Anyone that follows this site knows that I’m a big Rich Poythress fan… or was until I saw him half a dozen times over this year. His swing was long, he didn’t fare well against advanced velocity, his pitch recognition was not as good as I expected leading to times where he got fooled on breaking pitches.
I was caught off guard by this and it’s not what I expected after reading all that I had on him by various different agencies (Baseball America, PI, Baseball Prospectus and Perfect Game). But it was what it was and the stats backed up what I saw.
Then you saw the rise of Kyle Seager and then with his promotion Vincent Catricala came on the scene and lit the AA world on fire. This has covered up and help look over many of the disappointing results of Poythress…or so we thought.
While I can’t say his swing is fixed but the results over the last two months have been very favorable.
You can specifically see the adjustments in the wOBA from May and June to July. Now there is a slight down turn for August but with him driving the ball +20% of the time I can’t see his BABIP coming down too hard.
His wRC+ is slightly above average (104) which is encouraging and while you expect more than that from your first basemen there are 10 different teams that have gotten below league average production from the first base position.
I did ask Chris Harris (play-by-play guy for the Jackson Generals) via twitter if he was doing anything different and this was his response:
I don’t know what the future holds for Poythress and I won’t try to predict it. It’s just always kind of interesting to look back and see how just a couple of months ago I had little hope for him and now I’m realizing how it might have just taken time to adjust to A) a new hitting instructor (Cory Snyder) who has been tweaking things within his swing and B) a new league in which most call the hardest adjustment period in the minor leagues.
Just lessons that I’m learning following prospects. Thought I’d share with the group.