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Robert Neustrom 2021

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On 10/21/2021 at 11:20 PM, Frobby said:

My sense is that Neustrom will be a very similar player to Stewart.   Not sure he’s an upgrade at all but arguably it might be worthwhile to find out anyway, since Stewart has looked like a replacement level player in 193 games, 609 PA.   He could improve a bit offensively but he’s always going to be pretty limited in what he can do.   

Neustrom’s stats are not awesome, agreed. He is not currently listed on many top 30 lists, but he should be in the back end somewhere as an older guy who is beginning to make positive strides. On the other hand, it’s only one good season. 

For me, he looks to be a solid defender, but not a gold glove candidate. Neustrom had some really legendary home runs this year, one around 480 feet in Hartford. Many others that were in the 450 foot range from what I have read over the year. The 31 2B, 16 HR and 83 RBI’s are not gaudy, but very solid numbers from a guy who is 25 next month. The .748 OPS in AAA is tough when half of it is at Norfolk. He had an .830 in Bowie.

His fly ball rate has increased, which I find very encouraging, considering his power, which has to be a 70 raw power grade. The reports on him have been that he has great raw power, but did not get to it in games and settles for making lesser contact. The K% is at about 25% in AAA, but was much less in lower leagues. The BB% was 11.3 in AAA, and around 10% otherwise. Solid numbers. It appears he is responding to coaching and driving the ball much more. He stayed healthy for the season, which was important.

I see a steady performer, maybe unspectacular compared to Stowers, but a steady corner guy. Maybe a bit of a platoon guy, who gets some DH time as well. What I like about him is he drives in runs. He finds a way to be productive. If you have a runner on 3B early in the game with one out, Neustrom will hit a ground ball to 2B or a sac fly to the OF. He will get the run home. His general line each game was 1-4 with at least an RBI.

If we have to choose between Neustrom and Stewart, it is an easy choice for me. Neustrom does not walk as much as Stewart, but he does not miss late on every fastball he sees. Neustrom could probably benefit from a bit more time in AAA, and perhaps a June call up.

Stewart is a DH at this point, with very little power numbers to show for his 608 PA’s. To be consistently late on average fastballs and not make the adjustments all season long was just maddening to me. There is no excuse for that for a professional hitter. Perhaps I am overly aggravated by this and he can turn out a productive season in 2022. A lot would have to happen for him to have that opportunity. 

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