After every minor league season is complete one of my favorite things to do is to download all of the play-by-play files from Minor League Baseball and dive into the data. While my job means that I’m watching 200+ minor league games a year either in person or through MiLB.tv, there’s not enough time in the day to watch every game on every day and even if there were, remembering all of that for every player simply isn’t something I’m able to do (how many people can?).

With the data downloaded though, I can build spray charts and hit data for all of the hitters. That helps build a better profile for what kind of hitter they currently are, where their strengths and weaknesses are and where they could possibly improve at. As the offseason goes along, a bunch of this data will come out. Today though, is one of my favorites. We are going to look at the data for which players hit for the most power to which part of the field.

Every hitter alive has more power to the pull-side than they do going the other way. They don’t all use it enough, but pulling the ball for power is easier than hitting the ball the other way for power. Hitting for power the other way can make a player stand out, but some guys simply pull everything and still crush the ball (Jose Bautista is the famous example of a guy who decided to pull everything and it turned his career around).

Who hit for the most pull power?

For this we are looking at isolated power, which is SLG-AVG. That eliminates singles from the slugging equation and only measures the actual power part of slugging percentage. So, which Cincinnati Reds prospect showed the most pull power to the outfield in 2016? Note: Pull% is the rate at which the player pulled the ball to their pull side into the outfield among all balls put in play, while pull Isolated Power numbers are only for balls that reached the outfield.

Player Pull% pIsoP
Daniel Sweet (RHH) 8.8% 1.000
Ed Charlton 19.1% .923
Colby Wright 22.9% .900
Scott Schebler 23.7% .889
Michael Beltre (LHH) 7.2% .875

I’ve included how often the hitter pulled the ball because context matters. If you barely pull the ball, like Daniel Sweet did from the right side, or like Michael Beltre did from the left side, the power doesn’t play nearly as much as it does for the other three on the list who pulled the ball a lot more and did tons of damage when pulling it. On this list only Scott Schebler saw significant playing time in full-season ball. If we want to look at the top five of players who saw significant playing time in full season ball it would look like this:

Player Pull% pIsoP
Scott Schebler 23.7% .889
Steve Selsky 13.7% .844
Aristides Aquino 22.0% .771
Chad Wallach 20.7% .765
Angelo Gumbs 15.2% .740

Schebler still dominates the list, but what’s surprising is that two players who played in Daytona and the Florida State League show up here. Angelo Gumbs and Aristides Aquino both rank highly here despite very pitcher friendly confines. Steve Selsky is a big surprise on the list as well, though he’s also the guy with the lowest pull rate among the top five players.

Who hit for the most power to Center Field?

Player Middle% mIsoP
Daniel Sweet (RHH) 17.6% .667
Aristides Aquino 15.4% .610
Jose Siri 20.2% .565
Michael Beltre (LHH) 17.1% .526
Daniel Sweet (LHH) 18.3% .489

Daniel Sweet finds himself at the top of power hit to in center field as well, both from the right side of the plate. Now, that’s certainly worth noting because he only had 54 plate appearances from the right side on the season – so his numbers are insanely small to look at. Sweet does however find himself at the fifth spot on the list as well, this time as a left hander where he had a larger sample size. Aristides Aquino is also on the list for the second time, as is Michael Beltre for the second time. Only Aquino saw a lot of time in full-season ball. Let’s look at the top five for guys who fit that bill.

Player Middle% mIsoP
Aristides Aquino 15.4% .610
Reydel Medina 19.9% .474
Chad Tromp 17.5% .429
Tyler Stephenson 15.4% .421
Scott Schebler 20.3% .413

At the top of the list, of course, was Aquino. But just how much of a lead he has over the second place hitter is almost laughable. Reydel Medina’s got tons of power and he’s got a decent lead from the second spot.

Who hit for the most opposite field power?

Player Oppo% oIsoP
Michael Beltre (RHH) 2.2% 1.000
Daniel Sweet (RHH) 17.6% .600
Michael Beltre (LHH) 18.0% .600
Manny Cruz 16.8% .563
Reydel Medina 19.4% .471

A lot of repeat names here. Michael Beltre is at the top of the list as a right hander, but with the limited sample size and the fact that he literally hit the ball one time to right field from the right side, a double, it makes that data useless. The same can be applied to Daniel Sweet given the small (but larger) sample size for him from the right side. Beltre, however, is on the list as a left hander and he crushed the ball the opposite way from the left side. Manny Cruz makes his first appearance on the lists and Reydel Medina shows up again. Let’s look at the list for full-season players.

Player Oppo% oIsoP
Reydel Medina 19.4% .471
Juan Duran 16.3% .438
Luis Gonzalez 10.7% .419
Ty Washington 7.0% .385
Eric Jagielo 11.7% .357

Three of these names aren’t surprises as they’re known to be some of the top power guys in the system. However, seeing Luis Gonzalez and Ty Washington show up on the list is surprising. Washington doesn’t go the other way too frequently, but when he did, he made it count from a power perspective. The same can be said for Luis Gonzalez.

Here’s the list for every player in the system (stateside + Alfredo Rodriguez) and the amount of power that they hit to for each outfield spot.

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Player pIsoP mIsoP oIsoP Tot_IsoP
Daniel Sweet (RHH) 1.000 .667 .600 2.267
Michael Beltre (LHH) .875 .526 .600 2.001
Aristides Aquino .771 .610 .322 1.703
Michael Beltre (RHH) .400 .214 1.000 1.614
Reydel Medina .658 .474 .471 1.603
Scott Schebler .889 .413 .167 1.469
Jose Siri .580 .565 .286 1.431
Daniel Sweet (LHH) .595 .489 .308 1.392
TJ Friedl .667 .318 .364 1.349
Player pIsoP mIsoP oIsoP Tot_IsoP
Nick Senzel .659 .378 .294 1.331
Steve Selsky .844 .271 .193 1.308
Brandon Dixon .695 .250 .326 1.271
John Sansone .800 .146 .286 1.232
Chris Okey .818 .206 .200 1.224
Shed Long .603 .325 .295 1.223
Juan Duran .471 .300 .438 1.209
Gavin LaValley .635 .306 .250 1.191
Angelo Gumbs .740 .345 .106 1.191
Manny Cruz .545 .067 .563 1.175
Player pIsoP mIsoP oIsoP Tot_IsoP
Colby Wright .900 .250 .000 1.150
Ronald Bueno (LHH) .615 .324 .189 1.128
Chad Tromp .515 .429 .160 1.104
Chad Wallach .765 .156 .176 1.097
Ty Washington .469 .214 .385 1.068
Brian O’Grady .705 .225 .130 1.060
Phillip Ervin .500 .315 .232 1.047
Mitch Piatnik (LHH) .500 .316 .217 1.033
Taylor Sparks .602 .291 .131 1.024
Tyler Stephenson .500 .421 .097 1.018
Player pIsoP mIsoP oIsoP Tot_IsoP
Ed Charlton .923 .091 .000 1.014
Avain Rachal .500 .250 .250 1.000
Eric Jagielo .425 .216 .357 .998
Jermaine Curtis .683 .220 .094 .997
Calten Daal .714 .273 .000 .987
Hector Vargas .622 .145 .204 .971
Mitch Trees .714 .150 .103 .967
Taylor Trammell .421 .278 .250 .949
Raul Wallace .579 .143 .222 .944
Jeff Gelalich .472 .179 .265 .916
Player pIsoP mIsoP oIsoP Tot_IsoP
James Vasquez .603 .105 .173 .881
Luis Gonzalez .176 .281 .419 .876
Blake Trahan .474 .097 .268 .839
Juan Perez .490 .237 .061 .788
Alex Blandino .475 .190 .083 .748
Seth Mejias-Brean .472 .125 .149 .746
Tony Renda .394 .184 .153 .731
Carlos Triunfel .478 .119 .130 .727
Beau Amaral .400 .175 .150 .725
Leandro Santana .417 .067 .231 .715
Player pIsoP mIsoP oIsoP Tot_IsoP
Kyle Waldrop .564 .025 .111 .700
Montrell Marshall .364 .200 .135 .699
Alejo Lopez (RHH) .400 .286 .000 .686
Jose Peraza .455 .105 .111 .671
Raffy Lopez .217 .214 .238 .669
Blake Butler .568 .100 .000 .668
Joe Hudson .414 .208 .043 .665
Bruce Yari .385 .050 .227 .662
Brandon Allen .469 .074 .115 .658
Jesse Winker .453 .034 .151 .638
Player pIsoP mIsoP oIsoP Tot_IsoP
Chris Berset (RHH) .389 .238 .000 .627
Zach Vincej .458 .114 .043 .615
Shane Mardirosian .488 .038 .082 .608
Garrett Boulware .407 .171 .030 .608
Hernan Iribarren .289 .164 .149 .602
Zack Shields .385 .111 .098 .594
Donald Lutz .286 .120 .167 .573
Sebastian Elizalde .333 .127 .097 .557
Cassidy Brown .294 .029 .188 .511
Alfredo Rodriguez .333 .000 .143 .476
Player pIsoP mIsoP oIsoP Tot_IsoP
Brantley Bell .167 .183 .105 .455
Jonathan Reynoso .212 .089 .107 .408
Mitch Piatnik (RHH) .400 .000 .000 .400
Ray Chang .200 .136 .038 .374
Alejo Lopez (LHH) .222 .000 .130 .352
Carlos Rivero .294 .000 .000 .294
Bryson Smith .143 .091 .000 .234
Chris Berset (LHH) .100 .000 .000 .100

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DALTON AND GREEN IN 2018 T SHIRT

10 Responses

  1. James Walker

    Doesn’t it have to be of at least some concern to the Reds that Jesse Winker is so far down on this list?

    It seems to me that without increased power, he’s a slightly more athletic Sean Casey. Without the speed to make him an outstanding defender or base running threat, does he really qualify as a true building block type player in a corner OF position. A guy he is often compared to, Jay Bruce, brought all those components to the table when he came up.

    • Doug Gray

      If you think that Jesse Winker lost any and all ability to hit for power and will never regain it, sure.

      But, he’s hit for power in the past and we know he had a wrist injury this year. And we know that wrist injuries sap power for periods of time.

      Anyone who compared him to Jay Bruce was doing something wrong. Jay Bruce was far more athletic with way more power. Bruce wasn’t the kind of high OBP guy Winker was, and his approach wasn’t anywhere near as good. Two very different players.

    • Jim H.

      Casey slugged .544 his final full season in the minors splitting time between AA & AAA (82 PAs). Winker hasn’t come close to that above the hitter-friendly Cal League. To be fair, Winker spent his age-22 season entirely in AAA, while Casey’s was above. But for those thinking Winker is ready to plug into to the OF might want to temper expectations a bit and let him grow some more as a hitter.

      • Doug Gray

        Casey came up in the steroid era, and while I don’t think that he was using – EVERYONE was crushing the baseball then. Very different game.

        Winker could step in right now and hit fine. The power wouldn’t have been there this year – but he would have hit.

      • Jasonp

        The only thing to “grow” would be to show more power in AAA. He hit with power ever year except last. Sense the AAA all star break Winker hit 320, 415 OBP, 27 stikeouts 26 walks. Only thing missing is power and not many people show a lot of power in Louisville. If he can hit 280, 340 OBS, and if he only hits 15 home runs he still is going to be a good hitter for us. A constistant bat like his is going to help us a ton.

  2. Norwood Nate

    I seem to recall some people talking about Ervin being an extreme pull hitter, which was the explanation for a low BABIP, as he rolled over a lot of balls. I don’t know if that was just anecdotal, but he’s not at the top of any of those lists.

  3. HavaKlu

    Doug—–if you think everyone was crushing the ball in the ’80’s, then what are they doing today? I mean look at the HRs being hit now and by who! Many players are setting their single season HR record. Really, now is when everyone is crushing the ball!!!

    • Doug Gray

      The 80’s?

      Sean Casey came through the minor leagues in the mid-to-late 90’s. The poster noted that Casey slugged .544 in his last full season in the minor leagues. Most of his season that year was spent in the Double-A Eastern League.

      Don’t get me wrong – Casey RAKED there. He hit .386 that year in Double-A. He slugged .598. As a league, their isolated power was 151 that year.

      This year it was 130. Last year it was 116. The year before that it was 131.

      Guys were hitting for more power in the mid-to-late 90’s than they are now.

      Power is certainly something guys are improving on today, and really, the last year-and-a-half compared to the previous handful of years. Lots of thoughts as to why, but nothing really concrete (some say it’s the ball – but testing of the ball doesn’t really suggest that’s the case).

  4. Michael Davis

    Nice work Doug!

    Brad Lidge suggested that the increase in power could be due to players not caring about strikeouts and just ripping away. Sad that baseball has become more about homeruns and less about fundamentals. Very different game today. Very few players seem to care much about approaching the game like Joey but instead they make it easy to utilize a shift based on their approach.

    • Doug Gray

      Grip it and rip it is easier to do than what Joey Votto does. Many guys probably don’t have the ability to do what Joey Votto does. What they can do is simply swing as hard as they can.

      I think Lidge is probably somewhat correct, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard the theory. Power is the easiest way to produce runs – but it’s also a bit rarer to make happen. But, in a day and age where everyone is throwing 93+ just about, and every reliever is 95+ with sliders at 87 – grip it and rip it isn’t exactly a bad choice.