Like the Gameday threads, I have decided to switch from tables to links to bring you all the statistical goodies y'all have come to know and love.
Instead of rows upon rows of numbers, I'll give my two cents on a few hitters who stood out to me while gathering all the data. I'll go over pitchers during next week's installment.
Without wasting any more of your precious time, I present to you -
Players impressing me -
- I knew Kris Bryant was going to rake. I did not realize it would be to this extent. He's 100% better than the average AA Southern League player. What else does he need to do? I think it's time to either end the Mike Olt experiment or have him swap places with current AAA third baseman Christian Villanueva. Either way you're going to lose something with the defense as both Olt and Villanueva are known for flashing the leather. Bryant's lumber work should more than make up for that.
- Usual caveats apply about the California League, but Corey Seager is collecting extra base knocks like Beanie Babies in the 90's. He's got 20 doubles, two triples and six homers in 180 at bats. His average is at 361 after a blistering May where he has hit 421/471/695. He's been especially impressive against same handed pitchers, beating southpaws to a 375/432/800 line in a SSS of 44 plate appearances.
- Reds outfielder Jesse Winker isn't getting nearly enough love lately. I assume its more people waiting to make a decision based on him playing in the Cal like Seager. Dude is raking with a great eye and is still young at just 20 years old. He's walked 24 times to 29 punch outs and has been 47% better than the average Cal League hitter.
- Raise your hand if you though JP Crawford would have a 340+ batting average and an OPS north of 900. Anybody? Bueller? *gets out binoculars* Didn't think so. Crawford obviously is a special talent going 16th overall, with bloodlines (Carl's nephew), and an approach light years beyond his age. Crawford is running a 344/434/490 slash line to the plate against South Atlantic League pitchers in his age 19 season with a 924 OPS and 164 wRC+.
- Ryan McMahon has been one of the biggest surprises, showing off some serious power in his game with as many extra base hits as Joey Gallo (29 XBH). Part of this is due to Asheville's insanely offense friendly home park where he's hitting 280/371/512. Part of this is due to McMahon being able to mash no matter what park he's in. On the road McMahon has a 258/333/596 line with seven of his 10 home runs. He's also been exploited a good bit by southpaws; they are limiting him to a 185/258/315 line with six walks to 17 K's.
- Prior to Miguel Olivo getting a craving for human ear, Alex Guerrero was on his way to making the Dodger's front office not give a damn how his glove was coming along at second base. His bat has been that good so far. In his first season since defection, he's hitting a robust 373/414/729 with a 194 wRC+ and 485 wOBA. It doesn't matter where or what hand the pitcher throws with, his splits are insane across the board. After a good start in April (327/403/618) he turned it to overdrive in May (419/431/839) before Olivo's hunger got in the way. Guerrero will be out until sometime in mid-July after undergoing surgery to repair the damage.
- The Mets finally have an offensive prospect to get excited about in Brandon Nimmo as he has been other-worldly to begin the year. He's worked 45 walks to 42 strike outs while still hitting 344/472/489 with eight steals. He's been 84% better than the average Florida State Leaguer, and has scored 48 times already. Lefties have not been a problem so far but he has been noticeably better at home (394/500/545) than on the road (287/441/425).
- He got his first look in the big leagues and Randal Grichuk already became intimate with the ivy in Wrigley. You have to think he's tired of being mentioned as "the guy taken before Trout", so this will be the last time I will mention it. He's making his own name with an insane recent tear at AAA Memphis, hitting 352/410/690 since coming back from St. Louis 17 games ago, with six doubles and six home runs in that span. Lefties are having a very hard time handling him as he's hitting 411/468/821 against them in the SSS of 62 plate appearances.
- An absolutely miserable 2013 all around, Trevor Story has been a different person so far. Like Grichuk, he has been a lefty killer in the early going, hitting 477/521/818 in 73 PA's but just 267/371/442 against right handers. After his red hot start, he's come back to Earth some, hitting 269/329/463 in May so far with just two of his 18 steals and four of his 15 doubles. He's down with a finger injury currently but has still been 55% better than the average Cal League short stop.
- I didn't quite know what to make of Aaron Judge coming into the season, only that I know he is a very large human being that I do not want to piss off and want on my side in a scrap. He did his thing at Fresno State and was a first rounder but didn't get into game action last year because of a torn quad. His first pro at bat was in Low A Charleston and he's settled in nicely so far. Through 201 plate appearances he's got a 320/418/467 slash with 28 walks, 41 strike outs, eight doubles and five bombs. He tore up April hitting 369/470/488 but has cooled off a bit in May, dropping over 145 points in OPS. Oddly enough, Judge is showing a reverse platoon split, hitting just 257/413/257 vs lefties with 10 walks to 13 K's in 46 plate appearances (another SSS caveat) and no extra base hits. Against same sided righties he's hitting 336/419/522.
- The Brewers had a good idea going after Washington state catcher Clint Coulter in the 2012 draft, taking him 27th overall. In just 44 games he has shown to be a middle of the order threat, smashing his way to the tops of the Midwest League offensive leaderboards. He's hit nine homers, nine doubles, walked 28 times to 32 strike outs, and has a 296/429/559 slash line. A 174 wRC+ and 443 wOBA are just icing on the cake. He's also made considerable adjustments behind the plate since last year, cutting back on errors and passed balls dramatically. Last year he made eight errors and allowed 17 passed balls in 28 games behind the plate with Wisconsin. In 28 games so far this year, he's dropped those to five errors and four passed balls. He still needs work with base stealers though, only catching 25% so far.