Hairyducked Idiot wrote:From May 2016:I think that Soler has been a little unlucky. His average exit velocity is 92.3mph, which is about the same as Rizzo's exit velocity. And his exit velocity has been stable - standard deviation is only 12.7mph. As a comparison, Harper's exit velocity is 91.7mph and standard deviation is 14.2mph.
He has not subsequently done a whole lot to warrant comparison to Rizzo or Harper.
This kind of analysis is the modern version of "But he hits .312 in day games on Tuesdays." There are so many peripherals now that if you keep digging, you can find one that you like about the guy. Maybe it's exit velocity, maybe it's LD%, maybe he's due some BABIP luck, maybe you like the K/BB ratio, maybe he's got an above-average Z-swing% (RIP alcantara 2beautiful4thisworld), maybe his contact rate is too big leagues to ignore. There's always something.
Maaaaybe David Bote is the next Ryan Theriot, and granted offensive output is so low these days that you basically just have to be not Rey Ordonez to be useful in the middle infield, but there was a time that stat-savvy fans knew what to make out of the guy with OK but not great numbers in AA and AAA who comes up and hits well for 82 plate appearances.
I'd certainly never use raw exit velocity numbers to compare Jorge Soler or David Bote to Anthony Rizzo as overall hitters. The guy strikes out nearly 30% of the time. But Soler probably does similar damage to Rizzo when they both make contact. And exit velocity isn't just about average exit velocity. There's a lot more importance in hitting it hard when you get it in the air, how often you get it in the air, how high you can max out exit velocity at.
But for some context for that quote you've chosen. At the time the author wrote it, Soler was hitting .175/.261/.275 with a .211 BABIP. The rest of that year he hit .272/.372/.524.
And, I agree there are lot of things you can pick and choose from to make a hitter look good. Fortunately for Bote, he's been good at just about everything so far.