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Frobby

What do you expect from Ryan Mountcastle in 2021?

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For me, it’s tough to predict how Ryan Mountcastle will do in 2021.   On the one hand, his raw stats were very good: .333/.386/.492 with 5 doubles, 5 homers and 23 RBI in 140 PA over 35 games.    Certainly nothing to sneeze at there.    But he had a severe power outage over his final 13 games, hitting .286/.321/.306 and managing just one extra base hit (a double) in that span.   Also his .268 xBA was way below his actual BA of .333, suggesting there was a good bit of luck in his batting average.    Although Mountcastle did walk a bit more than expected, he swung at pitches out of the strike zone 42% of the time, a rate that exceeds Adam Jones’ career average.

Personally, I believe in his bat, and think he’ll hit in the .290 range with a .450-.460 SLG.    Not sure he’ll keep up his 2020 walk rate, so put me down for a .325-.330 OBP.   That puts him at .775-.790 OPS overall.    

I think plate discipline is going to be the key for Mountcastle.    42% swing % outside the zone is much too high to be an elite hitter.    Mountcastle is one of those rare guys who can make solid contact on pitches outside the zone, but he really needs to make the pitchers come to him more.    

 

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The thing that gives me hope is that he walked at a better rate than I expected him to when he got to Baltimore.  There still should be some room for improvement.

I'd be happy with a 40 point separation between his batting average and on base percentage.  Anything over that would be a nice surprise.

 

 

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I think pegging him at something around an 800 OPS is fair.  
 

His OpS is likely to always be somewhat limited due to the lack of walks and high OBP.  If he ever has a 350+ OBP, I would be mildly surprised.  I expect him to usually be in the 320-335 range.

Like Frobby, a slugging in the 475 area is about where I would expect him.  So yea, 780-810 range.  A lot of that will depend on if he is a 270-285 type hitter or a 280-300 hitter.

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I think the power outage was mostly a result of pitchers attacking him outside the zone and him chasing.  He has the ability to make contact with the pitches but he wasn't barreling them, resulting in weak contact.

 

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39 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

I think the power outage was mostly a result of pitchers attacking him outside the zone and him chasing.  He has the ability to make contact with the pitches but he wasn't barreling them, resulting in weak contact.

 

I agree with this.  The question is, will that change over time?  Or, perhaps the better question is, how much will it change over time?

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37 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

I agree with this.  The question is, will that change over time?  Or, perhaps the better question is, how much will it change over time?

I agree as well.   Some players develop better plate discipline and some don’t.    Mountcastle is young enough where we can hope he makes some improvements in that regard.    

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Just now, Frobby said:

I agree as well.   Some players develop better plate discipline and some don’t.    Mountcastle is young enough where we can hope he makes some improvements in that regard.    

 

49 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

I agree with this.  The question is, will that change over time?  Or, perhaps the better question is, how much will it change over time?

I think he has a better chance than most since I don't think it was ever a skill he needed to develop in the minors.

 

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3 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

 

I think he has a better chance than most since I don't think it was ever a skill he needed to develop in the minors.

 

Ehhh, I don’t really buy that.  You always need the skill of better plate discipline.

Now, I get what you are saying but I think there have been a lot of great hitters come through the minors that “didn’t need to develop it” but they did anyway.

I think the hope for Mountcastle is that he can be what Mancini was in 2019.

I stated earlier that I would be surprised if Mountcastle ever had an OBp over 350.  Well, I would have said the same thing about Mancini yet he did it in 2019.  Now, we will see if he can sustain that or not but Mancini had a big offensive year and as a result, pitchers were likely more careful with him and he accepted the walks.

Mancini has never been a good walk guy but he was also never a wild swinger either, ala a guy like Jones.  Mountcastle to me, is the same as Mancini in that regards.  I think he has a good hit tool and not some awful approach at the plate.  I still don’t think he will ever do enough in terms of OBP(at least to make him an elite hitter) but if he adds more and more power and continues to have a solid approach, he certainly could have a year like Mancini did in 2019.  The question is, can he do that for multiple years or just once?

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1 hour ago, Sports Guy said:

I think pegging him at something around an 800 OPS is fair.  
 

His OpS is likely to always be somewhat limited due to the lack of walks and high OBP.  If he ever has a 350+ OBP, I would be mildly surprised.  I expect him to usually be in the 320-335 range.

Like Frobby, a slugging in the 475 area is about where I would expect him.  So yea, 780-810 range.  A lot of that will depend on if he is a 270-285 type hitter or a 280-300 hitter.

I am with you but. I’d think he will be a .300 hitter. I’m concerned about his defense in LF.

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1 hour ago, Sports Guy said:

I think pegging him at something around an 800 OPS is fair.  
 

His OpS is likely to always be somewhat limited due to the lack of walks and high OBP.  If he ever has a 350+ OBP, I would be mildly surprised.  I expect him to usually be in the 320-335 range.

Like Frobby, a slugging in the 475 area is about where I would expect him.  So yea, 780-810 range.  A lot of that will depend on if he is a 270-285 type hitter or a 280-300 hitter.

Your use of “ever” is interesting when he just posted a .385 (albeit in a shortened season). I assume you meant over 500+ PA (or some other barometer for full season). 

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3 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

 I think he has a good hit tool and not some awful approach at the plate.

Right.  He doesn't swing at total junk, he swings at pitcher's pitches. 

He had success with that in the minors so he continued doing it.  Other players don't have the bat to ball skills and have had to refine their personal strike zone at an earlier point in their career.

The fact that he doesn't just hack at everything is what makes me think a further refinement is possible once he learns what he can and can't drive when facing ML pitching.

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1 minute ago, Roll Tide said:

I am with you but. I’d think he will be a .300 hitter. I’m concerned about his defense in LF.

If he can hit 300 with power I'm not concerned about his defense in Left.

I think he's already ahead of someone like Reimold.

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2 hours ago, Frobby said:

For me, it’s tough to predict how Ryan Mountcastle will do in 2021.   On the one hand, his raw stats were very good: .333/.386/.492 with 5 doubles, 5 homers and 23 RBI in 140 PA over 35 games.    Certainly nothing to sneeze at there.    But he had a severe power outage over his final 13 games, hitting .286/.321/.306 and managing just one extra base hit (a double) in that span.   Also his .268 xBA was way below his actual BA of .333, suggesting there was a good bit of luck in his batting average.    Although Mountcastle did walk a bit more than expected, he swung at pitches out of the strike zone 42% of the time, a rate that exceeds Adam Jones’ career average.

Personally, I believe in his bat, and think he’ll hit in the .290 range with a .450-.460 SLG.    Not sure he’ll keep up his 2020 walk rate, so put me down for a .325-.330 OBP.   That puts him at .775-.790 OPS overall.    

I think plate discipline is going to be the key for Mountcastle.    42% swing % outside the zone is much too high to be an elite hitter.    Mountcastle is one of those rare guys who can make solid contact on pitches outside the zone, but he really needs to make the pitchers come to him more.    

 

As I showed in his scouting report for this year, he has a hole down and away, and although he will chase at times, he showed a decent ability to lay off pitches in his hole. The key though to Mountcastle is he basically murders everything in the zone, especially inside where his quick bat speed gets the head of the bat to the ball effectively.

I think he's a guy who may be a bit streaky at times, but who will absolutely carry a teams at times when he's hot. Though of who have always pointed to his poor K-BB ratio as reasons why he will struggle in the major leagues always forgot to mention how high a batting average he held throughout his career at every level. 

That was his ability to mash pitches in the zone and also showed his elite plate coverage. If he finds a way to hit balls effectively low and away he's going to be an impact hitter for years to come, and even if that remains a hole, pitchers will need to be able to effectively hit that hole because when they don't, they are in for a world of hurt.

Mountcastle is an elite bat that will be in the middle of the Orioles offense for a long time.

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1 minute ago, Tony-OH said:

As I showed in his scouting report for this year, he has a hole down and away, and although he will chase at times, he showed a decent ability to lay off pitches in his hole. The key though to Mountcastle is he basically murders everything in the zone, especially inside where his quick bat speed gets the head of the bat to the ball effectively.

I think he's a guy who may be a bit streaky at times, but who will absolutely carry a teams at times when he's hot. Though of who have always pointed to his poor K-BB ratio as reasons why he will struggle in the major leagues always forgot to mention how high a batting average he held throughout his career at every level. 

That was his ability to mash pitches in the zone and also showed his elite plate coverage. If he finds a way to hit balls effectively low and away he's going to be an impact hitter for years to come, and even if that remains a hole, pitchers will need to be able to effectively hit that hole because when they don't, they are in for a world of hurt.

Mountcastle is an elite bat that will be in the middle of the Orioles offense for a long time.

Does he try to pull low and away pitches and roll them over?  Or would it be easier for him to take that pitch to the opposite field and that's something he hasn't been able to do?  If he has elite plate coverage, I would assume that going the other way should be something he can do.

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5 minutes ago, BohKnowsBmore said:

Your use of “ever” is interesting when he just posted a .385 (albeit in a shortened season). I assume you meant over 500+ PA (or some other barometer for full season). 

Yes....what he does in a SSS is of little consequence to me.  I will say that I was surprised by his plate discipline within that small sample size.  Whether he sustains that over a full season or not obviously remains to be seen.

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