Category Archives: Career Ranking

Minor Leagues Reboot Part 2

In Part 1 we rehashed an old list from 2013 about all the home grown players on the Cardinals from that year.  Today we’ll cover the home grown players on the 2018 Cubs.   Below is a list of all home grown players with > 1 WAA for 2018 — same criteria used in Part 1.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+012+ 7.29 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-SS-3B
+091+ 2.94 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+092+ 2.94 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
+189+ 1.78 Carl_Edwards_Jr._CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.28 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF
XXXXX 1.05 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B-RF-LF
XXXXX 1.01 David_Bote_CHN 3B-2B

Ranks are only given to the top and bottom 200.  The XXXXX rank designation means unranked.   Tables below are revised from Part 1 to show year in first column and age is added for minor league records only.

Javier Baez

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct LEAGUE Age
2018 +012+ 7.29 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-SS-3B XXX mlb
2017 +090+ 3.25 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-SS XXX mlb
2016 XXXXX 0.88 Javier_Baez_CHN 3B-2B-SS XXX mlb
2015 XXXXX -0.99 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-3B XXX mlb
2015 +021+ 4.12 Javier_Baez_CHN BAT 0.753 aaa 22
2014 XXXXX -0.34 Javier_Baez_CHN SS-2B XXX mlb
2014 +020+ 4.01 Javier_Baez_CHN BAT 0.677 aaa 21
2013 +010+ 4.26 Javier_Baez_CHN BAT 0.841 aa 20
2013 +064+ 3.17 Javier_Baez_CHN BAT 0.681 aplus 20
2012 XXXXX 0.04 Javier_Baez_CHN BAT 0.509 aplus 19

The WinPct column shows Javier Baez had an incredible minor league run.  A rate greater than 0.600 is very good, greater than 0.700 extremely good, and greater than 0.800 top shelf good. Baez struggled his first two years in MLB and then found his groove.

Baez had teammates Kyle Hendricks and Justin Bour on the 2013  AA  Tennessee Smokies.  Baez was only 20 at the time which is very young for AA level.  He had a career year in 2017 and exceeded that year by being the leading MVP candidate, according to this data model, all the way to the last week of 2018.

Anthony Rizzo

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct LEAGUE Age
2018 +091+ 2.94 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B XXX mlb
2017 +033+ 4.85 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B-2B XXX mlb
2016 +021+ 5.44 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B XXX mlb
2015 +033+ 4.54 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B XXX mlb
2014 +050+ 3.93 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B XXX mlb
2013 XXXXX 0.17 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B XXX mlb
2012 XXXXX 0.80 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B XXX mlb
2012 +023+ 4.16 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN BAT 0.781 aaa 22
2011 -161- -1.68 Anthony_Rizzo_SDN 1B XXX mlb
2011 +006+ 6.83 Anthony_Rizzo_SDN BAT 0.818 aaa  21
2010 +021+ 4.37 Anthony_Rizzo_BOS BAT 0.680 aa 20
2010 XXXXX 1.47 Anthony_Rizzo_BOS BAT 0.709 aplus 20
2009 XXXXX -0.50 Anthony_Rizzo_BOS BAT 0.458 aplus 19

Anthony Rizzo came up via Boston and due to  Theo Epstein also coming from Boston, transitive law applies so Rizzo is considered home grown.  He currently has consistent not too flashy numbers just like what Ron Santo put up year after year for the Cubs during his  HOF career.  At age 21 Rizzo tore up AAA for the Padres affiliate.  Cubs were lucky he didn’t play well for San Diego in MLB causing them to trade him.

Kyle Hendricks

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct LEAGUE Age
2018 +092+ 2.94 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2017 +047+ 4.26 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2016 +002+ 8.88 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2015 XXXXX -0.15 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2014 +131+ 2.33 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2014 +161+ 1.81 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH 0.579 aaa 24
2013 XXXXX 1.57 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH 0.677 aaa 23
2013 +001+ 5.80 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH 0.707 aa 23
2012 XXXXX 0.08 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH 0.521 aplus 22
2012 +038+ 3.86 Kyle_Hendricks_TEX PITCH 0.633 aplus 22
2011 XXXXX 0.06 Kyle_Hendricks_TEX PITCH NA aa

Another Cub who dominated each level of minor leagues.  He should have been Cy Young winner in 2016 but helped win a World Series trophy instead.  Hendricks is currently part of  the top 25 MLB players for the three year  2016, 2017, 2018 career splits according to this data model.

Carl Edwards Jr.

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct LEAGUE Age
2018 +189+ 1.78 Carl_Edwards_Jr._CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2017 +163+ 2.08 Carl_Edwards_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2016 XXXXX 0.32 Carl_Edwards_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2016 XXXXX -0.08 Carl_Edwards_Jr._CHN PITCH 0.486 aaa 24
2015 XXXXX 0.00 Carl_Edwards_CHN PITCH XXX mlb
2015 XXXXX 0.88 Carl_Edwards_Jr._CHN PITCH 0.625 aaa 23
2015 XXXXX 0.67 Carl_Edwards_Jr._CHN PITCH 0.627 aa 23
2014 +169+ 1.64 Carl_Edwards_Jr._CHN PITCH 0.654 aa 22

Carl Edwards was a high level starting prospect but now puts up consistent numbers as a reliever.

Kyle Schwarber

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct LEAGUE Age
2018 XXXXX 1.28 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF XXX mlb
2017 XXXXX 1.28 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF XXX mlb
2017 XXXXX 0.76 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN BAT 0.832 aaa 24
2016 XXXXX -0.13 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN BAT XXX mlb
2015 +049+ 3.76 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF-CR XXX mlb
2015 XXXXX 0.19 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN BAT 0.554 aaa 22
2015 +059+ 2.73 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN BAT 0.716 aa 22
2014 XXXXX 1.36 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN BAT 0.637 aplus 21

In 2017 Kyle Schwarber was sent down to Iowa because he was suffering a slump and tore up AAA with a greater than 0.800 WinPct.  In 2015 Cubs brought him up sporadically and even playing less than 1/2 season ranked in top 50 of MLB players.  His WinPct, the rate of WAA increase over time is phenomenal that year.  This model does not publish rates for MLB time because the weighting factor (WAA) is all that matters in the top league.  Schwarber had decent but unranked 2017 and 2018.  The 2016 record is an extremely small sample size that does not include his contributions to winning a World Series trophy for the Cubs and making Pete Rose eat a giant plate of crow.

Schwarber has proven upside potential where he could put up MVP numbers next season if he finds his groove.  Nobody can predict the future.

Kris Bryant

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct LEAGUE Age
2018 XXXXX 1.05 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B-RF-LF XXX mlb
2017 +102+ 2.96 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B XXX mlb
2016 +007+ 7.01 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B-LF-RF XXX mlb
2015 +027+ 4.75 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B XXX mlb
2015 XXXXX 1.01 Kris_Bryant_CHN BAT NA aaa 23
2014 +030+ 3.84 Kris_Bryant_CHN BAT 0.748 aaa 22
2014 +003+ 5.63 Kris_Bryant_CHN BAT 0.864 aa 22
2013 XXXXX 0.76 Kris_Bryant_CHN BAT 0.735 aplus 21

Kris is another home grown Cubs player who tore up all three minor leagues below MLB based on his extremely high WinPct rates in those leagues.  He was MVP ranked #7 out of all players by this data model in 2016.  He dropped off in 2017 and 2018 but still above average.

David Bote

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct LEAGUE Age
2018 XXXXX 1.01 David_Bote_CHN 3B-2B XXX mlb
2018 XXXXX 1.13 David_Bote_CHN BAT 0.582 aaa 25
2017 XXXXX 0.38 David_Bote_CHN BAT 0.514 aa 24
2016 XXXXX 0.17 David_Bote_CHN BAT NA aaa 23
2016 XXXXX -0.40 David_Bote_CHN BAT NA aa 23
2016 +075+ 2.77 David_Bote_CHN BAT 0.670 aplus 23
2014 XXXXX 0.32 David_Bote_CHN BAT NA aaa 21
2013 XXXXX 0.17 David_Bote_CHN BAT NA aplus 20

The age column provides some perspective on prospects and David Bote advanced to MLB at age 25, two years older than other prospects.  He had a good run in A+ in 2016 and the Cubs tried to promote him to AA and then AAA.  He went back to AA in 2017 with average success and then hit well in AAA during the start of 2018.

That is all for now.  Part 3 will cover the 2019 White Sox prospects when we get an idea as to what their roster will look like.  Season simulations up next.  Until then ….

Minor Leagues Reboot Part 1

Minor league data for this model was old.  Not old in a not valid way but old in a relational database kind of way.  Updating became laborious because scripts broke and none of it was organized properly.   Thus, much of the minor leagues hadn’t been updated since the end of the 2013 season.

Being off season it was time to rewrite scripts and reorganize this data into something easily searchable.  Back in late October 2013 minor leagues were introduced starting with AAA.  Leagues are compiled by class of player.   Right now only A+, AA, or AAA, the three levels below MLB are supported.  Each of those leagues has 30 teams all affiliated with an MLB franchise.   Each league is a compilation of data from 30 teams with players weighted and ranked exactly how it’s done here for MLB.

This will be the first of a many part series exploring minor league systems.  Sometimes players who do well in minor leagues struggle in MLB and vice versa.

In Part 1 we’ll explore a list made in October 2013 titled “Where do the Cardinals get these players?”  The Cardinals had a pretty strong farm system and this list showed all the home grown players on their 2013 World Series team.

tl;dr The below list of tables is long.  Many players below get washed out of baseball, one becomes a top tier player, and a couple become good muddy middle players.  One signed with the Cubs a few days ago.  We know this now because we are from the future.  In October 2013 our perspective was different.

Note: Tables below are a proof of concept.  Will probably move year to column #1 and work on a color scheme to make them easier to read.  Also considering adding an age column since that seems important in evaluating a career.

Minor league search reports include a rate called WinPct.  The rate is necessary information for minor leagues because players typically do not spend an entire season in one league, thus, they can’t accumulate WAA to achieve a high rank.  The rate shows rate of increase of WAA which translates directly into what is considered a WinPct.  See this post for an explanation how that’s computed.  A WinPct > 0.600 is pretty good.   This rate is not computed for MLB records as it would be deceptive.

We’ll go from bottom up and the last name on the list was Daniel Descalso who posted these numbers in his MLB career.

Daniel Descalso

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
XXXXX 1.49 Daniel_Descalso_ARI 2B-3B-1B XXX mlb 2018
XXXXX 0.42 Daniel_Descalso_ARI 2B-LF-1B-3B XXX mlb 2017
XXXXX 1.09 Daniel_Descalso_COL SS-1B-2B XXX mlb 2016
XXXXX -0.21 Daniel_Descalso_COL BAT NA aaa 2016
XXXXX -0.23 Daniel_Descalso_COL SS-2B XXX mlb 2015
XXXXX -0.92 Daniel_Descalso_SLN 2B-SS-3B XXX mlb 2014
XXXXX 1.05 Daniel_Descalso_SLN SS-2B-3B XXX mlb 2013
-070- -2.62 Daniel_Descalso_SLN 2B-SS-3B XXX mlb 2012
-126- -1.93 Daniel_Descalso_SLN 3B-2B-SS XXX mlb 2011
XXXXX 0.19 Daniel_Descalso_SLN X XXX mlb 2010
+084+ 2.90 Daniel_Descalso_SLN BAT 0.605 aaa 2010
XXXXX 1.24 Daniel_Descalso_SLN BAT 0.638 aaa 2009
XXXXX 0.50 Daniel_Descalso_SLN BAT 0.729 aa 2008
XXXXX -0.42 Daniel_Descalso_SLN BAT 0.482 aplus 2008

Pretty average career with his best MLB season last year.  Maybe that’s why the Cubs acquired him.  2013 was his career MLB season in October 2013 after a rough couple of rookie years.

Trevor Rosenthal

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
XXXXX 1.03 Trevor_Rosenthal_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2017
XXXXX -0.27 Trevor_Rosenthal_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2016
+082+ 2.90 Trevor_Rosenthal_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2015
XXXXX 0.90 Trevor_Rosenthal_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2014
+150+ 2.14 Trevor_Rosenthal_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2013
XXXXX 0.63 Trevor_Rosenthal_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2012
XXXXX 0.04 Trevor_Rosenthal_SLN PITCH 0.512 aaa 2012
+086+ 2.37 Trevor_Rosenthal_SLN PITCH 0.613 aa 2012

Trevor Rosenthal was a reliever whose career apparently ended in 2017.  He had Tommy John surgery and missed 2018.  This report shows his minor league activity.  In 2012 he went from AA to AAA to MLB.

Seth Maness

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
XXXXX -0.08 Seth_Maness_KCA PITCH 0.469 aaa 2018
XXXXX 0.15 Seth_Maness_KCA PITCH XXX mlb 2017
XXXXX -1.93 Seth_Maness_KCA PITCH 0.315 aaa 2017
XXXXX 0.57 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2016
XXXXX 0.19 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH NA aaa 2016
XXXXX 0.06 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH NA aa 2016
XXXXX -0.53 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2015
+192+ 1.57 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2014
+140+ 2.21 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2013
XXXXX -0.08 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH 0.486 aaa 2013
+165+ 1.70 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH 0.562 aa 2012
+133+ 2.27 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH 0.722 aplus 2012
XXXXX -0.00 Seth_Maness_SLN PITCH NA aplus 2011

Not sure if Seth Maness is still in baseball.  He only pitched 12 innings in AAA in 2018.  A WinPct of NA means not enough playing time to compute.  His career high year was 2013 ranked #140 in the top 200.

Matt Adams

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+135+ 2.42 Matt_Adams_WAS 1B-LF XXX mlb 2018
XXXXX 0.04 Matt_Adams_SLN 1B XXX mlb 2018
+132+ 2.69 Matt_Adams_ATL 1B-LF XXX mlb 2017
XXXXX -0.17 Matt_Adams_SLN BAT XXX mlb 2017
+190+ 1.74 Matt_Adams_SLN 1B XXX mlb 2016
XXXXX -0.27 Matt_Adams_SLN 1B XXX mlb 2015
XXXXX 0.44 Matt_Adams_SLN 1B XXX mlb 2014
+086+ 3.07 Matt_Adams_SLN 1B XXX mlb 2013
XXXXX 0.15 Matt_Adams_SLN 1B XXX mlb 2012
+101+ 2.65 Matt_Adams_SLN BAT 0.684 aaa 2012
+003+ 6.61 Matt_Adams_SLN BAT 0.747 aa 2011

Matt Adams had a career season in 2013 and a very good run in AA and AAA.  He has since been consistently productive the last three seasons.

Kevin Siegrist

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
XXXXX 0.08 Kevin_Siegrist_PHI PITCH XXX mlb 2017
XXXXX -0.53 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2017
+166+ 2.02 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2016
+075+ 3.02 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2015
-080- -2.18 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2014
+082+ 3.15 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2013
XXXXX 0.73 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH 0.664 aa 2013
XXXXX 0.19 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH 0.526 aa 2012
+107+ 2.56 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH 0.708 aplus 2012
XXXXX 1.07 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH 0.591 aplus 2011

It doesn’t appear Siegrist pitched in minors or MLB in 2018 so he may be through.  He had his career year in 2013 then fell off a cliff in 2014 and bounced back in 2015,  According to this article he was suspended at the beginning of 2018 for not showing up to Pittsburgh’s AAA team.  Something about velocity being down … whatever.

Shelby Miller

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
-075- -2.46 Shelby_Miller_ARI PITCH XXX mlb 2018
XXXXX 0.82 Shelby_Miller_ARI PITCH 0.815 aplus 2018
XXXXX 0.13 Shelby_Miller_ARI PITCH XXX mlb 2017
-011- -4.68 Shelby_Miller_ARI PITCH XXX mlb 2016
XXXXX 0.19 Shelby_Miller_ARI PITCH 0.517 aaa 2016
XXXXX 0.88 Shelby_Miller_ARI PITCH 0.830 aplus 2016
+028+ 4.75 Shelby_Miller_ATL PITCH XXX mlb 2015
XXXXX 0.04 Shelby_Miller_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2014
+080+ 3.19 Shelby_Miller_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2013
XXXXX 0.84 Shelby_Miller_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2012
XXXXX -1.30 Shelby_Miller_SLN PITCH 0.457 aaa 2012
+060+ 2.96 Shelby_Miller_SLN PITCH 0.654 aa 2011
XXXXX 1.74 Shelby_Miller_SLN PITCH 0.648 aplus 2011

Shelby Miller is another 2013 Cardinals player who had a career year that season (at the time).  Miller’s career year according to the future will be 2015 for Atlanta followed by a career worst year in 2016 for Arizona.

Joe Kelly

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
XXXXX -0.40 Joe_Kelly_BOS PITCH XXX mlb 2018
+178+ 1.95 Joe_Kelly_BOS PITCH XXX mlb 2017
XXXXX -0.92 Joe_Kelly_BOS PITCH XXX mlb 2016
+116+ 2.08 Joe_Kelly_BOS PITCH 0.767 aaa 2016
-059- -2.73 Joe_Kelly_BOS PITCH XXX mlb 2015
XXXXX 0.48 Joe_Kelly_BOS PITCH 0.614 aaa 2015
XXXXX -0.50 Joe_Kelly_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2014
XXXXX -0.59 Joe_Kelly_BOS PITCH XXX mlb 2014
XXXXX 0.44 Joe_Kelly_SLN PITCH 0.692 aaa 2014
+073+ 3.38 Joe_Kelly_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2013
XXXXX 1.09 Joe_Kelly_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2012
+122+ 2.48 Joe_Kelly_SLN PITCH 0.654 aaa 2012
XXXXX -1.18 Joe_Kelly_SLN PITCH 0.410 aa 2011
+084+ 2.86 Joe_Kelly_SLN PITCH 0.677 aplus 2011

Joe Kelly also had a career year in 2013 then the Cardinals got rid of him the next season.  His worst season was 2015 with Boston.  He had > 0.600 WinPct rates in his early years except for AA.  Cardinals still promoted him to AAA in 2012 and he pitched well for them.

Allen Craig

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+037+ 3.30 Allen_Craig_SDN BAT 0.687 aaa 2018
XXXXX -1.30 Allen_Craig_BOS BAT 0.363 aaa 2017
XXXXX -0.90 Allen_Craig_BOS BAT 0.294 aaa 2016
XXXXX -1.05 Allen_Craig_BOS BAT XXX mlb 2015
-038- -3.19 Allen_Craig_BOS BAT 0.346 aaa 2015
-094- -0.63 Allen_Craig_SLN RF-1B-LF XXX mlb 2014
XXXXX -1.36 Allen_Craig_BOS 1B-RF XXX mlb 2014
+028+ 5.08 Allen_Craig_SLN 1B-LF-RF XXX mlb 2013
+016+ 5.98 Allen_Craig_SLN 1B-RF XXX mlb 2012
+106+ 2.69 Allen_Craig_SLN LF-RF XXX mlb 2011
XXXXX 0.25 Allen_Craig_SLN RF XXX mlb 2010
+009+ 5.52 Allen_Craig_SLN BAT 0.803 aaa 2010
+012+ 7.92 Allen_Craig_SLN BAT 0.792 aaa 2009
+005+ 10.27 Allen_Craig_SLN BAT 0.847 aa 2008

Incredible numbers in AA and AAA between 2008 and 2010 and then had outstanding first three years in MLB.  And then something happened.  His last MLB appearance was 2015 and it wasn’t good and then spent time in AAA.  Last season He performed well with the Padres’ AAA team so who knows.

Since we’re from the future we know this.  In October 2013 Craig looked like a future HOFer.  For some reason the Cardinals let him go — possibly free agency.

Matt Carpenter

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+050+ 4.01 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 1B-3B-2B XXX mlb 2018
XXXXX 1.34 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 1B-3B-2B XXX mlb 2017
+159+ 2.12 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 3B-1B-2B XXX mlb 2016
+042+ 4.14 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 3B-2B XXX mlb 2015
XXXXX 0.88 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 3B XXX mlb 2014
+016+ 5.44 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 2B-3B XXX mlb 2013
+194+ 1.74 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 1B-3B-RF XXX mlb 2012
XXXXX -0.44 Matt_Carpenter_SLN X XXX mlb 2011
XXXXX -0.02 Matt_Carpenter_SLN BAT 0.499 aaa 2011
+104+ 2.33 Matt_Carpenter_SLN BAT 0.595 aa 2010
XXXXX 0.27 Matt_Carpenter_SLN BAT 0.540 aplus 2010
XXXXX -0.82 Matt_Carpenter_SLN BAT 0.377 aplus 2009

Matt Carpenter is a top 50 player according to last 3 seasons split.  He was their best player to come out of Cardinal farm system based upon that 2013 list.  His minor league trajectory is rather not that special.

There are a lot of variables, many very difficult if not impossible to model mathematically that go into evaluating a minor league player and guessing who can make it into an MLB star or merely an above average player contributing to the win bottom line.  This is a vice versa case.  The model shows so so value in the minors but he turned it on in MLB to become a top tier player.  This model also shows that as well.

Unlike other players on this list who suffered hard times after that 2013 loss in the World Series, Matt Carpenter kept putting up consistent numbers.  Cardinals know this which is why he and the next player are the only players still on the team.

Michael Wacha

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+182+ 1.83 Michael_Wacha_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2018
XXXXX 0.76 Michael_Wacha_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2017
-052- -2.96 Michael_Wacha_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2016
+130+ 2.25 Michael_Wacha_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2015
XXXXX 1.39 Michael_Wacha_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2014
XXXXX 1.62 Michael_Wacha_SLN PITCH XXX mlb 2013
+053+ 3.04 Michael_Wacha_SLN PITCH 0.661 aaa 2013

Michael Wacha was NLCS MVP in 2013 after spending most of the season where he pitched well with a 0.661 WinPct.   His career year was 2015 ranked #130 in top 200 and then he suffered a career worst year in 2016, ranked #51 in the bottom 100, a list no one wants to be #1.

Last season he pitched well although only 84 innings.  it appears the Cardinals will keep him around.  Reliable above average pitchers are keepers.  Wacha might be free agent in 2020 so the Cardinals might deal him at the trade deadline if they’re forced to sell.

That is all for now.  Part 2 of this series will focus on Cub players’ minor league fortunes.  Until then ….

Baines Morris and Lee

Recently some idiot tweeted this reply:


That idiot turned out to be me.  There is apparently a lot of controversy over this Harold Baines pick as well as Morris and Lee Smith.  Let’s break these three down according to this data model.  When I made the above tweet reply I hadn’t looked up any of these players in this model which was a mistake.

tl;dr Baines should be in, Smith a big maybe with caveats, and Morris should not.

Let’s start this diatribe off with a blurb from the Daily Herald.

Baines never drew more than 6.1 percent in five elections by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, far from the 75 percent required. In the key WAR stat compiled by, Baines’ lifetime total was tied for 545th.

Yes, 545th.

The first error in the above is WAR does not have additive properties as has been proven here over and over again.  You can certainly add yearly WAR numbers together but the total has little meaning in most cases and most certainly should not be used for ranking purposes.   The WAA value according to this data model has proven additive properties.  This is how we simulate, seasonal rank both players and teams, and how we rank careers.

That said, Baines is ranked 545 in the WAR system.  According to the Google there are 222 MLB players in HOF.  WAR rank as described above would put Baines well out of that range.  One would think future HOF players need to break into the 200s to qualify.  Maybe that number becomes relaxed as years go by.  Perhaps top 250 would be fine for today.

As of the end of 2017, this model has the Baines career ranked #249 from the top, the top being Babe Ruth.  According to the compilation made by this model at the beginning of 2014 Baines was ranked 236 so 13 players exceeded his career number in 4 years.

Note added 12/11: Following the 2014 compilation link above leads to an html output of his career made at the time.  Back then this model ranked the top 300 and bottom 300, everyone else unranked.  Since then this model has moved to top 200 and bottom 200.  The ranking score in those tables was used to directly compare WAR results with WAA results.  The rank of a value system means more than the weighting number used to rank. </end of Note>

Let’s look at Harold Baines’ career.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
1980 -1.3 Harold_Baines_CHA RF -184-
1981 2.4 Harold_Baines_CHA RF +061+
1982 5.2 Harold_Baines_CHA RF +027+
1983 3.3 Harold_Baines_CHA RF-CF +067+
1984 3.1 Harold_Baines_CHA RF +076+
1985 4.6 Harold_Baines_CHA RF +036+
1986 1.9 Harold_Baines_CHA RF +130+
1987 2.0 Harold_Baines_CHA DH +139+
1988 -0.9 Harold_Baines_CHA DH-RF XXXXX
1989 2.9 Harold_Baines_CHA DH-RF +114+
1989 -0.6 Harold_Baines_TEX DH +114+
1990 0.5 Harold_Baines_TEX DH +198+
1990 0.7 Harold_Baines_OAK DH +198+
1991 4.5 Harold_Baines_OAK DH-RF +046+
1992 2.3 Harold_Baines_OAK DH-RF +122+
1993 3.4 Harold_Baines_BAL DH +087+
1994 0.9 Harold_Baines_BAL DH XXXXX
1995 1.1 Harold_Baines_BAL DH XXXXX
1996 3.7 Harold_Baines_CHA DH +092+
1997 0.5 Harold_Baines_CHA DH XXXXX
1997 -0.6 Harold_Baines_BAL DH XXXXX
1998 1.9 Harold_Baines_BAL DH +184+
1999 4.2 Harold_Baines_BAL DH +074+
1999 0.4 Harold_Baines_CLE DH +074+
2000 -1.2 Harold_Baines_BAL DH -172-
2000 -0.7 Harold_Baines_CHA DH -172-
2001 -1.5 Harold_Baines_CHA DH XXXXX
Total 42.7

Edit for clarification: Since WAA has additive properties it can be calculated for each team a player played for.  The sum of a team’s player WAA should translate into their actual win/loss record.  If a player played for multiple teams in a season the script that makes the above show WAA for each team.  Added together for the year is used for ranking purposed (last column).

That’s 21 years in MLB.  Highlighted in blue are years he made top 100.  His career high was 1982.   I played Rotisserie baseball leagues in the late 80s.  Baines may have been a top tier player in bidding during those years, another mistake in my tweet.  He was a pretty consistent player and didn’t put up many negative years until the 2000s and had many positive years.

IMHO this is a border line case based upon rank and longevity.   Let’s look at Jack Morris.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
1977 0.3 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH XXXXX
1978 -1.7 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH -142-
1979 3.6 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH +066+
1980 -2.1 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH -092-
1981 2.4 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH +057+
1982 -1.1 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH XXXXX
1983 3.7 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH +054+
1984 1.0 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH XXXXX
1985 3.3 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH +070+
1986 4.5 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH +038+
1987 5.5 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH +027+
1988 -1.1 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH XXXXX
1989 -4.3 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH -018-
1990 -3.5 Jack_Morris_DET PITCH -022-
1991 2.8 Jack_Morris_MIN PITCH +098+
1992 -1.4 Jack_Morris_TOR PITCH -176-
1993 -7.1 Jack_Morris_TOR PITCH -002-
1994 -3.6 Jack_Morris_CLE PITCH -026-
Total 1.2

Highlighted in blue are his top 100 appearances, in red his bottom 100 appearances.  Morris was an up and down pitcher and ended his career almost completely average.   He wouldn’t be ranked by this model and completely out of HOF consideration other than perhaps his longevity and personality.  His worst year was 1993 and best year 1987.

Update: Morris had 7 top 100 years.  If you can count all your best holes on the golf course then perhaps he should be in:-)

Relief pitching has always been, and still is, underrated by all baseball stats.  Fantasy baseball leagues use saves as one of their metrics for winning so closers tend to get most of the glory for what little glory relievers get.  Lee Smith was a closer and IIRC, he was highly valued in Rotisserie leagues because of his role racking up saves.

A player who helps a fantasy baseball team may not help as much on their real team.  Modern baseball stats cater to players who help the their fantasy teams.  Let’s look at Lee Smith’s career according to this data model.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
1980 0.4 Lee_Smith_CHN PITCH XXXXX
1981 0.2 Lee_Smith_CHN PITCH XXXXX
1982 3.3 Lee_Smith_CHN PITCH +079+
1983 5.5 Lee_Smith_CHN PITCH +019+
1984 0.5 Lee_Smith_CHN PITCH XXXXX
1985 2.0 Lee_Smith_CHN PITCH +131+
1986 1.9 Lee_Smith_CHN PITCH +133+
1987 2.4 Lee_Smith_CHN PITCH +111+
1988 2.0 Lee_Smith_BOS PITCH +133+
1989 0.2 Lee_Smith_BOS PITCH XXXXX
1990 0.7 Lee_Smith_BOS PITCH +054+
1990 2.8 Lee_Smith_SLN PITCH +054+
1991 2.8 Lee_Smith_SLN PITCH +100+
1992 1.0 Lee_Smith_SLN PITCH XXXXX
1993 -0.4 Lee_Smith_SLN PITCH XXXXX
1993 0.8 Lee_Smith_NYA PITCH XXXXX
1994 1.2 Lee_Smith_BAL PITCH +198+
1995 1.1 Lee_Smith_ANA PITCH XXXXX
1996 0.6 Lee_Smith_ANA PITCH XXXXX
1996 0.6 Lee_Smith_CIN PITCH XXXXX
1997 -0.7 Lee_Smith_WAS PITCH XXXXX
Total 28.9

According to this data model Lee Smith ranks #488 as of the end of 2017.  That isn’t high enough for HOF but maybe it’s high enough with respect to relief pitching.  He qualifies for longevity at 17 years but had many average unranked years.  HOF is for players who excel.

In the context of relief pitching Smith might be ranked high enough to qualify.  I don’t know.

Of these three picks described above, Harold Baines should be the least controversial.

Top MLB Players for 2016, 2017, 2018

Here is a table dump of the top 25 MLB players according to the accumulated WAA from the last three years.

2018 Rank 3 Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+006+ 23.20 Max_Scherzer_WAS PITCH
+013+ 23.12 Nolan_Arenado_COL 3B
+026+ 21.86 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH
+017+ 21.40 Corey_Kluber_CLE PITCH
+001+ 20.08 Jacob_deGrom_NYN PITCH
+002+ 19.53 J.D._Martinez_BOS DH-LF-RF
+007+ 19.32 Justin_Verlander_HOU PITCH
+010+ 19.00 Mookie_Betts_BOS RF-CF
+011+ 18.52 Chris_Sale_BOS PITCH
+023+ 17.14 Edwin_Encarnacion_CLE DH-1B
+009+ 16.99 Khris_Davis_OAK DH-LF
+037+ 16.51 Giancarlo_Stanton_NYA DH-RF-LF
+092+ 16.09 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
+075+ 15.41 Charlie_Blackmon_COL CF
+044+ 15.16 Mike_Trout_ANA CF-DH
+147+ 14.85 Paul_Goldschmidt_ARI 1B
+027+ 14.68 Bryce_Harper_WAS RF-CF
+076+ 14.24 Nelson_Cruz_SEA DH
+091+ 13.23 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+005+ 12.77 Christian_Yelich_MIL LF-RF-CF
+111+ 12.52 Madison_Bumgarner_SFN PITCH
+070+ 12.07 Aaron_Judge_NYA RF-DH
+016+ 12.03 Jose_Ramirez_CLE 3B-2B
+003+ 11.89 Blake_Snell_TBA PITCH
+032+ 11.80 Anthony_Rendon_WAS 3B

Highlighted are the only two current free agents in the top 25.  Not much more to say except WAR is probably vastly different.  :-)  The above is only last three year split.  Total career rankings will be different.  The snapshot for up to and including 2017 can be found here.

Free Agent Class of 2019

The official MLB site, released a list of the free agent class of 2019.  Let’s run that list through this data model.

There are many ways to sort this list and calculate career numbers.  During the season this model ranks players according to total WAA value for that season.  Number of years can differ among free agents.  It was decided to simply use WAA valuations for the last 3 seasons.   This is a pretty good indicator showing what have you done for me lately.

The below table shows the top 25 free agents sorted by total WAA for their last three year splits.  The first column shows rank for the 2018 season which just concluded.

Top 2019 Free Agents

2018 Rank 3 Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+027+ 14.68 Bryce_Harper_WAS RF-CF
+076+ 14.24 Nelson_Cruz_SEA DH
XXXXX 11.51 Daniel_Murphy_TOT 2B-1B
XXXXX 9.39 Brian_Dozier_TOT 2B
XXXXX 9.37 Josh_Donaldson_TOT 3B-DH
+158+ 9.03 J.A._Happ_TOT PITCH
XXXXX 8.97 Andrew_Miller_CLE PITCH
+083+ 8.27 Manny_Machado_TOT SS-3B
XXXXX 8.02 Zach_Britton_TOT PITCH
XXXXX 7.67 Adrian_Beltre_TEX 3B-DH
+163+ 7.48 Craig_Kimbrel_BOS PITCH
+148+ 6.91 Carlos_Gonzalez_COL RF
XXXXX 6.87 Mark_Reynolds_WAS 1B-3B
XXXXX 6.72 Brad_Brach_TOT PITCH
+135+ 6.72 Matt_Adams_TOT 1B-LF
-093- 6.57 Ervin_Santana_MIN PITCH
XXXXX 6.49 David_Robertson_NYA PITCH
+051+ 6.38 Charlie_Morton_HOU PITCH
+119+ 6.24 Evan_Gattis_HOU DH
+181+ 5.02 Dallas_Keuchel_HOU PITCH
+049+ 4.93 Hyun-Jin_Ryu_LAN PITCH
+199+ 4.60 Jeurys_Familia_TOT PITCH
+154+ 4.47 DJ_LeMahieu_COL 2B
XXXXX 4.45 Gio_Gonzalez_TOT PITCH
+194+ 4.39 Kelvin_Herrera_TOT PITCH

There is a lot more that goes into the calculus of deciding upon a free agent than simple run production.  Daniel Murphy who the Cubs acquired is ranked 3rd above but had a mediocre season according to his 2018 rank.  Does he have anything left in the tank going forward?   Ditto for Josh Donaldson,  Brian Dozier, and Andrew Miller.  This data model cannot predict the future.  The above simply shows a factual representation of how many wins each player contributed to their teams the last three seasons.

And as always, past results don’t affect future results.  They only show capability.  That is all for now.   A Giancarlo Stanton article is forthcoming.   Also working on historical daily simulations to compare them with historical vegas lines and historical Nate Silver predictions.  Until then ….