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Ryan McKenna 2019

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1 hour ago, MurphDogg said:

Triple and an HBP in his first two appearances today, hopefully he finishes strong.

Regardless, his OPS is still higher than league average and as a 22-year-old plus defensive centerfielder with a very good walk rate who will have played 190+ AA games, that is good enough for me to get him the bump up to Norfolk next year. 

Hopefully the AAA happy fun balls will help him out next year.

He’s striking out too much. AAA balls won’t help with that.

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11 minutes ago, DirtyBird said:

He’s striking out too much. AAA balls won’t help with that.

Is he? His k/bb ratio is right around 2:1, and his 21 percent strikeout rate is around league average among qualifiers.

His OBP is 90 points higher than his batting average. I think the AAA balls should bring his batting average up, as his BABIP is .285, which is well off his career average and feels like a little bit of bad luck with his speed.

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27 minutes ago, MurphDogg said:

Is he? His k/bb ratio is right around 2:1, and his 21 percent strikeout rate is around league average among qualifiers.

His OBP is 90 points higher than his batting average. I think the AAA balls should bring his batting average up, as his BABIP is .285, which is well off his career average and feels like a little bit of bad luck with his speed.

My eyeballs say yes, he K's too much. Especially for a guy that has some pop, but is not bringing a whole lot of power.

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2 hours ago, MurphDogg said:

his OPS is still higher than league average

 

56 minutes ago, MurphDogg said:

his 21 percent strikeout rate is around league average among qualifiers.

I get that when you add age, speed and defense, it's a decent profile, but pointing out league average offense in AA is, to me, essentially damning with faint praise.

It's fine, but not for a top prospect. I think he needs to hit significantly better to have any significant ML value, and I don't have confidence that's going to happen.

I mean, if we're happy with a 4/5th outfielder profile, that's fine. I just think you can find them essentially anywhere.

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12 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

 

I get that when you add age, speed and defense, it's a decent profile, but pointing out league average offense in AA is, to me, essentially damning with faint praise.

It's fine, but not for a top prospect. I think he needs to hit significantly better to have any significant ML value, and I don't have confidence that's going to happen.

I mean, if we're happy with a 4/5th outfielder profile, that's fine. I just think you can find them essentially anywhere.

I don't know whether he is going to get better or not, obviously I would prefer that he gets better.

My point is that I think 190 games at AA is probably enough, and he should get the call up to AAA. Find out whether he looks like a Major League player there.

I think you are underselling the value of a bottom of the order center-fielder which is his current profile. The Orioles have been playing non-center-fielders in center for months, a guy that hits .260/.330/.400 while playing a solid center-field has value, and that is McKenna's profile at this point. I hope it gets better, but I don't think sending him back to AA is the way to make that happen.

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I think you have a fair take, but I'm not sure I agree that a .730 OPS in the majors is his profile. If so, I agree that would be more useful. It's currently .685 in AA and .750 at all levels. He has some pretty significant improvement to make to get to .730 at the ML level, IMO. 

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Just now, LookinUp said:

I think you have a fair take, but I'm not sure I agree that a .730 OPS in the majors is his profile. If so, I agree that would be more useful. It's currently .685 in AA and .750 at all levels. He has some pretty significant improvement to make to get to .730 at the ML level, IMO. 

Right. He has to K less.

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2 minutes ago, MurphDogg said:

I don't know whether it is going to get better or not, obviously I would prefer that it gets better.

My point is that I think 190 games at AA is probably enough, and he should get the call up to AAA. Find out whether he looks like a Major League player there.

I think you are underselling the value of a bottom of the order center-fielder which is his current profile. The Orioles have been playing non-center-fielders in center for months, a guy that hits .260/.330/.400 while playing a solid center-field has value, and that is McKenna's profile at this point.

But, he doesn't look like a AAA player at AA? He's hitting .232 with a .365 slugging percentage in his second taste of AA. McKenna has had an OPS above .770 in one minor league season. What indicators are there that McKenna will do better at AAA, much less look like a Major League player there? He certainly doesn't seem to be profiling as a .770 hitter in the majors. I do not understand your take on McKenna. I know we all root for certain guys really hard and I can understand rooting hard for McKenna, he's an interesting athlete and he had a great time in Frederick, but from my viewpoint you are looking at a 3/4 empty glass and somehow seeing it half full. I do not mean this as some pissy back and forth internet crossing of the swords. I'm honestly trying to understand what seems to me to be slightly irrational optimism about McKenna. The league average or slightly above league average stuff is really blah. The vast majority of average or slightly above average hitters in the Eastern League this year will be lucky to get a cup of coffee in the majors, much less profile as a .770 ML hitter. What am I missing? 

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11 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

I think you have a fair take, but I'm not sure I agree that a .730 OPS in the majors is his profile. If so, I agree that would be more useful. It's currently .685 in AA and .750 at all levels. He has some pretty significant improvement to make to get to .730 at the ML level, IMO. 

Obviously the competition level is higher in the Majors but the hitting environment is much more favorable as well. The league average OPS is over .100 higher than the Eastern League. 

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His Fangraphs data is interesting to me: https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=sa875055&position=OF

A few notes:

1. His game power is 30/40. (I assume that's now/future)

2. His FB% is over 40%. My theory is this could be telling us that he's hitting like a power guy in a LD hitter's body. This could be where a ML ball would make a big difference for him if he's a warning track power guy in AA.

3. His ZIPS 3 year projections have him at 1.1, 1.7 and 1.9 WAR. That's with projected OPS of .654, .693 and .700.

So they're not really projecting much in the way of offensive improvement. His value is tied to speed and defense. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Ohfan67 said:

But, he doesn't look like a AAA player at AA? He's hitting .232 with a .365 slugging percentage in his second taste of AA. McKenna has had an OPS above .770 in one minor league season. What indicators are there that McKenna will do better at AAA, much less look like a Major League player there? He certainly doesn't seem to be profiling as a .770 hitter in the majors. I do not understand your take on McKenna. I know we all root for certain guys really hard and I can understand rooting hard for McKenna, he's an interesting athlete and he had a great time in Frederick, but from my viewpoint you are looking at a 3/4 empty glass and somehow seeing it half full. I do not mean this as some pissy back and forth internet crossing of the swords. I'm honestly trying to understand what seems to me to be slightly irrational optimism about McKenna. The league average or slightly above league average stuff is really blah. The vast majority of average or slightly above average hitters in the Eastern League this year will be lucky to get a cup of coffee in the majors, much less profile as a .770 ML hitter. What am I missing? 

Above average defense at a premium position. Double plus speed. The offensive bar isn’t that high for those players. A 85 wRC+ with his speed and defense is an average regular. 

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17 minutes ago, Ohfan67 said:

But, he doesn't look like a AAA player at AA? He's hitting .232 with a .365 slugging percentage in his second taste of AA. McKenna has had an OPS above .770 in one minor league season. What indicators are there that McKenna will do better at AAA, much less look like a Major League player there? He certainly doesn't seem to be profiling as a .770 hitter in the majors. I do not understand your take on McKenna. I know we all root for certain guys really hard and I can understand rooting hard for McKenna, he's an interesting athlete and he had a great time in Frederick, but from my viewpoint you are looking at a 3/4 empty glass and somehow seeing it half full. I do not mean this as some pissy back and forth internet crossing of the swords. I'm honestly trying to understand what seems to me to be slightly irrational optimism about McKenna. The league average or slightly above league average stuff is really blah. The vast majority of average or slightly above average hitters in the Eastern League this year will be lucky to get a cup of coffee in the majors, much less profile as a .770 ML hitter. What am I missing? 

He is 22.

To be league average offensively at 22 in the Eastern League at a premium defensive position suggests that he won't hurt you offensively in the Major Leagues. Nobody said .770.

Dwight Smith Jr. was league average offensively in the Eastern League at 22. If he played above average defensive centerfield, he would be an MLB starter.

McKenna's value will come from his glove and his legs, but McKenna could develop power (15-ish home runs, 30 doubles power anyway) and if that materializes he is a league average centerfielder.

AAA is where I think we will find out.

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McKenna has had a somewhat disappointing season, but not a disqualifying one.  I’m not expecting him to be more than a fourth OF type in the majors, but he could still develop more and prove me wrong.

Anyway, you have to like his day today — triple, HBP with a stolen base, walk-off sac bunt for the win.

 

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