This time one year ago, Cardinals fans were unsure what to think of Mikolas, the team’s primary rotation addition last winter. At the time, Mikolas was a 29-year-old who’d never established himself in the Majors but put himself firmly on MLB radars with a brilliant three-year run for the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.
I looked up Miles Mikolas after seeing this article mentioned on Twitter and found his career trajectory interesting. Let’s look at his minor league career search table.
If you track the Win% column for minors he was pretty good when SDN brought him up on their MLB team for 25 games of relief in 2012. Back to AAA he went until resurfacing for TEX with a horrible season ranked 28 in bottom 200 — a list no one wants to be #1.
The article states he played 3 years in Japan between 2015 and 2017. Japan leagues used to be compiled here but haven’t since 2013 so there is a gap in the above table. Cardinals were impressed enough to gamble and it paid off handsomely last season. Mikolas was ranked #18 according to this data model out of all players on 30 teams, both pitchers and batters.
I found the above table interesting because it clearly demonstrates that past results don’t necessarily predict future results. His 0.600+ Win% in minors was no match for MLB hitters in 2014, yet, he somehow figured it out.
A lot more goes into evaluating talent than looking at past stats. Providing a lens that accurately shows the past is important. If a team views a player had a great season when he actually didn’t, that could be a problem and what separates consistent winning franchises from consistent losing franchises.
That is all for now. Crunching some DH numbers for another report maybe tomorrow or the next day. Until then ….