Last night, Evan Carter, the Texas Rangers’ infamous second round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft who has generated much controversy because he was basically an unknown when the Rangers took him, and then started generating a ton of helium starting in the Instructs last fall, had a bases loaded double last night for the Down East Wood Ducks. You can check out the video below:
Before the rain delay, Evan Carter flashed his ability to turn on the low-and-inside pitch with a bases clearing double to put @GoWoodDucks up 5-0— Walker Adams (@YMBPatLSB) June 10, 2021
That’s a sweet stroke from the 18 year old prospect pic.twitter.com/99Td4Ve4rx
It started raining soon thereafter, and the game was suspended and will be resumed (or maybe replayed, I’m not quite sure) at a later date. Carter’s 1 for 2 performance is on the B-R gamelog page but not showing on his actual line, which is confusing me.
In any case, I started poking around in Carter’s numbers and splits last night, and I found some interesting things I thought I’d share.
First, big picture, if we include yesterday’s performance, Carter is slashing .237/.423/.392 on the season, with 130 plate appearances. If we don’t include yesterday’s performance, he is slashing .232/.422/.379 on the season, with 128 plate appearances. Either way, he is comfortable outperforming the Wood Ducks as a whole (.214/.318/.320 on the year) and the Low-A East as a whole (.232/.333/.358).
What jumped out at me yesterday is what he has been doing most recently. Since the start of June, Carter has 5 walks and 4 strikeouts in 35 plate appearances, slashing .321/.429/.536 with a .333 BABIP. The drop in strikeouts is pretty significant — in May, Carter struck out 24 times in 95 plate appearances, with 23 walks, resulting in a .203/.421/.333 slash line for the month.
So in May, Carter was showing patience, but also not making a ton of contact, resulting in a 25% K rate. In June, Carter’s K rate is down to 11%. Yes, his walk rate is down as well, but if he keeps walking as often as he strikes out, and keeps his strike outs to a reasonable level, we will all take that.
I am curious if there was a conscious decision for Carter to start being more aggressive, if the coaching staff pushed him to go after more strikes, that has resulted in this change. Of course, it could also just be small sample size fluctuations. Regardless, it is something to keep an eye on — if Carter can maintain a K rate in the low-teens and keeps drawing walks, he should put up some gaudy numbers.
Perusing the splits made me notice something else that I did a double take over...Evan Carter has a whopping three hits at home all season, compared to twenty hits on the road. Now, he’s had 19 road games (including yesterday) versus 10 home games, so you’d expect there to be a difference. But not that big.
Carter has a .097/.349/.161 slash line in his home games this year, going 3 for 31 with two singles and a triple at home. In 43 plate appearances, he has 10 walks and 13 strikeouts. That’s a .167 BABIP at home. On the road, meanwhile, he is slashing .303/.460/.500, with 18 walks against 15 Ks in 87 plate appearances, with a .391 BABIP.
Weird, huh? I don’t know the explanation. Maybe he’s sleeping in the bathtub in the place he’s renting with nine other guys in Down East, so he gets better rest on the road. Maybe he’s dating someone who he’s up late with when he’s at home. Maybe he’s not comfortable with the sight lines at home. Maybe it is just random luck.
Anyway, I thought all this was interesting, and wanted to share.