Sunday, July 24, 2011
The three year trend line is headed straight down in OBP, SLG, wOBA and wRC+. As the competition he’s faced has improved, the concerns about plate discipline and pitchers exploiting his aggressiveness have come to pass. Since peaking in High-A in 2009 his results have gone down annually when you look at his advanced numbers. This is not one bad season, its a manifestation of an underlying trend that’s becoming more evident as the sample gets larger. If anything, Jesus has been lucky with the bat this year. His .346 BABIP is higher than it was in AA or last year in AAA, though it has to be noted that 09 was a split season between two levels and it’s very tough to come up with a reliable xBABIP for a player in the minor leagues.
The Yankee Analysts is a great blog, but I found this article to be somewhat sketchy.
First of all, trends aren’t predictive in baseball. Especially if the trend is happening at least partially due to the competition improving.
Second, BABIP is a skill for hitters. You should expect a good minor league hitter to have a high BABIP. It likely means he’s hitting the ball hard.
That being said, the premise of the article is probably accurate. Jesus Montero’s stock has fallen this year. His MLE in AAA last season was around .254/.309/.441 and this year it’s about .245/.296/.352 and we’re no closer to knowing the answer of whether or not he’ll be able to stick at catcher.
Of course, it’d be crazy to think a player of Montero’s age is anywhere close to a finished product, and perhaps he is frustrated by the fact that he was on the verge of breaking camp with the team this spring and didn’t seize the opportunity. It’d also be crazy to assume that because of what’s happened this year we can ignore everything else he’d done prior. But there’s little evidence that he’d be more valuable than either Russell Martin or Jorge Posada right now.
If you want to see Montero in Yankee pinstripes, the fact that his value has dropped probably has a silver lining. If other teams aren’t going to give the Yankees anything valuable enough for them to part with him, maybe the Yankees will be forced to keep him.
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