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Would Mike Yastrzemski’s breakout have occurred if he was with the Orioles this year?

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Seeing Yaz breakout like he has with the Giants this year makes me wonder if this could turn out to be similar to the mistake the Astros made when they released JD Martinez in spring training 2014 because they didn’t give him enough of a chance to show them the changes he made to his swing in the offseason, only to see him sign with the Tigers and start the huge production run he’s been on ever since then.  Is it possible that Yaz made some adjustments in the offseason at a place like Driveline or with one of the other hitting gurus like Doug Latta, and the Orioles simply didn’t give him enough opportunities to show the changes he made in spring training?  I mean, how does a guy go from a fringe major leaguer at best who never busted down the door in the minors for the Orioles to give him a chance, to suddenly putting up numbers in the majors well beyond anything he ever did in the minors?  That doesn’t just happen by accident.  Sure, he was a victim of the Orioles depth in OF prospects, which put him behind several others for a shot in the majors, but you would think if the front office really thought he was capable of this type of breakout at 28 years old that they would have at least given him a chance to show what he could do before trading him away, especially on a rebuilding team.

This tells me that either Yaz made some changes in the offseason and the O’s didn’t give him many opportunities to show them in spring training, or he simply figured something out after he got traded to the Giants, most likely with the help of technology that has become so prominent in the development aspect of the game these days.  With a smart, data & technology-driven front office like the O’s have now, it has to be a shock to them to see Yaz performing as well as he has since coming up to the majors in late May/early June.  Then again, Elias and Sig barely had any time to get their system implemented by the time spring training rolled around, so anything they could have truly done to help Yaz reach this level probably wouldn’t have occurred until after the minor league season got underway.

Could someone like Luke compare Yaz’s swing from as recently as last year to what it looks like now, to maybe offer some insight as to what suddenly changed to allow Yaz to produce like this?  Because I think most of us were completely blindsided by this, and it would be great to try and understand how this could have happened.  I’m happy for Yaz, but obviously, it would have been much nicer to see him doing this for the Orioles after being in our system for the last 6 years and having nothing to show for it.  This isn’t to say our other highly regarded OF prospects won’t eventually reach this level, but on a rebuilding team, it would have been a great story to see Yaz doing this for us in 2019.

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22 minutes ago, Obando said:

Seeing Yaz breakout like he has with the Giants this year makes me wonder if this could turn out to be similar to the mistake the Astros made when they released JD Martinez in spring training 2014 because they didn’t give him enough of a chance to show them the changes he made to his swing in the offseason, only to see him sign with the Tigers and start the huge production run he’s been on ever since then.  Is it possible that Yaz made some adjustments in the offseason at a place like Driveline or with one of the other hitting gurus like Doug Latta, and the Orioles simply didn’t give him enough opportunities to show the changes he made in spring training?  I mean, how does a guy go from a fringe major leaguer at best who never busted down the door in the minors for the Orioles to give him a chance, to suddenly putting up numbers in the majors well beyond anything he ever did in the minors?  That doesn’t just happen by accident.  Sure, he was a victim of the Orioles depth in OF prospects, which put him behind several others for a shot in the majors, but you would think if the front office really thought he was capable of this type of breakout at 28 years old that they would have at least given him a chance to show what he could do before trading him away, especially on a rebuilding team.

This tells me that either Yaz made some changes in the offseason and the O’s didn’t give him many opportunities to show them in spring training, or he simply figured something out after he got traded to the Giants, most likely with the help of technology that has become so prominent in the development aspect of the game these days.  With a smart, data & technology-driven front office like the O’s have now, it has to be a shock to them to see Yaz performing as well as he has since coming up to the majors in late May/early June.  Then again, Elias and Sig barely had any time to get their system implemented by the time spring training rolled around, so anything they could have truly done to help Yaz reach this level probably wouldn’t have occurred until after the minor league season got underway.

Could someone like Luke compare Yaz’s swing from as recently as last year to what it looks like now, to maybe offer some insight as to what suddenly changed to allow Yaz to produce like this?  Because I think most of us were completely blindsided by this, and it would be great to try and understand how this could have happened.  I’m happy for Yaz, but obviously, it would have been much nicer to see him doing this for the Orioles after being in our system for the last 6 years and having nothing to show for it.  This isn’t to say our other highly regarded OF prospects won’t eventually reach this level, but on a rebuilding team, it would have been a great story to see Yaz doing this for us in 2019.

He has already somewhere in the "How did the X-O's do after the purge thread".

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6 minutes ago, bobmc said:

He has already somewhere in the "How did the X-O's do after the purge thread".

Okay, I clearly missed that if he did.  I’ll go into that thread and see if I can find Luke’s analysis.  The real question I have about Yaz’s breakout is whether this is sustainable or not.  Is he another Justin Turner who suddenly figures things out in his late 20’s/early 30’s with the help of a swing coach & data/technology and has sustained success, or is he a 1-year wonder who will never match this level of productivity again?  I guess we’ll find out over the next few years, assuming Yaz stays healthy and continues to play regularly.

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3 minutes ago, Obando said:

Okay, I clearly missed that if he did.  I’ll go into that thread and see if I can find Luke’s analysis.  The real question I have about Yaz’s breakout is whether this is sustainable or not.  Is he another Justin Turner who suddenly figures things out in his late 20’s/early 30’s with the help of a swing coach & data/technology and has sustained success, or is he a 1-year wonder who will never match this level of productivity again?  I guess we’ll find out over the next few years, assuming Yaz stays healthy and continues to play regularly.

I was looking for it and maybe @Luke-OH can refresh us but he said something like he made swing changes and with the juiced ball - his warning track fly outs are now reaching the seats.  Obviously there is more to it than that but it will be interesting to see how he fares next year, wherever he plays.

Here is Drungo's seat of the pants analysis and some stats from that same thread (p 86):

"You don't kick yourself for not recognizing wildly out of character things that might happen in the future.  Did the Red Sox kick themselves for missing out on Brady's 50 homer season?  Do the Orioles kick themselves for not recognizing that Jose Bautista would go crazy six years after he was a Rule 5er?  

Last year Yastrzemski spent a month OPSing .603 in AA at the age of 27.  The Giants picked him up because they were all out of outfielders so why not?  Just as the O's did with Dwight Smith Jr.  Nobody had a crystal ball, I doubt anyone saw the year of the superball coming."

"Yaz is already in the top 20 homer seasons of all time by old (27+) rookies.  That list is about 75% players who were stuck in Cuba, Japan, the Negro Leagues, or the old independent high minors prior to the draft era. Plus a few players like Josh Willingham, Christian Walker, Justin Bour, Garrett Jones, Brian Daubach.  As far as I can tell everyone except Yaz on the list had a history of hitting for power wherever they were prior to their rookie breakout."

 

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5 minutes ago, bobmc said:

I was looking for it and maybe @Luke-OH can refresh us but he said something like he made swing changes and with the juiced ball - his warning track fly outs are now reaching the seats.  Obviously there is more to it than that but it will be interesting to see how he fares next year, wherever he plays.

I hate to say it, but it sounds like just another case, with "our" system did not develop the guys to the best of their ability.

Little Yaz impressed me at double A. 

The way he was always hustling and had real baseball smarts, which not all the guys on this 25 man roster can say as much.

The scouts could only see his actual skillset at the time, and that he would be at best a 4th COF on a deep team.

Hard to rate a guy on the intangibles and the drive to succeed.

Cal Jr, wasnt the fastest or the best player on the field just based on skills, but he had the fire and drive to succeed and do to whatever it took, so he could be in the position to make the play.

Granted, I am not saying Yaz is an HOF.

But, I will enjoy watching him as long as he can sustain a MLB pro career.

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1 minute ago, Redskins Rick said:

I hate to say it, but it sounds like just another case, with "our" system did not develop the guys to the best of their ability.

Little Yaz impressed me at double A. 

The way he was always hustling and had real baseball smarts, which not all the guys on this 25 man roster can say as much.

The scouts could only see his actual skillset at the time, and that he would be at best a 4th COF on a deep team.

Hard to rate a guy on the intangibles and the drive to succeed.

Cal Jr, wasnt the fastest or the best player on the field just based on skills, but he had the fire and drive to succeed and do to whatever it took, so he could be in the position to make the play.

Granted, I am not saying Yaz is an HOF.

But, I will enjoy watching him as long as he can sustain a MLB pro career.

Just think if Buck had brought him up for his cup o' joe at Fenway last season, without the juiced balls, as many of us wanted, he probably would not have set the world on fire.  It would have been a nice touch, however.  I'm glad he finally found his niche!

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Not convinced that this is a sustainable future for Yaz, but more power to him.  Wasn't concerned when they traded him.  Not gonna worry about it now.

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I don't think Yaz changed anything.   Yaz away stats at AAA 290/378/489/867 last year.   That is taking Harbor Park out of the equation.  If you add the juiced ball then what we are seeing is what happens.

Elias had Yaz in ST camp this spring. He got as much chance as any 28 year old unestablished  player would probably get. Yaz didn't take advantage of the opportunity.   He went to the PCL.  Tore it up and that lead to a another chance with the Giants.   Its no ones fault that is the way it happened.

Would it have happened if he had stayed with the O's?  Probably.  The ball is juiced in the AL as well as the NL.

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20 minutes ago, wildcard said:

I don't think Yaz changed anything.   Yaz away stats at AAA 290/378/489/867 last year.   That is taking Harbor Park out of the equation.  If you add the juiced ball then what we are seeing is what happens.

Elias had Yaz in ST camp this spring. He got as much chance as any 28 year old unestablished  player would probably get. Yaz didn't take advantage of the opportunity.   He went to the PCL.  Tore it up and that lead to a another chance with the Giants.   Its no ones fault that is the way it happened.

Would it have happened if he had stayed with the O's?  Probably.  The ball is juiced in the AL as well as the NL.

Larry Sheets looked like a star with juiced baseballs in 1987. Didn't last when baseballs got changed the next year. Same thing could happen to Yaz or he could go on to have a 10 year career. I'm leaning toward this is a fluke, but I'm rooting for him.

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o

 

The Orioles stuck with him for a long time, and as Moose Milligan once pointed out, perhaps his name alone (Yastrzemski) kept him around longer than if it were Smith, Daley, or Jackson ........ as a fan, I rooted a little extra hard for him when he was with the Orioles because of the fact that he was "Little Yaz."

He was a 22 year-old coming off of his 4th year in college when we drafted him in the 14th round, back in 2013. 

Prior to his trade to the Giants organization in March of 2019, his career OPS was .738 at the AAA-level, and .740 at the AA-level. 

 

I'm OK with the fact that the Orioles traded him in March of 2019 after his 6-year stint in their Minor League system. I think that the chances that he would be having similar success at the Major League level if he were still with the Orioles (presuming that the Orioles would have given him similar playing time as he has gotten with the Giants) are 50/50. 

 

o

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7 minutes ago, Going Underground said:

His K rate of near 30% is a concern. Maybe a fourth or fifth outfielder. 

Depending when the Orioles called him up, he might have been the ONLY outfielder...

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4 hours ago, Obando said:

Seeing Yaz breakout like he has with the Giants this year makes me wonder if this could turn out to be similar to the mistake the Astros made when they released JD Martinez in spring training 2014 because they didn’t give him enough of a chance to show them the changes he made to his swing in the offseason, only to see him sign with the Tigers and start the huge production run he’s been on ever since then.  Is it possible that Yaz made some adjustments in the offseason at a place like Driveline or with one of the other hitting gurus like Doug Latta, and the Orioles simply didn’t give him enough opportunities to show the changes he made in spring training?  I mean, how does a guy go from a fringe major leaguer at best who never busted down the door in the minors for the Orioles to give him a chance, to suddenly putting up numbers in the majors well beyond anything he ever did in the minors?  That doesn’t just happen by accident.  Sure, he was a victim of the Orioles depth in OF prospects, which put him behind several others for a shot in the majors, but you would think if the front office really thought he was capable of this type of breakout at 28 years old that they would have at least given him a chance to show what he could do before trading him away, especially on a rebuilding team.

This tells me that either Yaz made some changes in the offseason and the O’s didn’t give him many opportunities to show them in spring training, or he simply figured something out after he got traded to the Giants, most likely with the help of technology that has become so prominent in the development aspect of the game these days.  With a smart, data & technology-driven front office like the O’s have now, it has to be a shock to them to see Yaz performing as well as he has since coming up to the majors in late May/early June.  Then again, Elias and Sig barely had any time to get their system implemented by the time spring training rolled around, so anything they could have truly done to help Yaz reach this level probably wouldn’t have occurred until after the minor league season got underway.

Could someone like Luke compare Yaz’s swing from as recently as last year to what it looks like now, to maybe offer some insight as to what suddenly changed to allow Yaz to produce like this?  Because I think most of us were completely blindsided by this, and it would be great to try and understand how this could have happened.  I’m happy for Yaz, but obviously, it would have been much nicer to see him doing this for the Orioles after being in our system for the last 6 years and having nothing to show for it.  This isn’t to say our other highly regarded OF prospects won’t eventually reach this level, but on a rebuilding team, it would have been a great story to see Yaz doing this for us in 2019.

Sure. Mike has been great! I would never have guessed it. 

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