7/16/17

Tom Brennan: AAA REGRESSION

2 comments

Tom Brennan: AAA REGRESSION

Hitters going through the minors typically progress:
the more you play, the better you do.  
Some Mets' AAA/borderline major league players have regressed significantly after their first AAA year, though.  
Maybe it is the disappointment of a strong first AAA year not leading to a call up, maybe they over-achieved. Every player has their own particular reasons.

Let's look at a few regressors at the AAA All Star Break:



GAVIN CECCHINI:

Cecchini has done very well this year and last in brief major league call up snippets, going 6 for 20 (.300) with 2 doubles and a homer.

Yet, after hitting a breakout .317 in AA in 2015, he hit .325/.390/.448 after a slow start in his first AAA season, looking like a reasonable first round pick, but he has fallen to .259/.319/.360 in his 2nd AAA season.  WAZZUP?

Perhaps it was switch from shortstop to 2B this year....while he hit great in 2015 and 2016, his fielding at short was mostly surprisingly atrocious, making 57 errors in his first 166 games at short in those 2 years, before rebounding nicely with just 5 SS errors over his last 48 games there in 2016.

Maybe his 2017 hitting regression has been due to being called up in late 2016, getting a taste, then seeing the Mets re-sign Neil Walker in the off season, blocking his promotion and getting into a AAA funk.  Dunno.

Three Cecchini positives to note in 2017:

1) just 9 errors, mostly at 2nd base, in 70 games in 2017.

2) he heated up somewhat lately, going from .239 on May 24 to .259 at the ASB.  A hot bat should get him a September call up, and if the Mets trade Walker and either Cabrera or Reyes, it could be sooner.

3) he makes good contact.  Just 99 Ks in 195 AAA games in 2016 and 2017.
Hopefully, when his time comes in Queens, we'll see a lot more of the 2016 Cecchini than the 2017 version.



MATT REYNOLDS:

Matt is in the bigs in Queens, but playing scarcely.  
In 2014, it looked like he had a major breakthrough that would lead to a lot more. After 2013's awful .226 in A ball, he hit .355 in half a season in AA and .333 in the other half in AAA in 2014.  Wow.
In spring training 2015, he stroked at .375 in 18 games, but the Mets went north with Ruben Tejada, not him.  
He then proceeded to regress into the .260's in AAA in both 2015 and 2016.  Maybe it was that he was playing over his head in 2014, maybe it was hitting great in 2015 spring training without a promo that set him back.  Maybe both.

Nonetheless, his .214 average in 126 major league at bats has not warranted more big league playing time so far for the seldom-used Matt.  Maybe there is little room for progression.  But maybe his .303/.369/.513 in 20 AAA games this year is a sign that Matt has more upside.

BRANDON NIMMO:

The Lordly Captain Nimmo hit .353 after a slow start in AAA in 2016, and also hit well, but without power, for the Mets in a cameo in 2016 (he did, though, hit that one LONG homer that even Aaron Judge would have admired).

Nimmo's 2017 mistake was the WBC injury bug, pulling a hammy that cost him a major league spot coming out of spring training, and then further delaying his return to the field with a hand injury.  When he finally returned, he hit .223 in the minors in 43 games.  
But fortune smiled on him when a Mets OF slot opened for Nimmo when Evil Knievel Juan Lagares got busted up again in another aborted swan dive.

Nimmo has been on base 11 of 24 times since his call up to the Mets this year, so his 2017 regression seems completely injury-related.  He is also at .290/.365/.344 in slightly over 100 big league plate appearances, so that is quite powerless but otherwise good. 
Maybe a few OF trades happen and Nimmo gets to play daily soon in Queens, and we can see if progression is in store for Mets fans.  Of course, he must get past his partially collapsed lung first, for which he is in our prayers for a very quick recovery.

That's it for now. Time to stop now, before I regress further.






2 comments:

Mack Ade said...

It's pretty sad when you have batter regression in the PCL

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree, Mack. Any regression is hazardous to a player's career

Mack's Mets © 2012