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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 ….