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Avery overmatched

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Since many of the hitters at Delmarva are struggling lets give these guys a break for at least another couple of weeks. It can certainly be a case of the pitchers being more advanced then the hitters at this point in time, and by May/June the hitters have caught up and started to heat up. Avery is still way young for this league and should be given plenty of time, if he is still struggling in June then you can send him to Aberdeen, but lets wait and see.

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Nearly everyone at Delmarva is having trouble making contact.

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ibp&cid=548&stn=true&sid=t548

I'm not sure why I should find this comforting. It probably means we have bad hitters at Delmarva. The key is he (and others) are not making contact. If their strikeouts were low than maybe we could say they were just being unlucky or the ball's not carrying, etc. But when the player is just whiffing, well, it raises a lot more questions.

You don't need to say it. We all know it is early and things can change. But things are not looking so hot right now.

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People really need to learn that when you take a HS player, in general you should be allowing 4-5 years before you see them hit the majors. There are special exceptions once in a while, but generally it's going to take them a full year at low A, high A, AA and AAA to get enough experience on the little things.

There is so much more than just tools and athleticism. It's not just quick bat meet ball, or blow a pitch by this guy. There is pitch recognition, adjusting to different strike zones for different umpires, learning how to play under the lights, knowing when to lay off a pitch, knowing when to make a pitch, calling a game...just all the little stuff you think you know coming out of HS is totally different when you get to a professional level. In HS 30% or so of the guys can do that little stuff well, in the pros 95% of them can, so you have to know how to do it better than the next guy to get ahead. It takes them a while to adjust to new things while still trying to maintain their stats. That and the whole mental side to it, the proverbial albatross that we as fans help create. There is a lot of pressure to succeed, if they go through a rough stretch, especially early in their career, it's hard for them to bounce back, so we need to be patient as fans.

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I'm not sure why I should find this comforting. It probably means we have bad hitters at Delmarva. The key is he (and others) are not making contact. If their strikeouts were low than maybe we could say they were just being unlucky or the ball's not carrying, etc. But when the player is just whiffing, well, it raises a lot more questions.

You don't need to say it. We all know it is early and things can change. But things are not looking so hot right now.

You're overlooking one huge mitigating factor here - the South Atlantic League historically trends toward an inordinately high K rate. For example, 2008 K rates:

South Atlantic League (A) - 20.2%

Carolina League (A+) - 18.5%

Eastern League (AA) -17.9%

International League (AAA) - 19.3%

This cannot be entirely explained by lower-level players striking out more...I believe there is an umpiring factor here. I'm most interested in seeing how players do when they get to Advanced-A and above. For context on this year's K numbers, the SAL K rate so far this year is about 21% (K rate being calculated as % of total PAs, not ABs), so even higher than in 2008.

So, that said, Avery's K rate is still ridiculously high (44%), he hasn't walked even once, and he seems to be rolling over everything when he does make contact (86% GB rate). Kolodny is also putting up some startling peripherals, namely a 38% K rate and just 1 walk so far.

Other than those two, there aren't any particularly concerning K issues for the Shorebirds. Let's not get carried away and make blanket statements like "We have bad hitters at Delmarva". Especially a few weeks into the season.

Edited by Jenius

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Not trying to bust your chops but what the heck does that mean?

I wrote that he might be more or less special with respect to being MLB ready in 2013. If he is better than I peg him at . . . then before 2013. Less so . . . after 2013.

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People really need to learn that when you take a HS player, in general you should be allowing 4-5 years before you see them hit the majors. There are special exceptions once in a while, but generally it's going to take them a full year at low A, high A, AA and AAA to get enough experience on the little things.

There is so much more than just tools and athleticism. It's not just quick bat meet ball, or blow a pitch by this guy. There is pitch recognition, adjusting to different strike zones for different umpires, learning how to play under the lights, knowing when to lay off a pitch, knowing when to make a pitch, calling a game...just all the little stuff you think you know coming out of HS is totally different when you get to a professional level. In HS 30% or so of the guys can do that little stuff well, in the pros 95% of them can, so you have to know how to do it better than the next guy to get ahead. It takes them a while to adjust to new things while still trying to maintain their stats. That and the whole mental side to it, the proverbial albatross that we as fans help create. There is a lot of pressure to succeed, if they go through a rough stretch, especially early in their career, it's hard for them to bounce back, so we need to be patient as fans.

These statements seem to contradict one another. In the first sentence you say early performance doesn't matter. In the last sentence you say it's hard to bounce back from early trouble. Which is it?

In general, these kinds of sentiments are sort of silly. Whether I'm patient or not is not going to have any impact on whether Avery succeeds or fails. No one is booing him or wishing him ill. We all hope he becomes a MLB All-star. But wishing it does not make it so.

I'm sure he feels pressure to succeed but if he's feeling any extra pressure because of some post documenting his stats on an internet board, he's in trouble.

His success depends upon his talent and what he can learn from coaches. If he were a big power hitter, the k's might be slightly less of a concern. Slightly. But power isn't his game so his ticket is going to have to be getting on base and running. Just a couple of weeks in, it's hard to feel very positive. Lets hope he turns it around.

In the meantime, we can have an honest discussion w/o feeling like we have to pretend all is honky-dory.

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These statements seem to contradict one another. In the first sentence you say early performance doesn't matter. In the last sentence you say it's hard to bounce back from early trouble. Which is it?

In general, these kinds of sentiments are sort of silly. Whether I'm patient or not is not going to have any impact on whether Avery succeeds or fails. No one is booing him or wishing him ill. We all hope he becomes a MLB All-star. But wishing it does not make it so.

I'm sure he feels pressure to succeed but if he's feeling any extra pressure because of some post documenting his stats on an internet board, he's in trouble.

His success depends upon his talent and what he can learn from coaches. If he were a big power hitter, the k's might be slightly less of a concern. Slightly. But power isn't his game so his ticket is going to have to be getting on base and running. Just a couple of weeks in, it's hard to feel very positive. Lets hope he turns it around.

In the meantime, we can have an honest discussion w/o feeling like we have to pretend all is honky-dory.

No, they are actually saying the same thing. That people on here need to stop whining about a 19 year old kid's stats after 2 weeks in low A ball. It is always hard to bounce back from a slump, but it is harder the younger they are. It gets easier as they progress.

I wasn't saying that we are creating pressure here, he's got the pressure on himself, because he knows what his statistics are. As a pro you are pretty obsessed with them.

I was saying people need to stop whining so much, everything is honky-dory, we are only 2 weeks into their first pro season, you want to rag on someone go after Rowell, and even then you can make a case for it being too soon.

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I am frequently accused as being "the most negative person" on this board.

Reality check.

This guy was a 2nd round draft pick. He was paid a lot of money to shun football and become an Oriole. Don't I have a right to expect some results???? We're talking about one of the lowest rungs of the minor leagues for crying out loud. Not AAA, not AA, not A ball. Low-A ball.

It would be one thing if he was hitting .200 with a couple of extra base hits. But he can't even make contact.

I won't write him off. He's extremely athletic, fast, powerfully built with lots of tools. From what I've read, he has quite a work ethic and drive to succeed. Some guys need a few seasons before something "clicks". But don't fault me for being impatient when we spend a 2nd round pick on a guy and spend a lot of money on him only to have him strike out at a .440 clip in Low-A ball...

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I am frequently accused as being "the most negative person" on this board.

Reality check.

This guy was a 2nd round draft pick. He was paid a lot of money to shun football and become an Oriole. Don't I have a right to expect some results???? We're talking about one of the lowest rungs of the minor leagues for crying out loud. Not AAA, not AA, not A ball. Low-A ball.

It would be one thing if he was hitting .200 with a couple of extra base hits. But he can't even make contact.

I won't write him off. He's extremely athletic, fast, powerfully built with lots of tools. From what I've read, he has quite a work ethic and drive to succeed. Some guys need a few seasons before something "clicks". But don't fault me for being impatient when we spend a 2nd round pick on a guy and spend a lot of money on him only to have him strike out at a .440 clip in Low-A ball...

I'm not sure why you have a "right" to be "impatient" with a 19 year old you haven't spent a dime on - unless you count the (very) attenuated $$$ you've spent on Orioles tickets.

I mean really? You have a right to say whatever you like. And the rest of us have a "right" to say it's premature and somewhat immature to harp so seriously about a 19 year old kid.

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I am frequently accused as being "the most negative person" on this board.

Reality check.

This guy was a 2nd round draft pick. He was paid a lot of money to shun football and become an Oriole. Don't I have a right to expect some results???? We're talking about one of the lowest rungs of the minor leagues for crying out loud. Not AAA, not AA, not A ball. Low-A ball.

It would be one thing if he was hitting .200 with a couple of extra base hits. But he can't even make contact.

I won't write him off. He's extremely athletic, fast, powerfully built with lots of tools. From what I've read, he has quite a work ethic and drive to succeed. Some guys need a few seasons before something "clicks". But don't fault me for being impatient when we spend a 2nd round pick on a guy and spend a lot of money on him only to have him strike out at a .440 clip in Low-A ball...

You're lucky you're not a Philly fan. I can't imagine what you'd think of Anthony Hewitt.

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I am frequently accused as being "the most negative person" on this board.

Reality check.

This guy was a 2nd round draft pick. He was paid a lot of money to shun football and become an Oriole. Don't I have a right to expect some results???? We're talking about one of the lowest rungs of the minor leagues for crying out loud. Not AAA, not AA, not A ball. Low-A ball.

It would be one thing if he was hitting .200 with a couple of extra base hits. But he can't even make contact.

I won't write him off. He's extremely athletic, fast, powerfully built with lots of tools. From what I've read, he has quite a work ethic and drive to succeed. Some guys need a few seasons before something "clicks". But don't fault me for being impatient when we spend a 2nd round pick on a guy and spend a lot of money on him only to have him strike out at a .440 clip in Low-A ball...

Low-A is quite a jump for a 19-year old who played in the GCL last summer. He skipped both Bluefield and Aberdeen. It may turn out that he needs to go back to that level.

Just to remind you, Brandon Snyder was 19 when he played at Delmarva the first time, and he hit .194/.237/.340 and had to be sent back to Aberdeen partway through the year. Ryan Adams was hitting .236/.296/.329 at Aberdeen at age 20. So, if Avery is overmatched at Delmarva at age 19 and needs to move down a level, it is not the end of the world.

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Low-A is quite a jump for a 19-year old who played in the GCL last summer. He skipped both Bluefield and Aberdeen. It may turn out that he needs to go back to that level.

Just to remind you, Brandon Snyder was 19 when he played at Delmarva the first time, and he hit .194/.237/.340 and had to be sent back to Aberdeen partway through the year. Ryan Adams was hitting .236/.296/.329 at Aberdeen at age 20. So, if Avery is overmatched at Delmarva at age 19 and needs to move down a level, it is not the end of the world.

Thank you for restoring my sanity. That was quite therapeutic. Still, I'd feel better if he'd at least make contact!

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Avery is an outstanding athlete that the O's are going to try and develop (which is why they drafted him so high). The key is "develop"...that doesn't mean he was "ready" when signed.

Is he overmatched? Absolutely (just like Kolodny). But to assume most 19 year old players are ready for the pitching in the SAL is a little unreasonable. By now, it's very likely both of those players confidence is so low they aren't likely to pull out of it in the SAL. They need to get fewer reps right now, then go to Aberdeen and see if they can get started again.

BTW, if you've seen Avery in the OF he's just as far behind there as he is at the plate. VERY fast, but terrible routes to the ball. Again, he needs time.

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