Posted By Sean S

First note:  I've made a correction which results in numbers for many of the minor leaguers having slightly lower projections.  I've seen a few comments, here and other places, suggesting that I've got some of the minor leaguers too high.  Andy Tracy takes a huge hit with the update, but mostly because he's projected as a free agent now instead of in homer haven Philadelphia.

I decided to look at how my projections for AAAA hitters last season turned out.  I looked for players who fir these criteria:  1) at least 27 years old. 2)at least -5 runs per 150 and 3)most of the data feeding the projection comes from the minors.  The players who fit this group include, based on most playing time in 2009:

Nelson Cruz, Garrett Jones, Ryan Raburn, Micah Hoffpauir, Brian Buscher, Oscar Salazar, Josh Whitesell, Randy Ruiz, Jeff Bailey, Luis Montanez, and Matt Murton.  Those are the ones with the most playing time in 2009.  Some others on the list, like Victor Diaz, Josh Phelps, Brian Myrow, and Mike Hessman, didn't play at all.  The projected OPS of this group, of all AAAA hitters identified is .766.  The projected OPS of the ones listed above who got at least 50 PA in 2009 is .778.  What was the average OPS for the group? .820.  Of course, guys like Nelson Cruz, establishing himself as a good player gets a lot more playing time than a AAAA guy who struggled like Whitesell.  So if I take the unweighted average, I get .780.

Looks like the projections were dead on as to the overall ability of this group of players.



3 Comment(s):
Sean said...
Maybe, probably no way to know for sure, but I don't think there's much difference between a 28 year old 1B with a +5 projection that gets a chance to play and one that spends the whole year in the minors. I think the actual circumstances of which one gets to play comes down to opportunities. Did an injury to a regular open up a spot for him? Is his organization willing to take a chance on unproven talent? We'll never know since we don't have major league stats for the guy who didn't play, but I just don't think there's much information to tell beforehand that a Brian Myrow would end up like Garrett Jones, raking in the bigs, or Josh Whitesell, struggling when given a shot.
November 20, 2009 07:40:10
Fresh Hops said...
I've been thinking about this a little. After all, I agree with the people who think there are some pretty surprising projections for AAAA guys out there. But something occurs to me that as an explanation of the result we're seeing. The natural way to look at a projection system is as an estimate of a player's true talent next season. That's exactly the right way to see projections of a guy like David Wright, who will play next season in the Majors. Understood as estimates of true talent, it appears from your projections that there are a bunch of AAAA hitters that ought to be MLB players; indeed, the bunch seems too large. But there's another way to read the projections when you're dealing with guys currently in the minors: they're a projections of their true talent *given that they get called up.* The probability that they will get called up *given that their true talent is what CHONE projects* is high; the probability that they will get called up if it is much lower than what CHONE projects is low. A good projection system will implicitly take into account the fact that a guy will only get called if he's good enough to play, and so will project that he's good enough to play. But, since the system doesn't actually project "call-ability", all AAAA have these high projections. (It's worth noting that this is exactly how Marcels projects any guy with no MLB experience--it just assumes he's an MLB average player.) I'm not sure that I'm explaining this very well, but I hope that the idea is clear.
November 20, 2009 12:39:52
Sean S said...
Not sure why the blog disappeared for a few hours this morning, but it's back now. Sorry about that.
November 18, 2009 08:44:10
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Sean S
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