FanPost

Minor League Pitching Standouts - First Two Months

That's right, fellers, we are back and better than before but probably not ever cause let's face it things are slowly sliding out of our grasp and nobody escapes the maw. This is a follow-up to the early-season standouts, using largely the same method but with a larger data set, so that's nice.

There is one substantial change made to the calculations below, and that's the decision to re-scale everything from 0-1 to -1 - 1. The reason for this is to avoid the problem of pitch types - as documented in the previous post and many subsequent comments, this method of analyzing pitchers grants additional points for throwing pitches of different types; if the scale were the typical 20-80 scout grades, the old method would have considered a pitcher with an 80 fastball and a 50 curveball worse than a guy with a 70 fastball, 30 curve, 30 slider, 30 changeup, 30 cutter, and 30 sinker. Not to say that's a necessarily incorrect evaluation, more that without a way to lose points for throwing bad pitches, I overinflated pure junkballers into something closer to top prospect status. This was the primary driver behind a high ranking of Tyler Beede, a mistake I won't make twice.

So now pitchers will still be able to rack up high scores by throwing multiple pitches, and starters with four average pitches will sit alongside relievers with two excellent pitches, but there won't be guys who throw six types of crap cluttering up the leaderboards.

On to the Stuff leaders:

Pitcher Stuff Points
Black, Ray 31.00
Adon, Melvin 18.90
Webb, Logan 18.86
Simpson, Caleb 16.78
Anderson, Shaun 15.73

Immediately we see a change, and an incredible one. Ray Black. Just, Ray Black. Adon's great, seriously, he is. Ray Black. RAY. BLACK.

Logan Webb, though, is a very welcome name to see in the #3 spot. He's shown premium velocity on the fastball, sitting 93-97, and while he hasn't gone past 50 pitches yet, one would think the stamina is building after Tommy John. He couples that strong fastball with a biting curve, nearly on Black's level, and a strong changeup. If Webb isn't able to stay in the rotation, he could easily become a shutdown late-inning arm, pumping 98 with consistency.

Caleb Simpson isn't a name that gets thrown around a lot, but there's a reason his K/9 is over 11 at every stop he's been. He's another mid-90s arm, though without much projection as he's already a RP, but his fastball has good cut and he appears to throw both a slider and curveball with excellent break.

Shaun Anderson continues to be the best hope for at least a mid-rotation starter in the upper minors, featuring a pretty traditional four-pitch mix of FB/SL/CH/CB. Anderson's low-90s velocity isn't what gets him here, nor is it the solid-average changeup; he's got two breaking balls with well above-average movement and he really doesn't do anything poorly.

Command leaders:

Pitcher Command Points
Beede, Tyler 18.01
Herb, Tyler 17.27
Menez, Conner 15.42
Van Gurp, Franklin 12.43
Taylor, Cory 11.51

God dammit, I said NO MORE TYLER BEEDE! Well, he'd only be here if he's earned it, and I suppose he has. Beede's done a good job of keeping all of his pitches on the black, and while his stuff is decidedly below-average, at least he's making the most of it? Frankly, it's a bit weird to see Beede as a guy whose stuff is holding back his command, because that's not supposed to be what he is at all. But, whatever, I guess.

Tyler Herb, Franklin Van Gurp, and Conner Menez are unsurprising entrants here, as their profiles have always been command-over-stuff. Herb's the only one with even average offerings, coming in at #29 out of 61 pitchers on the Stuff leaderboards. I don't expect any of them to amount to much as they climb the rungs.

Cory Taylor's a bit of a different story, ranked #10 in stuff, which sneaks him just inside the top five overall. Taylor's a bit confusing, as he really has struggled in Richmond over the last two years after an excellent showing in Augusta back in 2016. Considering he's walking more than four and giving up 1.5 homers per nine, alongside a K rate that leaves his K:BB+HR underwater, I don't know what to make of him. The method seems to like him a great deal, he just isn't actually any good. Hmm.

Overall Leaders:

Pitcher Total Points
Black, Ray 36.46
Kelly, Casey 25.97
Martinez, Rodolfo 21.53
Adon, Melvin 20.76
Taylor, Cory 20.68
Herb, Tyler 20.01
Valdez, Jose 17.79
Simpson, Caleb 16.65
Webb, Logan 16.56
Menez, Conner 15.20

Ray Black is the system's best pitcher, and it's not even close. He's actually #18 in command, but even if you dropped him all the way down to #58, he's still top the overall leaderboard. That's how good his stuff is. Ray Black's stuff is really good, you guys.

Casey Kelly's a surprise entrant at #2, and Rodolfo at #3, considering neither appeared on either of the previous leaderboards. But Kelly was #6 on both and Martinez was #8 and #7 on stuff and command, respectively. Kelly has looked like org filler in Sacramento, showing low walk totals but mediocre K rates and a serious homer problem. But with only one run in his last two starts, totaling 14 IP, maybe he's figuring things out. Martinez is having a nice bounceback in San Jose, and having just turned 24 could still make something of himself if he could stop getting hurt.

Jose Valdez is the only other new name, and maybe there's some wisdom behind the weird decision to call him up. Alternatively, maybe the thing I'm doing here is of no value.

Stuff over Command:

Pitcher Stuff Points Command Points Total Points S vs. C
Marte, Jose 8.36 -20.13 -11.77 28.49
Black, Ray 31.00 5.46 36.46 25.53
Webb, Logan 18.86 -2.30 16.56 21.17
Anderson, Shaun 15.73 -3.02 12.71 18.75
Adon, Melvin 18.90 1.86 20.76 17.03

Command over Stuff:

Pitcher Stuff Points Command Points Total Points C vs. S
Gage, Matt -33.17 9.06 -24.11 42.22
Cabrera, Sandro -17.58 6.01 -11.57 23.60
Beede, Tyler -3.56 18.01 14.46 21.57
Van Gurp, Franklin -3.75 12.43 8.68 16.19
Slania, Dan -14.79 0.91 -13.88 15.70

Smallest Gaps:

Pitcher Stuff Points Command Points Total Points Gap
McCasland, Jake 7.24 7.30 14.54 0.06
Gettman, CJ 3.53 3.60 7.13 0.07
Riggs, Nolan -1.82 -2.54 -4.36 0.73
Martinez, Rodolfo 11.15 10.38 21.53 0.77
Gomez, Roberto 6.32 7.43 13.75 1.10

Biggest Gaps:

Pitcher Stuff Points Command Points Total Points Gap
Gage, Matt -33.17 9.06 -24.11 42.22
Marte, Jose 8.36 -20.13 -11.77 28.49
Black, Ray 31.00 5.46 36.46 25.53
Cabrera, Sandro -17.58 6.01 -11.57 23.60
Beede, Tyler -3.56 18.01 14.46 21.57

Just some fun splits. If you've got any questions or suggestions regarding the method, please voice them and I'll be happy to discuss and consider. And as always, feel free to ask questions and I'll get to what I can!

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.