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Handedness Filter and 2014 Draft Info Added

By on July 27, 2014

When searching for possible left handed relievers available at the trade deadline, I noticed that none of the major stat resources have any easy way to view only left handed pitchers. To solve this, I’ve added handedness filters to the team, leaderboard, and organization pages. Using this gives you answers to questions like what left handed pitcher has the lowest ERA in AA this year?

lefty in AA

Or how are the switch hitters in the Rockies organization doing?

rockies switch

And any other question like this you may want to know.

We’ve also added in the draft info for players taken in the 2014 draft. However, some players, such as Tyler Beede, have not actually been assigned to a roster so we have no record of them in our database. Their info will be added at a later date.

Also in an unrelated change I removed caught stealing from the batting main table, since in some cases the table would become too large and make some rows look ugly.

Draft Pick Filtering Added

By on June 10, 2014

The team, organization, and leaderboard pages can now be filtered by draft year or round. This can be used to find things like:

Show me how all of the Dodgers 2013 picks are doing this year:

2013 dodgers

How have the number one picks in the Cubs organization done this month?

cubs number ones

What pitcher drafted after the 10th round has the lowest ERA in the National League?

best pitchers post round 10

What pitcher drafted in 2009 or later has the best whiff rate against righties for the Red Sox AAA affiliate?

sox whiff

These, and tons of other searches like them, are now possible here at Minor League Central.

 

Amateur Draft Results Added

By on June 6, 2014

We’ve added the full results of every June amateur draft since 2005 to our database.

For now, the only change you’ll notice is a couple of lines added to the draftees player pages like this:

bradmiller

However, in the future having this info will allow us to add a lot of features that we’ve been interested in doing and been unable to.

The one catch is there is a couple errors in the data based on how we reconciled the draft files with our player database. We linked them by comparing a players last name and birth date, which you would think wouldn’t change, but it does in some rare cases. For example, Dee Gordon was known as Devaris Strange-Gordon when he was drafted and the only way to catch errors like this is doing it manually. If you notice something, please let us know.

As for the currently running 2014 draft, the info will be added to our database sometime after the amateur signing period ends.

 

How Important Is Walking More Than You Strike Out?

By on June 1, 2014
Tommy La Stella is the latest callup with more walks than strikeouts in the minors

Tommy La Stella is the latest call up with more walks than strikeouts in the minors

I’ve always considered a prospect walking more than he strikes out as one of the biggest statistical indicators of future success. Having a strike out to walk ratio under one didn’t imply stardom, but it did mean the player has a very high floor and should stick as a big league regular for a few years. Sure, this rule wasn’t perfect, players like Andy LaRoche and Kila Ka’aihue ended up being huge disappointments but for the most part it seemed like walking more than striking out lead to way more success than failures.

The Braves recent call up of Tommy La Stella made me want to revisit the issue. La Stella comes into the bigs with 136 walks and 102 strikeouts since 2011, yet he’s received very little attention as a prospect. Baseball America ranked La Stella as the 9th best prospect in what is considered to be a relatively weak system. The total lack of excitement around La Stella despite his numbers made me want to revisit the question of does walking more than striking out lead to big league success, only this time I have access to a database instead of poking around by hand.

Running the search gave me a definitive answer to the question: it certainly does not. Since 2011 there have been 76 seasons where a player under 26 has had 350 minor league PA with a K/BB under one. The only one of those players that has gone on to be even an average big league regular is Matt Carpenter. After that the biggest names you’re going to find are people like the face of the MLB Eric Sogard, Dustin Ackley, and David Cooper. Beyond that, the list is largely populated with total non prospects like Connor Crumbliss, or huge flops like Christian Colon.

The one saving grace is that there’s still time for some of the names on this list to develop. Among the dross are some huge prospects like Jurickson Profar, Francisco Lindor and Mookie Betts who still need time to find their footing in the bigs, or even their first taste of the show.

Don’t get me wrong, strike out and walk rates are still hugely important things to look at if you’re going to evaluate a prospect’s numbers but it’s not near the predictor of big league success that I thought it was. The lesson here, as always, is to listen to trusted sources about prospects, and realize that there are no magic numbers that guarantee a guys success. Well, maybe hitting .450.

Venezuelan League Stats Added Plus a Little More

By on May 22, 2014

Stats for the 2014 Venezuelan League are now being updated into our site. Also we’ve added a few more minor stats that have been requested.

In the “Balls Not In Play” section we’ve added home run percentage (HR%) and strike out plus walk percentage (K+BB%) which are both self explanatory.

In the “Pitches” section we’ve added pitches per game (P/G) which is also what it says on the tin.

Version 2.3.6.1 Changes: Improved Search

By on May 16, 2014

New Features

Improved player searching. Some players are harder to find than they should be because they are listed with an uncommon version of their name. Searching for “Mike Morse” for example, would return no results because he’s listed in our database as “Michael Morse”. With our improved search functionality, these problems are solved. “Mike Morse” can now return “Michael Morse“, “Andrew Oliver” will now return “Andy Oliver“,  “AJ Ellis” can now bring up “A.J. Ellis” and “Hyun Jin” will now show the page for Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Since these alterations need to be added to the database on a per name basis please let us know if there’s players you still have issues with.

Also, we’ve added the ability for our parser to update names which should solve a lot of these issues. Generally when a player is in the minors the Gameday files we get our data from will refer to them by their birth name. Scooter Gennett, for example, is in our database as Ryan Gennett since that’s how he was introduced to the league. If the nickname comes into common usage they’ll switch it over but until now our database would not reflect that. Players will also change their name occasionally such as Mike Stanton becoming Giancarlo. We would have to update this manually before, now it should happen automatically. These changes will start during our next update tomorrow.

Version 2.3.6 Changes

By on May 8, 2014

New Features

Added the “Results” tab to each team’s page. From here you can see the scores and results of every game the team has played this year, along with information about the team such as the longest win streak, and the most runs they’ve scored this season.

Version 2.3.5.1 Changes

By on May 7, 2014

New Features

Added a way to switch between hitting stats and pitching stats for players where that’s available. Previously there was no easy way to see how a pitcher was hitting or how a recently converted pitcher was throwing.

Changes

Added a link to the boxscore for every game on the Yesterday’s Best page.

Added run differential to team pages.

Bug Fixes

Can now sort on team pages again.

Minor League Central 2.3.5 Changes

By on May 2, 2014

Things we’ve added in the new update

Read more

Brandon Dixon’s Very Bad Start

By on May 1, 2014

2013 Dodger third round pick and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes second baseman Brandon Dixon is having a rough start to the 2014 campaign. Hitting just .148/.146/.250 at the end of April, Dixon is the only player in professional baseball1 with an OPS under .400. Not only that, his .146 on base percentage is 52 points lower than the next closest qualifier, Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso. Dixon’s on base was so low that it made me wonder if there was any month worse than Dixon’s April in the Minor League Central database. It turns out a familiar name had him beat.

Name
Date
Team
On Base
Brandon DixonAugust 2013Great Lakes.114
Andres JamesJune 2011Myrtle Beach.139
Michael PlanetaAugust 2011Delmarva.142
Brandon DixonApril 2014Rancho Cucamonga.146

Dixon has the dubious honor of putting together two of the worst months of baseball we’ve seen recently. Truly amazing from a guy who was taken in the first hundred picks of the draft and got a signing bonus of over half a million dollars. Brandon Dixon probably won’t get many more chances to put up months like this but his painful career to date goes to show how hard it is to find talent.

1. Minimum 80 plate appearances