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September 13, 2011

Baseball Prospectus News

Announcing Integration of Minor-League Statistics

by Rob McQuown

Part of Big September

We're upgrading existing features, releasing new features, and making improvements all around the site this month. Click here for the summary .

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The minor-league regular seasons may be done, but the analysis of minor-league statistics has just begun. Observant readers have already noticed that various pages at Baseball Prospectus have started including minor-league stats with all the same depth of statistics for which Baseball Prospectus is known. For example, the “Batter Season—Standard” report shows the top-15 Triple-A leaders in BWARP:

You’ll find the usual statistics here, but that’s not all. For example, the seasonal batting report contains—by default—the average OPS of opposition pitchers faced (OPP_QUAL_OPS) and the personal Batter Park Factor (BPF). These stats involve analysis of every single plate appearance made by an individual player, making them much more accurate than general season-level stats. And, as always, subscribers can tailor reports to their liking by clicking on Statistic Selection and adding or removing columns as desired. Any report can be bookmarked at any time, as a unique URL is generated for each custom report. For instance, this report is:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1049525

Clicking on the Triple-A Batting WARP leader's name, the Cardinals' 2009 13th-round pick Matt Carpenter, brings up his player card. His pre-season PECOTA gave some indication that he might be able to help a team, though only marginally (.259 TAv, not bad for a position—third base—with an average batting line of .252/.316/.386). Carpenter’s pre-season PECOTA appears on the top of the player cards all season long, as he isn't expected to start games for the Cardinals and thus hasn't been entered into the depth charts. More active players have their Rest-of-season PECOTA displayed. But the important new information on the player card page is the minor-league statline for 2011, in the “Recent Performance” table (second on the page):

All levels of play are included, as can be seen with Jose Altuve, one of the few bright spots on the Houston Astros:


Of course, the leaderboards aren't just for hitters. If, for example, someone wanted to find the FRA leaders in Double-A this year (50 or more innings pitched), that's easily done (see following graphic). And, of course, the same tailored stats (PPF for Pitcher Park Factor) and OPP_QUAL_OPS (opponent batters average OPS) are available to subscribers, by clicking on “Statistic Selection.”

The flexibility doesn't end there. For subscribers who have set up teams in Team Tracker, these players can be listed on the Sortables reports, intermixed freely with major-league players. This author plays in a very realistic Strat-O-Matic league with 30 teams with 150-player rosters (with 40-man roster rules like MLB, Rule 4 draft, Rule 5 draft, salaries, free-agent bidding, etc.) Since that roster has been entered into Team Tracker (under USBL, the acronym for the league), the Triple-A batting and pitching stats can be easily displayed in the Sortables reports by choosing USBL from “My Team Tracker Teams.” For batters, only the players officially on the team (not including the players in the “WATCHED” section) are included:

For pitchers, the same USBL roster is used, but the list is expanded to include watched players:

Of course, thinking about simulation baseball (such as Strat-O-Matic) leads naturally into the question of left/right splits. Not that batters always sustain their splits as they progress levels, but it's still tempting to look at the best batters against right-handed pitching, for example. The following table includes the current leaders in On-base Plus Slugging (OPS) against right-handed pitching from High-A, for example (100 or more PA):

One question that is often raised about minor-league statistics and should be addressed here is that of some form of major-league equivalents or translations (formerly “Davenport Translations”). Our MLEs are based on a subset of the PECOTA logic, and we’re still testing the entire system. As our series of new feature announcements continues, we expect to be able to release our MLEs soon.

We hope you will enjoy perusing the mountains of minor-league statistics now available and that you have been reminded of some of the features on the Sortable Reports, which allow almost unlimited flexibility in stat-seeking and analysis. As always, suggestions are welcome—feel free to email me or Customer Service, or to add comments here. We read them all and do our best to incorporate as many as possible.

Rob McQuown is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Rob's other articles. You can contact Rob by clicking here

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28 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

JD Sussman

Fantastic. Thanks, BPro.

Sep 13, 2011 05:20 AM
rating: 4
 
nschneider

?? Doesn't work for me. I went to the Batter Season - Standard report, changed the level to AAA and got back a blank report. Same with other levels.

Sep 13, 2011 05:23 AM
rating: 0
 
John Douglass

Ditto

Sep 13, 2011 05:39 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Colin Wyers
BP staff

Thanks, we're looking into this.

Sep 13, 2011 06:48 AM
 
philly

me three.

Although unlike the HIt List reboot that I don't care about, this is definitely a move in the right direction.

Sep 13, 2011 05:57 AM
rating: 0
 
fflakes41

Was this done in conjunction w/Baseball America? They just expanded their database to include the entire career statistics for all players, and I was just wondering if you guys worked together to provide as many stats as possible to the public.

Sep 13, 2011 06:41 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

I should have included this information - Minor League stats take longer to update in our daily stats run. When we have data errors in our feed, the re-run doesn't get completed until around 10am CT. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sep 13, 2011 06:51 AM
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

I made a change so that the previous day's MiLB stats aren't wiped out when the MLB-only run is processed. Since the minor-league seasons are complete, this should not impact anything, though we are still scrubbing MiLB data, so updates will be fairly common until we're done.

Sep 13, 2011 10:31 AM
 
Wade

in the report that you listed, I notice that Ryan Langerhans has successfully stolen 11 bases and been caught stealing 7 times, yet his SB% is 122.2%...perhaps you'd want to doublecheck the arithmetic

Sep 13, 2011 08:47 AM
rating: 0
 
Wade

In team tracker, I did not see functionality to add minor league players, i.e., it looks like you can only include major leaguers...am I missing something?

Sep 13, 2011 09:03 AM
rating: 0
 
harderj

My Team Tracker allows me to add minor leaguers (including, for instance, Sequoyah Stonecipher), fwiw.

Sep 13, 2011 09:10 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Amazing! One suggestion would be to change the level names to something more intuitive.

Sep 13, 2011 09:18 AM
rating: 1
 
harderj

First reaction: Wow, what a Strat league!

(I thought my 11-team, 50-man roster league was challenging...)

And Team Tracker definitely is one of my "go-to" tools in thinking about my team, as I like to sort my guys against right-handed and left-handed pitching in anticipation of what their Strat cards will look like. This just makes it better. Thanks!

Is there a way to just download a report as an excel spreadsheet? The best kluge I've found is to copy the meat of a report and "paste special/text" it into an Excel spreadsheet, then "format columns/autofit selection."

But one click would be easier :-).


Sep 13, 2011 09:21 AM
rating: 0
 
Wade

just save it as a .csv file and open it with excel

Sep 13, 2011 09:56 AM
rating: 2
 
Mike Smith

FYI, screenshot for Altuve shows him playing for the Cardinals (repeat of screenshot above his section).

Sep 13, 2011 09:48 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

fixed

Sep 13, 2011 10:23 AM
 
jlebeck66

Please include a way to get the database's primary key for the player on any report. Name is a horrible key value, and if I have multiple leagues' data I want to know that this Sam Jones is or isn't the same as that Sam Jones. Obviously I could look up what leagues a specific guy played for, but that step is cumbersome when doing it for many guys, and could be avoided with the primary key available. Thanks.

Sep 13, 2011 10:20 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

BATTER or PITCHER should be available in the statistic selection page. Those are the BP ID codes, and if you want a player card page, they are at:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=[BATTER or PITCHER number here]

It does seem reasonable that if we're going to make "stock" MiLB reports, we should add that. Suggestion duly noted, thanks.

Sep 13, 2011 10:27 AM
 
jlebeck66

Cool, thanks. I must have zoned out on those fields. I was probably looking for something like jonesa03 or whatever.

Sep 13, 2011 14:54 PM
rating: 0
 
lopkhan00

I'd just like to say thank you! This is like X-mas for me. I've been wanting those lefty/righty stats added to the team tracker since its inception. Adding lefty/righty TAv is some much appreciated gravy.

Sep 13, 2011 11:09 AM
rating: 0
 
Daddyboy

Great stuff Rob. Just uploaded my USBL team. Sure beats doing this by hand, which is what I've been doing for years.

Sep 13, 2011 11:41 AM
rating: 1
 
jnossal

Curse you, BP. Curse you.

I knew this day would come. I spent a decade+ dominating my sim leagues in no small part to my willingness to calculate MLB and MiLB EQR splits for every player. Now you've made that valuable but difficult to acquire data available to any first-year owner with an internet connection, a mouse and a working digit. Now I'm staring into the yawning mouth of stage 3 hell.

On the bright side, I might actually spend the December holidays with my family this year.

Sep 13, 2011 12:08 PM
rating: 5
 
mschroeder14

Might be nitpicking, but for players who played at multiple levels in a given year (e.g. Altuve above), would it be better to list the levels in chronological order as opposed to alphabetical to see the player's progression more clearly?

Sep 13, 2011 12:13 PM
rating: 2
 
mschroeder14

Though I suppose that might be hard for players who bounce back and forth between levels...

Sep 13, 2011 12:14 PM
rating: 0
 
Dan McKay

These are really cool.

One question: Do you offer minors-to-majors statistical translations anymore? I haven't been able to find them this year.

Sep 13, 2011 12:23 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

Hmmm, I guess I should have expounded on what MLE means: Major League Equivalency - exactly what you're describing here and it's coming.

Sep 13, 2011 12:59 PM
 
Dan McKay

Oh, thanks, Rob. I don't know how I missed that in your article, but I see it's there. I'll keep an eye out for announcements.

Sep 13, 2011 13:14 PM
rating: 0
 
gobraves123

Will there be (or is there) a way to look at a player's "combined season"? The example I'm thinking of is Jose Constanza, who certainly deserves credit for his .301 major-league TAv, but any evaluation also needs to take into account his .245 TAv at Triple-A. Will there be a way to combine those numbers together to get an overall picture of his year?

Sep 13, 2011 13:03 PM
rating: 0
 
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