The trade deadline is approaching. Heck, the postseason races are already taking shape. But it’s still exceedingly early in this oddest of MLB seasons. With the action unfolding on a tightened timeline, it’s more necessary than ever not to ignore the short-sample alerts.
That said, it’s hard to ignore some of the unexpected names near the top of the WAR leaderboard with a quarter of a (partial-) season in the bag. Each of these six guys ranks among the top twenty fWAR accumulators in baseball. Four of ’em have added more value to this point of the season than living legend Mike Trout.
So … which player is likeliest to sustain something approaching their early 2020 star turn? (In alphabetical order.)
JaCoby Jones, OF, Tigers: .333/.391/.786 through 46 plate appearances. The 28-year-old hadn’t done much with his first thousand or so MLB plate appearances, but he’s suddenly knocking the socks off of the ball. Though his K/BB numbers are about as shrug-worthy as before, Jones is suddenly showing a whole lotta slug. He’s in the top ten percent leaguewide in barrel percentage and hard contact rate.
Kyle Lewis, OF, Mariners: .373/.440/.567 through 75 plate appearances. An elite draft prospect, Lewis saw his development stunted by injuries. He’s now coming into his own, though it’s hard to look past that glaring .512 batting average on balls in play. There are a lot of strikeouts, too, though Lewis is also walking at a decent clip (10.7%). While Statcast isn’t impressed with how hard he hits the ball, it does credit him with a strong barrel percentage and good wheels.
Dylan Moore, OF, Mariners: .333/.388/.689 through 49 plate appearances. This looks to be a pretty clear instance of a nice dozen-game hot streak that’ll be hard to keep up. Moore is carrying a 30.6% walk rate and 4.1% K rate while benefiting from a hefty .423 BABIP. Then again, Moore is legitimately hammering the ball, ranking among the league leaders in hard-hit rate, barrel percentage, and exit velocity. Perhaps he’s on to something here.
Austin Slater, OF, Giants: .333/.450/.667 through 40 plate appearances. Slater is running and gunning thus far, logging three homers and four swiped bags while sporting a solid 12.5% walk rate. That 208 wRC+ really pops for a guy that contributes in other areas of the game. Slater has had his chances before and hadn’t ever put it all together. But he was quite good at Triple-A and held his own in the majors in 2019. Could he be turning into a quality big leaguer?
Donovan Solano, INF, Giants: .458/.476/.661 through 63 plate appearances. This isn’t necessarily a whole new thing so much as a surprising continuation of a nice 2019 showing. But holy smokes, look at that batting average! It’s riding on a mind-blowing .520 BABIP … which follows a .409 mark from last year. Solano isn’t exactly mashing, but he sure is translating his contact ability into results — and not just because of good fortune. Statcast credits him with a 97th percentile expected batting average.
Mike Yastrzemski, OF, Giants: .306/.442/.629 through 77 plate appearances. Just another San Francisco superstar slugger, no big deal. Like Solano, Yaz 2.0 did turn in very good numbers last year. But we were all prepared to see him step back in 2020, right? Instead, there’s something all the more intriguing going on. Yasztrzemski has already drawn 15 walks to go with his 16 strikeouts on the season, providing yet more evidence that he has really figured things out.
So, which player is most likely to carry this forward? (Poll link for app users; response order randomized.)
How have 34% (as of posting) picked Kyle Lewis. Does .512 babip mean anything to you? That is comically, high. Like video game on Rookie mode high. Even if he sustains a .350 babip which would still be very high. His average falls to about .235ish. Giving him something around a .235/.315/.485 slash. That’s just a run of the mill 3rd OF with some pop. Sometimes I forget how dumb most fans are.
I don’t know but stats don’t lie he regress big time with that high babip.
Fans love to quote BABIP like it’s the ONLY stat that matters… Some hitters simply have a higher BABIP than others based on many factors. Having said that, Kyle Lewis has a horrible combination – .512 (the result of a ton of Ks) without a huge hard hit rate. There is no way that is sustained.
It’s sounds like a joke to break things down this much but it’s a short season…..
He only has 3K’s in his last 26 ABS. He’s just getting his feet wet in the major leagues so there’s really no way to say he’ll be the same hitter he was for the first month. He has the pedigree/tools to be a very good major leaguer. Not the smartest choice considering the underlying BABIP and K rate but I can see how you could attempt to rationalize the vote.
Fair comment, and yes it is a ridiculous exercise, but it’s better than talking about the virus! 🙂
You mean once pitchers and coaches figure out a weakness, exploit it turn and them into an Ike Davis or Lucas Duda?
Yeah, I remember Austin Riley’s first month (May 2019) with 59 ABs hitting .356 (7 HR/20 RBI). Then the bubble burst. Lewis’ strikeout rates are similar to Riley’s. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Even if Lewis regresses towards the numbers he put up in his sample last season, he’d still be the best of the bun bunch. That, plus being the only one with a top prospect pedigree, leads me to believe he’ll be the most likely to be an all star, even if he’s “only” a .250/.330/.550 because he’ll mash homers.
The problem with this logic is that he did not show any of this in the minors. In AA LAST YEAR he had a .398 Slg %. So he has had an amazing run in his first 150 PA, he just hasn’t shown enough yet to overpower the peripherals and his minor league numbers. He may have figured it out, it happens, but too soon to tell IMHO.
You might research the AA ballpark he played at. If you doubt his pop, you misinformed
He had 3 or 4 guys on his AA team with Slg% much higher (including Evan White), and his team’s slg% was .375. Conversely, Luis Robert played in an awful AA park for hitters, his team had a slg of .358, yet he still slugged .518 there.
Are you really arguing that hitting in ANY AA ballpark against AA pitchers is harder than hitting against major league pitching?
Finally – I am not questioning his power, I’m questioning his ability to sustain his results because he couldn’t do it in AA last year as a 23 year old.
There’s one key difference: Riley doesn’t walk as much. His BB% was roughly half of what Lewis’ is with almost the same number of PAs (76 vs. 74) and his (Riley) K% was about 3 points higher.
But there’s more.
Lewis has shown the ability to adjust. After HR number 2, he stopped seeing fastballs. He immediately saw a steady diet of breaking balls and laced singles to right, center and left. And if they missed, he walked.
Pitchers are starting to mix things up more, but he keeps hitting.
It’s too early to say anything definitively, but to dismiss him because of the K’s would be a mistake. He was striking out at nearly a 40% clip and is now under 30, so that’s a positive as well.
Look at the home/road splits.
I’m not sure you realize how little time the 23 yr old Kyle Lewis has spent playing professional ball. You know he had a devastating knee injury and major surgery after playing just 30 games into his pro career, right? He then had a 2nd knee surgery after an attempt to play in 2018. He’d never even participated in a single Spring Training (Minors or ML) game before last year.
2019 was just his first full year of good health, a year which he started really slowly but he improved dramatically as he made adjustments. For ex, going into June last yr his line was .225/.327/.341. 6 weeks later he was slashing 266/364/388. and we all know what he did in Sept. to end his 2019 year. Before you use his 2019 AA season to question his ability to succeed you should think about his previous 2 years rehabbing and battling knee tendinitis from an injury so gruesome many thought he’d never play the game again.
it depends on the hitter, the thing I don’t like about BABIP it that it doesn’t really make a differentiation between line drives, squibbers, ground balls – a guy who has a flat swing with good bat control can maintain a much higher BABIP than a guy who is swinging for power but pulling balls on the ground and benefiting from poor defensive alignments, BABIP also doesn’t take into account exit velocity wherea 100+ mph ball to the defense is the same as a dribbler to the mound so it lowers the value of prediction.
And with Lewis speed he should have a higher BABIP than average. He’ll leg out some grounders to third that get converted to outs on most guys. I’m not saying he’ll keep up at this pace, but his wheels are solid.
Usually, when I look at BABIP, I have to look at the things like line drive percentage, where the batter is putting the ball in play, exit velo, hard hit rate, flyball/groundball rates, etc. If a guy can hit to all fields and can put up a decent hard hit rate and exit velo, a high BABIP is sustainable. Just look at Bryan Reynolds. Many think he’s going to regress big time from his rookie year because of his BABIP, but his lowest single season BABIP in the minors was .362. He hits to all fields, and can consistently make hard contact. Same thing with Whit Merrifield. In 2018-2019 he had a .350 BABIP, yet he isn’t seen as a huge regression candidate.
I think some of y’all aren’t getting the point. He has a .512 BABIP. If you don’t understand how stupid crazy that is, then I don’t know what to tell you. Even if Lewis sustains a VERY high BABIP around .350, (This is doable, but very hard and normally something only elite hitters do) he is a mediocre hitter. If his BABIP regresses to a normal point he is a below average hitter. Also if you judge last year as his floor, you are not being smart either because his HR/FB rate was at an similarly unsustainable 40%. So the .590 slug is gunna play a lot more like .490. So he is essentially Adam Duvall. Maybe Randal Grichuk?
Kyle Lewis has had the luckiest first 150 PAs in baseball history. The stats bare this out very clearly.
Sorry if my comment wasn’t obvious – I definitely agree with your point. My comment is more general and in line with what mlb1225 is saying, which is that anyone myopic enough to look at ONLY Babip doesn’t really get the subtleties of the game nor all that goes into babip. But that point is more applicable when discussing someone with a .350 babip, not .512 😉
Exactly. If he was sustaining a .350 BABIP. I would want to see his launch angles and exit velos. But I don’t care if his AVG EV is 100. That BA is falling by about .150 points over the course of a full season.
Yes, players with speed and high exit velocities should have higher BABIP’s than normal. But .500+ is excessive.
I’m not disagreeing that a .500 BABIP isn’t sustainable. I’m just agreeing with Wolf Chan that when I look at BABIP I look at other batted ball factors too. Ovbisously, I don’t think his BABIP will remain at .500.
With that high of a BABIP, Kyle Lewis may be the position equivalent to Julio Teheran, whom has always alluded a high FiP.
I feel like Teheran has become one of the most underrated starters in baseball. Everyone bashes on him, but look at his numbers from 2016-2019. 3.86 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 1.229 WHIP. Not awful numbers considering that the league average starter in all those stats in 2019 was a 4.51 ERA and FIP, and 1.334 WHIP. Not arguing that he’s some ace, but he gets the job done at a better than average rate.
Luckier than 1998 Spencer for the Yankees?
@Nebraska- Citing 150 career PA like it’s gospel and indicative of one’s entire career outlook is even more dumb. Miguel Cabrera K’d 24.3% his first season, then began to lower it substantially each following season, settling in at a valley of 12.9%. Sometimes it takes guys time to adjust to MLB pitching.
You are right. He could make adjustment and become a better hitter. Happens all the time. But to assume a player will make adjustments is very misguided. Based on how Kyle Lewis has obtained his current production, I can say, without a doubt, he will not sustain it unless major adjustments are made.
Like the adjustments he made with breaking balls and back to fastballs?
It’s early. But he already has shown some ability to adjust. The BABIP will come down and it already has, yet he’s still impressing.
Or like the adjustment he made after his September 2019 call up? The same adjustment that Mark DeRosa analyzed on MLB Central over the last week or so? This kid has been continually making adjustments since his recovery from a devastating knee injury on a home plate collision.
It’s not always about numbers my guy.
in a 62 game season, I can assure you that many players will finish with a BABIP higher than .350, now will it sustain to a good season, I doubt it, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see some guys with bizarre numbers and even some absurdly low BABIP’s, like under 200.
Thanks Bill James
BABIP has to be pretty high by nature when you’re hitting .380
Obviously he’s not going to hit .380, no ones suggesting that. And as his average drops back to a realistic, but still very strong number, his BABIP will slide down too.
It’s basic math really.
You’re taking the BABIP a little too literally thinking he’s gotta maintain a .380 average to be considered sustainable success here.
Nice to see a bunch of Giants on this list even though the team itself looks pretty mediocre. For the poll, I voted for Yaz, whom, I think, will likely not sustain present production, but who looks like he’ll continue where he left off last year, which would be just dandy. In a very short time, he’s become the face of the franchise. The Giants will probably have to at least listen on him at the deadline, but hopefully, they hang on to him.
Solano hit like this last season for the GIants in limited action, and I keep waiting for him to come back to earth, but so far, he is a hit machine. He’ll definitely be trade bait at the deadline.
I’ve watched Slater’s cups of coffee in the bigs over the last couple of years and have never been too impressed. He’s had three or four big games this season and is flashing a lot more power. I have no idea if it’s real, but, much like the other people in the poll, I am skeptical.
I went with Yaz, too. He has more of a track record than anyone else on the list, and I’m just more confident in his abilities.
Solano also looks pretty good. The lack of power with him really hurts his stock in my view, though. It’s close between him and Lewis for 2nd place, in my mind. Lewis has been stunted by injuries, and I always give those guys the benefit of the doubt.
if you watch solano on a day to day he actually has some pretty decent power – not overwhelming but I think his launch angle is taking away some dingers from him – just last night he had a couple that with a better angle had the power to go out but translated into doubles.
You guys must have not read the notes. This is a bash Kyle Lewis comment section from guys that have probably not seen him play. They don’t know he got stronger and has a adjusted to pitchers as they adjust to him. He might not keep his good stats up but he has improved on his Ks. Go ahead and act like you know him try and watch him play. I suppose since Kyle can’t keep his numbers up that White will keep his down. The same arguments you use against Lewis will be the same you use against White. Kyle will come down a bit but Evan will figure it out.
To be fair. I like Kyle Lewis. I watch him play a lot in the Minors and think he will be a productive player. But he is more of a Randal Grichuk clone than an All-star
That’s not being fair. Though the kS% is similar, Lewis is faster, has more power, and walks more. Has better exit velocity and I would argue better defense as well.
Worth noting his BABIP has dropped a good 200 points over the last week and his K% is under 30 now (it was over 40 initially), yet he’s still producing.
And as compassrose noted, he has adjusted. When they stopped giving him fastballs, he started hitting breaking balls the other way for singles. Now they’re mixing things up and he’s taking what they give him.
He absolutely does have star potential.
Last night Dunn, both Kyles, and Moore stole the spotlight, but White had a couple of really good PA’s. Got robbed of a would-be double and had a base hit later. The process has looked much better the last handful of games, though the results don’t show it yet.
Just a quick correction for @Stevil, almost nothing that you said can be backed by data. Statcast had Lewis’ sprint speed last year at 27.1 (with Grichuk at 28.1),same as Kyle Schwarber and Giancarlo Stanton, and below speedsters like first baseman Ryan O’Hearn. They each have shown to be slightly below average defenders. And Grichuk actually hit 56 homers over a 2 year period in the major leagues, along with multiple 20+ hr seasons in the minors. Oh, and he was also a 1st round pick, so please don’t reply with ‘pedigree’ or tools.
Loving a team and enjoying the rise of a player doesn’t have to make us blind to their faults. I am a White Sox fan, yet can admit that Eloy Jimenez is a butcher in the outfield… 🙂
I did underestimate Grichuk’s sprint speed, but most of what I said can be backed up by data. You shouldn’t assume I’m just tossing out boring opinions.
First, a lot of the stats/data on Lewis are skewered because of his injury and rehabilitation, so his minor league numbers don’t tell the full story. Take a look at the tools in the scouting reports and compare them to what we’re seeing now, and things start to make more sense.
With that out of the way, we know Grichuk has a career BB% of 5.8. Lewis, 7.8. Regarding the power, Lewis would be on pace for a 41-42 HR season if 162 games were played. Grichuk hit 31 last season in the hitter-friendly AL East, which estimates to 33 over 162 games. Last season the numbers were just below that. The numbers dip each previous year (in MLB). I’m not going to use the 9 game sample this year for or against him.
I’m not suggesting Lewis is going to hit 40 HR’s. I’m suggesting he is showing more power than Grichuk and better plate discipline because of the walks.
That’s not a knock on Grichuk, either. He has power. He has more speed than I was giving him credit for, I’ll own that, but nothing was stretch. You should own that.
His ceiling is higher than what we’ve seen from Grichuk.
I’ll add a little more.
Lewis led all Mariner prospects last season with a 90.3 average exit velocity in AA. Each of his 10 hits in MLB after being called up in September were over 100mph, topping out at 108.9.
Grichuk was at 89.3.
Research helps when you attempt a jab at someone.
Grichuk was only the comparator because someone brought him up and you said Lewis was better in all those categories. Listen, Lewis could have magically figured it all out at 25 years old, but he would be the exception and I’m not sold (I know, who cares if I’m sold! ;))… Regardless of injury and AA park, he only hit only 30 HR is 287 minor league games over 4 seasons. Prior to 2019 season, MLB pipeline ranked him as the number 10 Mariners prospect, with a 50 power tool… So – average. I think he’s on a great run, but don’t expect him to be much (I do think Kelenic and some others have a much better chance!).
And sorry about the jab. 😉
I’m well aware of the numbers, and again, I don’t think that’s how you properly evaluate a prospect. Neither does Pipeline, FanGraphs, BA, BP, etc. The tools and skillsets often speak louder than the numbers. Age, size and projection figure into the mix as well. But since you mentioned it, Lewis was the number 1 prospect on Seattle’s farm before tearing up his knee and it’s not like 10 suggested he wasn’t good.
That said, I’m not sold yet, either. But I do think he has star potential. That was the point. Grichuk had that potential himself but never quite got there. I think Lewis is more likely to achieve that. Whether or not he does remains to be seen.
Obviously, none of those guys are going to sustain those numbers. But I’d guess Yaz and Lewis will be the best hitters of the group. Solid contributors but not superstars, maybe 3-4 WAR players.
Yeah, Yastrzemski’s production is the least surprising when factoring in his breakout last season. It seems like he’s definitely here to stay as an above average big league regular.
Lewis has the highest ceiling given his athleticism, intangibles, and pedigree, but his current statline is pieced together by some unsustainable metrics (BABIP over .500). I think he’ll fall back to Earth a bit as pitchers figure him out. It’ll be up to him to adjust.
Solano’s a bit of an enigma to me, given that his extraordinary BABIP has been upheld for two consecutive years. He seems like a useful leadoff piece that could be flipped to a contender in a similar fashion to Sogard last season.
Slater and Moore have been undoubtedly impressive, but I’d like to see a larger sample size. The former has benefited from a few monster games, while the latter hadn’t flashed any hitting ability prior to this season. Although, his statcast numbers are very promising and indicate he could have a future as a powerful slugger.
Jones is probably just off to a hot start based on his lack of production in multiple seasons prior, but who knows? Maybe he’s turned a corner and well
Jones made a change to his batting stance and ended last year hitting over .300. He is crushing fastballs, expecting a steady stream of off speed pitches soon
Jones still swings and misses too much on off-speed pitches. But the guy has wheels and plays great CF (best last year in defensive-runs saved). There is a lot to like about his game.
i dont see how it cant be Lewis. he has that prospect pedigree, the only thing thats ever held him back is injury.
though upon second examination, i could probably see Slater actually having a real breakout. he’s hit well at points in the past and he could end up having a better year then the rest of this list.
You have the walk and k rates switched for Dylan Moore, would be incredible the way it’s written though.
I dont know. After watching a player like jeff McNeil come out of nowhere, it wouldnt surprise me if players like Mike Yastrzemski or solano actually keep playing the way they do. I expect solano’s number to definitely go down. I’m impressed with how lewis has played, even if his numbers go down later on.
Solano wolnt maintain his pace from this year, but looking at his career production between the Majors and Minors, i could see his 2019 numbers being very real and sustainable.
The thing about Solano is that he’d been written off as a platoon guy and hadn’t been given the chance to play every day. His defense has some glaring holes, but his bat looks like it might be for real.
What?!? Why no Cardinals on this list??
Maybe these guys are having success because they are facing A and AA pitchers who shouldn’t even be here yet?
you mean like the entire MLB is?
The Cardinals have played 5 games. This list is of some of the hottest breakout hitters in the league right now. Nobody is really considered to be breaking out after 5 games.
It’s just a two week hot streak that had happened from stat zero instead of after 400 plate appearances. Lol
You sound bitter that no one from your team is on here lmfao weep
Most of these guys have played 15-18 games by 2020 standards that’s 25-30% of the season.
I bet he didn’t even actually laugh out loud
none of the above?
How is Kyle Lewis not running away with this poll?
Because mike Yastrzemski is obviously the most sustainable. Lewis has an insane BABIP. It’s gonna come down.
What no Tatis Jr. ? 1.4 WAR and 1.184 OPS doesn’t make list?
That’s not really a breakout after he hit .317/.379/.590 last year.
Clearly, you don’t have an understanding of what a breakout means. Tatis Jr. already broke out, his entire rookie campaign was a breakout season. He was already considered a superstar after his first 200 PA In the league. Trent Grisham on the other hand likely would have made the list but he seems to have cooled off as of late. In other words, he hasn’t sustained the breakout, which was the whole point of this article.
Am I wrong for thinking Yaz could have the same career trajectory as Whit Merrifield? Both are late bloomers, that produce at a very high level. Both are outfielders (though I don’t think Yaz has the utility man trait like Merrifield). Both have some pretty good pop (and not just home run or bust). One of the main differences I see is the stolen bases, Yaz has WAY less.
Pretty much, id say Yaz has more power and OBP skills, while merrifield has more versatility and speed. Both are very good at defense as well. I think Yaz is a lock for 3-5 WAR seasons every year for at least the next few years.
Wait a minute, 3 Giants on this list? Top 10 system with several ready to crack the MLB roster? No significant payroll issues after next year? Say, those negative MLB pundits poo-pooing the Giants just may be in for a surprise.
Yea giants are very well suited to make big moves after 2021 when the last of the dynasty guys contracts are up, along with guys like longo and cueto. With the amount of money they have they can sign multiple big free agents, along with guys like Ramos Bart and possibly Luciano or Bishop up.
Good ‘ole Yaz. Proving, yet again, that the Orioles player development is just the worst.
The Orioles developed him quite well. They just didn’t realize it.
I picked Jones because I see him regularly. He made a swing change last year and it paid off for a month before he was HBP and broke his wrist. He seems to be picking up where he left off so I do think his production is sustainable. There will always be doubts about him and the rest of this group, we are talking about small sample sizes.
His speed and elite defense provide a lot of value, especially if he can sustain his hitting (but probably not at the shortened 2020 level).
There is no need for a comma before “too.”
There is no need to grammar check on a chat site. I am sure there are some riveting chats on other sites about where you can put your commas. Shoot I didn’t use one of those comas that go up been the a and s.
Why would you not include Hanser Alberto in poll.? Look at his numbers from last year and this year. I believe he’s hitting over .340.
With Alberto, he just finally received an opportunity. He was always able to make good contact. On a good team, he’s a very good bottom of the order hitter who plays good defense.
Jeff, you have Dylan Moore’s K and BB% inverted.
Wyoming Bison Expansion Team
You just have to watch him to know he’s got a good eye for the ball.
At his worst he’s a .270/.340/.490 hitter most likely, and that’s if everything aligns to go against him.
Definitely the most likely to sustain quality production of the bunch.
I think the most promising aspect to Yastrzemski is how well he’s been hitting lefties.
Jones: Average definitely going to decline starkly, but he’s always been capable of decent power, so I can see him remaining a reasonable starter through the Tigers’ rebuild. I’d peg him as a .240/.300/.450 kind of guy who is good for a lot of doubles based on his power and speed mix.
Lewis: He’s not going to hit .373, but he’s an excellent player who should be good for OPS’ sitting around .800. There’s a reason he was picked so early, and still made it to the majors by 25 despite injuries
Moore: Unless Moore starts walking again, he’s going to fall hard. His walk rate has been cut in half and while the power has always been there, the decrease in his walk rate is the difference between being a 7-hitter and a journeyman utility man.
Slater- the avg is going to drop drastically, but that doesn’t matter for him. His OPS is still going to be rather solid based on his combination of power and plate discipline. He’s a six hitter long term who can be good for a batting line of .250/.370/.450 with like 15 home runs. He’s always had the power, he just hasn’t been able to unlock it in the majors, which it seems as though he’s finally been able to do. He’s making a lot more medium contact, resulting in more line drives and fly balls, and significantly lower groundballs.
Solano- Solano’s been riding high BABIPs since last year, but has really increased his ability to hit the ball to other fields, while increasing hard and medium contact. Based on his age, he’s not a guy who I would bank on continuing to be a marquee player for long, but if he can have a Gregor Blanco type run for the Giants, that’s a win.
Yaz- Yes- no doubt in my mind. He walks a ton, has excellent power, can make consistent contact etc. While he’s 29 years old, and probably won’t realistically be able to ever cash in, simply due to being mishandled by the Orioles (should’ve been called up in 2017), he looks like a very valuable piece for the Giants who should be able to retain a spot in the line up for a while.
Oh the giants will pay him. Even if the old regime is gone for the most part the spirit of the giants is always to give back to the players. They’ll give him a nice extension in a couple years when the payroll goes down I’d bet.
I totally think Kyle Lewis will maintain a .512 BABIP in perpetuity.
Watching J. Jones every game, you can just tell that unlike the last few years there are some positive changes that he has shown. One is the fact that he has been able to stay healthy. That is obviously a huge factor. But also he is doing a lot less guessing at the plate. The last few years you could see the wheels turning in his mind while at the plate and watching him guess FB when a slider or change came he looked absolutely silly at the plate. Watching him this year you can just tell that he is simply seeing the ball and reacting. Such a much better hitter and I think it is very sustainable. Hoping he can do so and still be in CF for the next Tiger contender!
As a Giants fan I’m incredibly biased towards Austin Slater but if you compare his swing and stance to his previous years he has completely changed. Slater has the best opposite field power of anybody on the Giants and I expect him to be a solid piece on the Giants for the next 4-5 years, even more so than Yaz.
Yea slater has insane oppo power. I remember one game last year I think he hit two homers over the right field wall in AT&T which is incredibly hard for a righty to do.
You know I’m thinking the same thing! All these are pretty good choices, there’s no wrong answer, but since making the adjustments he is mashing lefties and looks ready to be an everyday player though we’ll see if he gets the chance. Kapler is not very impressive as a manager so far. Inevitably, all of these players will slow down a bit which is gonna be depressing as a giants fan unfortunately
I picked Yaz, it’s in his blood! How did Jones sneak in there though? Wasn’t this a West only poll?
It’s just a matter of time before Sustainable Hitter Breakout is commonly known as SHB. C’mon, Fangraphs. What are you waiting for?
Have you guys seen Kyle Lewis hit the ball to opposite field? And who said that his BABIP on balls in play would be below average? Ya his average might drop but he’s an above average hitter. He’ll find a way to hit above .270. Probably not gonna hit .300 but he doesn’t need too. He can play the field and he’s clutch. I beleive he can reach the 30 homer level year in and year out with above average defense. I’ll put it this way, he’s not getting sent back down to the minors and if the game is on the line in the late innings I feel confident having him up at the plate