One way to track the potential of a young star becoming a power hitter in the major leagues is to monitor doubles hit through their minor league career.
Let’s start with a couple of elite players – Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon – and their minor league statistics.
Turner spent 69 games in the minors in 2014 and hit 16 doubles, which is one double every 4.3 games. That number stayed about the same in 2015, when Turner hit 24 doubles in 116 games, which was one double every 4.8 games. Turner hit five homers in the minors in 2014, and eight round-trippers in 2015.
But when he became an everyday major league player, Turner’s home run totals gradually went up as he continued to get better as a hitter. From 2016 to 2020, Turner’s home run totals per season were: 13, 11, 19, 19 and 12. His HR%, or percentage if all plate appearances he hit a home run, went up from 2017 to 2020: from 2.5 to 2.6 to 3.3 to 4.6. With 12 homers in the abbreviated 2020 campaign, Turner hit a homer a every 5.7 at-bats, a career best.
Turner played in 185 minor league games, while former Nationals third baseman Rendon managed only 79 minor league games before being called up for good to the major leagues. In those two minor league seasons, Rendon demonstrated his ability to see pitching and get better each year.…