POTD Johermyn Chavez - vs Halman and Balentien

Q.  How about Chavez compared to Wlad Balentien and to Greg Halman.

A.  Chavez does have some physical similarities to Greg Halman.  I fancy the comparison of Johermyn Chavez to what Greg Halman would be, if Halman did not have the harrowing strikeout concerns.  Greg Halman with a better EYE.

You might say that 52:131 is a lousy eye.  Not really.  In context, it's really just a power hitter's EYE at age 21 -- one strikeout per game, with about 0.40 walks per.

That's a lot different than Halman's 29:183 last year -- or even his 37:169 this year.

Balentien, at age 20, had a 33:160 ratio.


Now, we're not saying that Wlad and Greg Halman are writeoffs.  Look, Wlad Balentien is in the major leagues, and he ran a 104 OPS+ this year at age 24.  Halman was running a 50-homer pace in AAA for quite awhile. 

It's not like Balentien and Halman are pieces of crud.

But you can see the difference here.  Chavez can hit, grades a 50, 60 on the 20-80 scale.  Wlad and Halman were more like 30's.

Johermyn Chavez simply doesn't comp to Balentien or to Halman.  Those two guys comp to HR hitters who strike out way, way too much - Rob Deer or what have you.  Chavez is a different animal.


Plate discipline is a wonderful thing; it may even be the single most important thing to look at.  But how many ML stars can you find with EYEs under 0.50?  A lot of them.  And a lot of them had weak EYE's in the minors, too.

A guy who lets the bat fly, who has the pedal to the metal, is going to have more K's per BB.  Don't get to the point at which you've got to see an 0.80 EYE to take a guy seriously...


Q.  A Grade A vs Grade B prospect difference, then?

A.  Bill James used to divide hyped prospects according to this very simple, very clear paradigm.

The Grade B's were the guys with anything major that alarmed you.  The Grade B's had something clear about them that you could see as their cause of failure in the bigs.

The Grade A's had no warts:  they might fail in the bigs, but you sure couldn't see why it would be.

I still love that paradigm.  And per that paradigm, you can see the argument for Chavez.


Q.  Then if there's a holdup on Chavez, what would it be?  Why wouldn't he be a top-100 prospect?

A.  He just hasn't done that much, at age 21, to tower over the other real good prospects in baseball.

Guys like Chavez are around. 

We take the scouts' word for it that Chavez' talent is special, but as far as a physically-gifted Jermaine Dye type who had a real good year in A+ at age 21, every ballclub has a couple of hitters it likes that well.  (Well, maybe:  Hagen had him as the Jays' #1.)

Chavez is a prospect who could star in the majors.  Like 200 other guys. 

But!  Weird that the Mariners have so many of these now, ain't it?


Part 4




Taro's picture

Halman is MUCH toolsier and developed much quicker. Balentien had an even higher power projection and developed quicker.
That pretty much explains my lack of interest in Chavez. But you never know I guess.

Taro's picture

Both Chavez and Peguero are kind of fringe top 20/30 organization types for me. Liddi too.
You get a few dozen of 'em and every once in a while you'll run into a big league regular.
The guy that interests me most among Z's sleepers is Kyle Seager. The BABIP was high, but secondary skills are there and hes supposedly already a VERY good 2B. IF he start playing an okay SS? He gets very interesting.
Seager is interesting. Guys like Chavez and Peguero who are developing slow, with poor strikezone command, and poor D in a corner are a dime a dozen.


The M's blog-o-sphere generally seems to share the view, though, that Chavez isn't notably gifted physically.
That consensus isn't going to last long :- )
I stick with my assessment that Chavez is 90% as powerful as Halman and Balentien -- but ten times the hitter.  Intriguing, though, that almost nobody else seems to see it that way.

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