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BBS III - The Reckoning. Taking on the Community Prospect List.

In this final edition of The Blind Baseball Scout we’ll compare P-Sabr’s 2011 rankings with Baseball America’s, discuss the rankings of all Giants hitters in 2011, and take a close look at some trends in prospecting.

Baseball America and P-Sabr agree on the Arizona League top prospect Yoan Alcantara, who received the second highest P-Sabr score (77) of 2011, though it should be noted that the Arizona League had the highest of all P-Sabr scores in 3 of the 6 years that all 5 leagues were run, suggesting that further downward weight due to league level and duration could be added to the system. 5 of the top 15 BBA hitters make up the top 6 P-Sabr ranked players (Alcantara, D’Andre Toney, Marco Hernandez, Alberth Martinez and Gioskar Amaya) though there’s no overlap in the rest of list. Historically less than 10% of all the position players in the league will make it to the majors, so either list will do well to pick 5 players. Giants who made the top 15 include league MVP and relative old man, Jose Cuevas who has an outside chance to become a poor-mans Matt Downs, whatever that means. Cuevas ranked 7th by P-Sabr standards and his teammate Kelby Tomlinson ranked 8th in the league.

In the Northwest League BBA and P-Sabr agreed on the top 2 position players being Joe Panik and Cory Spangenberg, though they diverged on their order with BBA ranking Spangenberg ahead of Panik. Of the 11 position players who were ranked by BBA, 7 of them made the top 11 of P-Sabr’s rankings (Panik, Spangenberg, Pin-Chieh Chen, Zeke DeVoss, Jesus Galindo, Donavan Tate, Rougned Odor). Joining Galindo and Panik in the P-Sabr top 10 was teammate Mike Murray, so here’s to hoping he can find a position.

No obsessed Giants fan and prospect hound was surprised to find zero Giants on BBA’s top ranked Sally League position players. P-Sabr didn’t find any either. Five players who made BBA’s top 15 position players also made P-Sabr’s list (Jurickson Profar, Christian Yelich, Brandon Jacobs, Marcell Ozuna and Jacob Realmuto). This did not include BBA’s top two prospects, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, who did not have enough At Bats to qualify for P-Sabr, though their third ranked prospect Jurickson Profar scored the highest P-Sabr score (83) of 2011.

Once again the top of both P-Sabr and BBA are similar, with both systems agreeing that Jedd Gyorko and Gary Brown were the number one and two position players in the league. Of the 15 position players ranked by BBA, 5 also made the P-Sabr top 15, Brown, Gyorko, Nolan Arenado, Michael Choice and Tommy Joseph. P-Sabr favored high contact hitters like Henry Roriguez (#3, P-Sabr score of 44) and Vincent Catricala (#5, P-S score of 41) to player like Chris Dominguez (#78, P-S score –77) who ranked as the 13th best position player in BBA’s rankings.

The Eastern league saw 1 Giant position player make the BBA top 12 position players (Francisco Peguero), but no Giant ranked above the Median in P-Sabr. The 2 systems agreed on 2 of the top three players in the league Anthony Gose and Travis D’Arnaud. Bryce Harper, who did not qualify for P-Sabr was replaced by Sterling Marte as the top player in the league.

Since this writing coincides with the McCoven Group community prospects list, I’ll post the P-Sabr top 35 hitters. This is a league-adjusted list, there’s nothing too scientific with this adjustment, so feel free to call B.S. I don’t care. The “adjustment” is I’ve given a bonus or penalty to the players league, and then another bonus or penalty depending on their quartile ranking in their overall league. All the information is there, and you’ve read this far in the third installment of this system, so you must be a geek…you figure it out.

League Rank

Player

P-Sabr Score

League

Adj. Score

2

Gary Brown

46

CAL

51

1

Joe Panik

68

NW

43

13

Tommy Joseph

16

CAL

21

7

Jose Cuevas

46

AZL

11

18

Adam Duvall

8

Sally

3

8

Kelby Tomlinson

34

AZL

-1

6

Jesus Galindo

23

NW

-2

51

Charlie Culberson

-40

EL

-5

51

Francisco Peguero

-40

EL

-5

26

Ehire Adrianza

-3

CAL

-8

10

Mike Murray

15

NW

-10

58

Roger Kieschnick

-46

EL

-11

18

Eric Sim

21

AZL

-16

15

Shawn Payne

5

NW

-20

14

Brett Krill

6

NW

-21

67

Juan Perez

-55

EL

-21

67

Johnny Monell

-55

EL

-21

23

Ben Thomas*

9

AZL

-24

40

Ryan Cavan

-22

CAL

-27

20

Joseph Staley

-6

NW

-31

39

Ryan Lollis*

-22

Sally

-37

46

Jarrett Parker*

-36

CAL

-41

91

Nick Noonan

-85

EL

-55

58

Carlos Willoughby

-41

Sally

-56

61

Josh Mazzola

-48

Sally

-63

93

Chris Dominguez

-93

EL

-63

68

Luke Anders*

-59

CAL

-64

50

Charles Jones

-43

NW

-68

48

Kaohi Downing

-41

NW

-76

74

Rafael Rodriguez

-62

Sally

-77

72

Nick Liles

-72

CAL

-77

56

Elliott Blair

-35

AZL

-80

81

Chris Dominguez

-77

CAL

-87

81

Chris Lofton

-69

Sally

-89

89

Devin Harris

-78

Sally

-98

Obviously the presence of Jose Cuevas at number four is a big “whaaaaaaa…?”, so there’s some work that needs to be done on grading the lower levels. But, aside from that, not so bad.

TRENDS

Now let’s take a look at some of P-Sabr’s historic trends and in prospecting trends in general.

First let’s look at top prospect Gary Brown. In the last 7 (2003-2010) years there have been 7 players that have had a P-Sabr score of 46 or more. 15 of those players have gone on to play in the majors, the best (by O-WAR) being Howie Kendrick, Pablo Sandoval, Erik Aybar and Billy Butler. So, the unscientific conclusion is that he’s got a 75% shot at being a major leaguer and a 20% shot at being a really good one – OK, I’ll take it.

P-Sabr Rank

Player

Score

Year/League

O-WAR

1

Josh Barfield

60

CAL 2003

1.3

2

Jason Bourgeois

54

CAL 2003

0.7

3

Josh Kroeger*

50

CAL 2003

-0.6

4

Jeff Mathis

47

CAL 2003

-1.9

1

Erick Aybar

67

CAL 2004

9.2

2

Jeff Salazar*

47

CAL 2004

-0.2

1

Billy Butler

61

CAL 2005

8.5

2

Howie Kendrick

61

CAL 2005

12.1

3

Eddy Martinez-Esteve

50

CAL 2005

1

Reid Brignac

57

CAL 2006

-0.3

1

Chris Nelson

50

CAL 2007

-0.6

2

Bubba Bell

49

CAL 2007

1

Pablo Sandoval

54

CAL 2008

11.6

2

Carlos Santana

47

CAL 2008

6.4

1

Alex Liddi

74

CAL 2009

0.4

2

Thomas Neal

70

CAL 2009

3

Tyson Gillies

66

CAL 2009

4

Trayvon Robinson

50

CAL 2009

-0.2

1

Kyle Seager

70

CAL 2010

0.8

2

Stephen Parker

57

CAL 2010

Now let’s take a look at some outliers, and their value as predictive measures.

The basic theory of P-Sabr is that what is good or acceptable in the sabermetric measurement of player value at the major league level, is not necessarily a good predictor at the minor league level. P-Sabr gives a bonus to age and penalizes low contact indicators like high K-rates an low BA. Here we’ll look at the outliers in K-rates and BB rates over three leagues, the AZL, the California and Eastern.

Here are the players with the outlying best BB% in the AZL (2003-2008) who have gone on to see ML action. That’s the top five ranked each year from 100 qualifying players.

P-Sabr Rank

Name

BB%

League

Year

2

Antoan Richardson

0.17460317

AZL

2005

Of the 35 outliers over a 5 year period only Richardson has seen Major League time. Since close to 10% of AZL hitters go on to see some ML time, this seems like a very small number and suggests that it is not valuable as a predictor of future value, though it is small sample size, so let’s just say that further investigation is warranted.

How about the other side of the BB% spectrum? Here are the future ML players who fell in the bottom (worst BB%) of the outlying spectrum.

P-Sabr Rank

Player

BB% (worst)

League

Year

3

Carlos Corporan

0.02380952

AZL

2003

3

Pablo Sandoval

0.02617801

AZL

2004

Not much better really, but the addition of Sandoval makes this list look a lot better in terms of value.

Now let’s look at K-Rates. Here are all the outliers of the players with the lowest K-Rates who have gone on to see ML time.

P-Sabr Rank

Player

K%

League

Year

1

Shane Costa

0.07954545

AZL

2003

1

Alexi Casilla

0.06134969

AZL

2004

3

Pablo Sandoval

0.0960452

AZL

2004

1

Michael Brantley*

0.07514451

AZL

2005

1

Matt Downs

0.05357143

AZL

2006

3

Alexi Amarista

0.0990099

AZL

2007

This is much more like it! 6 players of 35 who have gone on to see ML action, in a league where less than 10% of the hitters make it to the show, that’s a nice number. It looks as if at least at this lower level, the ability to make contact is a premium predictor. SSS of course, further investigation is required.

There have been zero players who have fallen in the bottom of the K% outliers who have gone on to see ML action, implying that the P-Sabr theory that high K-Rates (along with advanced age) are the biggest negative predictors in prospecting.

In the Cal league, where close to 30% of all the P-Sabr qualified players will go on to see Major League time the lists look a little fuller. Here are the outlying best BB-rates from 2003-2008.

Column1

Column2

BB%

Column4

Column5

1

Fred Lewis

0.15526802

CAL

2004

2

Mike Napoli

0.15068493

CAL

2004

2

Daric Barton

0.17174515

CAL

2005

4

Kila Ka'aihue

0.16033058

CAL

2005

2

Taylor Teagarden

0.17857143

CAL

2007

1

Carlos Santana

0.15898618

CAL

2008

The 2009 and 2010 season have seen four outliers thus far who have seen ML time, including Brandon Belt.

How about the bottom side of BB%?

P-Sabr Rank

Player

BB% (worst)

League

Year

5

Pablo Sandoval

0.03782506

CAL

2007

3

Carlos Peguero*

0.02597403

CAL

2008

4

Pedro Ciriaco

0.03202847

CAL

2008

5

Peter Bourjos

0.03486239

CAL

2008

I would expect as the sample grows larger to see more players on the higher end of the BB% spectrum to see ML time, but still this percentage does not imply that this outlier has great value in finding future major leaguers.

Now let’s look K-Rates.

P-Sabr Rank

Player

K%

League

Year

1

Jesus Feliciano*

0.07968127

CAL

2004

2

Jeff Salazar*

0.10509554

CAL

2004

3

Joaquin Arias

0.106

CAL

2004

4

Luis Cruz

0.109375

CAL

2004

1

Kevin Frandsen

0.07560137

CAL

2005

3

Blake DeWitt

0.12389381

CAL

2007

5

Pablo Sandoval

0.12967581

CAL

2007

4

Julio Borbon*

0.10309278

CAL

2008

5

Eric Sogard

0.11567164

CAL

2008

This percentage (26%) is much closer to a number that would indicate a positive predictive value, though outside of DeWitt and Sandoval, player value is thin at best. Nick Liles was 5th among outliers in 2011, while Gary Brown just missed the list at 6th.

Here’s the bottom of K-Rate outliers.

P-Sabr Rank

Player

K% (worst)

League

Year

3

Mike Napoli

0.34439834

CAL

2004

3

Chris Carter

0.3083004

CAL

2008

So, it appears that high K-Rates even in high A are very difficult to overcome as one moves up through the ranks, though here Napoli clearly benefits from being a BB% outlier as well.

In the Eastern League approximately 45% of the P-Sabr qualified players will go on to see ML action, though for most it will only be a cup of coffee. Here are the BB% rate outliers.

Rank

Name

BB%

League

Year

1

Kevin Youkilis

0.20623501

EL

2003

2

Anderson Machado

0.19963031

EL

2003

4

Gabe Gross

0.14016173

EL

2003

1

Craig Wilson

0.16666667

EL

2004

3

Justin Huber

0.1559322

EL

2004

4

Curtis Granderson

0.14466546

EL

2004

2

Kevin Thompson

0.14058355

EL

2005

3

Ryan Roberts

0.13784461

EL

2005

3

Curtis Thigpen

0.13941019

EL

2006

4

Kory Casto

0.13728814

EL

2006

3

Jed Lowrie

0.15931373

EL

2007

4

Jeff Larish

0.15647482

EL

2007

1

Lou Marson

0.1721519

EL

2008

Here 37% of our outliers went on to see action in the show, with Youkilis and Granderson being legitimate stars. How about negative walk rates?

P-Sabr Rank

Player

BB% (worst)

League

Year

3

Eider Torres

0.03180915

EL

2005

4

Jesus Feliciano*

0.04034582

EL

2005

4

Argenis Reyes

0.04572565

EL

2007

5

Luis Hernandez

0.04580153

EL

2007

Finally, we see as we graduate to higher levels a more traditional Sabermetric valuation play out as predictive measure.

Let’s look at K-Rates. Here we see that even at the higher levels, low K-rates seem to be a consistent predictor in finding future major leaguers.

P-Sabr Rank

Player

K%

League

Year

2

Andy Cannizaro

0.06504065

EL

2003

4

Chris Heintz

0.08856089

EL

2003

5

Joe Mauer

0.09057971

EL

2003

1

Jeff Keppinger

0.05135135

EL

2004

4

Andy Cannizaro

0.0945122

EL

2004

5

Joe Inglett

0.10526316

EL

2004

2

Dustin Pedroia

0.1015625

EL

2005

3

Jesus Feliciano*

0.10869565

EL

2005

4

Melvin Dorta

0.1127451

EL

2005

5

Don Kelly

0.13069909

EL

2005

2

Melvin Dorta

0.08415842

EL

2006

1

Robinzon Diaz

0.05315615

EL

2007

3

Luis Cruz

0.09066667

EL

2008

As with the positive BB-rates, there were 13 players and 2 legitimate stars in this list, Mauer and Pedroia.

Surprisingly (to me) the outliers of negative K-Rates also produced 13 Major Leaguers, though realistically they amount to Ryan Howard and 12 cups of coffee.

P-Sabr Rank

Player

K% (worst)

League

Year

4

Anderson Machado

0.28368794

EL

2003

5

Mitch Jones

0.28293737

EL

2003

1

Ryan Howard*

0.34491979

EL

2004

3

Mitch Jones

0.30645161

EL

2004

4

Walter Young

0.29835391

EL

2004

1

Jonathan Van Every*

0.39845758

EL

2005

3

Brad Snyder*

0.30921053

EL

2005

3

Brent Clevlen

0.34936709

EL

2006

3

Matthew Cepicky

0.30939227

EL

2007

2

Dusty Ryan

0.32094595

EL

2008

3

Travis Snider*

0.32044199

EL

2008

4

Wilkin Ramirez

0.3187067

EL

2008

5

Brad Harman

0.31151242

EL

2008

Well that’s it. Thanks for humoring me. If I can get it together, next I'll do a pitching system.


This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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