Ask BA: Why Is Seuly Matias Not In The Top 100?
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Q: Why does Seuly Matias not rank in the Top 100 prospects?
— Logan Coulson, Larned, Kansas.
A: Royals outfielder Seuly Matias led the minors with 24 home runs at low Class A Lexington as of late June. But as of midseason, he did not rank among the Top 100 Prospects in the game.
The 19-year-old Matias has immense power and prototypical right field tools. But the track record of players with his combination of immense power and stratospheric strikeout rate (37 percent) is pretty frightening, especially if the player doesn't walk frequently. Matias' high strikeout rate explained why he was hitting .238/.317/.631 in the South Atlantic League, even though nearly half of the righthanded batter's hits had cleared the fence.
Looking back over the past decade, there have been 43 players who struck out 35 percent of the time or more with at least 300 plate appearances in low Class A. Most of them were just overmatched.
But there are players on the list who were considered prospects, including Bobby Dalbec, Juan Duran, Chase Vallot, Jordan Akins, Larry Greene, C.J. Henry and Steven Moya. A few -- Tommy Pham, Joey Gallo and Lewis Brinson -- have gone on to have major league careers of note.
Gallo's career so far shows that players with both extreme power and strikeouts can find big league success. But Gallo walked 14 percent of the time in the minors, allowing him to post high on-base percentages despite low batting averages.
Matias has work to do to draw walks, and while he's a solid prospect, there are plenty of reasons to exercise caution.