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A Nick Madrigal Sized Sample

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1 hour ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

 

Scouting has not changed in the way that would have changed how Trout was seen imo. Kids today still suffer because they're northern kids, although not as badly as Trout (showcases continuing to grow has helped) but it was very obvious that Mike Trout was the best high school player in the country but people questioned his competition.

I compared the 1970s, no internet, scouts acting on “tips/asides”, scouting typically limited to a limited geographical area, etc., vs. the internet era, of which the Trout selection was most assuredly a part of.

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Tyler Naquin had 17 homers in his last three big league seasons.

5 homers already in a week plus with the Reds.

Not giving up on Madrigal just yet...once he gets his first it will come.  He can be similar to Tommy Herr someday, another Cardinals’ reference.

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Madrigal is a nutshell so far this season:

  • Elite contact ability (100th percentile)
  • Improving walk rate (10.3% vs 3.7% LY)
  • Poor quality of contact (.230 xwOBACON)
  • Good not great speed (~70th percentile)
  • Shitty defensive play (4th percentile in OAA)
  • So far lacking a supposed high baseball IQ

Personally, after doing this exercise I’m actually a bit more optimistic.  His one elite tool  (contact ability) he’s delivering on while his quality said of contact is way down from last year, which will almost certainly improve in a bigger sample.  Nick will never be a power hitter given his approach and frame, so getting on base at a high clip is what will make or break him as an above league average hitter.  The good news there is his walk rate is way up and that corresponds with an 11 point drop in his O-swing %.  None of this is overly sexy or makes up for passing on potential high impact talents like Jarred Kelenic in the 2018 draft, but offensively there is a package here that can result in an incredibly effective #9 hitter / second leadoff hitter.

Speed wise it’s very clear he wasn’t the plus plus runner some scouts pegged him as at Oregon St and that’s evident from just watching him.  That being said, talk of him being slow is completely fabricated.  He looks like he’ll be someone who will end up around the 75th percentile for sprint speed which is plenty fast but not necessarily game changing.  I don’t envision him ever being a huge SB threat, probably plateauing in the 10 to 20 range.  His speed should allow him provide positive value just running the bases as long as he can keep the gaffes to a minimum.

And that feeds directly into his defense.  What the hell is going on with this kid and why is he making so many mistakes and dumb decisions?  He definitely made some ugly mistakes last year, but ultimately Statcast had his defense in the 85th percentile for OAA.  This year he’s sitting in the 4th percentile and has actually looked like a liability out there.  What he is in the field will ultimately decide whether he can be an above average 2B or not.  IMO, I think he’s playing a bit scared out there and is in how own head right now.  Some people here tend to forgot these are human beings and not robots and guys like Nick haven’t dealt with a lot of failure in their pro careers.  You see it all the time with young guys being poor defenders when they first get called up with Moncada being a prime example of that at 2B.  I do think his defense was probably a bit overstated, but I still expect Nick to be above average defensively in the end when he finally develops a bit more confidence in himself.  If so, he can still be a very valuable player on a legit championship contending team.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, caulfield12 said:

Tyler Naquin had 17 homers in his last three big league seasons.

5 homers already in a week plus with the Reds.

Not giving up on Madrigal just yet...once he gets his first it will come.  He can be similar to Tommy Herr someday, another Cardinals’ reference.

To be fair naquin had just 600 PAs those seasons combined so it was about a 20 Homer full season pace. 

Stil of course there is upside. 

Edited by Dominikk85

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13 hours ago, chitownsportsfan said:

I think he long ago decided to sacrifice bat speed for bat control.  To revamp his swing and get it more hip driven (like Moncada's) at this point would probably be a death sentence.  His only hope of more power is to get strong wrist action and stronger forearms.  Great analysis I agree with everything you said about his swing.

Thanks. I only work with HS and college kids on hitting but I thought that was pretty glaring, never seen that rigid and passive of an upper body in the load. There are if course also guys who coil up too much and get long but a bit of that probably wouldn't hurt his contact a lot. 

I'm quite active on Twitter and actually send this suggestion to Sox coach Ryan Johansen what he thinks but understandably he said he can't talk about current players. Some other hitting coordinators are more open but I can understand that it is a risk to talk about that 

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48 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Madrigal is a nutshell so far this season:

  • Elite contact ability (100th percentile)
  • Improving walk rate (10.3% vs 3.7% LY)
  • Poor quality of contact (.230 xwOBACON)
  • Good not great speed (~70th percentile)
  • Shitty defensive play (4th percentile in OAA)
  • So far lacking a supposed high baseball IQ

Personally, after doing this exercise I’m actually a bit more optimistic.  His one elite tool  (contact ability) he’s delivering on while his quality said of contact is way down from last year, which will almost certainly improve in a bigger sample.  Nick will never be a power hitter given his approach and frame, so getting on base at a high clip is what will make or break him as an above league average hitter.  The good news there is his walk rate is way up and that corresponds with an 11 point drop in his O-swing %.  None of this is overly sexy or makes up for passing on potential high impact talents like Jarred Kelenic in the 2018 draft, but offensively there is a package here that can result in an incredibly effective #9 hitter / second leadoff hitter.

Speed wise it’s very clear he wasn’t the plus plus runner some scouts pegged him as at Oregon St and that’s evident from just watching him.  That being said, talk of him being slow is completely fabricated.  He looks like he’ll be someone who will end up around the 75th percentile for sprint speed which is plenty fast but not necessarily game changing.  I don’t envision him ever being a huge SB threat, probably plateauing in the 10 to 20 range.  His speed should allow him provide positive value just running the bases as long as he can keep the gaffes to a minimum.

And that feeds directly into his defense.  What the hell is going on with this kid and why is he making so many mistakes and dumb decisions?  He definitely made some ugly mistakes last year, but ultimately Statcast had his defense in the 85th percentile for OAA.  This year he’s sitting in the 4th percentile and has actually looked like a liability out there.  What he is in the field will ultimately decide whether he can be an above average 2B or not.  IMO, I think he’s playing a bit scared out there and is in how own head right now.  Some people here tend to forgot these are human beings and not robots and guys like Nick haven’t dealt with a lot of failure in their pro careers.  You see it all the time with young guys being poor defenders when they first get called up with Moncada being a prime example of that at 2B.  I do think his defense was probably a bit overstated, but I still expect Nick to be above average defensively in the end when he finally develops a bit more confidence in himself.  If so, he can still be a very valuable player on a legit championship contending team.

He’ll come out of it when his offensive confidence starts to grow IMO.  That feeling of “I belong” sinking in at the big league level.

A certain SD shortstop went from one of the worst in baseball defensively in 2019 to one of the best in 2020, and then made five early errors again (already) this year.

Madrigal doesn’t have the arm strength to force as many throws that shouldn’t even be attempted, but the commonality between the two players was/is dealing with shoulder injuries and not being 100% physically but still wanting to be out there in the field everyday.

Running speed is unlikely to improve, but the moves that worked at Oregon State (getting hung out to dry between 2nd and 3rd against the Angels, then bailed out) are only going to work 25% of the time, not 75% like they did in NCAA play.

 

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