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Is it time to consider demoting Mountcastle?


MurphDogg

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For me, it all comes down to Ryans mental makeup. This is probably the first time he has ever struggled on a baseball field in his life. If he is showing signs of losing belief in himself, that is when the Os should sejd him down. Otherwise, these struggles are important for him to learn and grow from.  Frustration is ok;  loss of confidence in himself is not.

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8 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

I'll agree, he's looked lost at the plate at times.  It was a couple games ago or so where he swung and missed on a slider that wasn't even close to the zone.  I mean, it was bad...he wasn't in the same zip code.

What changed my mind is that there's been some improvement, as you noted.  Yeah, he's not lighting it up like he did last year when he came up, but that's okay, IMO.  So if he's getting a little better, now's not the time to send him down.  

He's not nearly in the same class as Vlad Jr, but both franchises regard their respective prospects as important contributors.  Vlad Jr. didn't light it up as a rookie and he wasn't impressive last year but he's killing it this year, arguably the best hitter in the majors.  The Jays stuck with him, it's paid off.

Now again, Mountcastle isn't projected to be the same type of hitter that Vlad Jr. is.  And Vlad Jr, even when he wasn't lighting it up, hasn't looked as bad as Mountcastle has.  But I think there's something to be said for recognizing when a guy has nothing left to prove in the minors and you let him figure it out in the majors.  

Thanks for the well reasoned post.

I guess where we differ is that I'm not one hundred percent convinced he has nothing left to prove in the minors. He had a single month (August 2019) where his k/bb ratio was anywhere near appropriate for a MLB player (it was 2.4/1). At some point you have to accept a player is who he will be, but his AAA k/bb ratio was nearly 5/1, and I don't know of any players who have had MLB success with that poor a k/bb ratio in the minors.

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31 minutes ago, MurphDogg said:

Cool. Thanks for the insight. Tell me more about how Hays will be on the IL for weeks.

At what point will it be worth considering demoting Mountcastle? If his k/bb ratio goes to 12/1?

Should he get a full season of MLB at-bats no matter how poorly he plays?

Yes

He has nothing left to prove in AAA.  He’s not going to learn anything.  

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4 minutes ago, MurphDogg said:

Thanks for the well reasoned post.

I guess where we differ is that I'm not one hundred percent convinced he has nothing left to prove in the minors. He had a single month (August 2019) where his k/bb ratio was anywhere near appropriate for a MLB player (it was 2.4/1). At some point you have to accept a player is who he will be, but his AAA k/bb ratio was nearly 5/1, and I don't know of any players who have had MLB success with that poor a k/bb ratio in the minors.

That's fair, but I don't think he's ever been advertised as a high walk/low strikeout kind of guy.  I'm not thrilled about that either but I was pleasantly surprised at his walk rate when he came up last year.  It wasn't amazing, but it seems like his walk rate got even better when he got to the majors.  I'm not sure if that's accurate, but I'd have to check.

As you said, you've gotta accept who a player is at some point and Mountcastle is what he is...a guy that doesn't play a particular position well despite being a seemingly athletic guy and has a lot of swing and miss in his game.  

Can he come around on that?  Guess we'll find out.  

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10 minutes ago, MurphDogg said:

Thanks for the well reasoned post.

I guess where we differ is that I'm not one hundred percent convinced he has nothing left to prove in the minors. He had a single month (August 2019) where his k/bb ratio was anywhere near appropriate for a MLB player (it was 2.4/1). At some point you have to accept a player is who he will be, but his AAA k/bb ratio was nearly 5/1, and I don't know of any players who have had MLB success with that poor a k/bb ratio in the minors.

Mountcastle is likely never going to be a high walk guy..or even a middling walk guy.  Going to AAA for a few weeks isn’t going to change that.

It’s why his ceiling is only so high.(well that and his defense)

I will backtrack on one thing...I would want to know what his attitude is like.  If he thinks he’s the greatest thing going and isn’t willing to listen to coaching, I would demote him.   That’s about the only reason I would.

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10 minutes ago, MurphDogg said:

Thanks for the well reasoned post.

I guess where we differ is that I'm not one hundred percent convinced he has nothing left to prove in the minors. He had a single month (August 2019) where his k/bb ratio was anywhere near appropriate for a MLB player (it was 2.4/1). At some point you have to accept a player is who he will be, but his AAA k/bb ratio was nearly 5/1, and I don't know of any players who have had MLB success with that poor a k/bb ratio in the minors.

Even Showalter publicly commented on Mountcastle's inability to walk. I think the O's have been trying to get Mountcastle to work on this for several years. Mountcastle was successful despite in the minors despite his lack of walks. Playing Mountcastle in Baltimore and having him struggle on the ML team may be the only way to get him to face the reality of this issue and work on it. Just thinking out loud.  

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30 minutes ago, cnmilton said:

For me, it all comes down to Ryans mental makeup. This is probably the first time he has ever struggled on a baseball field in his life. If he is showing signs of losing belief in himself, that is when the Os should sejd him down. Otherwise, these struggles are important for him to learn and grow from.  Frustration is ok;  loss of confidence in himself is not.

Mountcastle has struggled before.  Look at his minor league splits, almost every year except 2019 he had a bad month or two and always recovered.  April of 2016 at Delmarva he went 11-for-68 (.162) with a .515 OPS.  .930 and .853 the next two months.

He had a .727 OPS in May, let him work through it.  My general opinion is you can't ruin a player by asking him to work through a tough patch, and you don't learn to hit MLB pitching in AAA.

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22 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

Yes

He has nothing left to prove in AAA.  He’s not going to learn anything.  

He has only played the outfield twice in an AL park since April 15th (and one of those was left field at Fenway, which anyone could play). I think he would certainly benefit from playing every day in the corner outfield at Norfolk. I think it may help him to work on his approach at the plate down there too, and it certainly wouldn't hurt him.

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16 minutes ago, Ohfan67 said:

Even Showalter publicly commented on Mountcastle's inability to walk. I think the O's have been trying to get Mountcastle to work on this for several years. Mountcastle was successful despite in the minors despite his lack of walks. Playing Mountcastle in Baltimore and having him struggle on the ML team may be the only way to get him to face the reality of this issue and work on it. Just thinking out loud.  

Pretty much the only way to learn to walk more is to hit a lot better and have pitchers be afraid to throw you strikes.  I'm not convinced working on plate discipline while holding other abilities constant is really a thing.  Almost everyone I know of who's seen a dramatic increase in their walk rate only got there by hitting 50 homers.  See: Sammy Sosa and Chris Davis.

There's also Jimmy Sheckard, but that was a very long time ago.

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3 minutes ago, MurphDogg said:

He has only played the outfield twice in an AL park since April 15th (and one of those was left field at Fenway, which anyone could play). I think he would certainly benefit from playing every day in the corner outfield at Norfolk. I think it may help him to work on his approach at the plate down there too, and it certainly wouldn't hurt him.

He’s not going to be an OFer going forward, so who cares if he plays there?

Play him in the OF up here if that’s so important. 

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