Our Younger OFers

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  • #146558
    Avatarmudville
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    Didn’t see the picture of Bader you are referring to. What about it?

    I was looking through TCN Prospect Guide 2019 and here’s something that was said about Randy Arozarena at the time…

    After hitting only .252 in 51 games at Springfield in 2017, the difference this time around for Aroazarena was that he was a more polished player after tearing up the Mexican Winter League. “The guys get more at bats (in winter ball)”. Springfield coach Jobel Jimenez said. “They know more about approach. They adjust more. For me there was a kid in him. ‘Go to winter ball and get more at bats.’ When he came back here he was a totally different hitter”.

    So that’s Arozarena’s secret. We need to send another outfield prospect down to Mexico to play. Those extra at bats (and probably some Mexican salsa) instantly turned him from 12th ranked prospect to superstar overnight.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Avatarmudville.
    #146563
    Avatarbccran
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    HB has just struck out, and had thrown his helmet. Then peeled off his gloves and threw them. The photo caught the gloves in mid air, on the way to the ground for the bat boy to pick up.

    #146565
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Scoops!

    #146568
    Avatarbccran
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    Me one.

    #147006
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    I had forgotten to mention that on Sunday morning on KMOX, Mo said that they noted that O’Neill made improvements in his strikeout and walk rates, but that his hard-hit rate was down in 2020. He said that the latter is O’Neill’s strength and they are telling him to get back to that in 2021.

    #147019
    Avatarbccran
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    Does that mean his K rate will go back up again? In 2018 he struck out 57 times in
    142 plate appearances. That’s 40%. In 2019, he struck out 53 times in 161 plate appearances. That’s 33%. What’s acceptable to get his power back?

    #147021
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    If O’Neill can bump his walk rate a little more (10%), we can live with a K rate in the upper 20s. But he will have to tap back into his power. It seems odd that a guy would lose the hard hit % (which should be related to contact quality) over being more selective about what he swings at. Hopefully Tyler can keep the approach and still hit 25-30 HRs.

    #147025
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    bccran, great question, but unfortunately, it was not the kind of interview in which the host asked those kinds of questions. Mo mentioned O’Neill’s offense on his own, which I felt was done to provide a more balanced reply to a soft question about the Gold Glove and how great O’Neill’s defense is and his overall improvements.

    FWIW, I also thought about asking a follow-on question (if I was there) about what role Alberts played in the changes in 2020 and in what they are asking O’Neill to return to in 2021. It was a bit surprising for me that the PBO talked in that kind of detail about the approach of an individual hitter since he is three levels above the hitting coach. It suggests to me that the topic has been discussed by many in some specifics.

    #147082
    ZTRZTR
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    So it would seem.

    #147792
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    #147794
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Good article on Thomas. Hopefully he can get back to full strength for the spring.

    It’s stuff like this that makes me question so called fans who characterize our players as “pathetic” without any regard for the reasons that may underly. I like our young players (and Carlos) to bounce back in 2021.

    #147796
    Avatarbccran
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    I don’t want to be unkind, but Lane Thomas was drafted out of Bearden HS (Knoxville) in the 5th round way back in 2014. He’ll turn 26 next August, so he’s really not a “young” outfielder per se. He’s worked hard to get a shot at the major leagues, where in 52 games he’s hit .216 with an OBP of .310. Small sample, sure, but nothing to get excited about. Was indeed affected health wise in 2020. At the AAA level, he hit .270, with 16 home runs in 107 games. Respectable, sure, but not really anything that projects to being a highly productive major league corner outfielder.
    He’s had flashes, but nothing you can really hang your hat on. All for him, but also realistic.

    #147799
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Ah, the old, “I don’t like the guy so I will paint a negative view.”

    How about we get some comparative facts on the table?

    On age, Thomas is a year and a half younger than Bader and half a year younger than O’Neill. In fact, other than Carlson, Thomas is the YOUNGEST of the competing outfielders.

    Despite having COVID for half of his MLB career to date, Thomas’ MLB career OPS+ is still 107.

    Other “young” Cards OF’s career OPS+ marks (where 100 is MLB average):

    Bader 93
    O’Neill 90
    Dean 77
    Carlson 66
    Ravelo 60

    We just don’t yet have enough at the MLB level for Thomas to say what he will be and what he won’t.

    #147801
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    It’s no more realistic to paint 2020 Thomas as what we should expect going forward than it is to say 2019 Thomas and his 181 wRC+ is what we should expect. I would think he’s a slightly above average bat with average to above defense in CF or RF. That’s a guy who has value.

    If he were a little more established, he could be a guy who allows Bader to be a trade chip. He’s not, so he will probably have 4th/5th OF at bats next year or perhaps ride the Memphis shuttle.

    #147804
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    Thomas is too old for brcan, but supports Dean and Ravelo in the outfield. Reminds me of watching a dog chase his tail, in a kind way, of course.

    #147812
    Avatar14NyquisT
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    We’re going into ’21 with the same group of OFers plus Carlson. Bader, O’Neill and Carlson got an opportunity to show some of their potential and be what we expected from them. Neither Bader or O’Neill did much to actually nail down a spot. Carlson will be one of the starting ’21 OFers along with Fowler just because. Will Thomas and Dean get the ABs to show what they can do? That CF spot is wide open.

    This is why we’ve bundled them together in our files as “Our Young Outfielders” and so far there is much disappointment.

    Carlson could become the guy that bcc is looking for, we just need Bader or O’Neill or Thomas to surprise us an finally bust out. The FO is going to be reluctant to add another OFer to what we already have. By ’22 if no one steps up their value will go down and they will be in baseball limbo because by then their opportunity will have closed and patience will have run out. If it comes down to that then we’ll need to go outside for help because the well will be dry.

    Stand by for updates… you’ll see them first right here.

    #147821
    Avatargscottar
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    2020 was such a weird season in so many ways it is really difficult to judge and evaluate players. I have no problem with giving Thomas, O’Neill, and Bader one more shot in a healthy full season to see what they can do.

    The Cardinals are going to be careful not to get “Randy’ed” or “Voit’ed” again.

    #147826
    AvatarSimba9
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    The Cardinals are going to be careful not to get “Randy’ed” or “Voit’ed” again.

    or Alcantara’d or Marco Gonzalezed ect…

    #147828
    Avatarbccran
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    Well, sometimes the experts know what they’re talking about. The BA player of the year at the “All AA level” (combined Eastern, Southern and Texas Leagues) in 2019 was our own Dylan Carlson. He was then also rated by BA as one of the top 3 outfielders in the entire minor leagues. The “All Minor League Level”. All organizations included. He just turned 22 last month. He’s just a little different in many ways than O’Neill, Bader, and Thomas. As a side note, at the “All AAA level”, (including the Pacific Coast League and International League) one of the 3 outfielders was named Randy Arozarena. And Mo said in his recent interview that they “missed” on Arozarena and need to assess their talent valuation methods. LOL.

    Give Bader a chance? He’s had 1,050 major league plate appearances in 348 games spread out over 4 years. His slash line is .234/.322/.399/.721. Did he improve on 2020? He slashed .226/.336/.443/.779. If you have some really good hitters in the rest or your lineup, you might be able to afford to have a Bader in CF because he’s a decent defensive player. But as of now, he’s no better than Peter Bourjos. Bourjos was the starting CF for the Angels in 2011 and hasn’t been able to hold down a starting job since.

    Does Tyler O’Neill have potential? Sure, if he can ever cut down on his Ks and still produce power. In his 450 plate appearances spread out over 3 years, he’s struck out
    153 times. In his career, he’s hit .229 with an OBP of .291. Career OPS of .713. Did he improve in 2020? He slashed .173/.261/.360/.621. This is your starting left fielder when you don’t have much pop in the rest of your lineup?

    #147829
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    If Bader can OPS .779 going forward, he’s a sure fire starting CFer. With his defense, that’s a 4 WAR player.

    We’ve already gone over O’Neill. I’ll take my chances there, even if you will not.

    I like Carlson, and I liked Arozarena. I think all four of those guys could be above average OFers. Ironically, I don’t think any of them will be superstars. More like 2-4 WAR guys who may have an occasional All Star or Gold Glove season. Yet, we still need to find out if they are at that level or something worse, and the tiny sample in the extremely weird 2020 provided just about nothing on all of them. We know that Arozarena can get hot and all the others can go cold. That’s about it.

    #147830
    Avatarbccran
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    25 – if you think Bader, O’Neill, and Thomas can have an occasional All Star season, we aren’t on the same page with them. Probably not in the same book. Perhaps not even in the same library. Maybe we should leave it at that. The Cardinals had the makings of a pretty good outfield with Carlson and Arozarena. Now they need at least 1 new outfielder for
    2021 and probably 2 for 2022. There are just too many holes in the swings of Bader and O’Neill for me to be enthused about their future here.

    #147837
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Bader had a 113 wRC+ this season. He plays elite defense in CF. It’s certainly a possibility that he could make an All Star team with a good half season.

    O’Neill had a 115 wRC+ his first year. He plays elite LF defense. He has the pedigree to hit the ball hard (prorating his AAA stats to a full season yields 50 HR and 130 RBIs). He could certainly have a season that could make an All Star team.

    I think you’re confusing perennial All Stars with occasional All Stars. 110-120 wRC+ with great defense is Starling Marte, 2016 All Star and two time Gold Glove winner. Both those guys could have years like that. I don’t think it’s that controversial. I don’t think Lane Thomas is at that level.

    I also said that I think that’s about the level that Carlson and Arozarena will settle in at. Neither will defend as well as Bader or O’Neill, most likely, so they’ll be 2-4 WAR players. Needed for a good team, but not superstars. I think Liberatore is the guy in the system most likely to be the 5+ WAR superstar, followed by Gorman. Then Carlson. I’d also say Fletcher has a chance, albeit a more remote one because of his distance from the big leagues. Same with Winn. I also think Nunez *could* hit well enough to be that guy but he’s a long way away as well.

    #147840
    Avatarbccran
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    25 –
    I’m not as sophisticated as you are in analyzing stats.
    I just look at a .226 batting average and some of the mistakes that Bader made in the field, and I don’t care for him as a player. I look at him as a Bourjos clone. Brian insults me when he says I analyze a players effectiveness by whether I like him or not. I’ve been around the game and been a fan far too long for that.

    #147842
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Bourjos had a couple of good seasons with the glove in LA, but also a real dud (-12 UZR/150) in 2013 before he came to St Louis. He was never a +10 defender with the Cards. Bader has two seasons of around +20, which is very very good. This year wasn’t as strong, but also was a smaller sample so a play or two made a bigger difference.

    Bourjos struck out less than Bader, but also walked less. He also never really showed any power at any level, with his career high being 12 HRs in 550 PAs in 2011. Both are decent base runners.

    I think Bader is both a better hitter and better fielder than Bourjos, in the same way that Tyler O’Neill will be a better hitter and fielder than Randal Grichuk, another comparison that people like to make that I don’t think quite fits either.

    Finally, here’s an article that might give you a little hope for Mr Bader going forward, if you dare to read…

    https://www.vivaelbirdos.com/2020/11/19/21573827/harrison-bader-is-improving-2020

    #147843
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    The body of critical comments over time about certain players speak for themselves.

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