Last month, I wrote about Panamanian outfielder Benyamin Bailey. Bailey has been making a mockery of Dominican Summer League pitching, but there is not much information about him available online. @JBP_Official responded to the tweet of the first Bailey post with a video of Bailey’s swing, which I encourage you to watch below:
Here's an RBI double from his days in Panama for those who would like to see what he or his swing looks like pic.twitter.com/VnvKTr8aJR
— JustBombsProductions (@JBP_Official) June 24, 2019
The 17-year-old Bailey is slashing .364/.524/.479 through 164 plate appearances in the Dominican Summer League. It is never easy to decipher statistics from this league, where walks are rampant, older players often dominate, and power is relatively nonexistent. When a player has a good line in the Dominican Summer League, it is always wise to ask yourself:
Is he too old for the league, and/or is he repeating it? Are his statistics fueled by walks and nothing else? Is he a qualified hitter, or does he only play sparingly?
In Bailey’s case, he is about league average with respect to age (17.7 is average, Bailey is 17.8) and is playing in his first season. While he does walk very often, he still has collected an impressive 44 hits in 121 at-bats. Finally, he is a qualified hitter statistically, as his 164 plate appearances are second-most on the team. He generally plays every day.
Just how good has Bailey been? Chances are that you have read the title by now, but among qualified hitters, Bailey is currently the all-time leader in on-base percentage in the Dominican Summer League, for which individual statistics are available dating back to 2006. If that is not enough for you, his .364 average is tenth all-time, his .498 wOBA is fifth, his 1.004 OPS is tenth, and his 185 wRC+ is also tenth.
What makes these figures more impressive is that many of the other players on the leaderboard did not match all three criteria listed above. Several of them were too old/advanced for the league, were repeating it, or relied solely on walks relative to hits. There is still about a month left in the Dominican Summer League season, and Bailey may not end up with an on-base percentage over .500. For now, however, he is quite literally having one of the most impressive seasons by a position player in league history, and is doing so without any age, playing time, or approach-related caveats. While he still has a long way to go, his performance this year has been nothing short of eye-opening.
Featured Photo: @JBP_Official (Twitter)