In fact, the outfielders' short-term performance in the weeks leading up to their promotions, and those of their peers seem to have relatively little to do with these moves. Is that really the case?
The 23-year old den Dekker was hitting .296/.362/.494 in 67 games for St. Lucie. In the case of den Dekker, we've been over these splits before, but in April, he was completely batting average and BABIP driven. Every month afterward, he increased his walk rate, which is excellent. This, however came at a cost of an increasing strikeout rate, up to 25% in June. However, his extra-base hits turned into homers in June which is cool.
On May 31, Cory Vaughn, who turned 22 on May 1, was hitting .333/.457/.481. He then slumped to .154/.225/.215 with five walks and 20 strikeouts in 65 at-bats over 17 games in June. For those of you scoring along at home, that's a strikeout rate of 28% in his last two and a half weeks in the SAL. He still finished his time in the SAL at .286/.405/.408.
The guy who didn't move? Juan Lagares, who turned 22 in March. He's hitting .341/.378/.493 overall and leading the FSL in batting average and is eighth in OPS. By comparison, he's at 18 extra-base hits for the year; den Dekker had 17 extra-base hits in April. A big part of his success has been BABIPs above .400 in May and June, which isn't just an indication of luck in the minors. He's hitting a lot of balls hard. However, his walk rate, of 5.3% for the year is the lowest of the three outfielders here and at 3.9% in June isn't moving up. However, that's mitigated, to a large degree by the lowest strikeout rate of the trio. His 13% k/rate for the year is awfully impressive. It would seem to be just a matter of time before Lagares heads to AA, but I suspect that before he goes, the Mets will demand some increase in his walk rate.
I thought it was pretty interesting that Cory Vaughn was promoted at a time when he was at his coldest, while Lagares, who's hitting everything in sight, remains in St. Lucie. However, look past the batting averages towards the players' ages and component skills and this series of transactions makes a lot more sense. Also, it's another great reminder not to take 2.5 weeks of baseball performance data too seriously!