Jays From the Couch highlight a pair of streaking prospects, Ryan Noda and Rowdy Tellez, in the Blue Jays minor league system
It goes without saying baseball is a long season. A season with ups and downs, a season of successes and frustrations but mostly it is a season of adjustments. These adjustments ultimately define the success of a player’s season. One thing is for certain unless your name is Vladimir Guerrero Jr., it is very unlikely a prospect will have monster month after monster month.
The minor league regular season begins in April and ends around the beginning of September which works out to roughly 5 good months of baseball. Through these five grueling months a typical prospect will have between 2 and 3 months which can be categorized as hot months and 2 and 3 months which can be categorized as cold months. However, if a prospect can mix in a monster month or two, his end of season numbers will look very good and outshine a poor month or two.
Baseball always reverts back to the mean, this much is true.
Rowdy Tellez (1st/DH Buffalo Bisons)
A former 30th round selection back in 2013 and formerly considered one of Toronto’s Top 30 prospects, Tellez got off to another slow start in 2018. In April, Rowdy played 12 games finishing the month with a .229 batting average but managed to slug just .271.
The 23-yr-old picked things up in May, slashing .266/.345/.404 in 28 games. The 6-foot-4 1st baseman hit his home run on May 10th, 22 games into the season. He wacked his 2nd home run 11 days later. Rowdy Tellez’ extra-base power also started materializing with 7 extra base hits. Unfortunately, this level of production is still not good enough if Tellez is to push himself back into the Blue Jays plans for the future.
On May 25th, Rowdy Tellez was batting .267, the highest it’s been all season. Between May 25th and June 3rd, Rowdy’s BA fell to .240. Queue the currently hot streak. Including his 0-for-4 on June 3rd, Rowdy Tellez has gone 11-for-31 with 6 runs, 3-doubles, 2-HR, 6-RBI, 4-BB, 4-K, and a stolen base. He has just one strikeout in his last 9 games while picking up 3 multi-hit games.
For the season, Rowdy is walking 11.0 percent of the time and striking out 17.1 percent of the time. He owns a .133 ISO and .306 BABIP while providing the Buffalo Bisons with below average production at 1st base with a .284 wOBA and 73 wRC+.
Rowdy Tellez has struggled to put the puzzle pieces together since reaching Triple-A. Here’s hoping a strong start to June is a springboard to success and finding the missing piece to the puzzle.
Ryan Noda (1B/OF Lansing Lugnuts)
The 22-yr-0ld Ryan Noda batted just .233 in 21 games in April. He followed that up by batting .178 in 25 games in 25 games in May. His first home run didn’t come until May 30th in game 44.
Selected in the 15th round of the 2017 Draft, Ryan Noda had a spectacular rookie season with the Bluefield Blue Jays. Noda batted .364 with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 7 long balls, and 39 runs batted in. He finished with a 1.082 OPS.
A lot more was expected from Ryan Noda than a prospect batting .179 on May 17th.
I’ve painted Noda’s first two months as being pretty ugly. Ryan Noda maintained a solid approach at the plate walking 24.7 percent of the time and striking out 22.9 percent of the time. A high K% for a guy struggling to bat over .200 and only one HR through 2 months of the season is never good. In my opinion, Noda wasn’t being aggressive enough at the plate. Simply, Ryan Noda looked tentative.
If we remove games played between April 29th to May 7th, a stretch where Noda went 0-for-21. We see that Ryan Noda is batting .286 with a .558 OBP and .424 over his last 30 games. We also see a player with 6 home runs (he hit his 7th at the time of writing) and 3 doubles with 17 RBI.
Ryan Noda is now batting .242 with .878 OPS which is much better than the .179 he batting back on May 17th.
Lansing’s 1B/OF has an 11-game hit streak going, with all 6 home runs coming during this streak, raising his batting average from .195 up to .242. It is unlikely that Ryan Noda can maintain the current pace but his season will be a success if he can string together a few more streaks just like it while raising his floor. If Noda can continue to bat .286 like he has over the past 30 games, then he has a chance at a success season.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.