Minor Leagues Part 2: A+

In Part 2 of this series we’ll dive down one level into A+ minor league with focus on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (CHN) and Winston-Salem Dash (CHA).  A+ has three divisions, Florida, California, and Carolina encompassing affiliates for all 30 MLB franchises.  This model combines  data from all divisions and ranks everyone together.  More info on A+ can be found here.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans CHN

Team Status

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-7.8 17.4 551 543 69 60 -8.4 6.9 Myrtle_Beach_Pelicans_CHN 8/24/2017
-115.5 51.1 425 500 55 69 -10.7 0.2 Myrtle_Beach_Pelicans_CHN 8/202018

Last season the Pelicans were a relatively average team with a positive win/loss record.  This season their hitting tanked tremendously making them 6th among the worst of 30 franchise affiliates in  A+.  This may not bode well for the future of the Cubs or the future of their AA team, Tennessee Smokies. next season. Their pitching is very positive which we’ll see below.

Top Pelicans

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+019+ 3.46 Erick_Leal_CHN PITCH 0.782
+106+ 2.04 Tyler_Peyton_CHN PITCH 0.646
+107+ 2.04 Matt_Swarmer_CHN PITCH 0.679
+159+ 1.70 Manuel_Rondon_CHN PITCH 0.780
XXXXX 1.36 Cory_Abbott_CHN PITCH 0.606
XXXXX 1.26 Wyatt_Short_CHN PITCH 0.679
XXXXX 1.24 Keegan_Thompson_CHN PITCH 0.582
XXXXX 0.78 Ryan_Kellogg_CHN PITCH 0.549
XXXXX 0.73 Jhon_Romero_CHN PITCH 0.575

There are many high WinPct rate pitchers above and no batters — which should be expected based upon their dismal BAT in team status.  Some of the above will filter up the ladder next season.  Since minors are development there may be some hitters that have potential but this model does not see any.

Winston-Salem Dash CHA

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-1.8 -50.5 546 625 51 78 -22.4 -4.1 Winston-Salem_Dash_CHA 8/24/2017
88.0 38.1 624 502 73 48 0.3 -4.3 Winston-Salem_Dash_CHA 8/20/2017

The White Sox A+ team has made a complete 180 in both PITCH and BAT since last season.  This does bode well for the White Sox since many of these players will filter up next season.  Let’s see the top players on this team.

Top Dash

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+026+ 3.28 Blake_Rutherford_CHA BAT 0.650
+035+ 3.02 Kyle_Kubat_CHA PITCH 0.669
+043+ 2.83 Tanner_Banks_CHA PITCH 0.650
+056+ 2.58 Bernardo_Flores_CHA PITCH 0.649
+063+ 2.48 Luis_Gonzalez_CHA BAT 0.713
+074+ 2.35 Micker_Adolfo_CHA BAT 0.634
+128+ 1.89 Yermin_Mercedes_CHA BAT 0.603
+141+ 1.81 Dylan_Cease_CHA PITCH 0.614
+145+ 1.81 Zach_Thompson_CHA PITCH 0.731
+199+ 1.41 Laz_Rivera_CHA BAT 0.637
XXXXX 1.39 Zach_Remillard_CHA BAT 0.574
XXXXX 1.24 Tyler_Johnson_CHA PITCH 0.750
XXXXX 1.16 Mitch_Roman_CHA BAT 0.565
XXXXX 1.13 Luis_Alexander_Basabe_CHA BAT 0.589
XXXXX 1.03 Alex_Call_CHA BAT 0.584

Nice mix of batters and pitchers, all with decent WinPct rates.  The only name I recognize is Dylan Cease who we saw on their AA team.  There is one level below A+ so many of those unranked players could have spent part of this summer there.   It is inappropriate to add WAA values from two different classes of leagues because each class is their own ecosystem.  No one would incorporate AAA stats with MLB stats for the same reason you can’t incorporate A stats with A+ stats.

Top A+ Teams

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
156.5 12.1 699 540 75 50 -11.7 2.2 Rancho_Cucamonga_Quakes_LAN
54.5 72.2 594 468 64 56 0.3 -0.8 Potomac_Nationals_WAS
88.0 38.1 624 502 73 48 0.3 -4.3 Winston-Salem_Dash_CHA
-23.5 112.1 518 403 70 52 25.3 1.2 Buies_Creek_Astros_HOU
93.5 -16.0 636 551 67 54 5.3 2.2 Charlotte_Stone_Crabs_TBA

The above shows the top 5 A+ teams sorted by BAT+PITCH.  White Sox are #3 out of 30 teams and it looks like Houston has another top notch team in their farm system.   This means they should be dominant for many years as these players filter up.  We haven’t looked at AAA yet however.  Looks like the Dodgers are grooming a bunch of hitters for the future.

Bottom A+ Teams

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-12.5 -89.0 532 627 58 65 2.3 4.2 Frederick_Keys_BAL
-23.0 -77.0 517 642 53 72 -24.7 -0.3 Modesto_Nuts_SEA
-56.5 -42.0 486 561 52 65 21.3 2.2 Bradenton_Marauders_PIT
-136.5 41.0 402 492 50 71 7.3 -1.8 St._Lucie_Mets_NYN
-116.5 26.0 416 503 47 71 11.3 -7.8 Florida_Fire_Frogs_ATL
8.5 -81.8 548 640 53 72 -17.7 -0.8 San_Jose_Giants_SFN
-115.5 51.1 425 500 55 69 -10.7 0.2 Myrtle_Beach_Pelicans_CHN

The above is sorted on combined BAT and PITCH.  Let’s look at where the Pelicans rank in A+ with respect to PITCH only.

Top A+ PITCH teams

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-23.5 112.1 518 403 70 52 25.3 1.2 Buies_Creek_Astros_HOU
-68.5 75.0 476 485 65 56 -19.7 4.2 Jupiter_Hammerheads_MIA
54.5 72.2 594 468 64 56 0.3 -0.8 Potomac_Nationals_WAS
-115.5 51.1 425 500 55 69 -10.7 0.2 Myrtle_Beach_Pelicans_CHN

The Pelicans may be one of the worst A+ teams this season overall but the above indicates the Cubs are stacking that team with quality pitching prospects so it’s not all bad.

Top A+ BAT teams

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
170.5 -155.0 720 695 65 60 0.3 9.2 Lancaster_JetHawks_COL
156.5 12.1 699 540 75 50 -11.7 2.2 Rancho_Cucamonga_Quakes_LAN
93.5 -16.0 636 551 67 54 5.3 2.2 Charlotte_Stone_Crabs_TBA
88.0 38.1 624 502 73 48 0.3 -4.3 Winston-Salem_Dash_CHA

And the White Sox appear to be stacking the Winston-Salem Dash with hitting prospects.  The above two tables represent the top teams of all 30 MLB franchise affiliates in A+.

Top A+ Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+001+ 5.73 Cristian_Santana_LAN BAT 0.715
+002+ 5.19 Vince_Fernandez_COL BAT 0.719
+003+ 4.93 Bobby_Dalbec_BOS BAT 0.726
+004+ 4.79 Colton_Welker_COL BAT 0.698
+005+ 4.64 Spenser_Watkins_DET PITCH 0.686
+006+ 4.56 Cam_Roegner_MIL PITCH 0.689
+007+ 4.30 Nate_Mondou_OAK BAT 0.711
+008+ 3.88 Ian_Anderson_ATL PITCH 0.675
+009+ 3.80 Conor_Harber_MIL PITCH 0.679
+010+ 3.65 Cody_Thomas_LAN BAT 0.644
+011+ 3.65 Jesus_Sanchez_TBA BAT 0.685
+012+ 3.63 Patrick_Murphy_TOR PITCH 0.619
+013+ 3.57 Tyler_Mapes_WAS PITCH 0.742
+014+ 3.57 Ramon_Hernandez_ARI BAT 0.671
+015+ 3.55 Tyler_Erwin_BAL PITCH 0.766
+016+ 3.53 Jake_Walsh_SLN PITCH 0.684
+017+ 3.53 Rylan_Bannon_LAN BAT 0.668
+018+ 3.51 Nathaniel_Lowe_TBA BAT 0.806
+019+ 3.46 Erick_Leal_CHN PITCH 0.782
+020+ 3.46 Roberto_Ramos_COL BAT 0.761
+021+ 3.42 Logan_Webb_SFN PITCH 0.708
+022+ 3.40 Brandon_Bailey_HOU PITCH 0.657
+023+ 3.38 Omar_Estevez_LAN BAT 0.630
+024+ 3.32 Jo_Adell_ANA BAT 0.743
+025+ 3.30 Tristan_Gray_TBA BAT 0.644

The above are the top 25 players sorted by WAA value with their WinPct rate in the last column.  It is inappropriate to use rate as a value for sorting.  The purpose of this column is to provide context.

There could be (and most likely are) many very good prospects who didn’t have enough playing time to make this list.   This model generates these lists for MLB because that’s where the cream always rises to the top.  Player lists for minors are for informational purposes only.    Many of the above are probably part of top prospect lists like Baseball Prospectus.

The next part to this series will cover AAA, the final minor league before MLB.  Then we’ll meander into showing  where are they now cross referencing  our minor league snapshots from last season to this season.  Until then ….