While the Cleveland Guardians bats are not providing a whole lot of power at the major league level, there is someone down in Columbus who is doing his far share of carrying the power load. Jhonkensy Noel hit his 11th home run of the season Satruday's 11-4 loss to Omaha.
Noel's 11 home runs puts him tied for 25th among the home run leaders in Triple-A this season with his 10 doubles being a distant 79th. 2022 saw Noel hit 32 home runs and 26 doubles across three minor league levels. The majority of Noel's home runs came while at Lake County (19) while most of his doubles were at Akron (16).
Hitting for power is nothing new for Noel. The 21-year old has 154 extra-base hits so far in his minor league career (78 home runs and 73 doubles), which account for 67.5% of his total hits (228). The power production is very intriguing and has caught the eyes of many as he works his way through the system, but all is not well when it comes to Noel's profile.
A prominent issue when it comes to players who hit for a ton of power can be a high number of strikeouts and that includes Noel. While the above mentioned 2022 season saw Noel strike out 150 times in 548 plate appearances (134 games). This trend has continued into this season with 71 strikeouts in 61 games (257 plate appearances). While it does not appear likely that there will be a major change in this area, some improvement would be ideal moving forward.
If Noel is able to take the next step forward in his development and improve in a few areas, most notably lowering strikeouts in addition to simply hitting more consistently, perhaps he could be the next player to supplant a Guardians free agent bust. There is still a long way to go in terms of improving in these areas as it not exactly an easy task. Additionally, the team must decide to part ways with the veteran switch hitter who is not producing enough at the plate currently before imagining any sort of Guardians lineup that includes Noel.