Tag Archives: AAA

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.

2013 PCL rankings

This post will show the top ten players with the highest WAA in the Pacific Coast AAA League. WAAs were calculated using this league’s averages for 2013 and the WAA show players playing the most above average. Theoretically the top ten is the cream of the crop but mathematics can only show what was and can’t predict the future. Above average AAA players usually never make it in the majors and finding a superstar in these minor leagues is like searching for a needle in a haystack. The superstars will emerge with the highest WAAs but they will get moved to the majors very quickly. Most above average minor league players spend their careers in minor leagues. The next part of this post will display career tables for the top 5 to provide a glimpse int  how  talent varies from year to year.

Top ten PCL players in 2013

Here are the PCL rankings for 2013.

Rank WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1 6.7 0.303 0.363 518 100 84 Nick_Buss_Albuquerque_Isotopes_LAN_pcl BAT
2 6.0 0.344 0.379 298 79 48 Brett_Pill_Fresno_Grizzlies_SFN_pcl BAT
3 5.3 0.330 0.359 575 81 104 Chris_Owings_Reno_Aces_ARI_pcl BAT
4 5.2 138.0 2.80 23 6 11 Brian_Flynn_New_Orleans_Zephyrs_MIA_pcl PITCH
5 5.0 0.306 0.351 480 89 74 Ryan_Wheeler_Colorado_Springs_Sky_Sox_COL_pcl BAT
6 5.0 0.321 0.357 463 86 69 Wilmer_Flores_Las_Vegas_51s_NYN_pcl BAT
7 4.4 0.348 0.479 263 48 55 Scott_Van_Slyke_Albuquerque_Isotopes_LAN_pcl BAT
8 4.2 0.302 0.390 600 89 90 Michael_Choice_Sacramento_River_Cats_OAK_pcl BAT

Nick Buss Career

Leagues lower than AA are not pulled in for years preceding 2013. LA brought Buss in September where he had 20 plate appearances. He didn’t do so well but 20 PAs is not enough data to make any judgment.

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
2012 0.9 0.272 0.328 558 57 70 Nick_Buss_Chattanooga_Lookouts_LAN_sl BAT
2013 6.7 0.303 0.363 518 100 84 Nick_Buss_Albuquerque_Isotopes_LAN_pcl BAT
2013 -0.5 0.105 0.150 20 0 0 Nick_Buss_LAN BAT

Brett Pill

Brett has been brought up for the last three years.  He posted an above average WAA=0.4 in 2013 for the Giants with 114 PAs which makes him an above average MLB player.

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
2010 0.2 0.275 0.319 567 84 63 Brett_Pill_Fresno_Grizzlies_SFN_pcl BAT
2011 3.3 0.312 0.341 576 107 82 Brett_Pill_Fresno_Grizzlies_SFN_pcl BAT
2011 0.5 0.300 0.321 53 9 7 Brett_Pill_SFN BAT
2012 1.4 0.285 0.336 268 45 35 Brett_Pill_Fresno_Grizzlies_SFN_pcl BAT
2012 -0.5 0.210 0.265 114 11 10 Brett_Pill_SFN BAT
2013 6.0 0.344 0.379 298 79 48 Brett_Pill_Fresno_Grizzlies_SFN_pcl BAT
2013 0.4 0.224 0.272 92 12 11 Brett_Pill_SFN BAT

Chris Owing

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
2012 -0.6 0.263 0.291 310 28 35 Chris_Owings_Mobile_Bay_Bears_ARI_sl BAT
2013 5.3 0.330 0.359 575 81 104 Chris_Owings_Reno_Aces_ARI_pcl BAT
2013 -0.3 0.291 0.361 61 5 5 Chris_Owings_ARI BAT

Brian Flynn

Looks like Brian got shelled this year when he came up for the Marlins.  They also promoted him from the AA Southern League to AAA PCL this year.

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
2012 -0.6 5.0 9.00 1 0 1 Brian_Flynn_Erie_SeaWolves_DET_east PITCH
2012 0.7 102.0 3.71 18 8 4 Brian_Flynn_Lakeland_Flying_Tigers_DET_fla PITCH
2012 0.0 45.0 3.80 8 3 0 Brian_Flynn_Jacksonville_Suns_MIA_sl PITCH
2013 1.2 23.0 1.57 4 1 1 Brian_Flynn_Jacksonville_Suns_MIA_sl PITCH
2013 5.2 138.0 2.80 23 6 11 Brian_Flynn_New_Orleans_Zephyrs_MIA_pcl PITCH
2013 -2.0 18.0 8.50 4 0 2 Brian_Flynn_MIA PITCH

Ryan Wheeler

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
2010 0.1 0.254 0.315 73 10 8 Ryan_Wheeler_Mobile_Bay_Bears_ARI_sl BAT
2011 3.7 0.294 0.358 531 89 69 Ryan_Wheeler_Mobile_Bay_Bears_ARI_sl BAT
2012 5.2 0.351 0.388 399 90 56 Ryan_Wheeler_Reno_Aces_ARI_pcl BAT
2012 -0.6 0.239 0.294 119 10 11 Ryan_Wheeler_ARI BAT
2013 5.0 0.306 0.351 480 89 74 Ryan_Wheeler_Colorado_Springs_Sky_Sox_COL_pcl BAT
2013 -0.1 0.220 0.238 42 7 1 Ryan_Wheeler_COL BAT

Conclusion

As can be seen from above, it is very hard for even above average players to move up from minor league to MLB and be successful. Most likely there are diamonds in the rough in this PCL lower down in these rankings. WAA provides a one shot glance at evaluating performance. Dumping career tables into these posts is tedious. I will soon have click through ranking page for each league so you can view the career of any player in the minors through the lens of this data model. The purpose of this post was to illustrate the top players in PCL. Next post will cover International AAA and then we’ll dive into various teams’ systems. Perennial winners like the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals always seem to grow new talent so it will be interesting to see what they have in their systems.

Introduction to Minor League Analysis Part 1

This post will introduce the relevant minor leagues used in my data model.  A somewhat complete listing of leagues for 2013 can be found here at baseball-reference. There are quite a few leagues. This blog will focus only on AAA, AA, Adv-A, and some A leagues. AAA is the most advanced, then AA, then Adv-A, and finally A. AAA has a Mexican league which won’t be analyzed yet because that league has no MLB affiliates. We want to be able to get a look into various affiliate’s farm systems and not become overwhelmed.

First let’s introduce the leagues and their teams. The following tables use the format of this data model. These tables will provide an idea as to what affiliate’s belong to which league and you can get an idea as to how good that team is with respect to batting (1st column) and pitching (2nd column). This can provide a glimpse into what kind of players each MLB team is farming from a macro perspective. I’ll get into more detailed explanation of these tables in a future posting. All results in these tables are from the 2013 season.

AAA

First let’s look at AAA. There are two relevant leagues with affiliates in AAA; Pacific Coast League (pcl) and International League (int).  There are 16 teams in pcl and 14 teams in int accounting for all 30 MLB teams.  Affiliates will be using the 3 letter franchise key used throughout this site.

Pacific Coast League

BAT PITCH R RA W L UR LR Team Name
125.3 -31.9 828 728 81 63 -4.2 7.8 Las_Vegas_51s_NYN
112.0 -141.3 809 832 78 66 -0.2 2.2 Salt_Lake_Bees_ANA
75.8 15.1 773 683 79 65 -6.2 2.2 Sacramento_River_Cats_OAK
62.3 -28.8 762 711 76 68 9.8 4.8 Tacoma_Rainiers_SEA
57.8 -92.9 757 793 60 84 -8.2 4.2 Reno_Aces_ARI
54.4 -112.7 747 836 67 76 -32.2 -2.2 Colorado_Springs_Sky_Sox_COL
50.1 51.4 746 638 76 68 2.8 1.2 Albuquerque_Isotopes_LAN
25.3 -17.2 723 703 77 67 6.8 2.8 Tucson_Padres_SDN
-10.2 45.1 686 639 73 71 7.8 1.2 Round_Rock_Express_TEX
-26.2 31.4 677 645 82 62 14.8 8.2 Oklahoma_City_RedHawks_HOU
-29.1 -36.9 656 725 68 75 3.8 -9.8 Fresno_Grizzlies_SFN
-53.7 70.0 634 611 69 75 9.8 -7.2 Memphis_Redbirds_SLN
-72.7 73.8 621 622 70 74 -3.2 -1.2 Omaha_Storm_Chasers_KCA
-101.2 -9.9 589 717 57 87 -15.2 -4.8 Nashville_Sounds_MIL
-121.2 19.7 565 658 66 78 13.8 -8.8 Iowa_Cubs_CHN
-148.2 113.8 546 578 72 72 0.8 -0.8 New_Orleans_Zephyrs_MIA

International League

BAT PITCH R RA W L UR LR Team Name
77.0 72.0 698 533 87 57 2.0 11.8 Durham_Bulls_TBA
59.0 -56.9 669 664 77 67 -1.0 0.8 Rochester_Red_Wings_MIN
53.0 -6.2 663 615 80 63 -3.0 0.8 Pawtucket_Red_Sox_BOS
28.5 0.2 638 606 77 67 0.0 0.3 Norfolk_Tides_BAL
9.5 42.1 622 555 80 64 10.0 3.3 Indianapolis_Indians_PIT
10.5 -34.6 621 646 74 70 -6.0 1.3 Buffalo_Bisons_TOR
2.5 -5.3 612 608 72 72 4.0 0.3 Lehigh_Valley_IronPigs_PHI
-8.5 -32.2 600 656 66 78 -18.0 -0.7 Syracuse_Chiefs_WAS
-5.5 5.9 599 611 61 83 -11.0 -4.7 Toledo_Mud_Hens_DET
-19.5 -33.6 589 651 65 78 -11.0 -0.7 Charlotte_Knights_CHA
-28.5 9.2 577 589 71 73 8.0 -3.7 Columbus_Clippers_CLE
-30.0 8.7 576 576 68 76 22.0 -3.2 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre_RailRiders_NYA
-66.0 -21.7 541 640 60 84 -11.0 -2.7 Gwinnett_Braves_ATL
-83.0 12.8 523 578 69 75 15.0 -3.2 Louisville_Bats_CIN

In the next post I’ll list AA and Adv-A and then a detailed explaination of some columns used in these tables. The main purpose of these first few posts is to introduce the minor leagues I’ll be covering, their teams, and MLB affiliations.