FanPost

Historical Hickory: A look at Joey Gallo in context

Rick Yeatts

A pretty big topic this year around baseball has been the prodigious HR prowess of the Rangers’ Hickory squad. They are on pace to shatter many records and are doing it with a mostly young prospect-laden lineup. However with all of this power has come an equally alarming K rate. These young players hit HRs and strikeout, a lot. Joey Gallo is a terrific case study in this.

I decided to pull all data in low A ball since 2003 (actually will end up going back to 1990 when all is said and done). I used this data to construct an interactive excel spreadsheet wherein I simply drop in the CSV tables from baseball-reference and it calculates every advanced stat that can be calculated from numbers that would appear on a leaderboard. From this I extrapolated out every hitter’s wOBA, BABIP, ISO, K rate, BB rate, etc. I calculated the run values for wOBA based upon the entirety of low A ball as opposed to just that player’s individual league.

The population was simply all qualified hitters from the previous years’ leaderboards sorted by highest OPS to lowest OPS. So each year had roughly 200 hitters (100 per league) with enough plate appearances to qualify for that particular year’s leaderboard. There is a possibility I could have missed a few EXTREMELY poorly performing individuals but most years the lowest OPS’ went well below the league average so I am confident I got a good sample for our purposes.

I also have data for every minor league level back to 2003. Right now I am working on writing a program in powershell that will grab that data for me and then enact my macro to change it from CSV format to text to columns. I am getting close with that but still learning powershell. Right now the manual upload is fine since I have my main template (I constructed it in tabular form and linked the header names so any adjustments I have to make will not compromise the integrity of the rest of the sheet) built.

Now for the fun! Gallo’s numbers have been extremely interesting this year. First let’s start at the K rate like Tepid did the other day and it goes lock in step with what I tweeted as a follow up to that article.

Gallo’s K Rate currently sits at 38.46% which would be the highest for this exercise if not for his teammate, Lewis Brinson’s K Rate of 39.75%. For a little context, the low A ball K Rate is currently 20.4%. Gallo is striking out at almost double the rate of his peers. One interesting thing to note is that the five highest K rates in our population are all currently occurring in 2013.

The next thing I asked myself is that well that is not a good sign but Gallo is very young. Let’s compare with him players his age or younger in the Sally. I used the age that Baseball-Reference uses (I believe it is age as of June 30th of the current year). This population ended up containing 126 players. Besides Robbie Grossman and Brinson, Gallo is the only 19 y/o or younger to post a K Rate higher than 30%. Just below 30% are Domingo Santana, Giancarlo Stanton, and Slade Heathcott (as well as Alfaro’s 2012 campaign). Heathcott is the only one of those players that was 19.

Okay we have established that Gallo is on herculean strikeout pace regardless of age. It would be unfair to stop the study here. We have to also examine the reason Gallo is even mentioned as a prospect. What about his power?

There has been only one other player since 2003 who has posted a higher ISO than Gallo (aged 19 or younger), that is Giancarlo Stanton as a 18 y/o in 2008. Gallo’s wOBA of .381 would place in top 25% of all 19 or younger qualifiers during the same time span. Another interesting thing to note is that Lastings Milledge and Ian Stewart posted wOBAs of .437 and .436 respectively in 2004 (wow).

The next question for many power hitters is whether they walk enough to mitigate their strikeouts. There are a few players in this population that had lower BB/K ratios. His teammate Nick Williams is one while Matt Kemp is another. Of course neither of these players had or have the same K rate that Gallo currently does.

The real impetus for this study and why I am going to have to expand the overall population is to find someone who profiles like Gallo. I know some people may look at Branyan and that is who I am looking at as well. Branyan had a very similar year in 1995 with Columbus. He repeated the level the next year and while still striking out a great deal, he cut his K rate down and increased his walk rate.

Until I expand my overall population to include data from 1990 on I really cant find anyone in this population that is age similar to Gallo’s that is like Gallo. One of the few conclusions I came out of this with is that since Gallo is still so young I would advise them to have him repeat Hickory in 2014.

As a last note, I realize this is a fairly high overview analysis but I wanted to do this study like this initially to see if anyone had any interest in me conducting anymore studies on other Rangers’ prospects. I did not dig too deeply but will in the future if that is of interest. Hope you guys enjoyed this one.

Top 25 K rates in the SAL (all ages) since 2003:

Player

BB Rate

K Rate

Year Played

wOBA

Isolated Power

BB/K Ratio

Player Age

Lewis Brinson

9.250%

39.750%

2013

0.333

0.186

0.23

19

Joey Gallo

9.972%

38.462%

2013

0.381

0.315

0.26

19

Zach Taylor*

6.962%

36.709%

2013

0.326

0.156

0.19

22

Joe Maloney

8.537%

34.756%

2013

0.350

0.229

0.25

22

Keon Barnum*

7.746%

33.803%

2013

0.323

0.170

0.23

20

Telvin Nash

12.658%

32.595%

2011

0.388

0.216

0.39

20

Lou Santangelo

8.955%

32.090%

2005

0.383

0.251

0.28

22

Mike Russell

9.434%

31.698%

2004

0.357

0.222

0.30

22

Steve Bumbry*

9.026%

31.116%

2010

0.341

0.143

0.29

22

Brandon Miller

8.095%

30.952%

2013

0.348

0.222

0.26

23

Robbie Grossman*

14.019%

30.654%

2009

0.349

0.089

0.46

19

Matt Esquivel

7.576%

30.303%

2004

0.383

0.209

0.25

21

Brandon Nimmo

12.112%

30.124%

2013

0.341

0.085

0.40

20

Brad Eldred

8.051%

30.085%

2003

0.381

0.252

0.27

22

Jered Stanley

8.669%

30.031%

2008

0.393

0.249

0.29

23

P.J. Hiser

4.816%

29.462%

2006

0.337

0.187

0.16

24

Kevin Clark*

11.638%

29.310%

2008

0.363

0.191

0.40

22

Christian Snavely

13.486%

29.262%

2004

0.373

0.205

0.46

22

Keenyn Walker

15.625%

29.063%

2012

0.369

0.105

0.54

21

Ryan Carter

3.404%

28.936%

2005

0.380

0.255

0.12

22

Domingo Santana

6.852%

28.908%

2011

0.378

0.184

0.24

18

Will Middlebrooks

11.241%

28.806%

2009

0.352

0.139

0.39

20

Carlos Martinez

10.106%

28.723%

2010

0.354

0.122

0.35

21

Cristian Santana

7.566%

28.618%

2010

0.363

0.209

0.26

21

Chandler Laurent

7.647%

28.529%

2011

0.394

0.237

0.27

23

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Lone Star Ball

You must be a member of Lone Star Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lone Star Ball. You should read them.

Join Lone Star Ball

You must be a member of Lone Star Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lone Star Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker