Projecting Boog Powell

In the first trade of the offseason, the Mariners shipped Logan Morrison, Danny Farquhar and Brad Miller to Tampa Bay in exchange for Nate Karns, C.J. Riefenhauser and outfield prospect Boog Powell. Dave Cameron covered the trade in depth this morning. I’m here to give you the skinny on Boog Powell according to my fancy computer math.

Powell split 2015 between Double-A and Triple-A, and hit a solid .295/.385/.392. Powell did an excellent job of controlling the strike zone: his 15% strikeout rate wasn’t too far from his 12% walk rate. He paired that plate discipline with a modicum of power and plus speed. He swiped 18 bases last year, and has primarily played center field in the minors.

Based on his 2015 season, KATOH pegs Powell for 4.7 WAR through age 28, which makes him roughly the 80th best prospect in KATOH’s eyes. This was a sizable step up from his 2014 forecast of 1.5 WAR. Below are his statistical comps, which were generated using Mahalanobis distance calculations.

Boog Powell’s Mahalanobis Comps
Rank Name PA thru 28 WAR thru 28 Mah Dist
1 Paul Rappoli 0 0.0 0.31
2 Rudy Gomez 0 0.0 0.50
3 Elvis Pena 58 0.2 0.60
4 Nate Spears 8 0.0 0.71
5 Tito Navarro 18 0.0 0.71
6 Rafael Ynoa* 202 0.0 0.76
7 Gregor Blanco 1,289 4.4 0.88
8 Andrew McCutchen 4,504 40.3 0.89
9 Andrew Romine 447 0.2 0.90
10 Evan Frey 0 0.0 0.92
11 Darin Erstad 4,190 22.4 0.97
12 Chris Nowak 0 0.0 1.08
13 Kevin Young 1,351 2.4 1.10
14 Paco Figueroa 0 0.0 1.10
15 Goef Tomlinson 0 0.0 1.15
16 Hanley Frias 359 0.0 1.15
17 Logan Watkins* 110 0.0 1.17
18 Peter Bergeron 1,256 0.0 1.21
19 Tim Barker 0 0.0 1.24
20 Joel Wolfe 0 0.0 1.24
*Yet to play age-28 season

We see Andrew McCutchen, who added a substantial amount of power once he reached the major leagues. We also see Darin Erstad, who played elite defense. However, expecting Powell to do either of those things would be extremely optimistic. If we set those two aside, there’s not much here: a few bench players and a few Quad-A guys. As Dave Cameron noted in his piece earlier, Gregor Blanco seems like an optimistic, yet realistic, outcome for Powell.

So, yeah. Powell isn’t anything overly exciting, but he’s more than just an org guy. He has some interesting skills, and has already succeeded in the higher levels of the minor leagues. Given that next year will be his age-23 season, he stands a pretty good chance of spending a good amount of time in the big leagues, and could easily debut as soon as this year.

We hoped you liked reading Projecting Boog Powell by Chris Mitchell!

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Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. He's also on the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell None of the views expressed in his articles reflect those of his daytime employer.

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I clicked on the link expecting some kind of historical thought experiment about how accurate projection systems would have been in the early ’60s. I was mainly curious as to why Boog Powell would have been the choice for such an experiment. Instead, I find myself enlightened as to the number of Boog Powells in the baseball universe.


I’m still hoping to read that Gedankenexperiment


I’m still trying to figure out why the mariners traded for a guy in his 70’s who retired nearly 40 years ago.

(nope, still not tired of this joke)


Lack of Barbecue?


Jack Z wanted to put him in right. What the heck, Cruz can probably handle center.