Dr. D will let you in on one of the 'frame's most guarded secrets. Shhhhh. Don't let it get out. 'kay? ... here it is: you go to Field Gulls and Lookout Landing for the Comments. The authors are there to "cover" the story, but ... every 10th or 20th commentor tells you some little thing you did not know. Usually the guys who timidly put question marks after.
In this case my fave comment was Logan Davis', not to sign off on every word, but, very pertinent observations:
Kinda neat. Always be trading relievers! Couple initial thoughts on Healy:
- He demonstrated low K% in the minors before making a swing adjustment to uppercut for more power. The K% got out of control in the first half last year, but at midseason it looks like he reversed the adjustment – the K% went back down below league average, but the fly balls disappeared. In order to be actually good with that low BB% and defensive profile, he’ll need to find a way to maintain the power while keeping the Ks down.
- If nothing else, he’ll mash lefties, and the team can go out and acquire a platoon partner at midseason like they did last year.
- He fits in very nicely with the Ben Gamel class of player Jerry seems to prefer; old for a young player, without a lot of prospect pedigree but with demonstrated success at high levels and lots of cheap control. Like Gamel and Haniger, Healy made the uppercut adjustment. Also like Gamel and Haniger, Jerry is acquiring him to slide him down the defensive spectrum.
- No platoon at first base means an extra roster spot for the "wolf pack".
- He’s probably just as likely to be good as any free agent first baseman not named Santana.
DR D DOES THE HEAVY LIFTING SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO, Dept.
Go to the MLB.com page on Ryon Healy and go 50% of the way down, to where it says CHARTS - four of them, side by side. The interpretations of these 4 charts, in order:
Chart 1. MLB pitchers took him for an idiot, or at least for a Mike Zunino 2015 type player. This is a good sign for us. Ryon Healy does not have the performance record of an idiot.
Chart 2. Healy can get around on a jam fastball over his hands. ... he's not up there looking for out-and-over mistakes, the way 80% of Mariner players 1977-1988 did.
Chart 3. Nice even distribution. We notice he doesn't mind golfing a lazy curve at his knees.
Chart 4. The guy really does get the front foot down early. Maybe somebody wants to look up his whuff rate on 3-2 changeups away :- )
In this video, Healy pulls a high, inside 99 MPH fastball for a home run. Notice that his hip turn is more subtle than most ML'ers; he's willing to use strength and solidness of contact. Sometimes the pitchers supply the power. From an aiki perspective, we wish there were a grade higher than 4.0. Love the relaxation - especially against scary heat.
In this video, the lefty rolls him over a little bit on a high 87 MPH pitch, though a seeing-eye grounder rolls through for a hit. On this one we score a little bit of overanxiousness against him, his CG jumping out at the ball. True, he was defending the zone on a 1-2 count.
At the :10 mark of this video you get side and off angles on his 22nd homer, and can see Healy deliver authority to the hitting zone without "hitching" or even loading his hands. In this way too he resembles Zunino.