Manuel Margot, CF
Margot had a rough June in which he posted a 567 OPS, but July has been a bit better to him to the tune of .258/.375/.375. That might not look like much, but consider that Margot is 18 years old in a league that has college-age players in it, and that your average hitter in the New York-Penn is at just .244/.317/.346. All things considered, Margot's start isn't great, but it's not anywhere near as bad as it looks, either.
There are some good signs to glean from what he's managed, though. The 10 walks in 85 plate appearances, for instance, or the fact he's only struck out three more times than that on the year. The stolen bases are obviously a work in progress, but they also aren't very important: of more concern is his ability to have consistent, quality at-bats.
Ty Buttrey, RHP
Now, in the same way Margot's performance looks bad but is actually okay, Buttrey's looks fine but is actually below-average to this point. Of course, we're talking about three starts and just over 14 innings of work, so let's not get too excited in one direction or another. But he's not necessarily getting away with the lack of strikeouts and the influx of free passes, like you might normally consider a 3.77 ERA to be representative of.
Buttrey, like anyone at this level, deserves a pass for now -- the whole point of the short-season ball exercise is to get the feet of these prospects wet, not to dominate. Get them used to the environment, used to pitching in a pro environment, and so on. If Buttrey is still failing to miss bats in late-August, and looks nowhere near ready for a full-season stint at Greenville, well, that's a discussion for later in the summer.
Jamie Callahan, RHP
For your last lesson in how New-York Penn League numbers work, Callahan's 1.1 homers per nine doesn't look that bad, but it's actually more than twice the average. He's 18, though, with just over 25 professional innings notched on his belt, so you can understand where there might be some initial issues.
Not to get all same-sounding for all three of these players, but the short-season league is so, well, short, that it's tough to gauge much of anything from these performances. It's even more difficult when you're talking about teenagers than about someone like, say, Jackie Bradley Jr., who came to Lowell after his junior year at the University of South Carolina, because those teenagers don't even have that bridge experience that college provides between high school and the pros.
They can't all be Henry Owens, you know.
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