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Jeff McNeil 2019 Outlook

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Hopefully he continues to rake after the AS break...is this breakout sustainable ROS? How are his numbers under the hood looking like?

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I am new to rotisserie.  How much of an impact can a guy who hits .320 have on overall BA?

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9 minutes ago, B&F said:

I am new to rotisserie.  How much of an impact can a guy who hits .320 have on overall BA?

 

Depends on volume (ABs.)  The exact amount varies based on league depth -- deeper leagues it helps more since the replacement value is lower, therefore the .320 AVG player's value over replacement in that category is higher.  But the tl;dr answer is "a lot".

For some idea, check out the ESPN player rater and sort by the AVG column.  As of right now, McNeil is in 3rd in the category with a 3.51 score.  ESPN doesn't publish their methodology, but assuming that's a z-score, that means he's ~3.5 standard deviations above replacement, which compares favorably to the leaders in R, RBI but trails the leaders in HR and SB.

Obviously players who contribute in more categories will give you more than McNeil who doesn't offer much else.  McNeil is the 59th batter overall, but that's pretty good for basically a one category contributor.

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Posted (edited)

This is guy is ridiculous. Where does he get drafted next year? 3rd round?

 

114901771_ScreenShot2019-07-20at2_45_15PM.thumb.jpg.657ab8bf83e7fd2ed3cb31b64eb4e113.jpg

Edited by roscobangs
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2 minutes ago, roscobangs said:

This is guy is ridiculous. Where does he get drafted next year? 3rd round?

 

 

Quite possibly. Especially if he can keep his 2B/3B/OF eligibility. 

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3 minutes ago, Fantasy Baseball Geek said:

3rd round? 40 team league? He's great for AVG but he's pretty pedestrian in every other Cat. 

 

kinda agree.  i love the guy, but his counting stats on that team just wont be enough.  if he stole 30 bases....hel yea. but he wont

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On 7/4/2019 at 10:06 AM, BRYZZO said:

Hopefully he continues to rake after the AS break...is this breakout sustainable ROS? How are his numbers under the hood looking like?

He’s off to a good start so far in the 2nd half!

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42 minutes ago, roscobangs said:

This is guy is ridiculous. Where does he get drafted next year? 3rd round?

 

Depends on the league settings. He's gonna end up with meager-ish counting stats, maybe 15 HR, 70 RBI, 90 R, 10 SB,  but with a .330 AVG that's a top 50 player in standard 5X5 leagues. 3rd round is picks 24-36 so maybe a bit early in a 12 team league. Deeper leagues and points leagues is a different story though. 

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46 minutes ago, En Votto Veritas said:

He's gonna end up with meager-ish counting stats, maybe 15 HR, 70 RBI, 90 R, 10 SB,  but with a .330 AVG

 

Every projection system is saying he'll come in just under .300 ROS, which would have him finishing more in the .315 range.  Still a very useful number, but you have to at least consider that there might be some good fortune in his current batting average.

 

46 minutes ago, En Votto Veritas said:

that's a top 50 player in standard 5X5 leagues

 

Except it's not -- even with the .330 AVG.  His current player rater ranking is barely in the top 50 hitters.  Some ahead of him will fall, but some behind him will climb.  With the lack of power/speed and middling R/RBI totals, I just don't see him finishing the season inside the top 75 overall in standard 5x5 roto.

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The hit-tool is one of the most legit in the majors. I find it hard to project him hitting under .315 next season, and I'd pin the o/u at .320. Further, we can assume he's going to hit more home runs.... He had 0 in first 20 games, and only 2 in first 51 games. Since then he has 7 in his last 33 and I think that is WAY closer to what we can expect next year. That is a 30 HR pace. In saying all that, I'll project his 2019/20 with some regression in AVG/OBP/SLUG an increase in power and counting stats  (he's going to be locked in at the top of the order).

.325/.385/485, 26HR, 95R, 85RBI

Where should that player get drafted? In OBP or OPS leagues... It's very high. Not to mention he plays at the shallowest position besides catcher.

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18 minutes ago, roscobangs said:

The hit-tool is one of the most legit in the majors. I find it hard to project him hitting under .315 next season, and I'd pin the o/u at .320. Further, we can assume he's going to hit more home runs.... He had 0 in first 20 games, and only 2 in first 51 games. Since then he has 7 in his last 33 and I think that is WAY closer to what we can expect next year. That is a 30 HR pace. In saying all that, I'll project his 2019/20 with some regression in AVG/OBP/SLUG an increase in power and counting stats  (he's going to be locked in at the top of the order).

.325/.385/485, 26HR, 95R, 85RBI

Where should that player get drafted? In OBP or OPS leagues... It's very high. Not to mention he plays at the shallowest position besides catcher.

Why did you adjust his HR pace?  Not saying you’re wrong, but you made a major adjustment and I think I missed why.

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13 minutes ago, roscobangs said:

Further, we can assume he's going to hit more home runs.... He had 0 in first 20 games, and only 2 in first 51 games. Since then he has 7 in his last 33 and I think that is WAY closer to what we can expect next year.

 

We can certainly hope he can hit more home runs.  We can even predict that he will hit more home runs.  But we cannot "assume" he will hit more home runs by throwing away 60% of his plate appearances at the beginning of the season and ignoring the fact that he never got strong scouting grades for his power and never had exceptional power numbers in the minors.  Those 51 games happened.  Why should we believe his current HR rate is the reality instead of a hot streak that complements the cold streak in the beginning?

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At the beginning of the season he was just trying to keep his job. Once it became obvious he was here to stay, he started hitting home runs. I think it is just a matter of a clear adjustment happening once he felt that not every AB was a potential opportunity to lose playing time. 

With the way baseball's fly out of the park in the majors, and the way this guy hits the ball, how can we not project an increase in home runs? The outlier has to be his 2 home runs in 51 games, not what he's done in the last 30 games. I mean how many guys actually have stretches of 2HR/50 games that hit the ball like McNiel? Blah blah his minor league track record. How many examples do we need to see of players actually finding their power stroke in the majors before we start to believe it's just a reality in todays game. 

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Kinda reminds me of Zobrist back in his day, multi position eligibility, great bench bat, always gave something. Very valuable in head to head formats.

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1 hour ago, roscobangs said:

With the way baseball's fly out of the park in the majors, and the way this guy hits the ball, how can we not project an increase in home runs?

 

He wasn't hitting with a different baseball in those first 51 games, though.

As for "the way he hits the ball"...  Has he made a swing change to increase his launch angle?  Baseball Savant's Statcast search tells me his average launch angle was 13.0 degrees in his first 51 games (beginning of season until June 8th.)  After June 8th?  12.9 degrees.  Now, average launch angle isn't the end all be all -- McNeil's teammate Pete Alonso has a 13.4 average and he's doing okay in the HR department.  Maybe exit velocity?  89.4 MPH before your arbitrary date, 88.3 after.

If you can point to something tangible to explain his increase in homers over the past 33 games, I'm certainly willing to consider it.  Doesn't have to be a particular Statcast metric or anything.  I just don't see any reason to believe his skills have changed since June 8th.

Now, can players make changes that lead to better results?  Of course.  Can a young player unlock some power, especially in this HR environment?  Sure.  But you can't just work backwards from a hot month of hitting to assume the good results are more real than the power drought that preceded them. 

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I agree with @tonycpsu on the HRs. It's never wise to bet on an increase in any stat that isn't backed up by historical numbers or swing change. I see McNeil as a 15-20 HR guy, and his AVG should fall from .330 as well, but it should be noted that he has a full season of ABs now (over 2 seasons) and is at .330. .300 seems like a low projection, a floor perhaps, and .315 a safe bet. 

I have him in a 16 team league that counts lots of stats so he's much more valuable, as he would be in a points league. Standard 5x5 though, tony may be correct in having him right around 75. 

 

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He's the 47th ranked hitter in my points league.  I'd easily take him above some OF/DH ahead of him, so top 30 hitter is pretty much a given.  With some pitchers, that puts him borderline top 50.  

This league rewards OPS and punishes strike outs, so I think many other leagues 75 sounds accurate.

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1 hour ago, tonycpsu said:

 

He wasn't hitting with a different baseball in those first 51 games, though.

As for "the way he hits the ball"...  

Re: the way hits the ball

I’m just referring to how he hits for such a high average. I just think if you are hitting at .340 clip, you are going to get some home runs in this era- at least 20 or so. 

Btw, thanks for the detailed response. Very insightful as always. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how he does going forward.. Either way, he’s been a treat to own and for me in a keeper league. Will be hard to not keep him at this point. 

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He had a grand total of 9 home runs in 1,458 PAs prior to 2018. He's hit 30 in 994 the last year and a half. The sample size is smaller, but do the last 1,000 PAs not count as track record? 

 

I get prior history and other metrics, but sometimes raw boring stats tell a story too. He's obviously tapped into some power that wasn't originally expected - resulting from launch angle, exit velo, confidence, etc is another story. It's a game of averages so whether they came in the first 50 games or last, it all counts the same at the end of the year. In my humble opinion, based on the last 1.5 years of data, expecting 15-18 homers next year from McNeil is totally reasonable.

 

Now is that enough to be a top 50 guy? I donno. Those speculative questions are impossible to answer because leagues vary so greatly. 

 

 

Different skillsets altogether - so not a good comparison here, just something to consider - but Victor Robles had just 31 homers in 1,793 career PAs and has 14 bombs in 360 this year. Comparing an insanely talented guy and former #1 overall prospect to Jeff McNeil isn't fair, but point is it can take players time before it clicks for them.

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7 hours ago, LoGo said:

He had a grand total of 9 home runs in 1,458 PAs prior to 2018. He's hit 30 in 994 the last year and a half. The sample size is smaller, but do the last 1,000 PAs not count as track record?  

 

All of the data points count, but some count more than others.  :)

Like, we can pretty much forget what he did in the lower minors, because he's a completely different player, playing against a much higher level of competition.  We know that he found a power stroke at some point in his development, and that's his new baseline.  Still, by that same logic, I don't think you can lump his AA/AAA results from 2018 in with his MLB performance so far.  The stats he accumulated vs. AA and AAA pitching count, and speak to his raw ability, but they aren't reflective of his ability to hit home runs against MLB competition.

 

7 hours ago, LoGo said:

In my humble opinion, based on the last 1.5 years of data, expecting 15-18 homers next year from McNeil is totally reasonable. 

 

Well, that's right around what he's already on pace for this season, so yeah, I think we agree, and I don't think anyone's said that isn't attainable.  What I'm pushing back against is the idea that he can nearly double that total just because he's been hitting more homers in the last month or so.  There's nothing in his track record or MLB performance that makes a compelling case for that to be his new baseline.

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He hit 19 homers across 384 plate appearances in AA/AAA in 2018. Prior to that, he'd hit 9 homers across 1,458 minor league plate appearances from 2013 to 2017. I don't think it's very hard to believe he's got some untapped power that might be shown with improved hitting. This year, he's upped his barrels/PA, ISO and bumped his hard-hit rate from 30% last year to 40%. I think the numbers and his performance so far indicate he's easily capable of 20 homers in a full season of appearances. 30? Crazier things have happened, but that feels like a needless stretch.

I don't know why anyone would expect the average to end below .300, either, but... crazier things have happened. 

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