Category Archives: Minor Leagues

Minor Leagues: Part 4 AA (Correction)

Cubs AAA file got mixed up with their AA file and I didn’t pay enough attention to this when writing Part 1 when I should have.  I discovered it recently when looking up David Bote who somehow had AA stats but didn’t play in AA this season.  Let’s do a revised report on the Tennessee Smokies.

2018 Tennessee Smokies Corrected

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-50.8 13.6 562 583 67 71 16.2 0.1 Tennessee_Smokies_CHN

BAT very under water but pitch slightly above average for the year.  Unearned Runs above average very high at +16.2.  Overall, the team played around average for the season

Top Smokies

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+070+ 2.48 Zach_Hedges_CHN PITCH 0.678
+115+ 2.10 Duncan_Robinson_CHN PITCH 0.572
+168+ 1.66 Dakota_Mekkes_CHN PITCH 0.835
+198+ 1.49 Trevor_Clifton_CHN PITCH 0.618
XXXXX 1.45 Jason_Vosler_CHN BAT 0.599
XXXXX 1.16 James_Norwood_CHN PITCH 0.660
XXXXX 0.88 Trey_Martin_CHN BAT 0.563
XXXXX 0.82 Michael_Rucker_CHN PITCH 0.528
XXXXX 0.69 Craig_Brooks_CHN PITCH 0.603
XXXXX 0.63 Zack_Short_CHN BAT 0.523
XXXXX 0.61 Brad_Markey_CHN PITCH 0.750

Perhaps we’ll see some of the above playing for the MLB Cubs next season at some point.

That is all.  I should have caught this but didn’t and it doesn’t matter now anyway.  The White Sox and top AA players list is correct, only the Cubs file was in error.  World Series reports coming tomorrow and that data flow is pretty solid now after running through many issues of its own.  Until then ….

Minor Leagues Part 3: AAA

This will be the last minor league covered.  AAA consists of two leagues; Pacific Coast League (pcl) and International (int).  More about these leagues can be read here.  Like MLB, this model combines all 30 franchise affiliates from both leagues into one bowl of data soup.  Let’s start with the Cubs affiliate.

Iowa Cubs Team Status

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
7.9 -59.4 556 610 55 59 -0.3 -2.0 Iowa_Cubs_CHN  8/10/2017
-99.8 -10.1 478 592 46 79 0.4 -4.5 Iowa_Cubs_CHN  8/22/2018

The above shows team status for last year’s last snapshot and the one taken today.  A year ago the Cubs were almost 0.500, just 4 games under.  Today they’re -33.  BAT tanked but PITCH actually improved even though it’s still underwater as well.

Top Iowa Cubs

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+081+ 2.50 Kyle_Ryan_CHN PITCH 0.696
+142+ 1.89 Randy_Rosario_CHN PITCH 0.875
+163+ 1.74 Dakota_Mekkes_CHN PITCH 0.787
+169+ 1.70 Dillon_Maples_CHN PITCH 0.705
XXXXX 1.45 Anthony_Bass_CHN PITCH 0.713
XXXXX 1.24 James_Norwood_CHN PITCH 0.842
XXXXX 1.13 Ryan_Court_CHN BAT 0.555
XXXXX 1.13 David_Bote_CHN BAT 0.582
XXXXX 0.92 Michael_Roth_CHN PITCH 0.639
XXXXX 0.82 Mike_Freeman_CHN BAT 0.557
XXXXX 0.82 Jason_Vosler_CHN BAT 0.580

Kyle Ryan has been in MLB since 2014 and came to the Cubs from Detroit.  He pitched well for the Iowa Cubs this season with a rather high Win% rate.   Names in blue have played for the MLB Cubs and we saw Jason Vosler last season  and with the Smokies this season.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+043+ 2.90 Jason_Vosler_CHN BAT 0.625 aa 2017
XXXXX 0.92 Jason_Vosler_CHN BAT 0.603 aa 2018
XXXXX 0.82 Jason_Vosler_CHN BAT 0.580 aaa 2018

Not bad.  Maybe we’ll see him in September call ups.

Charlette Knights  Team Status

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-61.6 -44.6 489 611 46 70 -16.3 0.5 Charlotte_Knights_CHA  8/10/2017
-111.3 21.0 472 553 57 68 8.4 1.0 Charlotte_Knights_CHA  8/22/2018

Since last season BAT tanked while PITCH improved and their W-L record went from -14 to -11, almost the same.  UR way up.   The White Sox had quite the fire sale last season so it is not expected for that talent to percolate up to AAA.  That this team has improved somewhat  means their deals from two years ago may be paying dividends.  We’ll drill down into individual players below.

The above shows the Knights had a dismal UR, a team indicator for fielding as a team, last season which has dramatically improved this season.  The current MLB White Sox have the worst UR amongst all 30 MLB teams at -23.0.  The second worst in MLB is PHI with -12.0 .  It will be interesting to see if the above improvement shows up in the MLB White Sox a year from now when we do this again.  Let’s look at the top players that make up the Knights.

Top Charlette Knights

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+027+ 3.61 Donn_Roach_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
XXXXX -0.17 Jeanmar_Gomez_CHA PITCH mlb 2018
+104+ 2.10 Jeanmar_Gomez_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
XXXXX -0.42 Tyler_Danish_CHA PITCH mlb 2018
+147+ 1.85 Tyler_Danish_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
XXXXX -0.76 Spencer_Adams_CHA PITCH aa 2018
+156+ 1.78 Spencer_Adams_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
-015- -3.55 Dylan_Covey_CHA PITCH mlb 2018
+157+ 1.76 Dylan_Covey_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
XXXXX 0.19 Michael_Kopech_CHA PITCH mlb 2018
+172+ 1.70 Michael_Kopech_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
-037- -2.96 Jordan_Guerrero_CHA PITCH aa 2018
+183+ 1.62 Jordan_Guerrero_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
XXXXX 0.55 Xavier_Cedeno_CHA PITCH mlb 2018
XXXXX 1.53 Xavier_Cedeno_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
+198+ 1.39 Ian_Hamilton_CHA PITCH aa 2018
XXXXX 1.18 Ian_Hamilton_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
+059+ 3.02 Carlos_Rodon_CHA PITCH mlb 2018
XXXXX 0.84 Carlos_Rodon_CHA PITCH aaa 2018
XXXXX 0.42 Aaron_Bummer_CHA PITCH mlb 2018
XXXXX 0.78 Aaron_Bummer_CHA PITCH aaa 2018

Since this is AAA, the top level minor league, players move around a lot.  The above table lists the top Knights according to their AAA value and also shows their value and rank records from other leagues they played for this season.

First thing to notice is all their top players are pitchers — which should be expected with such a high negative BAT in team status.  This means the White Sox’ hopes for next season will rely on some of the above to be able to pitch at MLB level.

The top two guys colored in green are pitching very well at the AAA level but they have been in and out of MLB over the years.  Click on Donn Roach and Jeanmar Gomez to see their career stats from baseball-reference.com.  Donn Roach even pitched in a game for the Cubs and Gomez has been around MLB since 2010 so technically he’s a veteran.

The blue colored names are mlb records.  Interesting that Jordan Guerrero tanked in AA and was promoted to AAA and has pitched well.  There is much more going on in minors than this data model can see.  This model is only a reflection upon past performance.  With September call ups around the corner we may see many of these names on CHA MLB roster soon.  Also, this guy was left out.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos  Win%
+037+ 1.95 Eloy_Jimenez_CHA BAT 0.807 aplus 2017
+037+ 1.74 Eloy_Jimenez_CHN BAT 0.692 aplus 2017
+051+ 2.58 Eloy_Jimenez_CHA BAT 0.717 aa 2018
XXXXX 0.53 Eloy_Jimenez_CHA BAT 0.557 aaa 2018

The above show our snapshot from last season as well.  This model does not compile A level however.   His win% rate shows he excelled in A+ and AA.  He might have started at A level in 2017.  He might be on the MLB team in September and most likely sometime next season depending upon how the White Sox are handling him.

Top AAA

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+001+ 6.28 Tyler_O’Neill_SLN BAT 0.942
+002+ 5.92 Christian_Walker_ARI BAT 0.834
+003+ 5.90 Mike_Tauchman_COL BAT 0.770
+004+ 5.90 Kevin_Cron_ARI BAT 0.794
+005+ 5.86 Jabari_Blash_ANA BAT 0.858
+006+ 5.59 Kyle_Tucker_HOU BAT 0.762
+007+ 5.46 AJ_Reed_HOU BAT 0.713
+008+ 5.35 Cole_Irvin_PHI PITCH 0.661
+009+ 5.33 J.D._Davis_HOU BAT 0.813
+010+ 5.25 Zach_Borenstein_NYN BAT 0.693
+011+ 5.02 Adam_Plutko_CLE PITCH 0.767
+012+ 4.89 Socrates_Brito_ARI BAT 0.713
+013+ 4.60 Franmil_Reyes_SDN BAT 0.853
+014+ 4.58 Enyel_De_Los_Santos_PHI PITCH 0.678
+015+ 4.56 Ryan_Weber_TBA PITCH 0.698
+016+ 4.45 Josh_Fuentes_COL BAT 0.659
+017+ 4.45 Dakota_Hudson_SLN PITCH 0.679
+018+ 4.41 Daniel_Poncedeleon_SLN PITCH 0.716
+019+ 4.28 Brett_Nicholas_SDN BAT 0.699
+020+ 4.18 Peter_Alonso_NYN BAT 0.822
+021+ 4.16 Trevor_Oaks_KCA PITCH 0.658
+022+ 3.99 Kolby_Allard_ATL PITCH 0.664
+023+ 3.88 Jordan_Patterson_COL BAT 0.672
+024+ 3.88 Tyler_White_HOU BAT 0.738
+025+ 3.86 Robert_Stephenson_CIN PITCH 0.654

The above is a name dump based upon  WAA weighting which is the only appropriate way to rank.  Not familiar with any of the above names except Robert Stephenson who, IIRC, pitched against the Cubs this season.  Many of the above could be professional minor league players who can dominate AAA but can’t make it in MLB.

That is all for now and perhaps minor leagues for this season.  A playoff horse race compilation needs to be made before roster expansion and that’s in a few days.  Until then ….

 

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 ….

Minor Leagues Part 1: AA

This is the first of a many part series covering minor leagues.  Focus will be for players on Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.  Baseball Prospectus has a more concise run down on top prospects.  I thought of cross reference data with theirs but that would have to be done manually as this data model gets no data from that site nor does it have code to process it

This series will look at these minors through the lens of this data model only — the exact same model used for MLB players.  In the future it’s possible, and may be necessary, to incorporate more minor league data into this model.  Currently only one minor league snapshot is taken per year and this is it.

It has been a year since we last looked into minor leagues.  I have been reticent about applying this data model to minor leagues because their focus is player development.  The purpose of this model is to assign value to players based upon run production.  Minor league players typically move from league to league making their value more nebulous.  There are probably much better models using advanced play by play metrics that can better determine which players have a chance in MLB.

A player who excels in the minors has no guarantee of surviving the brutality of MLB talent.  Great players, however, should rise to the top of every league but great players are relatively rare.  The vast majority of MLB resides in the muddy middle of talent.  That talent or lack thereof is what either propels a team into the playoffs or relegates them to watching it  on TV like the rest of us.

This model has a specific purpose of accurately reflecting past value — something sorely lacking in modern baseball statistics.   A franchise that has minor league teams that are terrible probably need to look into why and probably have a dearth of talent waiting in the wings for next season. This could be a problem as we saw last season with the dismal season the White Sox were having with all their minor league affiliates.  White Sox were sellers at the trade deadline so we should see some improvement in all their teams.  Not sure what the Cubs have been doing with minor league acquisitions but these next bunch of reports will take a look see into their farm system which may forecast what we should expect in upcoming seasons.

AA has three different divisions, Eastern, Texas, and Southern containing affiliates who  represent all 30 current MLB franchises.   Like this model does with MLB, all divisions in all minor league classes gets lumped together and all players get ranked together.  More info on these minor leagues can be read here , an article written almost 5 years ago now.

The purpose of this data model is to simplify a player down to rank/value (WAA).  If you want to look at tables upon tables of numbers, baseball-reference.com has an excellent informative and easy to navigate site.    This series of articles represents a snapshot for commentary.

So, without further adieu, let’s get started with the Tennessee Smokies, the only  team I follow on Twitter.

Tennessee Smokies CHN

Below are team statuses from the most recent snapshot and the last snapshot taken last season for Cubs AA affiliate.

Update 10/22/2018:  This was the first minor league report and it turns out the CHN AAA file got mistakenly replaced its AA file.  CHN is the only team affected.  I was using it for testing and something got screwed up.  The 2018 numbers for CHN are wrong but all the other teams are correct.  See Part 4 for more clarification.

Team Status

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-44.0 48.2 464 452 62 57 4.7 3.3 Tennessee_Smokies_CHN 8/15/2017
-80.1 -33.8 449 563 43 75 9.4 -9.4 Tennessee_Smokies_CHN 8/16/2018

Last season this team was a respectable +5.  Not first place respectable but still  above average.    Both PITCH and BAT are completely terrible and, although we don’t dwell on standings here, they’re almost the worst affiliate of all 30 franchises in AA class baseball.  If I can subtract W-L in my head correctly that looks like -32.  At least they have a decent UR which indicates good fielding fundamentals so there’s that.

They do, however have a fun promotion department.  Here’s one their baseball promotions.

freebeer

LOL.  Free as in beer is a common meme in reference to  software development like that  used to write this log book.  Note that it lasts only from first pitch until opposing team scores.  Don’t have enough data to run a matchup analysis on this but just looking at the team status fans better drink fast before this promotion ends after whoever they play scores.  :-)

Top Tennessee Smokies

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+144+ 1.70 Randy_Rosario_CHN PITCH 0.853
+156+ 1.62 Kyle_Ryan_CHN PITCH 0.643
+160+ 1.60 Dillon_Maples_CHN PITCH 0.702
+161+ 1.60 Dakota_Mekkes_CHN PITCH 0.788
XXXXX 1.36 David_Bote_CHN BAT 0.599
XXXXX 1.24 Ryan_Court_CHN BAT 0.564
XXXXX 1.24 Anthony_Bass_CHN PITCH 0.701
XXXXX 0.92 Jason_Vosler_CHN BAT 0.603

Many of those players above have already played on the MLB Cubs and they probably are listed on the Iowa Cubs AAA roster as well.  Unlike for our MLB reports, a WinPct rate is shown.  See here for how that’s calculated.  The WAA value stat requires playing time to accumulate and since many minor league players move from league to league they can’t accumulate enough value to gain in rank.  Although many stat heads like to rank on rates like BA, OPS, wRC+ etc. etc. that is inappropriate.  We show it here for context only.  You can’t say since you shot two under par for six holes that means you should shoot 6 under for 18 holes.   In the minors teams want to promote or demote and not wait an entire season so they have to guess based upon rates.  In that case your 6 hole split in golf is all the data they have to make a decision.

Also not sure the dates these Cubs played for this team.  We saw Jason Vosler last season.

Birmingham Barons CHA

Team Status

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-65.6 -20.7 297 395 33 54 -7.6 -3.9 Birmingham_Barons_CHA 7/11/2017
-12.6 -8.9 517 552 57 62 -4.6 -8.9 Birmingham_Barons_CHA 8/16/2018

The White Sox’ AA team has improved since last season.  Let’s have a look see as to their top valued players according to this data model.

Top Birmingham Barons

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+039+ 2.90 Colton_Turner_CHA PITCH 0.835
+051+ 2.58 Eloy_Jimenez_CHA BAT 0.717
+074+ 2.35 Dylan_Cease_CHA PITCH 0.728
+106+ 1.95 Dane_Dunning_CHA PITCH 0.642
+145+ 1.68 Bernardo_Flores_CHA PITCH 0.623
+169+ 1.53 Zach_Thompson_CHA PITCH 0.737
+193+ 1.41 Ryan_Burr_CHA PITCH 0.648
+198+ 1.39 Ian_Hamilton_CHA PITCH 0.747
XXXXX 1.20 Tanner_Banks_CHA PITCH 0.632
XXXXX 1.07 Brandon_Brennan_CHA PITCH 0.576
XXXXX 1.07 Jordan_Stephens_CHA PITCH 0.621
XXXXX 0.92 Seby_Zavala_CHA BAT 0.576

Except for Jimenez who the Cubs traded last season for Jose Quintana, not sure who any of these players are.  Lots of high numbers in the rate column and lots of players in the top 100 and top 200 of this league.  This could be a very good sign for the future of the White Sox.  We’ll see if this improvement holds true in A+ and AAA class minor leagues in subsequent parts to this series.

Top AA players

Below is a table listing the top 25 valued players in AA according to this data model.  Again, ranking in minors is not like ranking in MLB because players move around a lot. A player who plays well at this level is not guaranteed to play well at the next level.  Dominance in a league shows capability for that class level of baseball.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+001+ 5.21 Will_Craig_PIT BAT 0.717
+002+ 4.87 Joey_Curletta_SEA BAT 0.695
+003+ 4.85 Vladimir_Guerrero_TOR BAT 0.850
+004+ 4.68 Jacob_Scavuzzo_LAN BAT 0.797
+005+ 4.58 Cavan_Biggio_TOR BAT 0.687
+006+ 4.47 Zack_Brown_MIL PITCH 0.680
+007+ 4.43 Yordan_Alvarez_HOU BAT 0.948
+008+ 4.43 Taylor_Widener_ARI PITCH 0.667
+009+ 4.18 Peter_Lambert_COL PITCH 0.703
+010+ 4.16 Jose_Rojas_ANA BAT 0.727
+011+ 3.82 Mike_King_NYA PITCH 0.710
+012+ 3.74 Jeff_McNeil_NYN BAT 0.798
+013+ 3.67 Pablo_Lopez_MIA PITCH 0.878
+014+ 3.67 Keegan_Akin_BAL PITCH 0.634
+015+ 3.65 Logan_Allen_SDN PITCH 0.636
+016+ 3.63 Erik_Swanson_NYA PITCH 0.883
+017+ 3.53 Nick_Solak_TBA BAT 0.634
+018+ 3.53 Caleb_Frare_NYA PITCH 0.864
+019+ 3.44 Jamie_Westbrook_ARI BAT 0.649
+020+ 3.42 Ty_France_SDN BAT 0.637
+021+ 3.32 Matt_Hall_DET PITCH 0.762
+022+ 3.32 Will_Smith_LAN BAT 0.708
+023+ 3.30 Austen_Williams_WAS PITCH 0.787
+024+ 3.28 Lane_Thomas_SLN BAT 0.645
+025+ 3.21 Jesus_Luzardo_OAK PITCH 0.684

Not sure who any of these players are either.  Pretty sure many of them are in a top  prospect list like this.

Top 5 AA Teams

The following are the top 5 teams based upon seasonal run differential.  In MLB, late in the season, run differential does not matter as much as current roster value.  We don’t follow minors day to day nor have current rosters nor care who wins or loses.  The following tables merely sorts on the sum of BAT+PITCH which is derived from team run differential.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
63.4 66.1 601 462 74 46 10.4 -0.9 Corpus_Christi_Hooks_HOU
41.4 70.3 579 484 67 52 -15.6 -0.9 Akron_RubberDucks_CLE
73.4 16.1 609 502 67 53 20.4 -2.9 Montgomery_Biscuits_TBA
58.4 13.3 599 526 67 49 -0.6 2.1 New_Hampshire_Fisher_Cats_TOR
6.9 59.3 547 473 66 53 6.4 1.6 San_Antonio_Missions_SDN

Houston has a pretty solid AA team to go with their pretty solid MLB team which won a World Series last season.  They have a decent shot at winning another one this year.  They must be doing something right in Houston. Below shows top AA players for HOU .

Corpus Christi Hooks HOU.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+007+ 4.43 Yordan_Alvarez_HOU BAT 0.948
+026+ 3.17 Cionel_Perez_HOU PITCH 0.709
+032+ 3.02 Ryan_Hartman_HOU PITCH 0.629
+041+ 2.88 Taylor_Jones_HOU BAT 0.667
+047+ 2.67 Carmen_Benedetti_HOU BAT 0.691
+070+ 2.37 Corbin_Martin_HOU PITCH 0.623
+094+ 2.08 Lorenzo_Quintana_HOU BAT 0.669

Seven guys in top 100, twice the average for 30 teams wtih very high WinPct rates.

Bottom 5 AA Teams

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-23.6 -121.8 509 649 52 69 11.4 -5.9 Frisco_RoughRiders_TEX
-80.1 -33.8 449 563 43 75 9.4 -9.4 Tennessee_Smokies_CHN
-61.6 -44.9 479 563 54 63 20.4 2.1 Hartford_Yard_Goats_COL
-78.6 -22.7 461 565 47 70 -3.6 1.1 Jacksonville_Jumbo_Shrimp_MIA
20.9 -85.8 564 620 58 62 4.4 4.6 Northwest_Arkansas_Naturals_KCA

There are all kinds of ways to sort this list. The number of runs scored and runs scored against are related to a team’s wins and losses and reflect upon the value of talent playing throughout the entire season — not necessarily who is on their current roster.

Update 10/22/2018:  Part 4 shows the Smokies aren’t as bad as above.  The Iowa Cubs were  however.  :-)

Only looking at the above tables, it appears the Cubs may be running out of minor league talent. Hopefully guys in A+ can rectify that situation next season. In Part 2 of this series we’ll go down one level and look at the Cubs and White Sox A+ team and more name dumps. Until then ….

Jen-Ho Tseng

Here is what we said during a Tennessee Smokies status report on Aug 16.

Jen Ho Tseng went from aa to aaa and is pitching well for Iowa right now.  We’ll see if the MLB Cubs try him out in September.

And tonight he starts in Wrigley Field against the Mets.  What does the Ouija Board think of this?

DATE 09_14 8:05_PM NYN CHN
LINEAWAY NYN [ 0.357 ] < 0.312 >
STARTAWAY -0.46(0.475) Seth_Lugo_NYN
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.683 ] < 0.722 >
STARTHOME 0.00(NA) Jen-Ho_Tseng_CHN

Cubs have an expected probability of 0.72.  According to our deltaWAA table  the Cubs should be at 0.65 so there are other factors involved pushing the line more towards the Cubs.  The NA in parenthesis means we have no MLB stats on Jen-Ho Tseng and we can’t use AAA or AA stats which were good.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos  Win%
+096+ 2.12 Jen-Ho_Tseng_CHN PITCH 0.606 aa
+169+ 1.68 Jen-Ho_Tseng_CHN PITCH 0.752 aaa

In the minors we add Win% showing the rate.  Jen-Ho Tseng split the season in AA and AAA and still made top 200 in both leagues.  The rate shows he played even better in Iowa.  The above is data from our August 16 report.

Good luck to Tseng tonight.  The Cubs will need more good pitchers next season.   You can’t have too many pitchers.