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OrioleDog

Swing Decisions, Monthly

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For Spring, here is the somewhat cruder Eye (Strikeouts divided by Walks) - kudos to Santander and Bannon for walking more than they struck out.

Santander I am guessing wasn't swinging hard, could have been either babying oblique or intentionally working on tracking pitches, as always probably some of both.    Hopeful the team April results can get out of 30th out of 30 with Hanser Alberto now in the Royals pool.

LEADERS (K/BB by batter <2.00):

Santander 0.70, Bannon 0.75, McKenna 1.14, Gunnar 1.33, Sisco 1.83

MIDDLE (2.00 to 3.20 - arbitrary end point to get Valaika in middle, he wasn't as bad as the laggards):

Severino 2.00, Urias 2.25, Mullins 2.67, Galvis 2.67, Jahmai 2.67, Adley 2.75, Yusniel 2.80, Franco 3.00, Valaika 3.20

LAGGARDS:

Hays 4.00, Nevin 4.00, Trey 9.00, Mountcastle 11.00, Ruiz 12.00

Trey about 3.00 in his career and obviously gets a full pass this spring not tracking pitches - almost like he and Santander switched styles for a camp.

I admit I didn't notice Bannon Eye amid the not hitting - maybe his 2B audition is closer at hand than I thought this morning?   He certainly isn't rooting for us to get Rougned Odor.

 

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In its first Hanser-free month in awhile, the Team ranked 26th in O-Swing% for April.

Fangraphs has 162 qualified batters - only Mullins, Trey, Maikel and RMC got that full-time run.

Percentile results - Mullins 75th, Trey 31st, Maikel 25th, RMC 4th

Raw ranks Mountcastle was 156th of 162, where among the few even hackier than him were his Patronus Nick Castellanos, Jose Iglesias (not flirting with .400), Luis Robert and Salvador Perez.

Here's hoping to May Hays, June Santander, July Jones, and August Rutschman - part-timers, meh.

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In May, the Orioles fell from the March/April 26th place perch down to 29th (we did beat the Red Sox at O-Swing avoidance).

Percentile results -   Player: April, May

Hays: xx, 63rd    (Hays May 63rd percentile among 210 batters with 70PA - he missed "qualifying" with the usual injury thing, the rest of the percentiles are within Qualified batters on FG this morning)

Mullins: 75th, 52nd     (slipping but still the best we've got for now)

Trey: 31st, 32nd     (modeling that this can be fine if you hit the ball)

Galvis: xx, 16th     

Franco: 25th, 6th      

Mountcastle:  4th, 3rd    (this month Adolis, Yermin, Javy, Salvy were the lone hackier - congrats Salvy for "beating" Mountcastle both months)

Adley from Sunday night voicing one of the game's basic truths.

“Patience is the name of the game. Swinging at strikes and eliminating bad pitches is what allows you to get those good pitches to hit and capitalizing when you get those,” said Rutschman. “If you’re swinging out of zone, there’s no reason to ever throw you in zone, so you got to show pitchers that you’re willing to refine your zone and that they’re going to have throw you a strike at some point in order for you to swing.”

Hays had a nice May, enough so that I've grown to like him 2nd when we can put all our good-ish hitters in the lineup.

Fingers still crossed for Mullins, Hays, Mancini, Santander, Adley and Mountcastle in top 6 in that narrow window between Futures Game and if we decide to trade Mancini.    Vavra has cooled some but still some hope he might be 7th respectable September O going towards 2022.  

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In June, the team was dead last as Galvis (exhausted?) fell off a cliff.   Qualified PA in a month also kind of an attendance report, and good for Santander to show up for first time this year.

Percentile results -   Player: April, May, June

Mullins: 75th, 52nd, 41st    (slipping but still the best we've got for now - yes our "best" entered Bottom Half)

Santander: xx, xx, 36th

Trey: 31st, 32nd, 22nd   

Galvis: xx, 16th, 7th  

Franco: 25th, 6th, 20th

Mountcastle:  4th, 3rd, 11th    (Cedric went Bottom Half, but Mountcastle escaped Bottom 10%, growth for who he is)

Hays June back to non-qualified PA status.   As we wait for Adley and debate what to expect, one of the things I expect is for him to be the first truly capable Oriole bat to control the strike zone.

On the last day of June, all five of our credible batters played; hopefully they can all log a full month of July.

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In July, the Ramon Urias-led Orioles surged to a stratospheric for us 17th MLB-wide.  

Qualified PA in a month also kind of an attendance report, and good for Hays to show up for first time this year.    Santander absent again, though this time at least it was illness, not injury.

Percentile results -   Player: April, May, June, July

Urias: xx, xx, xx, 95th        (a brilliant month, doing the DJ Stewart things higher on the defensive spectrum plus actually hitting some)

Hays: xx, xx, xx, 65th       (Hays was also above average in his partial May that almost qualified)

Mullins: 75th, 52nd, 41st, 40th

Santander: xx, xx, 36th, xx

Trey: 31st, 32nd, 22nd, 39th

Franco: 25th, 6th, 20th, xx

Mountcastle:  4th, 3rd, 11th, 5th  

For August, Urias gives a 6th batter I'm actually growing somewhat proud to see in the lineup most days.   

I am thrilled with Stowers and Neustrom's great months, but still hopeful Hays and Santander can build sturdy barriers to first string LF/RF jobs for 2022.   Obviously Elias can crib the rant Dayton Moore just dropped on Adalberto Mondesi about both of them, but there are two more months to improve attendance and they are here for the warm, humid air and non-sticky baseballs.

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So what is the feeling among the sabermetric cognoscenti about someone like Mountcastle?

Will his inability to avoid swinging at pitches outside the zone make it impossible for him to be a good hitter for a long time?   Or is it just a different profile of a hitter, and some of those guys can be very good for a very long time?   Is it possible for a hitter over long term to significantly  improve at this or is it pretty much intrinsic to who they are?

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Across the 2014-2021 span of Nick Castellanos' career to date, Fangraphs batting leaders gives 427 batters.

Adam Jones is 421st, and Hanser Alberto is 427th.

Nick Castellanos is "all the way up" to 377th, barely out of that Bottom 10% like Mountcastle managed when he had his fine July.

Career 162-game averages, Castellanos 44 BB/155 K, Mountcastle 42 BB/167 K so far.

I think we get half a decade watching him try to better end of the line Adam Jones, and approach Castellanos' level as a free swinger with special enough batting talent to make it go.

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I like this thread a lot.  I assume you saw the piece on Britton and the Bowie team.  Seems this is a focus.  For me this is the nuts and bolts 101 class stuff.  Hitting is so difficult.  If you aren't giving yourself a chance by swing at balls you can't do anything with you are a dead man walking.  I love that they have metrics and rewards in place for Pitch Recognition in lower levels. 

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For some context on how even good Orioles teams have fared at this attribute, a look back at a certain team you may remember, ye olde "Best AL Record in a 5-year period" 2012-2016 Orioles.

O-Swing% - Seasonal Percentile Ranks of Orioles Batters among all batters with 300 PA, 2012 - 2016

Adam Jones: 02 | 01 | 03 | 00 | 00   -   pretty much exactly what you would expect

Chris Davis: 06 | 21 | 47 | 53 | 62    -   not surprising in retrospect, crushing skills diminishing as time went by.   Doesn't swing at all by end of the story, whether chase pitch or cookie.

Hyun-Soo Kim:  xx | xx | xx | xx | 92    -  excellent, but of the Stewart/Sisco clan, can tell but doesn't really matter.   Beloved by Buck.

JJ Hardy: 49 | 52 | 65 | 66 | 90   -   I think in 2016, after the atrocious 2015, he held Father Time at bay a little bit by going into a shell

Jonathan Schoop : xx | xx | 05 | 02 | 01   -   young and strong

Manny Machado: xx | 39 | 23 | 84 | 37   -   2015 Machado arguably his career year.   I feel like the ability to change your game this much year to year probably something not everybody can do.

Matt Wieters: 33 | 32 | xx | xx | 21  -   an area of the game I look for Rutschman to greatly surpass him

Nick Markakis: 65 | 64 | 75 | atl | atl  -  he was mostly why I did this, to benchmark the best Pure Hit guy in our recent history against all MLB'ers.

Steve Pearce: xx | xx | 67 | 69 | xx  -  perhaps representative of an Adult in the Room type hitter I hope Elias can at least get for 2022

Other 1-timers like 2016 Hyun-Soo Kim:

2012 Mark Reynolds - 84th percentile - complacent Reynolds would look for a strike

2016 Mark Trumbo - 25th percentile - watching Mountcastle unfold, he doesn't even need 25th percentile, just avoiding Bottom 10% would be a win

2013 Nate McLouth - 96th percentile - the best season found in this survey

2014 Nelson Cruz - 36th percentile

2016 Pedro Alvarez - 43rd percentile

 

 

 

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In August, Ramon Urias again helped keep the team away from the very bottom.   The team ended up 25th MLB-wide for August.

Qualified PA in a month also kind of an attendance report, and Mountcastle narrowly missed with his brief absence.   He was seeing beach balls all month, so no surprise he was swinging (and crushing!) a lot.

Percentile results -   Player: April, May, June, July, August

Urias: xx, xx, xx, 95th, 85th        (another very good month, solidifying himself as someone I'm proud to see in the lineup)

Hays: xx, xx, xx, 65th, 38th       (2nd straight month of compiling Qualified full-time status)

Mullins: 75th, 52nd, 41st, 40th, 64th

Santander: xx, xx, 36th, xx, 18th

Trey: 31st, 32nd, 22nd, 39th, 29th

Mountcastle:  4th, 3rd, 11th, 5th, 2nd* (2nd percentile with threshold lowered to 70PA).

I'm hoping September gives Jahmai Jones enough run to qualify.   If we can get Jahmai and Adley circa April 15th, that'd be 8 out of 9 credible and whatever the offseason turns up for 3B, though Urias/Jones probably waaaay overextended defensively as a starting middle infield.   I'm also curious in Jones' September to see if infield/outfield flexing occurs, as I've felt he and Vavra are perhaps being groomed for that Enrique Hernandez/Chris Taylor 10th/11th player type role.

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There are certain guys who get less selective when they’re hot, and it doesn’t seem to hurt them.   Mountcastle is one of those.   Mancini, on the other hand, does better when he’s being patient (my impression - I haven’t looked it up).    

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On 8/27/2021 at 5:53 PM, OrioleDog said:

Steve Pearce: xx | xx | 67 | 69 | xx  -  perhaps representative of an Adult in the Room type hitter I hope Elias can at least get for 2022

 

I love this descriptor and it's kind of how I've felt all year about our lineup. We need another adult in the room hitter in there. Trey is that guy, but he's got a lot on his shoulders this year. Too much, really. 

Urias has been the adult in the room for me of late.

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4 minutes ago, Frobby said:

There are certain guys who get less selective when they’re hot, and it doesn’t seem to hurt them.   Mountcastle is one of those.   Mancini, on the other hand, does better when he’s being patient (my impression - I haven’t looked it up).    

Poking around the Fangraphs Plate Discipline splits, the other Mountcastle item i noticed was he had the second most "first strikes" out of over 200 guys at 70 PA in August.

I'm sure he "made" some of those strikes himself by swinging at (woulda been) balls.   His overall Zone% was just about 30th percentile, as one might guess...why would a pitcher throw him an honest strike these days.

High F-Strike% to me generically means pitchers have no fear, and the rest of August's top 10 - Yadi, D. Peralta, Bryan de la Cruz (congrats Marlins for having a qualifying batter I have literally never heard of), W. Castro, Moran, Wendle*, A. Ibanez, N. Lopez, G. Polanco (released) feel like mostly toothless bats*

*Though of course Orioles pitching gave Wendle's SLG a nice boost.   Everybody's Gleyber this year.

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I think you are going to see these numbers change a lot once Elias’ draftees start percolating up to the majors.   They’re drafting disciplined hitters and they’re coaching it throughout the minors.   

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