Misc. Minor League Ramblings

Talk about the Cardinals minor league baseball
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mikechamp
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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

Post by mikechamp »

jim wrote:Keith Law is an idiot.
I don't like him, either, but it's more of a personal beef.

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33anda3rd
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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

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jim wrote:I'm going to extend what phins says a little bit, the most important grade is the future hit grade.
What's very important is the gap between current and future hit tool, because that's what's causing BP to sort them wrong. And also building your future grade off a good present grade. They think Francisco Lindor is a "potential 6+ hit" per this year's write-up. He has a 278 AVG across the minors and a 355 OBP. If you're gonna say 6+ and 6 means Above Average, .285-.300 at the MLB level, then he can't not hit at least that well in the minors unless you think he takes a quantum leap forward, which there are no signs of. Again, they'll happily rationalize that Lindor is athletic and so he will learn and develop and therefore a 6+ future hit is fine. It's not. The gap between where he is now and where they're projecting him is large and he's not going to get there.

Bryant has murdered minor league pitching. 331/431/673. He's maybe the best minor league hitter since A-Rod. His hit grade on BP this year is 5+, with no mention of a potential grade.

Lindor is a guy who is a "potential 6+" (the implication being that he will be more than what he is now in the future) and Bryant is a flat "5+" (the implication being that he has no room to develop and we need not mention potential scores, and also that he will ((LOL)) have a worse hit tool than Lindor, who is not a fraction of the pure, hitting, Baseball Player beauty that Kris Bryant is.) So part of their flaw is in the gap there. They're saying that Lindor is going to hit better than the best minor league hitter of the last 20 years. He's not. So they're wrong.

Law has Bryant #1 overall in his top 100, and Baseball America has Bryant #1 in the Cubs system, and Sickels has Bryant #1 in the Cubs system. BP has Russell ahead of him, and Bryant #5 overall. Hulet at Fangraphs has Bryant #1 in the Cubs system. We can argue that Law is a priggish dick, and that's true, but that doesn't change that BP is missing on Bryant because they're not valuing him properly.

You can apply this all over the place. Goldschmidt, Rizzo, so on. They get underrated. Largely because scouts know how to look at athleticism but (like Jason Parks, by his own admission on his podcasts) they are agnostic to value metrics. Since they don't know what creates value all the time, they don't know how to value and rank their pref lists correctly.

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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

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Parsing your last post, which summarizes your tone in this thread, you are saying you know more than scouts how to value prospects.

I actually think scouts do know how to value and rank prospects better than you. This is our disconnect.

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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

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I took even years from 2010 back, to not overlap elite guys by skipping, for each year that FanGraphs has MiLB advanced stats. So our years are 2010, 2008, 2006.

I took the top 10 hitters from the minors leagues by wOBA. Any level, highest wOBA. The qualifier: the player must be age-appropriate for the league or younger: 25 and down in AAA, 24 and down in AA, 23 and down in A+, 22 and down in A. This was so we wouldn't taint the result with 30-something guys in AAA. Age-appropriateness ensures they should be considered 'prospects.'

I took the top-ranked MI on the BP Top 100/101 the following winter. So, best minor league hitters 2006 map to top prospects 2007, and so on.

Then I pulled their career fWAR. No real surprise, the best hitters utterly destroy the highly-regarded MI prospects. In 2006 I did not get 10 because BP only ranked 7 MI on their top 100. So I took only the 7 best minor league hitters. Ditto 2008, there are only 9.

Results:

2006:
Best hitters (Reynolds, Brito, Kendrick, Pedroza, Gordon, Votto, Lis): 95.1 fWAR
Top MI per BP (Wood, Brignac, Tulo, Aybar, Lillibridge, Rodriguez, Callaspo): 62.5 fWAR

2008:
Best hitters (Ka'Aihue, Kubacki, Kung-Fu Panda, Carlos Santana, Salome, Stanton, Jesus Guzman, Negrych, Revere): 64.7fWAR
Top MI per BP (Beckham, Beckham, Escobar, Flores, Brignac, Andrus, Frazier, Cardenas, DeJesus Jr.): 43.1 fWAR

2010:
Best hitters (Belt, Rizzotti, Martinez, Trout, Guyer, Hosmer, Sappelt, Jackson, Goldschmidt, Hagerty): 58.5fWAR
Top MI per BP (Machado, Ackley, Kipnis, Segura, Iglesias, Franklin, Hamilton, Green, Lawrie, Profar): 42.8 fWAR

In sum:
Best hitters: 218.3 fWAR
Top MI per BP: 148.4fWAR

The best hitters, just going by wOBA, outproduce the guys the scouts say are top prospects, by FORTY SEVEN PERCENT. You can't ignore that, and if you want to argue with it you have to make a case that shows that the way they're ranking these guys is correct. Some kind of tangible empirical stuff is needed since all the tangible empirical stuff sorta leans to: bats provide a hell of a lot more value.

2007: Votto was ranked 53rd, Gordon 1st, Reynolds not at all, Kendrick not at all.
2009: Sandoval was unranked, Santana was 33rd, well past the two Beckhams, Stanton was 14th, behind a bunch of toolsy CF--Rasmus, Maybin, Fowler--who haven't had a shred of his value.

Toolsy MI guys do not produce the value big bats produce. Therefore, when we are making a list that wants to be taken seriously about projecting future value, that list must give precedence to the bats that are most likely to play at the highest level, over the players with athleticism who have yet to develop baseball skills, especially the hit/power tools.

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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

Post by jim »

Forecasting prospects is fickle, everyone knows that. Sleepers are the norm, not the exception. How many hitting prospects on a typical top 100 list? 50? What you did was used a counting stat to compare 1-50 against an army of guys - 51-N whatever N is. Pujols was in that group, many others.

BTW there are also prospects that jumped quickly - Trout for example. He was the #2 overall prospect in baseball in 2011, yet in your list he's one of those guys in the 51-N list (btw he was top 100 in Baseball America in 2010).

Still not buying your arguments that professional evaluators have it wrong.

The way you use statistics is really something. You mangle the hell of it.
Last edited by jim on February 13 15, 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jocephus
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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

Post by Jocephus »

your other post was more succinct

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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

Post by jim »

Do that same exercise and limit the number in the second pool to the same number of players as the first pool and see what happens to your fWAR.

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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

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33anda3rd wrote:2006:
Best hitters (Reynolds, Brito, Kendrick, Pedroza, Gordon, Votto, Lis): 95.1 fWAR
Top MI per BP (Wood, Brignac, Tulo, Aybar, Lillibridge, Rodriguez, Callaspo): 62.5 fWAR

2008:
Best hitters (Ka'Aihue, Kubacki, Kung-Fu Panda, Carlos Santana, Salome, Stanton, Jesus Guzman, Negrych, Revere): 64.7fWAR
Top MI per BP (Beckham, Beckham, Escobar, Flores, Brignac, Andrus, Frazier, Cardenas, DeJesus Jr.): 43.1 fWAR

2010:
Best hitters (Belt, Rizzotti, Martinez, Trout, Guyer, Hosmer, Sappelt, Jackson, Goldschmidt, Hagerty): 58.5fWAR
Top MI per BP (Machado, Ackley, Kipnis, Segura, Iglesias, Franklin, Hamilton, Green, Lawrie, Profar): 42.8 fWAR

In sum:
Best hitters: 218.3 fWAR
Top MI per BP: 148.4fWAR
Here's what my (admittedly) sleep-deprived, work-focused, non-baseball-focused brain finds interesting:

Without being able to identify all the players mentioned above without first names and maybe a scorecard, it appears that roughly the same number of players from each grouping actually make it to the majors (maybe slightly more MI). And isn't that the 1st goal of a prospect?

Also, a question: In the 2006 best hitters group, is that supposed to be Pedroia, or was there a guy with the last name Pedroza?

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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

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jim wrote:Do that same exercise and limit the number in the second pool to the same number of players as the first pool and see what happens to your fWAR.
I did that. The year that only 9 SSs were listed I used only 9 best wOBA guys. If I hadn't cut it. Ditto the year there were only 7 SSs listed. If I didn't do that, we'd have Dexter Fowler (the 10th best hitter in 2008) and James Loney (the 9th best wOBA in 2006) added in, putting another 20 fWAR on the Best Hitters tally.
jim wrote:The way you use statistics is really something. You mangle the hell of it.
Oh please. We're talking about what pool of players ends up providing the most value at the MLB level and I'm using the one catch-all, very good metric that encapsulates better than anything else overall value. There's no mangling. The way you're mangling the argument is what's fascinating because I'm not taking top 50 vs 51-100, or anything like that. I'm taking the best bats (empirically by wOBA) vs the MI prospects BP liked best that year. Then I'm showing which had more value. That's it.

So far, the argument has been, using WAR (and we can use any combo of stats you'd like, really, the result will be the same):
1. Corner bats provide more value than MI. Empirically, objectively, demonstrably true. The elite corner bats > the elite SS. The 80th percentile corner bats > the 80th percentile SS. And so on down the line. More value in bats. Demonstrably.

2. Scouts and prospect writers tend to push MI players higher on their list based on position. Demonstrably, objectively, empirically true.

Now remedy those two things. One pool of players provides more value, but the pool that provides less value (demonstrably, etc.) is ranked higher each year by the prospect writers. Remedy that for me. Profar is better than Rizzo as a prospect because.....what exactly? Why will Profar have more projectable value? Billy Hamilton is the 22nd best prospect in a year Paul Goldschmidt doesn't even make the top 100 because.....what exactly? Go ahead and remedy that thinking, in a real world in which the Goldschmidt/Rizzos of the world are almost always more valuable than the Profar/Hamiltons.

Baseball skills trump athleticism.

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Re: Misc. Minor League Ramblings

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mikechamp wrote:Also, a question: In the 2006 best hitters group, is that supposed to be Pedroia, or was there a guy with the last name Pedroza?[/color]
Sergio Pedroza. Never got it together in the high minors, after one great year of killing A ball.

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