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16.05.2019 05:08
The once vaunted collegiate star is now an afterthou antworten

ght in prospect experts’ minds. Should he be?"Corey Ray is currently considered the #2 prospect in the Brewers’ system according to most prospect ranking sources that don’t include Corbin Burnes as still prospect eligible. Yet his performance as a professional has been volatile to say the least. The once highly-touted prospect is off to a nice spring Noah Syndergaard Jersey , illustrated by a monstrous home run shown below. One swing should not be considered a reason to be high on a prospect, of course, but at the same time, this swing demonstrates excellent bat speed, ability to barrel, outstanding explosion through the hips, and dynamic in-game power.Coming out of the University of Louisville, Ray was considered the best collegiate positional player available. The Brewers’ first-round pick received all the scouting accolades that come with being such a high draft pick in possession of all five tools. But after an aggressive first year assignment to high-A Brevard County in 2016, where he slashed a disappointing .247/.307/.385, he tore the meniscus in his left knee at the beginning of instructional league. Ray was still considered a top-tier prospect entering 2017, but the results that year were not those of a top-tier prospect. He had what amounted to just a miserable season coming off of the knee injury. In 112 games with new high-A affiliate Carolina that year, he slashed .238/.311/.367 with 7 home runs and 24 stolen bases. In 503 plate appearances, he struck out an abysmal 156 times. MLB Pipeline scouts indicated that Ray’s power-speed combo is among the best in the Minors, but it failed to show in his first full season because he struggled to control the strike zone. Far too often, Ray was susceptible to chasing pitches well out of the zone with a lengthy swing.Ray still had trouble controlling the strike zone in 2018, a season where he recorded 176 strike outs in 600 plate appearances. The difference between 2018 and 2017 was the amount of effective contact being made. Ray hit 27 home runs and 66 total extra base hits while stealing 37 bases. He slashed a respectable 239/.323/.477, but with just 122 hits. He did have 60 walks. Even with the better 2018, scouts are skeptical of Ray. Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs articulated apprehension with the 24 year old prospect giving him the same grade they did in 2017. They cite adjustments made that remedied timing issues that plagued him in 2017. They suggest that in 2018 he was able to clear his front hip earlier, enabling him to catch some of the inside pitches that were tying him up in 2017. When you look at the Spring Training home run mentioned earlier in the article, that is exactly what Ray did. He cleared his hips earlier (he also brought his hands in and barreled the pitch with lightening quickness) and caught the inside pitch. Longenhagen and McDaniel were also concerned with his strike out 29.3% strikeout rate. What is more concerning is a 17.5 swinging-strike percentage , meaning he swings through pitches in the zone way too much. The two scouts wrote, “his offensive profile feels unstable.” They go on to compare Ray to Chris Taylor (not all that bad, but they think that would be his peak), Franchy Cordero, Brad Zimmer, and Colby Rasmus. There are some interesting reasons to think about when considering Ray’s path from vaunted prospect compared to prime Andrew McCutchen to disappointing prospect compared to late-career Colby Rasmus. Again he injured his knee during instructionals leading to an awful season in Carolina and a very poor showing in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) in 2017. In fact, Ray’s reputation really took a hit amongst scouts after the AFL. The AFL is a place that scouts come to see prospects on the verge of coming to the Majors. His showing left something to be desired among them as a group. Could that showing be affecting how those scouts think about Ray coming out of 2018 and into 2019? To illustrate how much Ray was struggling as a hitter in the AFL in 2017, take a look at him in this video during the 2017 AFL season.What do you notice? He is lifting his back foot. It might be presumed he is doing this as a timing mechanism. He seems to be reversing the idea of the toe tap. Is the intention to force muscle memory to load onto the back leg? Once he starts his load, he has a slight leg kick. In my mind, this is too much for a hitter that struggles to make contact in the zone. It is almost like a ballroom dancer learning dance steps. 1 - back foot up, 2 - load onto back knee, 3 - small leg kick, and repeat. I cannot know this for sure, but he also may be compensating for the injured knee. He admits the knee affected his on-the-field performance in 2017. His timing was off and he was not getting good swings on the ball. He admitted to getting into bad habits. It shows in the video above as his swing is often too long, he is often off balance, he seems uncomfortable, and he gets the barrel on virtually nothing. Ray needs a smoother approach with less activity throughout loading to hitting process. He made improvements from that standpoint in 2018 that I wonder whether some of the scouts making scouting reports actually acknowledged or even viewed with their eyes. They have a lot of prospects to get eyes on. Why think about a disappointment of a player when putting your reports together? It is easier to take into account previous assessments and focus on the top prospects, under-the-radar types, and the next group coming up. If he comes back around significantly, then take another hard look at him.Obviously we are looking at highlights , but what is more important is the mechanics. Think about the mechanics of the AZL video vs. the two videos from 2018. His bat seems to stay in the zone for a long time. There is no wasted movement in his load. There is a small toe tap/kick for timing purposes. And he explodes through his hips generating exceptional hard contact that is reinforced by his quick bat. One of the knocks on Ray is that he is too pull-oriented, which makes him susceptible to pitches on the outer portion of the plate. Thus he will roll over a lot generating soft contact on the ground. He probably is doing a lot of rolling over, but so do a lot of major league hitters. The video shows outstanding opposite field power. Maybe he just needs to tap into it more by forcing an up-the-middle approach.Corey Ray took a long slide down the prospect lists in 2017. He is 24 years old, so in many scouts’ minds, he is getting close to old for a prospect. His return to top-100 prospect status might be problematic as a result. The likelihood is that he will play most of the season in San Antonio and not get much of a taste in the Majors in 2019. If he puts up similar numbers to those he put up in 2018, he probably deserves top-100 acknowledgement. If he can reduce the amount of swing and miss in the zone and continue to put up the same hard contact, he will return to an elite level prospect. That would make the future very bright for the Milwaukee Brewers.Baseball statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference WASHINGTON (AP) — No pitcher ever has put together a season quite like Jacob deGrom’s 2018 for the New York Mets.The 23 consecutive quality starts are a record. So are the 28 starting assignments in a row allowing three runs or fewer. The 1.77 ERA isn’t too shabby, either.And he might just wind up with the fewest wins for a starting pitcher who earns a Cy Young Award, too. Boosting his bid for the NL honor, deGrom broke a quality-starts mark first established by Bob Gibson a half-century ago, allowing one run and three singles in seven innings to help the Mets beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 Friday night.“He’s just getting better and better. He’s a special ballplayer. He goes out there every night and it’s tough that he only has nine wins or eight wins or whatever he has,” said Nationals slugger Bryce Harper, who went 0 for 3 against deGrom, including a pair of strikeouts and a chopper back to the pitcher. “He’s one of the best in baseball — from both leagues. You know what you’re going to get out of him every single night and tonight he was pretty tough.”About an hour after their loss ended, Harper and the Nationals officially were eliminated from contention in the NL East, dropping nine games behind the Atlanta Braves with eight remaining. Atlanta beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5. Washington won the division each of the past two seasons under then-manager Dusty Baker; the club is 77-77 under rookie skipper Dave Martinez.Throwing fastballs in the 97-99 mph range, deGrom (9-9) struck out eight and walked one. Gibson in 1968 and Chris Carpenter in 2005 each had single-season runs of 22 quality starts. No one had done better. Until now.“I want us to be in every ballgame that I pitch, so I guess that kind of is an accomplishment of a goal that I have,” deGrom said. “So I want to continue to do that moving forward.”His next start will be Wednesday against visiting Atlanta. That’s for sure. Neither deGrom nor manager Mickey Callaway would rule out the possibility of an extra outing on short rest on the regular season’s final day, Sept. 30 Jose Reyes Jersey , at home against Miami.The right-handed deGrom has given up as many as four earned runs in only one of his 31 starts in 2018, back on April 10 against the Marlins.So Friday’s game was pretty much wrapped up by the third inning, which ended with the Mets ahead 4-1 against Joe Ross (0-1).DeGrom is locked in what’s considered a tight race for Cy Young honors — and perhaps league MVP consideration, too — with Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who is 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA and 290 strikeouts. Scherzer has won the past two Cy Young Awards in the NL, plus one in the AL when he played for the Detroit Tigers.In the Mets’ 5-4 victory in 12 innings Thursday, Scherzer gave up three runs in seven innings and struck out 13.Entering Friday, deGrom boasted a majors-leading 1.78 ERA, 251 Ks and 45 walks, and ranked No. 1 in various other categories.DeGrom looked good from the outset, striking out leadoff hitter Victor Robles with a 98 mph fastball, then getting Harper to swing through a 99 mph offering to end the first inning. Harper missed a 93 mph slider to strike out again in the fourth.“He’s just able to do things other guys aren’t,” Mets teammate Jay Bruce said about deGrom. “He goes out there and it’s been pretty automatic. He’s either going to give up zero or one, pretty much every time he goes out there.”TRAINER’S ROOMMets: Mesoraco hadn’t played since leaving a game Sept. 3 because of a bulging disk in his back. He was 3 for 3 with a walk.Nationals: OF Adam Eaton was out of the starting lineup for the fourth time in five games, because of a sore and stiff left knee.UP NEXTRHP Corey Oswalt (3-2, 6.31 ERA) will start for the Mets on Saturday against RHP Austin Voth (0-1, 11.81), who will take RHP Tanner Roark’s spot in the rotation. Roark’s wife recently gave birth.


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