Joshua Mears, OF, SD

Joshua Mears is known for one thing, and something else — Joshua Mears is known for a couple of things along with — among the things Joshua Mears is known for are power, on-base ability, and uh, those strikeouts. Oh, and a little speed too. He draws walks, did I mention that?

Video courtesy of Baseball.
  • Born: February 21, 2001
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’3″, 230-lbs
  • Drafted by the San Diego Padres  the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft from Federal Way HS (Federal Way, WA).

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

If you know me, you know I’m fixated on those red boxes. Joey Gallo, in 2021 when he struck out a career high of 213 times, only had a 35% K%. So to see a 39% rate (and in my mind it’s flashing) is startling. All I can say is he’d better have Gallo’s power (.259 ISO in 2021).

Well whaddya know, he has a .285 ISO!

And a .368 OBP!

And a 12% walk rate!

And a 131 wRC+!

Maybe he’s got something that lets me get that flashing (no, I don’t really think it’s flashing, no need to send me to an ophthalmologist) red 39% strikeout rate out of my mind. Let’s break down his season by month:

Ah, this is interesting. He got on base in May, with sub-par power, but lotsa strikeouts. Then in June he reined in the strikeouts, got on base less, but showed good power. Then in July it all came together for a glorious month. Even the K% was acceptable, the power was otherworldly, and the OBP was enough to write songs about.

And boy, did it ever come crashing down to Earth in August! You want to see what it looks like when a player gets tired at the end of the season? That’s it, right there: not getting on base, not drawing walks, striking out every other plate appearance.

No big splits I can see. More power against lefties, more on-base ability against righties. Toss a coin.

The Scouts

Warnings

A career that looks like August 2021, and is short.

Conclusion

Or a career that looks like July 2021, and is full of All-Star appearances.

When a batter draws walks, but strikes out a bunch, but has prodigious power, you get what Mears did in 2021. Some months will be awe inspiring. Other months will be putrid. At the end of the year, you get a Joey Gallo.

When the scouts rank Mears, that’s what they are looking at: the power; the on-base ability; even a bit of speed; shame about the strikeouts.

Let’s see what he does in High-A and Double-A in 2022. If he can keep the strikeouts to a mid-30s level, that power will play. But it’s going to be an up-and-down ride day by day.

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