Who are these new guys? Part 1

First two games of spring training for 2019 are in the history book.  Let’s go through a box score and take a look at the new guys on CHN using our newly updated minor league DB. Subsequent parts will highlight new guys that will rotate in throughout the month.

This post will be a lot of search tables into minor leagues.  Only AAA, AA, and A+ are catalogued.  First, here’s a screenshot taken from Reddit in r/ChiCubs.  What game this is doesn’t really matter.  Explanation as to how to read these tables below the fold.

chn02252018The order of new guy tables is determined by their order of appearance in the above box score starting with BATters and then PITCHers.

Winston Bernard

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX -0.84 Wynton_Bernard_CHN BAT 0.397 aaa 27
2018 XXXXX -0.55 Wynton_Bernard_CHN BAT 0.411 aa 27
2017 XXXXX -0.88 Wynton_Bernard_SFN BAT 0.420 aaa 26
2016 XXXXX -0.78 Wynton_Bernard_DET BAT 0.408 aaa 25
2016 XXXXX 0.46 Wynton_Bernard_DET BAT 0.534 aa 25
2015 -177- -1.43 Wynton_Bernard_DET BAT 0.453 aa 24
2013 XXXXX 0.06 Wynton_Bernard_SDN BAT NA aplus 22

The above table format for a minor league career search is a work in progress.  This is a Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) data model so only rank and WAA, the value  factor used to rank that represents W-L and is the foundation of this data model, are important  A WAA=0 is completely average.  Negative means below average, positive above average.  As of now we don’t pull in position data for minor leagues other than PITCH or BAT.

Like MLB, the dataset used to calculate WAA is all players for all 30 franchises.   For example, AAA has two leagues, International (int) and Pacific Coast League (pcl) which are combined into one dataset.   Pitchers and batters are ranked together, the sum of WAA for each adds to 0 exactly — like how real team W-L records add to exactly zero.  For every win counted a team must lose.  Not too complicated!

In the above table a rank of XXXXX means neither top or bottom 200 in that league for that year.  Since players move from league to league in minors playing time is cut short so WAA cannot accumulate as much as players playing a full season in that league.  Thus, rank is not as important as it is in MLB.  The Win% column puts the WAA calculated weighting factor in perspective.  See how it’s calculated here.  Win% are not shown for MLB records as it would be deceptive.

The last column is age which is an important factor in player development.   The above shows Bernard hasn’t been a very good hitter in minors and at age 27 probably won’t make it.  Decent MLB players usually dominate when they were in minor leagues but sometimes there are exceptions.  The above table shows Bernard is a below average minor league player except for 2016 in AA for the DET franchise (Detroit Tigers).

Trent Giambrone

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX -0.02 Trent_Giambrone_CHN BAT 0.499 aa 24
2017 XXXXX -0.82 Trent_Giambrone_CHN BAT 0.468 aplus 23

Trent has been on our radar for two years now and bats almost completely average.

Note: This model only measures past results.   There could be fundamentals that scouts and player development coaches see in these players that could make them decent MLB players one day.

Jim Adduci

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX -0.34 Jim_Adduci_DET 1B XXX mlb
2018 XXXXX 1.26 Jim_Adduci_DET BAT 0.582 aaa 33
2017 XXXXX 0.19 Jim_Adduci_DET RF XXX mlb
2017 XXXXX 0.10 Jim_Adduci_DET BAT 0.508 aaa 32
2014 XXXXX -0.34 Jim_Adduci_TEX LF XXX mlb
2014 XXXXX -0.10 Jim_Adduci_TEX BAT NA aaa 29
2014 XXXXX 0.40 Jim_Adduci_TEX BAT NA aa 29
2013 XXXXX -0.55 Jim_Adduci_TEX X XXX mlb
2013 XXXXX 1.45 Jim_Adduci_TEX BAT 0.551 aaa 28
2012 XXXXX 0.19 Jim_Adduci_CHN BAT 0.521 aaa 27
2012 XXXXX 0.21 Jim_Adduci_CHN BAT 0.514 aa 27
2011 XXXXX 0.04 Jim_Adduci_CHN BAT 0.503 aa 26
2010 XXXXX -0.63 Jim_Adduci_CHN BAT 0.470 aaa 25
2009 +101+ -0.88 Jim_Adduci_CHN BAT 0.468 aa 24
2008 XXXXX -0.50 Jim_Adduci_CHN BAT 0.482 aplus 23

At age 34 now Jim can be considered a professional minor league-er and based upon his 2018 numbers he could be a good hitting first baseman helping the Iowa Cubs win more than they lose this season.

Charcer Burks

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 -116- -1.83 Charcer_Burks_CHN BAT 0.432 aa 23
2017 -186- -1.41 Charcer_Burks_CHN BAT 0.449 aa 22
2016 XXXXX -0.44 Charcer_Burks_CHN BAT 0.484 aplus 21

Charcer is still very young.

Mark Zagunis

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX -0.04 Mark_Zagunis_CHN BAT XXX mlb
2018 XXXXX -0.73 Mark_Zagunis_CHN BAT 0.467 aaa 25
2017 XXXXX -0.34 Mark_Zagunis_CHN BAT XXX mlb
2017 XXXXX 1.49 Mark_Zagunis_CHN BAT 0.570 aaa 24
2016 XXXXX 0.92 Mark_Zagunis_CHN BAT 0.584 aaa 23
2016 XXXXX 0.84 Mark_Zagunis_CHN BAT 0.576 aa 23
2015 +105+ 2.12 Mark_Zagunis_CHN BAT 0.580 aplus 22

Ryan Court

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX 1.13 Ryan_Court_CHN BAT 0.555 aaa 30
2017 XXXXX -1.57 Ryan_Court_BOS BAT 0.432 aaa 29
2016 XXXXX -0.06 Ryan_Court_BOS BAT 0.483 aaa 28
2016 XXXXX 0.63 Ryan_Court_BOS BAT 0.535 aa 28
2014 XXXXX -0.19 Ryan_Court_ARI BAT 0.477 aa 26
2014 XXXXX 0.04 Ryan_Court_ARI BAT 0.504 aplus 26
2013 XXXXX -1.01 Ryan_Court_ARI BAT 0.410 aa 25
2013 +164+ 1.95 Ryan_Court_ARI BAT 0.719 aplus 25

Ryan is getting kind of old to be in the minors but he had a good season last year.

Ian Rice

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX -0.44 Ian_Rice_CHN BAT 0.475 aa 24
2017 XXXXX 0.36 Ian_Rice_CHN BAT 0.518 aa 23
2016 XXXXX 0.84 Ian_Rice_CHN BAT 0.564 aplus 22

Johnny Field

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX -0.44 Johnny_Field_TOT LF-RF-CF XXX mlb
2018 XXXXX -0.69 Johnny_Field_TBA RF-LF-CF XXX mlb
2018 XXXXX 0.27 Johnny_Field_MIN LF XXX mlb
2018 XXXXX 0.65 Johnny_Field_CLE BAT NA aaa 26
2018 XXXXX -0.32 Johnny_Field_MIN BAT NA aaa 26
2018 XXXXX 0.02 Johnny_Field_TBA BAT NA aaa 26
2017 XXXXX 0.59 Johnny_Field_TBA BAT 0.524 aaa 25
2016 XXXXX -0.32 Johnny_Field_TBA BAT 0.478 aaa 24
2016 XXXXX 1.07 Johnny_Field_TBA BAT 0.600 aa 24
2015 +045+ 3.19 Johnny_Field_TBA BAT 0.625 aa 23
2014 XXXXX 0.94 Johnny_Field_TBA BAT 0.607 aplus 22

Jacob Hannemann

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 -045- -3.00 Jacob_Hannemann_CHN BAT 0.343 aaa 27
2017 XXXXX -0.08 Jacob_Hannemann_SEA BAT XXX mlb
2017 XXXXX -1.34 Jacob_Hannemann_CHN BAT 0.420 aaa 26
2017 XXXXX -0.92 Jacob_Hannemann_CHN BAT 0.375 aa 26
2016 XXXXX -0.44 Jacob_Hannemann_CHN BAT 0.474 aa 25
2015 XXXXX -0.29 Jacob_Hannemann_CHN BAT 0.489 aa 24
2015 XXXXX 0.13 Jacob_Hannemann_CHN BAT 0.537 aplus 24
2014 XXXXX -0.99 Jacob_Hannemann_CHN BAT 0.380 aplus 23

Phillip Evans

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX -0.34 Phillip_Evans_NYN BAT XXX mlb
2018 +158+ 1.76 Phillip_Evans_NYN BAT 0.638 aaa 25
2017 XXXXX -0.42 Phillip_Evans_NYN BAT XXX mlb
2017 XXXXX -0.50 Phillip_Evans_NYN BAT 0.481 aaa 24
2016 XXXXX 0.71 Phillip_Evans_NYN BAT 0.535 aa 23
2016 XXXXX -0.27 Phillip_Evans_NYN BAT NA aplus 23
2015 XXXXX -0.88 Phillip_Evans_NYN BAT 0.440 aplus 22
2014 -036- -3.15 Phillip_Evans_NYN BAT 0.362 aplus 21

Phillip played well last year for the Mets affiliate in AAA.  It looks like he came up twice to MLB in September call up season and hit below average.

Duncan Robinson

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 +115+ 2.10 Duncan_Robinson_CHN PITCH 0.572 aa 24
2017 +165+ 1.66 Duncan_Robinson_CHN PITCH 0.688 aplus 23

Now we get to PITCHers.  Those are some pretty decent numbers.  A 0.688 Win% shows he dominated A+ in 2017.  He might have spent part of that year in A.  This model does not track A league.

Ryan Kellogg

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX 0.71 Ryan_Kellogg_CHN PITCH 0.541 aplus 24
2017 -032- -3.13 Ryan_Kellogg_CHN PITCH 0.350 aplus 23
2015 XXXXX -0.15 Micah_Kellogg_DET PITCH NA aplus 25
2014 XXXXX 0.34 Micah_Kellogg_DET PITCH NA aplus 24

Slightly above average in 2018 in A+ league.

James Norwood

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX -0.00 James_Norwood_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2018 XXXXX 1.24 James_Norwood_CHN PITCH 0.842 aaa 24
2018 XXXXX 1.16 James_Norwood_CHN PITCH 0.660 aa 24
2017 XXXXX -0.59 James_Norwood_CHN PITCH 0.358 aa 23
2017 XXXXX 1.39 James_Norwood_CHN PITCH 0.660 aplus 23
2016 XXXXX 0.44 James_Norwood_CHN PITCH NA aplus 22

He pitched 11 innings for the MLB Cubs last season and had very good numbers in AA and AAA leagues.

Dakota Mekkes

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 +163+ 1.74 Dakota_Mekkes_CHN PITCH 0.787 aaa 23
2018 +168+ 1.66 Dakota_Mekkes_CHN PITCH 0.835 aa 23
2017 +078+ 2.29 Dakota_Mekkes_CHN PITCH 0.776 aplus 22

Those are dominating numbers in all three leagues.  Dominating minor leagues does not guarantee dominating MLB but it does improve the odds.  Since he played AAA last year Cubs could bring him up mid season to help win a World Series.  You can never have enough pitchers.

Allen Webster

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2018 XXXXX -0.13 Allen_Webster_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2018 XXXXX 0.44 Allen_Webster_CHN PITCH NA aa 28
2017 -053- -3.11 Allen_Webster_TEX PITCH 0.260 aaa 27
2015 XXXXX -1.39 Allen_Webster_ARI PITCH XXX mlb
2015 -001- -7.39 Allen_Webster_ARI PITCH 0.068 aaa 25
2014 -112- -1.83 Allen_Webster_BOS PITCH XXX mlb
2014 +044+ 3.49 Allen_Webster_BOS PITCH 0.629 aaa 24
2013 -040- -3.36 Allen_Webster_BOS PITCH XXX mlb
2013 XXXXX 1.43 Allen_Webster_BOS PITCH 0.561 aaa 23
2012 XXXXX -0.86 Allen_Webster_BOS PITCH NA aa 22
2012 XXXXX 1.01 Allen_Webster_LAN PITCH 0.537 aa 22
2011 -130- -1.87 Allen_Webster_LAN PITCH 0.408 aa 21
2011 +142+ 2.23 Allen_Webster_LAN PITCH 0.686 aplus 21

Allen Webster’s future is probably professional minor league-er.

This model only shows an accurate representation of the past.  The past can show proven capability but  cannot be used to predict the future because no on can predict the future — even if you’re time traveling here from the future.

Subsequent parts to this series will show any new guys I happen upon in box scores throughout spring training not mentioned above.   Those parts won’t be as long as this initial post.  Not much more to say.  There will be no spring training team statuses or any player rankings until perhaps the end of spring training.  Then in the regular season we have to wait until 1/6 of the season has been played to show player rankings.

Still working on 2014 – 2018 season simulations where we go mano a mano between this data model, fivethirtyeight’s ELO model, and Vegas betting lines.  Who is most accurate?  Since we’re from the future we know the outcomes for all these estimated probabilities.  More on that when I get around to it.  Until then ….