In his series focusing on toolsy OF prospects, Baseball Farmer Chris Williamson has been utilizing batted ball data as part of his overall scouting. In his piece on Cristian Pache, CW points out that Pache’s Groundball to Line Drive + Flyball Ratio (GB/LD+FB) has improved, which might portend an increase in extra base hits.
We’ve named CW’s ratio the ‘Green Bean’ Ratio. Here is a list of Baseball Farm’s top hitting performers from 2017, including their Green Bean ratio:
Our research has indicated that the Green Bean ratio is correlated with Slugging Percentage. You can use the Green Bean ratio as a kind of leading indicator to search for potential power breakouts. For example, here is a list of hitters who saw the biggest gains in their Green Bean ratio from 2014 to 2015:
While a slugging jump didn’t happen immediately for these prospects who made strides in their Green Bean ratios, there are several notable names on this list, obviously starting at the top:
Cody Bellinger completely changed his swing profile between 2014 and 2015, dropping his Green Bean ratio from 1.037 to 0.475, with a corresponding 30+ point jump in slugging percentage to go with it. Bellinger continued to hit for power at each stop in his development, slugging .581 in the majors last season en route to earning unanimous rookie of the year honors.
J.P. Crawford made similar strides between 2014 and 2015, dropping his green bean number from over 1.0 (more groundballs than line drives and flyballs combined) to 0.657. He’s carried a slugging percentage over .400 at each stop.
Kennys Vargas made an adjustment from 2014 to 2015, dropping his green bean ratio to 0.517. In 2016, he slugged an even .500 in the majors.
Charcer Burks is an interesting prospect in the Cubs system. He also saw a significant drop in his green bean ratio between 2014 and 2015. In 2016, his slugging percentage jumped to .407 in High-A ball, and in 2017 he slugged .395 in AA.
While a power breakout is not guaranteed, the Green Bean ratio is another statistical tool you can use to evaluate potential power breakouts. Good luck, and happy farming!