The Mets had two prospects with prodigious strikeout rates in 2016 and prior years who are no longer playing in 2017: 

Ivan Wilson and Vicente Lupo.  

They combined for 763 Ks in 1,871 ABs (40.7%).  Add in all plate appearances, including walks, and their shared number drops closer to 35%, still way too high.   The Ks did these 2 power hitters in.

Simply put, and quite obviously, striking out a lot does not help one to reach the majors.  The more contact the better.

Guys with high strikeout rates in 2017 (strikeouts per plate appearance) as of the middle of last week, in descending % order, include these current Mets Minors folks:

Brandon Brosher Col.: 24 of 54 (44.4%)

Vinny Siena PSL: 50 of 126 (39.7%)

Jeff Diehl PSL: 39 of 107 (36.4%)

Jay Jabs, Col.: 24 of 68 (35.2%)

Champ Stuart AA: 39 of 112 (34.8%)

Desmond Lindsay Col.: 44 of 137 (32.1%)

Wuilmer Becerra PSL: 55 of 180 (30.6%)

Jose Medina PSL: 24 of 80 (30%), mostly at Columbia.

Trying not to be Debbie Downer, in my unlearned opinion, anything over 25% is a danger zone for future success.    Everyone's bad boy, Dave Kingman, was a strikeout king in his day, yet fanned just 24.4% of his plate appearances. And that rate was tolerable when he was hitting 500+ foot HRs. 

And it gets tougher in the majors...Eric Soup Campbell struck out only 14.4% of the time in AAA, but a far higher 23% in the big leagues.

In fairness, some guys like Medina and Lindsay are young for their level, which no doubt helps to spike the K rate.

One guy typically on the list each year has improved and is not on it, but deserves special mention: AAA Super Slugger Travis Taijeron has fanned just 41 of 172 plate appearances in 2017 (23.8%), far better than in 2016.  I'd like to see him get that down to 20%, a level at which I believe his chances for major league playing time go up. (Unfortunately, right after I wrote this, he fanned 8 times in 3 games, so 20% may be unreachable).

As a final note, at the other end of the strikeout spectrum, Pat Mazeika fans only about 9% of the time, Gavin Cecchini sits at around 12%, and career-wise, the just-called-up righty Tyler Pill comes in at a smidgeon under 10%, incredible for a pitcher.

Low whiffs are a key to future whiffs of big league success.


Mack Ade said...

I need to take Desmond Lindsay off my prospect list... he looks like another of Sandy's famous first rounders...

Thomas Brennan said...

Lindsay has earned a demotion to Brooklyn when they start.

If Ricardo Cespedes had not gotten hurt, it likely would already have happened, as Cespedes would have gotten his ABs.

Lindsay did OK in Brooklyn last year, so this is truly puzzling.

And yes I will say it: Tim Tebow has stunk in May - rather than progressing, are they catching up to him?

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Playing every day in the Columbia summer humidity is a lot different than throwing a football in the fall/winter

It's Africa hot here right now and June hasn't even started.

Thomas Brennan said...

All the more reason to promote our best guys out of Columbia ASAP. Move them on to cool St Lucie!

Mack's Mets © 2012