Week: 3 G, 13 AB, .615/.667/1.154, 8 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/4 SB (High-A)
2022 Season: 67 G, 271 AB, .284/.360/.443, 77 H, 13 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 28 BB, 68 K, 17/26 SB, .355 BABIP (Single-A/High-A)
As has been documented, Alex Ramirez has some weirdness in his swing. Mets director of hitting development Hugh Quattlebaum put it nicely when he said, “He’s got some unique movements in his swing, but it’s probably too early to tell if they are going to be signature movements or things he might have to tweak over time.” He would add, “He’s got a pretty aggressive bat tip and a lot of work to move it to where he actually likes to launch from, so he does have some bigger movements. It seems to me when he has quieted some of them down, which he has done at times when he’s had some success, he can harness those movements and kind of be more a complete package of control.”
Specifically, when Ramirez comes to the plate, he holds his hands at about the letters, with the bat straight and upright. All in one motion, he loads on his back leg, while bringing his hands back and up a bit. During this movement, he twists his wrists and tilts his bat head towards first base, towards his right side. As he strides forward, with a very slight leg lift, borderline toe tap, he twists his wrists again, now tilting his bat head to the opposite side, the more familiar 45 degrees or so to behind his head to the left.
Ramirez has incredible bat speed, which is why he’s been able to make it work. He generally has not had too many problems handling premium velocity- which I am arbitrarily defining here as anything 93 MPH or higher. While in St. Lucie, where we have more reliable data, Ramirez put the ball in play 28 times against pitches 93 MPH or higher and was 10-27, logging 5 singles, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 7 ground ball outs, 4 fly ball outs, 3 pop outs, 2 force outs, 1 sac fly and 1 error. He averaged an exit velocity of 88.7 MPH, with 11 registering launch angles below 0 degrees, 0 between 1-9 degrees, 5 between 10-24 degrees, 6 between 25 and 49 degrees, and 4 registering launch angles above 50 (with two points of launch angle data not recorded).
Against pitches 85 MPH or below- another arbitrary distinction, this time to define breaking balls because rare is the fastball that is 85 or below- Ramirez put the ball in play 88 times and was slightly less effective. He logged 20 singles, 5 doubles, 3 triples and 1 home run while making 10 fly ball outs, 24 ground ball outs, 10 lineouts, 6 pop outs, 1 force out, 2 fielder’s choices, 2 double plays and 3 errors. He averaged an exit velocity of 83.6 MPH, with 32 balls registering launch angles below 0 degrees, 10 between 1-9 degrees, 21 between 10-24 degrees, 19 between 25 and 49 degrees, and 5 registering launch angles above 50 degrees.
Ramirez has been performing a bit better against fastballs that breaking pitches, getting better wood on ball. The placement of his hands and the bat waggle may or may not be the reason why. Despite having less time to react on fastballs, his bat path does not need to compensate for as much vertical as it does against breaking balls.
Week: 1 G (1 GS), 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 10 K (High-A)
Season: 17 G (12 GS), 75.2 IP, 64 H, 30 R, 24 ER (2.85 ERA), 18 BB, 83 K, .289 BABIP (Single-A/High-A)
For his second consecutive start, Carson Seymour recorded double-digit strikeout totals, striking out 10 batters on his July 15 start against the Greensboro Grasshoppers and 11 this week against the Jersey Shore BlueClaws. The right-hander is striking out more batters (11.1K/9) and walking fewer (1.8 BB/9) than he did in his 30.1 innings with the St. Lucie Mets (8.0 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9) or in his 84.2 innings as a player at Dartmouth and Kansas State (8.9 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9).
Seymour’s hit tendencies have changed, and not in a good way. With St. Lucie, he maintained an effective 61.7% groundball rate along with a 18.5% flyball rate and 19.8% line drive rate. In his time with Brooklyn, his groundball rate has shrunk to 53.4%, while his flyball rate has increased to 25.9% and his line drive rate 20.7%. He is mitigating that by striking more batters out and issuing fewer free passes, but optimally, the hits that he does allow should stay on the ground.
More problematic, after not allowing a single home run during his time with St. Lucie, he has now allowed 8 since being promoted to Brooklyn at the end of May For what it’s worth, six of those eight have come in his last four starts. His collegiate career was extremely brief for a variety of reasons and his 75.2 this year have eclipsed the most he threw in a single season at Kansas State (56.2 in 2021) and almost his entire collegiate career combined (84.2). Given the uptick in strikeouts and the innings load, Seymour may be beginning to tire.