6 Ks per game, 1959 was first ever above 5 Ks/Game, and 1952 first above 4 Ks/ game. Essentially the current K rate is more than double the historical average for the first 70 years of baseball history, roughly 50% higher than its average the last 50 years, and nearly 20% higher than the last 20 years average.

Using today's K rates to predict success based on any kind of historical correlations requires significant adjustment. A 30% K rate today is like a 25% K rate 20 years ago, and a 20% K rate during the 1950s.

Pitching has the upper hand this era, if the MLB makes adjustments to help hitters and lower the K rate back down into the 5-6 Ks per game rate, Joey Gallo's rate will likely benefit proportionally, so the real question is how much of an outlier he is in today's game, not vs. old comps from different eras.
   13. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 12, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4769772)
Also MLB hitters are homering once every 39 ABs this year (0.88/game) so Joey is homering at a rate 3.9x higher than the MLB average. But from 1994-2009 the HR rate was over 1.0/game every year and averaged roughly 20% higher than today (peak 1.17 IIRC). Joey's career so far during that era would have translated into something like 26 HR in 58 games as 18 year old, 48 HR in 111 games as 19 year old, and 45 in 110 games so far as 20 year old.

We are no longer in a high HR environment, yet he's hitting them at rates we've never seen from a young minor league player.
   14. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 12, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4769813)
We are no longer in a high HR environment, yet he's hitting them at rates we've never seen from a young minor league player.


You have to look at HR rates in the leagues and parks he's playing in
for instance the 2013 Hickory Crawdads lead the Sallie league in HRs with 178, team number 2 had 108, 3 of the league's top 4 HR leaders played for them...

Myrtle beach has a wide HR league in the Carolina League this year - subtract Gallo's HRs and they STILL lead.
Frisco OTOH doesn't lead the TL, they're second.

Don't get me wrong, Gallo has power with a capital P, and he very well may have a higher HR/PA rate than anyone in the minors the last few years, but as far as I can tell he's also had a higher K rate than anyone who's ever been worth a damn in the MLB, his closest competition for that may be Russ Branyan- and Branyan K'd 31.3% of his minor league PAs (Rob Deer K'd in 30.5% of his minor league PAs)
Gallo's at 33.8%- relative to league he's not any worse than they were, but he's not any better either.
   15. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 12, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4769837)
Gallo is striking out so much that it's taken him a .370 BABIP at AA just to hit .255. That won't work at higher levels. He's also striking out over 50% of the time against LHPs this year. He's a great prospect because of his power, but the K-rate worries people for a reason. Without a huge improvement in K-rate, I doubt he ever hits LHPs effectively enough to warrant playing every day (though if he hits RHPs well enough, I bet he plays most of the time against lefties anyway). While Gallo looks like he'll be an utter monster if he can get the strikeouts under control, I totally understand preferring a plyer like Buxton, who has a much broader skill set and seems like a much safer bet to stick as a regular, assuming he can stay healthy.

EDIT: Fangraphs has 5-year Oliver projections up for Gallo. 193 home runs from '15-18, despite striking out over 40% of the time. He's also projected for 19.2 WAR over that span, despite an OBP of about .305. Not sure what the other projection systems spit out for him, but if his numbers look anything like that, he'll be one of the more fascinating players we've ever seen.
   16. Ziggy Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4769852)
Are projections 5 years out really that useful? I'd imagine that the error bars are probably huge.

Gallo's promise and problems are obvious. One assumes that BABIP will drop as he climbs the organizational ladder, which means that the strikeouts must as well. He got them under control in A+, but completely lost it again at AA. If I was running the Rangers I'd promote him very very slowly. If he can't get a better handle on the strike zone, I'm not convinced that he's going to be a major league player.
   17. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4769875)
16: I wouldn't go placing bets on Gallo based on that line or anything, but it's interesting to me because I can't recall ever seeing a projection quite like that.
   18. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 12, 2014 at 11:57 PM (#4769930)
Also MLB hitters are

He's not a MLB hitter. Your instance on comparing him to MLB hitters is...strange. Striking out that much in the minors tends to be bad news. If he can make so little contact against guys who the majority will be cleaning carpets for a living in five years, it's likely MLB pitchers will find him manageable.

   19. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:25 AM (#4769956)
I don't have minor league stats, but suspect they tell the same story as major league stats do, because of the modern emphasis on relievers, it's much tougher to hit nowadays. Ted Williams would be striking out close to 100 times per year if he had to face fresh relievers with platoon advantages every game.

Rob Deer and Russell Branyon struck out at similar raw rates to Joey, but at higher rates relative to their peers, and they weren't hitting for his power, even though they were also hitting against future carpet cleaners.

Joey Gallo isn't the best minor league HR hitter of the last few years, he is the best in the history of the minor leagues. Mark McGwire holds the record for highest HR rate in the MLB IIRC, but Joey is hitting them at twice the rate Mark did in minors. it seems a fair price to pay to wield Thor's Hammer is strikeouts.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:58 AM (#4769963)
There are lots of examples of minor league sluggers who hit tons of HR, but weren't able to translate that performance to MLB due to issues with contact. Look at Brandon Wood, for example, or Brad Eldred.

Gallo has very good tools, but a certain amount of skepticism is warranted.
   21. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2014 at 07:31 AM (#4769966)
Barry bonds struck out one hundred times only once in his career and that was his rookie year and very few players have ever been platooned Against and face relievers as much as him.
   22. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4770293)
Barry bonds struck out one hundred times only once in his career and that was his rookie year and very few players have ever been platooned Against and face relievers as much as him.


Exactly, and Barry hit in a significantly lower K era than today's. Teds Williams got no shot at going his entire career without a 100 strikeout year.
   23. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4770326)
There are lots of examples of minor league sluggers who hit tons of HR, but weren't able to translate that performance to MLB due to issues with contact. Look at Brandon Wood, for example, or Brad Eldred.


Joey already has 100 HR in 1,003 career ABs, 10 ABs/HR.

By end of age 20 season Brandon Wood had hit 59 HR in 1,258 ABs, 21 AB/HR. Even after 5 years in homer heaven PCL, Brandon Wood finished his minor league career with only 176 HR in 3,700 ABs, same paltry 21 AB/HR pace.

Brad Eldred wasn't even in the minors at age 20. Below AAA he hit 89 in 1262 ABs, a 14.2 AB/HR rate. Joey is hitting HRs at 40% higher rate while 3-4 years younger than his leagues, while Eldred was never significantly younger than his..

And Wood and Eldred had the advantage of hitting in a higher offense, higher HR era.

They aren't even close, no one is, to the best HR prospect of all time, Joey Gallo.

   24. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4770331)
Rob Deer and Russell Branyon struck out at similar raw rates to Joey, but at higher rates relative to their peers, and they weren't hitting for his power


in 1996 Branyan hit 40 Homers in 552 PAs with 166 Ks, 0.0725 Homers per PA, 0.301 Ks/PA
the league was at 0.0148 Homers per PA, so Branyan homered at a rate of 4.89 above league
the league was at 0.2053 Ks per PA, So Branyan K'd 1.46 times league average

in 2013 Gallo hit 40 Homers in 466 PAs with 172 KS, 0.0858 HR/PA and .369 K/PA
the league was at 0.0153 Homers per PA, so Gallo homered at a rate of 5.61 above league
the league was at 0.2155 Ks per PA, So Gallo K'd 1.71 times league average

So relative to their peers, Gallo homered a little bit more than Brayan and K'd a bit more (not less)

in 1997 Branyan hit 39 Homers in 527 PAs with 150 Ks, 0.0740 Homers per PA, 0.285 Ks/PA
the league(s) were at 0.02401 Homers per PA, so Branyan homered at a rate of 3.08 above league
the leagues were at 0.19692 Ks per PA, So Branyan K'd 1.45 times league average

in 2014 Gallo has hit 38 Homers in 471 PAs with 155 KS, 0.0807 HR/PA and .329 K/PA
the leagues are at 0.018019 Homers per PA, so Gallo homered at a rate of 4.48 above league
the leagues are at 0.209669 Ks per PA, So Gallo K'd 1.57 times league average

So relative to their peers, Gallo homered a bit more than Branyan and also K'd a bit more (not less)
   25. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4770383)
They aren't even close, no one is, to the best HR prospect of all time, Joey Gallo.


Dick Stuart
Ron Kittle last 2 minor league years had 90 HR in 1016 PAs
Tony Solaita (at 21 had 49 in 467 PAs in the Carolina League)...
Buzz Arlett

Gallo very well may, so far, have the highest career minor league HR rate of all time (someone has to be the highest right?)

if he does become a successful MLB hitter he may also have the highest minor league K-rate of any successful MLB hitter, and as far as I can tell that's even with adjusting for modern K rates (but then again someone has to be the highest right?)

Gallo's an outlier at something good (HRs) and bad (Ks)
He's also now reached a level (AA) that's a tipping point for many players, the average pitcher has better command than the guys below and they are increasingly capable of pitching guys the way the scouting reports tell them to.

He now has 91 Ks in 225 AA PAs
that's a stunning number, that's so stunning I'd almost tend to assume it was a small sample size variation thing, cuz that projects to him possibly K'ing in half his MLB PAs- and if he did that he could have Ryan Howard's/Babe Ruth's on contact numbers and still fail.

OTOH he could K like Mark Reynolds/Chris Carter he'd be a good hitter




   26. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4770399)

Rob Deer and Russell Branyon struck out at similar raw rates to Joey, but at higher rates relative to their peers, and they weren't hitting for his power, even though they were also hitting against future carpet cleaners.


You argue fun! So Russell Branyan with a little more power? Is that a good or a bad thing? Does that mean he'll play for 12 teams since Branyan played for ten?


They aren't even close, no one is, to the best HR prospect of all time, Joey Gallo.


Awesome! Once you are this far down the road, you might as well finish it off in style.
   27. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4770415)
You argue fun! So Russell Branyan with a little more power? Is that a good or a bad thing? Does that mean he'll play for 12 teams since Branyan played for ten?


Be fair a little more power and a little more Ks than Branyan

Seriously, despite what KT thinks, Gallo isn't such an outlier that he has NO comps, statistically Branyan is a very good comp, trouble is after Branyan the comps get less and less useful.
Branyan played 1059 MLB games and had an OPS+ of 113. He had an OPS+ of 113 despite having the worst K/PA rate of any player with more than 300 PAs in MLB history

Russ Branyan with a little more power is not a "bad" thing

anyway all time worst K rate (2000+ PAs)

Rk Player AB/SO OPS+
1 Jack Cust 2.5726 120
2 Russell Branyan 2.6243 113
3 Mark Reynolds 2.7028 107
4 Rob Deer 2.7544 109
5 Bo Jackson 2.8454 112
6 Chris Davis 2.8998 118
7 Adam Dunn 2.8999 124
8 Mark Bellhorn 2.9142 92
9 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 3.0146 96
10 Drew Stubbs 3.0352 90
11 Pedro Alvarez 3.0528 105
12 Giancarlo Stanton 3.0962 143
13 Ryan Howard 3.104 130
14 Craig Wilson 3.126 113
15 Carlos Pena 3.1382 117
16 David Ross 3.1763 98
17 Jonny Gomes 3.2036 108
18 Mike Napoli 3.2091 128
19 Jim Thome 3.3053 147
20 Pete Incaviglia 3.3148 104

   28. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4770435)
So looking at the list in 27:

1: Pretty much all power hitters except Drew Stubbs, most had 30+ HR seasons, and more than a few had 40+ HR season in the minors
2: Gallo strikes out MORE than anyone on that list did in the minors, eyeballing it Gomes was possibly the closest
3: Most of those guys struck out more in the majors than the minors, sometimes substantially more
   29. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 13, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4770543)
So relative to their peers, Gallo homered a bit more than Branyan and also K'd a bit more (not less)


30-50% (averaging 40%) is only a bit more? You pretty much prove my point there, if Branyon hit 40% more HRs he'd be a many time AllStar.

Why did you use PAs? Do you think batters should be penalized for taking walks in this analysis?

And I'm not convinced the K rates of individual minor leagues say as much as the K rates of the era, too much variation in a group of 8-12 teams, and our subjects materially influence league rates.
   30. zonk Posted: August 13, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4770554)
Gallo's upside is a poor man's Kris Bryant.

/counting lots of eggs
   31. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 13, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4770582)
Branyan also had 64 career HR by end of age 20 season, at a 15 AB/HR rate, finishing in A ball. Joey is destroying those numbers and is 2 levels higher.

Dick Stuart
Ron Kittle last 2 minor league years had 90 HR in 1016 PAs
Tony Solaita (at 21 had 49 in 467 PAs in the Carolina League)...
Buzz Arlett


Dick Stuart had 35 HR in 716 ABs, half Joey's rate, at ages 18/19, then didn't play in minors next 2 years. He finished with a 12.5 AB/HR in the minors after crushing in less than top notch leagues as a 22-25 year old..

By the end of his fluke 49 HR season, Solaita had 67 HR in 1,100 career ABs over 4 years, about 15 AB/HR rate, then declined from there.

Buzz didn't get near Joey's rates until he was in his 30s.

By the end of his age 22 season, Ron Kittle had hit 31 HR in 739 ABs, a 24 AB/HR rate. He then hit 90 in his next 861 ABs at ages 23-24, a truly Galloesque performance.

He's the closest comp so far to Joey, and he did it in a lower HR era and in parks/leagues that weren't particularly HR friendly. But he was also 4 years older than Joey, and only did it when he was same age as his peers, not way younger like Joey. And overall his career HR rate was no where near Joey's.
   32. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 13, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4770629)
Career to Age 20:

JG.268/.380/.638/.1.018 
RB
.255/.340/.520/.860

JG
281 games100 HR10HR/AB14.5walk rate40K rate
RB
261 games64 HR6.8HR/AB10.7walk rate38K rate

Levels
:
JGAA ball at age 20so far averaging about 3 years younger than leagues.
RBA ball at age 20averaged about 1.5 years younger than leagues.

3B Fielding percentage 
JG
.928 career to age 20.940 age 20 season.
RB.870 career to age 20.885 age 20 season.


If Russell is the closest comp to Joey I think that tells you what a huge outlier he is.

Imagine a Russell Branyon playing a passable third base, hitting 45% more HRs, and walking 35% more often, but at a cost of striking out 5% more.
   33. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 13, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4770639)
Myrtle beach has a wide HR league in the Carolina League this year - subtract Gallo's HRs and they STILL lead.


Did they build a new park in Myrtle? When MB was a Braves' affiliate, the park there was famous as an offensive graveyard. No one hit there.
   34. bigglou115 Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4770683)
Sounds like his injury is really bad. Down for 10 minutes while they stabilized him, no sign he woke up or moved. Those outfield collisions are scary.
   35. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4770715)
Ugh.



Center fielder Byron Buxton, baseball's top prospect, was taken off the field in an ambulance Wednesday night in Double-A New Britain's game against Bowie after colliding with right fielder Mike Kvasnicka in the fifth inning.
   36. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 14, 2014 at 03:23 AM (#4770790)
Thank god, just a concussion.

http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_26332539/minnesota-twins-byron-buxton-injured-violent-outfield-collision
   37. Spahn Insane Posted: August 14, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4770833)
Thank god, just a concussion.

Concussions aren't good obviously, but sounds like this could've been a lot worse.
   38. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 14, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4771233)
Did they build a new park in Myrtle?


Apparently not, and in the past it's been homer unfriendly or the teams playing there have no power.
This year just 11 guys in the Carolina League are in double digits in Homers, the Pelicans have 3 of those guys, plus 2 others with 9:

Alfaro 13 (had 18 in 2013, 16 overall this year)
Nick Williams has 12, had 17 last year
Preston Beck has 9 (3 last year... 3 in 2012)
Chris Bostick has 9 (14 last year)
also Dave Lyon has 7, last year he had 9 in a similar # of at bats

these guys played for various different teams in 2013, I'm guessing the 2014 Pelicans are leading the league in HRs (even if you subtract Gallo) because it has a lot of home run hitters (by A ball standards) not because the park has become HR friendly, the team is also 73-47 which would further evidence that they lead the league in runs because they are a good hitting team not because of the park.





   39. Ron J2 Posted: August 14, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4771244)
Dick Stuart is an interesting comp for Gallo, although he was derailed by time in the service.

At 19 he hit 31 HR in class C ball (seemingly not in an extreme hitter's park -- at any rate, everybody else on the team hit 39, of which 19 came from a 32 year old on his way out of the game)

At 22 -- after getting out of the service -- he hit 32 in only 396 AB. And then at 23 in AA he hit 66. This does seem to have been a pretty good place to hit, but still, 66 HR.
   40. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 14, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4771286)
his does seem to have been a pretty good place to hit, but still, 66 HR.


Bill James commented on this once, he'd read an interview where Stuart had mentioned he hit 66 homers, but the team ignored it, and wanted to talk about someone who hit 30 somewhere- James comment was that many time people don't know what to make of outliers- a team with aproe[pct that hits 66 homers may run around yelling OMG OMG OMG, or they may simply ignore or discount it- a guy hits 30 he's a prospect, a guy hits 66, well that's obviously a fluke.
In Surat's case he ht 66 as a 23 year old, and hit 45 the next year at 24, and had 31 halfway through his age 25 season before they finally promoted him.

In Pitts' defense Stuart's dee was legendarily bad, he could only play 1B, OTOH they seemed to go through a different starting 1B every year: the year he hit 66 (1956) the 1B in Pitt was 30 year old Dale Long- he was actually pretty decent but you can't say he was "blocking" Stuart- the Pirates traded him at the start of 1957 for the Cubs starting 1B, 32 year old Dee Fondy, who they then traded after one year for Ted Kluszewski who'd been a monster a few years earlier... it looks for all the world like the Pirates were casting about for a reason not to play Stuart, and then even though he was the Pirates best hitter (until Clemente broke out in 61, they seemed reluctant to commit and just give him 600 PAs and be done with it, he only had more than 500 ABs once in his Pirates career (and that year he hit .301-35-117, numbers that made the fans and the MSM swoon in those pre-sabr days)... he had a bad year and was traded to Boston (actually not a bad deal for Pitt- in many ways it was the flip side of the pre Stuart trades Pitt had been making...)

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