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Has Gunnar's struggles slowed the promotion of other O's prospects?


wildcard

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Posted (edited)

Gunnar Henderson was the #1 MLB prospect until he graduated to a major leaguer earlier this season.   However he has struggled at the plate and in the field.   The 21 year old (22 on June 29th) now has 184 plate appearances in 2023 and a 702 OPS.   This is after having a 788 OPS in 132 PAs in 2022.    So the more the league has seen him the worse he has hit on an annual basis.

There has been some improvement during 2023.   His March/April OPS 659.  His May OPS was 740.    Good improvement but still not the hitting the O's want from their potential star.

His defense at 3B is not as good as Urias.  His SS defense is not as good as Mateo.   

Elias appeared over the winter to not want to have too many rookies in the lineup at once.   He had Adley who had not finished a full year in the majors yet.  He was committed to Gunnar at 3B/SS.   He went out and got veteran 2B Frazier instead of giving 2B to Westburg/Ortiz.   In a year where he wants to make the playoffs Elias has been somewhat risk averse when in comes to promoting and playing rookies.

I want to say that I am a Gunnar fan and believe he will become an All-Star caliber player. But with the set of circumstances layed out here .......Do you think Gunnar's struggles have made is harder for other rookies to be promoted and be given significant playing time in the majors?

 

Edited by wildcard
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I don't think his struggles are delaying any other callups.

Sorta the opposite: his prior reputation, and the Orioles' belief in his skills, are possibly delaying callups since they are correctly staying the course in playing him regularly. If he was a less elite prospect he possibly would have been swapped for Westburg by now.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

No.

Elias isn't stupid.

So you are saying that if Gunnar was hitting for an 840 OPS right now it would not cause Elias to think he is establishing himself  in the majors and  encourage Elias to promote other rookies?

Edited by wildcard
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Just now, wildcard said:

So you are saying that if Gunnar was hitting for an 840 OPS right now it would not cause Elias to think is establishing himself  in the majors and  encourage Elias to promote other rookies?

I think Elias has his plan and how Gunnar is doing is not going to cause him to deviate from his plan (with the exception being that if Gunnar's approach had broken down that might have caused a demotion that might necessitate someone else being promoted).

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I am disappointed with his approach against lefties. I must say, it is quite a surprise to see the #1 prospect look utterly overmatched against LHP. I get it, he's a youngster who is learning and improving. But you would think that the #1 prospect wouldn't be that bad against LHP. 

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4 minutes ago, Spy Fox said:

I don't think his struggles are delaying any other callups.

Sorta the opposite: his prior reputation, and the Orioles' belief in his skills, are possibly delaying callups since they are correctly staying the course in playing him regularly. If he was a less elite prospect he possibly would have been swapped for Westburg by now.

You are addressing a different question.   He are talking about why the O's keep playing Gunnar.  And I agree with you its because the respect his  abilities, makeup and believe he will progress.

But that is not the question.  The question is has his struggles caused Elias to not want to have too many struggling rookies in the lineup at the same time?

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1 minute ago, Mr-splash said:

I am disappointed with his approach against lefties. I must say, it is quite a surprise to see the #1 prospect look utterly overmatched against LHP. I get it, he's a youngster who is learning and improving. But you would think that the #1 prospect wouldn't be that bad against LHP. 

His approach or his results?  The results aren't good but his approach has led him to a .313 OBP despite a .132 BA/SLG.

 

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Just now, Pickles said:

No, because Elias surely had a plan in place for prospects individually.

What it should have done, but hasn't really, is educate the board on why you don't just roll with a lineup of 4-6 rookies in a year you're trying to compete.

This board is overloaded with fans who think a bunch of early 20s minors prospect are going to come to Camden Yards and outperform a bunch of mid-career, established ballplayers. And it's like bruh, stop it. Seriously guys stop doing that. It really shows that many fans have no idea what they are talking about and are consumed with the shiny luster of Norfolk and Bowie toys. Major League Baseball is very hard.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

I think Elias has his plan and how Gunnar is doing is not going to cause him to deviate from his plan (with the exception being that if Gunnar's approach had broken down that might have caused a demotion that might necessitate someone else being promoted).

Agree Elias has a plan.  But has Gunnar struggles as opposed to success caused Elias to wait on promoting other rookies until Gunnar hits better?  There is a learning curve (adjustment period) from AAA to the majors.  Does Elias not want too many rookies struggling at he same time?

Edited by wildcard
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1 minute ago, Can_of_corn said:

His approach or his results?  The results aren't good but his approach has led him to a .313 OBP despite a .132 BA/SLG.

 

Approach. He gives Mateo AB's, arguably even worse than Mateo AB's against LHP. The OBP is still solid.

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1 minute ago, Mr-splash said:

Approach. He gives Mateo AB's, arguably even worse than Mateo AB's against LHP. The OBP is still solid.

Yea, I think you are confused.

If his approach was bad he wouldn't have 10 walks despite not hitting for average or power against them.

That doesn't sound like Mateo to me.

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If you look at the situation from an industry wide view as opposed to is being a simple Orioles centric issue, you will find that Gunnar and Grayson’s struggles are pretty much par for the course. The amount of rookies who succeed immediately are in the very small minority compared to the ones who fail/struggle with acclimating at first. 

A simple look at JRod, Witt Jr, Walker, Torkelson, Adley (when he was first called up) will show that most (even the most talented of prospects) struggle out of the gate with the jump in competition in today’s game.

Expecting Gunnar to be an instant Allstar or better in the field than the current GG winner at the position, was EXTREMELY UNREALISTIC. That is why it may be helpful to manage one’s expectations of immediate success for guys like Westburg, Cowser, Kjerstad. They will most likely struggle too initially when called upon. But in the end they will hopefully be able to figure things out and understand how to apply their talent/skills to a new level of competition in order to achieve success.

Elias isn’t just looking at Gunnar in order to evaluate how to best handle his top prospects. But his data points run throughout the game for determining how and when to call guys up while managing not to harm the team’s chances for winning.

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