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Luke-OH

Ryan McKenna 2019

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The same scout said outfielder Ryan McKenna played a big league center field, but was ill-suited for the power game.

“He’s afflicted with the launch-angle syndrome,” the scout said. “It’s not for him.”

I’ve heard that same observation about a few other players in the system who weren’t taking advantage of their line-drive strokes and kept hitting long fly-ball outs.

https://www.masnsports.com/school-of-roch/2019/10/this-that-and-the-other-189.html

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27 minutes ago, Frobby said:

The same scout said outfielder Ryan McKenna played a big league center field, but was ill-suited for the power game.

“He’s afflicted with the launch-angle syndrome,” the scout said. “It’s not for him.”

I’ve heard that same observation about a few other players in the system who weren’t taking advantage of their line-drive strokes and kept hitting long fly-ball outs.

https://www.masnsports.com/school-of-roch/2019/10/this-that-and-the-other-189.html

But if they:

1- Get a bit stronger

2- Get to use the super balls used in AAA and the MLB regular season

Maybe those balls go out?

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

The same scout said outfielder Ryan McKenna played a big league center field, but was ill-suited for the power game.

“He’s afflicted with the launch-angle syndrome,” the scout said. “It’s not for him.”

I’ve heard that same observation about a few other players in the system who weren’t taking advantage of their line-drive strokes and kept hitting long fly-ball outs.

https://www.masnsports.com/school-of-roch/2019/10/this-that-and-the-other-189.html

I'm all about launch angle and hitting fly balls, but I agree, it's not McKenna's game. COC makes good points, but in McKenna's case it makes for holes in the swing that pitchers can exploit. His abilities are probably better suited for turning outs into singles and singles into doubles rather than selling out to try to get to maybe average raw power in game. 

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2 hours ago, Luke-OH said:

I'm all about launch angle and hitting fly balls, but I agree, it's not McKenna's game. COC makes good points, but in McKenna's case it makes for holes in the swing that pitchers can exploit. His abilities are probably better suited for turning outs into singles and singles into doubles rather than selling out to try to get to maybe average raw power in game. 

I agree with this completely, I also think this applies to so many people in the league. There is such an infatuation with homeruns nowadays.

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1 hour ago, tarheeloriole said:

I agree with this completely, I also think this applies to so many people in the league. There is such an infatuation with homeruns nowadays.

The thing is that for most MLB players, it helps their overall batting line to try and hit the ball in the air more. It’s not one sized fits all though and it’s not going to work for everyone.

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13 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

But if they:

1- Get a bit stronger

2- Get to use the super balls used in AAA and the MLB regular season

Maybe those balls go out?

I was thinking the same thing. But I think we could cling to that hope about any middling prospect. 

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14 hours ago, Luke-OH said:

The thing is that for most MLB players, it helps their overall batting line to try and hit the ball in the air more. It’s not one sized fits all though and it’s not going to work for everyone.

Am curious your opinion...

Mine was generally that hard contact is the hardest skill to teach, and that transferring from contact to power was easier than the opposite. When you have a straight power approach and you're on, it's glorious. However, when you're not in a groove, it gets really ugly. I don't recommend that approach for pretty much anyone. Even supremely talented hitters like Giancarlo Stanton can lose value quickly when they lose the line drive approach to their game. Alternatively, when you're making hard line drive contact regularly, it's easier to let yourself go and crush some balls, IMO. It's when you do too much of that approach that your swing starts to develop real holes. Well, this is all my personal experience, at least.

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1 hour ago, LookinUp said:

Am curious your opinion...

Mine was generally that hard contact is the hardest skill to teach, and that transferring from contact to power was easier than the opposite. When you have a straight power approach and you're on, it's glorious. However, when you're not in a groove, it gets really ugly. I don't recommend that approach for pretty much anyone. Even supremely talented hitters like Giancarlo Stanton can lose value quickly when they lose the line drive approach to their game. Alternatively, when you're making hard line drive contact regularly, it's easier to let yourself go and crush some balls, IMO. It's when you do too much of that approach that your swing starts to develop real holes. Well, this is all my personal experience, at least.

It absolutely does create more holes which is why the strikeouts are up at every level of baseball. The thing is, the analytics approach is that the net gain of power offsets the drop in average and rise in strikeouts.

I'm not sure it's a cookie cutter approach though and that's what worries me a bit. After talking with some scouts, they believe McKenna and Diaz are two guys this approach hurt.

There are things to like about McKenna tools wise, but he's got a lot of holes in that swing and he's either struggling to pick up spin or he's selling out too early which leaves him vulnerable to breaking and off speed pitches.

 

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6 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

It absolutely does create more holes which is why the strikeouts are up at every level of baseball. The thing is, the analytics approach is that the net gain of power offsets the drop in average and rise in strikeouts.

I'm not sure it's a cookie cutter approach though and that's what worries me a bit. After talking with some scouts, they believe McKenna and Diaz are two guys this approach hurt.

There are things to like about McKenna tools wise, but he's got a lot of holes in that swing and he's either struggling to pick up spin or he's selling out too early which leaves him vulnerable to breaking and off speed pitches.

 

I completely agree with the bolded. The first part is a generalization about analytics. Power can offset a drop in average and rise in k's for certain profiles, but the power has to be real for the math to work. As you and others have pointed out, McKenna doesn't seem to have that power.

I'm a little surprised on Diaz though. Maybe I'm looking at him through orange colored glasses, but in between injuries, I think he really started to impress by the end of this year. IDK. Maybe it's a selective memory that I have. I'll look forward to seeing what you guys write up in more depth.

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21 hours ago, LookinUp said:

I completely agree with the bolded. The first part is a generalization about analytics. Power can offset a drop in average and rise in k's for certain profiles, but the power has to be real for the math to work. As you and others have pointed out, McKenna doesn't seem to have that power.

I'm a little surprised on Diaz though. Maybe I'm looking at him through orange colored glasses, but in between injuries, I think he really started to impress by the end of this year. IDK. Maybe it's a selective memory that I have. I'll look forward to seeing what you guys write up in more depth.

Just based off watchIng a few at bats this spring, I’d certainly say that Diaz has the ability to hit the ball a long way when he connects.   From everything I’ve read, he’s not expected to be a huge power guy in the majors, but he certainly profiles to have more power than McKenna.    
 

From a developmental standpoint, I think it’s arguable that even though launch angle becomes important, the first order of business is to learn how to make hard contact consistently.    Once you’ve mastered that, then worry about launch angle and making power/contact tradeoffs.     That’s probably why you often hear that power is the last tool to develop.    It’s not that the raw power wasn’t there, but there are other tools that need to be polished first, at least for most players.   

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2 hours ago, vatech1994 said:

He was added to the 40 man as most of us expected.

I think this upcoming year is crucial for McKenna.    He’s flashed tools but generally has been an inconsistent performer.    If he doesn’t make significant progress this season, he could be on the outside looking in when next year’s 40 man roster is set.   

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Was McKenna added because he could be taken in the AAA phase?

Minor league teams can also participate in the draft. AAA teams can draft any player eligible from AA for $24,000 (doubled from $12,000 in 2016). Players chosen in the minor league part of the draft do not need to return to the original teams for any reason.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Rule_5_Draft

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38 minutes ago, Enjoy Terror said:

Was McKenna added because he could be taken in the AAA phase?

 

 

https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Rule_5_Draft

I know the minor league phase has changed a little, but in the past teams could protect something like 38 players (in addition to the 40 man roster) from both the AAA and AA phases. I'd imagine it's still similar 

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Just now, makoman said:

I know the minor league phase has changed a little, but in the past teams could protect something like 38 players (in addition to the 40 man roster) from both the AAA and AA phases. I'd imagine it's still similar 

Interesting. They don't usually reveal that information about who is protected. I guess that's why I've never heard of it.

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4 minutes ago, Enjoy Terror said:

Interesting. They don't usually reveal that information about who is protected. I guess that's why I've never heard of it.

Looks like there's more activity in the AAA phase than the MLB phase:

Major League phase
Round 1
1. Orioles: SS Richie Martin (A's No. 12 prospect)
2. Royals: RHP Sam McWilliams (Rays)
3. White Sox: RHP Jordan Romano (Blue Jays No. 28) -- traded to Rangers
4. Marlins: RHP Riley Ferrell (Astros No. 17)
5. Tigers: RHP Reed Garrett (Rangers)
6. Reds:  1B/3B Connor Joe (Dodgers)
7. Rangers: RHP Chris Ellis (Cardinals) -- traded to Royals
8. Giants: LHP Travis Bergen (Blue Jays)
9. Blue Jays: RHP Elvis Luciano (Royals No. 23)
10. Mets: RHP Kyle Dowdy (Indians)
11. Phillies: 2B/SS Drew Jackson (Dodgers No. 19) -- traded to Orioles
12. D-backs: RHP Nick Green (Yankees)
13. Mariners: RHP Brandon Brennan (Rockies)
Round 2
14. Giants: OF Drew Ferguson (Astros)
Triple-A phase
Round 1
1. Orioles: RHP Taylor Grover (Reds)
2. Royals: C Chris Rabago (Yankees)
3. White Sox: 1B Jordan George (Pirates) 
4. Tigers: CF Tyler Hill (Red Sox)
5. Padres:  RHP Cristofer Melendez (White Sox) -- traded to Pirates
6. Rangers: RHP Jeffeson Medina (Orioles)
7. Giants: 3B Peter Maris (Rays)
8. Blue Jays: RHP David Garner (Cubs) 
9. Mets: LF Braxton Lee (Marlins No. 29)
10. Twins:  RHP Dusten Knight (Giants) 
11. Phillies: RHP Gilmael Troya  (Yankees)
12. Angels: RHP Matt Esparza (Indians)
13. D-backs: OF Jeffrey Baez (Giants)
14. Nationals: CF Chuck Taylor (Mariners) 
15. Pirates: OF Randolph Gassaway (Orioles)
16. Cardinals:  RHP John Fasola (Rangers) 
17. Braves: RHP Jason Creasy (D-backs)
18. Rays: RHP Ryan Thompson (Astros)
19. Indians: LHP Yapson Gomez (Cubs)  
20. Cubs: LHP Luis Lugo (Royals)
21. Brewers: SS Julio Garcia (Angels) 
22. A's: 2B Corban Joseph (Orioles)
23. Yankees: RHP Adonis De La Cruz (Mariners) 
24. Astros: C Alejandro Flores (Nationals)
25. Red Sox: RHP Anyelo Gómez (Yankees)
Round 2
26. Giants: LHP Sam Moll (Blue Jays)
27. Mets: RHP Chris Mazza (Mariners)
28. Pirates: RHP Winston Nicacio (Cardinals) 
29. Cardinals: SS Alberto Triunfel (Angels)
30. Braves:  RHP Rafael De Paula (Reds) 
31. Rays: RHP Ian Gardeck (Giants)
32. Indians: 1B Wilson Garcia (Orioles)
33. Cubs: C Rafelin Lorenzo (Pirates) 
34. Brewers: C Alexander Alvarez (Rays)
35. A's: CF Mark Payton (Yankees) 
36. Red Sox: RHP Andrew Schwaab (Tigers)
Round 3
37. Mets: C Mitch Ghelfi (Angels)
38. Braves: SS Riley Unroe (Angels)
39. Rays: RHP Cristofer Ogando (D-backs) 
40. Cubs: RHP Alexander Vargas (Yankees)
41. A's: 1B Anthony Miller (Indians)
Round 4
42. Rays: RHP Hector Figueroa (Indians) 

https://www.mlb.com/news/2018-rule-5-draft-results-c301780782

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