Category Archives: Minor Leagues

Tim Tebow Retires From Baseball

Determined to continue as a professional athlete, Tebow signed with the Mets in the fall of 2016. To Tebow’s credit, he reached the Triple-A level with the organization in 2019. However, he struggled to a .163/.240/.255 line with four home runs in 264 plate appearances there. Tebow ultimately put up a .223/.299/.338 line with 18 HRs in 1,048 trips to the plate in the minors.

Source: Tim Tebow Retires From Baseball – MLB Trade Rumors

This caught my eye because I had no idea Tim Tebow was playing prefessional baseball.  He didn’t show up on any MLB roster after a quick search using the career tab on  Entering his name into the minor league box produced some results.

Tim Tebow Minor and MLB Career

Year Rank WAA TeamID Pos Win% League Age
2017 XXXXX -0.27 NYN BAT 0.481 a 29
2017 XXXXX -0.08 NYN BAT 0.493 aplus 29
2018 XXXXX 0.06 NYN BAT 0.503 aa 30
2019 -057- -3.28 NYN BAT 0.286 aaa 31

If he played a single game in MLB that record would show up here.  In 2019 at age 31 he was ranked #57 in the bottom 200 at AAA level which is very bad.  He did OK at an almost completely average pace in 2017 and 2018.  Playing average at those levels does not bode well for a player expecting to make it onto an MLB team at some point.

Had there been normal baseball in 2020 with a minor league season he might have figured out triple-a but probably not.  Based on his 2019 numbers  the Mets don’t want to waste time on him.  He could have tried out in Japan or Korea, countries that played pro baseball in 2020, but he probably wouldn’t make those squads either based on his 2019 results.

Apparently there might be a normal baseball season this year.  Since the local bars around here are stuck with Comcast us north side Cubs fans will probably be stuck watching the White Sox with our $3 PBR pints.  Still can follow the Cubs on MLB gameday but that’s not as much fun.  White Sox look to have a good team this year so this blog will be covering them too.

The Baseball Handbook site will be undergoing a major reorg as I’m learning about canonical links and SEO.  Since there are so many crisscrossed  linked pages on that site there needs to be order to the madness.  Some D3.js player and team graphs are up as well as more accurate historical rosters.  Many database and coding errors were discovered in the process of generating these graphs.  This will make the the Tier Combo simulator more accurate as it relies on historical results to generate an expected probability.

Much more to come this year.  Until then ….

5 storylines to follow the remainder of the Iowa Cubs season

Iowa hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2008. But that could change this season. Iowa finished the first half of the season with a 52-38 mark, tops in the Pacific Coast League’s American Northern Division. It owns a 10-game lead over the second place Omaha Storm Chasers.

Source: 5 storylines to follow the remainder of the Iowa Cubs season

Our analysis of this Iowa Cubs team here.

2019 Minor Leagues — A+

In the final part of this 2019 Minor Leagues series we’ll cover A+ ball which is one level below AA and a half level above A.  Although it’s possible to go farther down into A and across the ocean into Japanese and Korean baseball it’s too cumbersome and most players end up in A+, AA, or AAA before playing in MLB anyway.

This model only calculates value on a per season basis.  There is a lot more involved in player development than simple value but if a player can’t dominate a minor league he probably won’t make it in MLB.

This post will cover Cubs and White Sox A+ team.  The White Sox have been sellers the last bunch of years so their players should be percolating up through their system.

The A+ class of players includes all 30 affiliates split into three leagues; Carolina, Florida, and California as described here.

Myrtle_Beach_Pelicans_car Team Status

-39.8 -58.6 293 381 27 52 12.6 -2.0 Myrtle_Beach_Pelicans_car_aplus_CHN

The Cubs A+ affiliate, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, having a terrible season both in wins/losses and BAT/PITCH.  This probably does not bode well for prospects.  Let’s look at their top players.

Top Myrtle_Beach_Pelicans_car Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct Age
XXXXX 0.97 Ben_Hecht_CHN PITCH 0.625 24
XXXXX 0.90 Oscar_De_La_Cruz_CHN PITCH 0.770 24
XXXXX 0.71 Jesus_Camargo_CHN PITCH 0.573 23
XXXXX 0.63 Cam_Balego_CHN BAT 0.549 24
XXXXX 0.55 Ryan_Lawlor_CHN PITCH 0.686 25
XXXXX 0.53 Javier_Assad_CHN PITCH 0.535 21
XXXXX 0.53 Garrett_Kelly_CHN PITCH 0.633 24
XXXXX 0.40 Miguel_Amaya_CHN BAT 0.531 20
XXXXX 0.27 Enrique_De_Los_Rios_CHN PITCH NA 24
XXXXX 0.27 Jeffrey_Passantino_CHN PITCH NA 23

Nobody is ranked although there are a couple of high Win% listed.  There are a lot of negative players on this team causing all the losses.  There is no point in showing the bottom of this list.

Winston-Salem_Dash_car Team Status

18.2 13.2 358 326 42 34 -4.4 5.0 Winston-Salem_Dash_car_aplus_CHA

The White Sox A+ affiliate, Winston-Salem Dash, having a pretty good season so far to go along with their very interesting name.  What is a Dash BTW?  Both White Sox and Cubs affiliates in the same Carolina A+ league.

Top Winston-Salem_Dash_car Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct Age
+016+ 2.75 Luis_Robert_CHA BAT 0.971 21
+087+ 1.72 JJ_Muno_CHA BAT 0.719 25
+101+ 1.57 Will_Kincanon_CHA PITCH 0.728 23
+128+ 1.39 Kyle_Kubat_CHA PITCH 0.784 26
XXXXX 1.24 Kade_McClure_CHA PITCH 0.688 23
XXXXX 1.11 Zach_Remillard_CHA BAT 0.571 25
XXXXX 1.03 Luis_Ledo_CHA PITCH 0.656 24
XXXXX 0.97 Codi_Heuer_CHA PITCH 0.614 22
XXXXX 0.92 Craig_Dedelow_CHA BAT 0.559 24
XXXXX 0.88 Blake_Battenfield_CHA PITCH 0.613 24

Not sure who any of these players are but Luis Robert is tearing up A+.  His batting average is 0.453 right now.   Players in A+ rarely get brought up to their MLB team unless maybe for September call ups.  White Sox fans may see many of the above players next year or the year after that.

Top 25 A+ Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct Age
+001+ 6.59 Luis_Castro_COL BAT 0.878 23
+002+ 4.35 MacKenzie_Gore_SDN PITCH 0.771 20
+003+ 3.86 Devin_Mann_LAN BAT 0.730 22
+004+ 3.78 Jeter_Downs_LAN BAT 0.723 20
+005+ 3.51 Donovan_Casey_LAN BAT 0.711 23
+006+ 3.42 Sean_Bouchard_COL BAT 0.730 23
+007+ 3.32 Alex_Fagalde_SLN PITCH 0.707 25
+008+ 3.28 Aldrem_Corredor_WAS BAT 0.689 23
+009+ 3.04 Todd_Czinege_COL BAT 0.730 24
+010+ 3.02 Cody_Bolton_PIT PITCH 0.720 21
+011+ 3.00 Casey_Golden_COL BAT 0.734 24
+012+ 2.92 Tommy_Romero_TBA PITCH 0.694 21
+013+ 2.88 Miguel_Yajure_NYA PITCH 0.668 21
+014+ 2.88 Mario_Feliciano_MIL BAT 0.678 20
+015+ 2.86 Damon_Jones_PHI PITCH 0.721 24
+016+ 2.75 Luis_Robert_CHA BAT 0.971 21
+017+ 2.71 Josh_Green_ARI PITCH 0.682 23
+018+ 2.71 Seth_Beer_HOU BAT 0.842 22
+019+ 2.67 Joey_Murray_TOR PITCH 0.734 22
+020+ 2.65 Ryan_Dorow_TEX BAT 0.670 23
+021+ 2.58 Graham_Spraker_TOR PITCH 0.694 24
+022+ 2.58 Dylan_Busby_PIT BAT 0.674 23
+023+ 2.56 Edward_Cabrera_MIA PITCH 0.699 21
+024+ 2.56 Bryan_Mata_BOS PITCH 0.725 20
+025+ 2.56 Jake_Adams_HOU BAT 0.677 23

I don’t know any of these players and there are no Cubs in top 25 in this class of baseball.  All the above players are very young looking at the age columns and all of them will probably be in AA next season or even this season.

That is all for minor leagues this season.  An end of season minor league update might be made in the off season when there is nothing else to post about.  Until then ….

2019 Minor Leagues — AA

This part will focus on the AA minor league.  As always this model compiles data from all AA class players which include  30 MLB affiliates from Southern League, Texas League, and Eastern league as described here.  All AA class players are thrown into one soup bowls and ranked together, batters and pitcher, exactly how it’s done for MLB and any other league.

Players can only be compared to players of the same class.  This means stats from AAA league cannot be combined with stats from AA or A league or MLB league.

This model takes two minor league snapshots, one at halftime (now) and one after season is over for historical purposes.  This report will cover the Cubs and White Sox because — just because ….

Tennessee_Smokies Team Status

6.3 -40.2 336 378 38 43 -4.3 -3.9 Tennessee_Smokies_sl_aa_CHN

This is an old form team status record showing the run differential used to calculate BAT and PITCH.  It shows PITCH is very under water, BAT slightly above water, and slightly below  Unearned Runs above average (UR).

Top Tennessee_Smokies Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct Age
+032+ 2.31 Tyson_Miller_CHN PITCH 0.618 23
+054+ 1.95 Robel_Garcia_CHN BAT 0.907 26
+064+ 1.89 Craig_Brooks_CHN PITCH 0.790 26
+132+ 1.26 Wyatt_Short_CHN PITCH 0.665 24
XXXXX 0.99 Connor_Myers_CHN BAT 0.586 25
XXXXX 0.84 Roberto_Caro_CHN BAT 0.555 25
XXXXX 0.84 Vimael_Machin_CHN BAT 0.561 25
XXXXX 0.69 Jesse_Hodges_CHN BAT 0.599 25
XXXXX 0.67 P.J._Higgins_CHN BAT 0.546 26
XXXXX 0.61 Jared_Young_CHN BAT 0.540 23

WinPct and Age are necessary for minor league reports to show context to the WAA value.  Players move around and sometimes there are players who spend most their career in minor leagues who never could make it in MLB.   The Age column helps determine those players.

This model never sorts on rates unlike what occurs in much of Sabermetrics..  You can’t say a car traveling 65 mph traveled farther than the car traveling 55 mph because you’re missing an important component to the equation — time.   Baseball stats are frequently used by sports announcers and others to deceive by cherry picking favorable time intervals using rates ( hello OPS/OPS+  ) to justify some narrative.  But I digress …. The WinPct rate is included in these minor league tables for informational purposes only.

Can’t comment on any of these players except Robel Garcia who just got called up to the MLB Cubs and hit a couple of home runs already.  His 0.907 rate is quite exceptional.   He’ll show up on our radar the rest of the season and hopefully for a long time in the future.

Birmingham_Barons Team Status

-13.7 -31.0 314 367 35 46 -2.3 -5.9 Birmingham_Barons_sl_aa_CHA

White Sox’ AA team also having a bad year.  Both BAT and PITCH under water.  LR is lucky runs, runs scored without anyone receiving an RBI, like from a balk or wild pitch.  They’re called lucky because it takes no skill from the team that benefits from such tomfoolery but those runs still count when determining who wins a game.

Unlike UR, there is absolutely nothing a team can do to improve Lucky Runs which is why they’re now left out of the MLB team status record.  They’re included in the long form because it’s symmetrical with UR.  LR is part of the BAT books, UR is part of the PITCH books.  All books must balance in this data model; every run must be accounted for.

Top Birmingham_Barons Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct Age
+059+ 1.93 Gavin_Sheets_CHA BAT 0.619 23
+090+ 1.57 Luis_Robert_CHA BAT 0.633 21
+091+ 1.55 Kyle_Kubat_CHA PITCH 0.644 26
+106+ 1.45 Danny_Dopico_CHA PITCH 0.673 25
XXXXX 1.05 Hunter_Schryver_CHA PITCH 0.611 24
XXXXX 0.86 Matt_Foster_CHA PITCH NA 24
XXXXX 0.84 Nick_Madrigal_CHA BAT 0.677 22
XXXXX 0.69 Bernardo_Flores_Jr._CHA PITCH 0.562 23
XXXXX 0.59 Tanner_Banks_CHA PITCH 0.540 27
XXXXX 0.40 Matt_Tomshaw_CHA PITCH 0.551 30

Can’t comment on any of these players because don’t know who they are.  The rankings and WinPct are commentary enough.  Notice that there are a lot of pitchers in Barons’ top ten which doesn’t jive with the very below average PITCH in their team status.   BAT and PITCH are derived from run differential which is a seasonal stat.  Minor league teams are in much more flux than MLB teams and the above shows top ten, not the complete set of players who played this season.  High negative value comes off the books when a player leaves a team and new guys to a league  start out at WAA=0.

Top 25 AA Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct Age
+001+ 3.97 Ibandel_Isabel_CIN BAT 0.797 24
+002+ 3.91 Edward_Olivares_SDN BAT 0.732 23
+003+ 3.84 Mitch_Nay_CIN BAT 0.834 25
+004+ 3.72 Gabriel_Cancel_KCA BAT 0.747 22
+005+ 3.67 Anthony_Kay_NYN PITCH 0.749 24
+006+ 3.34 Jake_Fraley_SEA BAT 0.748 24
+007+ 3.32 Dylan_Carlson_SLN BAT 0.694 20
+008+ 3.32 Abraham_Toro_HOU BAT 0.698 22
+009+ 3.17 Cody_Thomas_LAN BAT 0.704 24
+010+ 3.15 Casey_Mize_DET PITCH 0.773 22
+011+ 3.13 Hunter_Owen_PIT BAT 0.726 25
+012+ 3.11 Tucker_Davidson_ATL PITCH 0.682 23
+013+ 3.09 Dairon_Blanco_OAK BAT 0.705 26
+014+ 2.98 Rico_Garcia_COL PITCH 0.697 25
+015+ 2.96 Griffin_Jax_MIN PITCH 0.706 24
+016+ 2.86 Trey_Supak_MIL PITCH 0.633 23
+017+ 2.83 Beau_Sulser_PIT PITCH 0.748 25
+018+ 2.77 Alex_Wells_BAL PITCH 0.667 22
+019+ 2.73 Cody_Poteet_MIA PITCH 0.646 24
+020+ 2.69 Sam_McWilliams_TBA PITCH 0.650 23
+021+ 2.67 Darick_Hall_PHI BAT 0.664 23
+022+ 2.62 Alexander_Guillen_COL PITCH 0.764 23
+023+ 2.58 Heath_Holder_COL PITCH 0.737 26
+024+ 2.56 Pedro_Vasquez_PIT PITCH 0.655 23
+025+ 2.46 Matt_Manning_DET PITCH 0.628 21

These are the top 25 in AA class baseball which encompasse Southern, Texas, and Eastern leagues.  This model does not project prospect value. The above only shows the number of wins they brought their respective teams this season. The above top 25 dominated AA class baseball this season.

Note: In the off WordPress site it will be possible to click on any player above to see his entire career across all 4 leagues covered here; A+ , AA, AAA, and MLB.

All Star break now and there’s one more minor league, A+ , to cover.  Simulation reboot still a work in progress.  That will unfold second half of this season until the playoffs.

The Playoff Horse Race does not look that much different than Part 4 of that series so no need to publish another one of those for a couple of weeks.  A baseball season is a marathon and most teams move either up, down, or sideways at a glacial pace.

That is all for not.  Until then ….

2019 Minor Leagues — AAA

Two snapshots of minors are taken, one halfway through the season and the second at the end of  season which is around September sometime.  This three part series will cover AAA , AA, and A+ minor leagues.  AAA is the highest where many players get moved up and down from MLB.  AA is next and A+ last.  Japanese and other leagues are not covered for simplicity reasons as most MLB players will at some point end up in one of the three league covered here.

The first part to this series will cover AAA.  Both Cubs and White Sox teams will be shown as well as the top 25 players ranked according to this data model.

Iowa Cubs Team Status

-24.3 84.7 430 374 48 36 -2.0 -2.3 Iowa_Cubs_pcl_aaa_CHN

This is the old form team status table showing runs scored (Rs) , Runs Scored Against (Ra) and LR (Lucky Runs).  Lucky runs are those scored where no one got an RBI.  They are irrelevant but included for symmetry with UR (Unearned Runs above average) which is relevant.

The above shows Iowa has had pretty good pitching so far this season but batting suffered.  They also have a winning record with a team WAA of 48-36= +8.  Let’s drill down to their top players.

Top Iowa Cubs Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct Age
+014+ 3.88 Colin_Rea_CHN PITCH 0.698 28
+109+ 1.95 Rowan_Wick_CHN PITCH 0.810 26
+145+ 1.62 Jim_Adduci_CHN BAT 0.635 34
+153+ 1.57 Matt_Carasiti_CHN PITCH 0.762 27
+154+ 1.55 Adbert_Alzolay_CHN PITCH 0.718 24
+164+ 1.51 Dakota_Mekkes_CHN PITCH 0.727 24
+185+ 1.41 Tim_Collins_CHN PITCH 0.813 29
+195+ 1.36 Randy_Rosario_CHN PITCH 0.806 25
XXXXX 1.28 Robel_Garcia_CHN BAT 0.625 26
XXXXX 0.84 Addison_Russell_CHN BAT 0.788 25
XXXXX 0.82 Alec_Mills_CHN PITCH 0.551 27

Nine out of  these guys are ranked in top 200 of AAA which includes all 30 MLB franchise affiliates in both PCL and International leagues.  This model treats the entire class of AAA equally like it treats both AL and NL in MLB equally.

Minor league ranks are not that important since players frequently move from league to league throughout the season.  Minor league records displayed here include a WinPct calculated from WAA and PA or IP as described in this post. A WinPct greater than 0.500 is above average, above 0.600 good, and above 0.700 very good.

Age is also important for minor league players.  At age 36, Jim Adduci has been a professional minor leaguer but his bat has been instrumental to the Iowa Cubs’ winning record this year.

Colin Rea started in 2013 and didn’t play well during his MLB career.   Good numbers in minors don’t necessarily translate into good numbers in MLB.  This model merely shows the past and what these players did this season.   Alzolay for example came up to the MLB Cubs and got shelled.  The above shows he dominated AAA but MLB is so much more difficult.

Note that the 0.788 WinPct for Addison Russell showed he dominated his time in AAA before coming up to the MLB team.

There is a lot more that goes into scouting players which is outside the scope of this data model.  Let’s continue on to the White Sox.

Charlotte Knights Team Status

14.2 -13.2 471 464 46 37 6.0 0.2 Charlotte_Knights_int_aaa_CHA

The Knights have a winning record ( +9 ) and decent UR.  BAT slightly above water and the opposite for PITCH.  Based on Pythagorean Expectation they should be around even steven for the year so they must be doing something right to exceed that.

Top Charlotte Knights Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct Age
+144+ 1.64 Dylan_Covey_CHA PITCH 0.864 27
+148+ 1.60 Daniel_Palka_CHA BAT 0.616 27
+173+ 1.47 Matt_Skole_CHA BAT 0.595 29
+175+ 1.47 Zack_Collins_CHA BAT 0.637 24
+176+ 1.47 Odrisamer_Despaigne_CHA PITCH 0.848 32
+199+ 1.34 Jimmy_Cordero_CHA PITCH 0.975 27
XXXXX 1.32 Seby_Zavala_CHA BAT 0.639 25
XXXXX 1.26 Ross_Detwiler_CHA PITCH 0.632 33
XXXXX 1.22 Connor_Walsh_CHA PITCH 0.750 26
XXXXX 1.22 Evan_Marshall_CHA PITCH NA 29
XXXXX 1.20 Dylan_Cease_CHA PITCH 0.579 23

Dylan Cease just had his MLB debut and Evan Marshall is also on the MLB team now.  Don’t follow the White Sox so don’t know any other player above.

Top 25 AAA Players

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct Age
+001+ 7.22 Zac_Gallen_MIA PITCH 0.856 23
+002+ 6.93 Kevin_Cron_ARI BAT 0.940 26
+003+ 5.71 Ty_France_SDN BAT 0,945 24
+004+ 5.50 Yordan_Alvarez_HOU BAT 0.917 22
+005+ 4.51 Elieser_Hernandez_MIA PITCH 0.923 24
+006+ 4.45 Hector_Noesi_MIA PITCH 0.704 32
+007+ 4.16 Seth_Brown_OAK BAT 0.768 26
+008+ 4.03 Wyatt_Mathisen_ARI BAT 0.765 25
+009+ 4.03 Trevor_Kelley_BOS PITCH 0.981 25
+010+ 3.99 Mitch_Keller_PIT PITCH 0.755 23
+011+ 3.99 Cole_Irvin_PHI PITCH 0.813 25
+012+ 3.95 Jake_Woodford_SLN PITCH 0.690 22
+013+ 3.91 Aaron_Wilkerson_MIL PITCH 0.850 30
+014+ 3.88 Colin_Rea_CHN PITCH 0.698 28
+015+ 3.84 Jarrett_Parker_ANA BAT 0.764 30
+016+ 3.72 Jose_Rojas_ANA BAT 0.720 26
+017+ 3.67 Sam_Hilliard_COL BAT 0.700 25
+018+ 3.63 Sheldon_Neuse_OAK BAT 0.707 24
+019+ 3.61 Carter_Kieboom_WAS BAT 0.743 21
+020+ 3.57 Burch_Smith_MIL PITCH 0.760 29
+021+ 3.57 Roberto_Ramos_COL BAT 0.732 24
+022+ 3.57 Jose_Pirela_SDN BAT 0.892 29
+023+ 3.53 Kyle_Tucker_HOU BAT 0.704 22
+024+ 3.46 Skye_Bolt_OAK BAT 0.802 25
+025+ 3.30 Andres_Machado_KCA PITCH 0.807 26

I don’t know any of these players so can’t comment.  The numbers speak for themselves.  There are some extremely high WinPct here and as always, just because a player dominates AAA does not mean they can even make in MLB.  Even Javier Baez struggled his first couple of MLB seasons.

That is all for AAA league.  AA is next and then Aplus and then … All Star break.  Until then ….