After blasting 19 homers last year, Gatewood’s season ended with a torn ACL in July. The AA power hitter looked to be ‘putting it all together’ before he went down. BREW MATHs takes an in-depth look at his statistical progress since being drafted by Milwaukee in 2014.
Almost as soon as he was injured in late July, Gatewood was saying he wanted to be back by the beginning of Spring Training. Reports are vague but indicate that Gatewood is “on track” in his recovery. This is great news as Gatewood seemed to be making significant strides in the weeks and months leading up to getting hurt. Initially drafted as a SS, he was moved to 3B and finally 1B, where he will likely return. This flexible homegrown talent’s efforts at the plate will be reviewed. All his progress charted.
When we look at these trends and where they ended up last year, it does not seem like we are looking at the chart of a #10 prospect. That said, this is only one piece of the puzzle. When we don’t see a player excel in this department, one hopes that they make up for it in other areas. If there is an overall trend here, it is that everything is gradually going up. The power numbers might be rising more rapidly but we shouldn’t get ahead of the analysis.
Without overcomplicating things, we can say that the same trend persists here: small gains across the board in terms of his plate discipline. On-base percentage improves slowly as a result.
With all the hype surrounding how hard this guy hits, we would expect to see the most impressive stats here. Gatewood does not disappoint.
Even to the untrained eye, this graph clearly looks different than the ones that came before it. While the gains with contact and discipline were gradual, the power numbers here announce themselves immediately. Digging into batted ball stats will allow us to see more specifically where this stems from.
When you are a power hitter the most effective thing you can do aside from hitting homers is to simply hit the ball in the air. That doesn’t mean whacking easy pop-ups, either… They have to be full-fledged FLY balls. The stats say that power hitters with higher fly ball/ground ball (FB/GB) ratios typically do the best and are built for the most sustainable production. Gatewood is figuring that out:
And finally the hype becomes clear… When a 6’5″ 200lb slugger begins consistently putting balls into the air, good things will come of it (i.e. HR/FB). The yellow tidal wave in the graph above is evidence of his progress.
INTERPRETATIONs / CONCLUSIONs
- Gatewood is recovering well and on track to play around the start of Spring Training
- In somewhat of a surprise, he was passed over by other teams in The Rule 5 Draft a couple weeks ago (12/14). His injury was most likely to blame for the snub. That said, his ability to hit homers is only matched by his propensity to strike out… BUT if he can continue to bring his K% down & his BB% up, the sky is the limit.
- Gatewood is very gradually improving in his plate discipline and ability to make contact (overall). These gains serve to magnify his power numbers which are growing more impressive by the year. Prior to being hurt, he had 19HRs and only trailed Corey Ray by one for the league lead.
- If Gatewood can continue improving his plate discipline and contact, he could be ready for a call up by the end of the year. After his ACL set-back, 2020 is probably more likely.
- JG is a hard worker and universally liked by his teammates. He is easy to root for as he recovers and attempts to get back on track.
- And finally… Jake Gatewood might be the coolest name ever.
Categories: Farm Report