May 2, 2019 at 5:13 pm #89628
Cardinals27ParticipantPaid - Annual
I think Plummer never got righted from that injury in what would have been his first full year. Plus, he was a Michigan high schooler. He would have had to do a lot of traveling to get noticed, (which apparently he did) as I would imagine the Michigan high school season has a lot of cancellations in early spring.May 2, 2019 at 7:02 pm #89649
Bob ReedParticipantPaid - Annual
“Here are a couple of names that caught my eye as possible exceptions.
Nootbaar had five homers, but batted only .227 in April.
Montero started slowly, but was playing well the last 10 days before he was injured.”
Yeah, I can see an argument for Elehuris Montero as a grey area guy, as he’s come on strongly of (very) late. I suspect that your optimism is not misplaced, Brian.
Lars Nootbaar is having an unusually promising start. I’m stickin’ to it.
He doesn’t offer much in the way of glovework or baserunning value, but Nooty’s underlying numbers reflect positive hitting traits — low pro batting averages notwithstanding.
This is a hitter with an outstanding 144 wRC+ for Peoria despite a BABIP of .235. How is he doing it? A very good walk rate of 13%, excellent power (isolated slugging of .256 vs. league average of .118) and most impressively an elite strikeout rate of just 9.6%.
Roughly 1,200 minor leaguers have 50 or more plate appearances so far. Of the real prospects (those under 25 years of age), only four have an isolated slugging over .200 and a K rate under 10%:
Lars Nootbaar (.256), Wander Franco (.235), Alejandro Kirk (.230), and Vlad Guerrero Jr (.244).
This doesn’t make Nootbaar any sort of elite hitting prospect. Or even a good one. But it sure makes him interesting. Nooty’s a little old for his league, but I like him anyway. I’d probably put him above both Luken Baker and Genesis Cabrera on my prospect list, among others.
My expectations for Lars were non-existent before the season. Now he’s a plausible 4th/5th outfielder long term. Maybe even more. It’s such an idiosyncratic profile, I don’t know what to expect. And that’s fun.May 2, 2019 at 7:05 pm #89651
CariocaCardinalParticipantPaid - Monthly
The first week of the minor league season there was plenty of Nunez talk (even while still in EST). What changed? The team started winning!May 2, 2019 at 7:08 pm #89652
PugsleyAddamsParticipantPaid - Annual
Sweet sweet post, Bobby! One day Lars just may amp up your expectations for him to a 3rd/4th outfielderMay 2, 2019 at 7:58 pm #89661
Brian WaltonKeymasterPaid - Annual
Bob, you seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on 75 at-bats. In his only other pro ball work, in almost three times as many at-bats last season at State College, Nootbaar put up an 82 wRC+, his ISO was .056, his K rate was 19.3%, etc., etc..
Maybe he completely changed between last season and this April. Should be interesting to watch which is the real Nootbaar. But, no matter. I will give you your initial point that he was one of the “better than expected” players in the first month.
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