Re: Middlebrooks' 1st Season: 27 HR, 92 RBI
posted at 9/10/2013 12:36 PM EDT
In response to youkillus' comment:
In response to ctredsoxfanhugh's comment:
Youre missing the point. Hanleys stats were not as good in the upper minors, his numbers look better because of what he did in the gulf coast league and single a. He's actually a good example of the scouting being ahead of the stats because even when the stats weren't there in the upper in the upper minors most thought he was something really special. You base our argument as if scouts are completely un necessary and all we need is Milb stats. I've never seen anyone n the know make that claim and I highly doubt teams pump millions into scouting if it's useless. It's not as if I'm saying milb stats are useless, obviously they are useful and telling, im just saying that people look too much into them, as you are doing now.
You're missing the point Hugh. Which was, I am in direct opposition to your contention that "A lot of thought and analysis really shouldn't go into minor league stats. While there are plenty of reasons that compile the body of work in MiLB numbers, it is good predictor of MLB results. Exact science no, a leading indicator yes. I challenged you to randomley select any MLB team, and I'll post their numbers to see if my view holds up. It's your move.
There's a difference between saying MILB stats predict MLB success and all major leaguers have great MLB numbers. If you look at all MILB players with great stats half of them will flame out, never reach the majors, and others will have sub par careers.
What you are suggesting is to work backwards and take MLB players today and say "see, they had similiar MILB numbers. If I give you a team and you look back, OF COURSE you are going to find good numbers and in many cases similiar numbers. I said MILB stats are not a great predictor of MLB success, that doesn't mean that MLB players don't have similiar MILB careers because the ones that have the talent to "make it" are the ones that transfer their skill to the next level. But the Majority of great MiLB players will never have MLB careers or simliar Careers.
THAT waushed to the majors, and while hit tools and BB/K ratios tend to be similiar it is very common that s my point, and my point was also that there are exceptions to that rule as well. Some players are rpower is the last tool to develop. THE POINT I was trying to convey, is you canno't weight what a kid did in Rookie ball equally with what he did in double A and triple A as a predictor of MLB success. Frank Thomas never hit more than 5 HR's in lower MiLB ball. Hanley Ramierz never hit more than 15 in 3 different levels before he reached double AA. Adam Jones never hit one in low A and developed power slowly as he moved up the ladder. Kevin Youkilis hit 31 HR's in 1,437 MiLB at-bats, Josh Hamilton Hit 29 in 1,150 at bats.
You also have to consider the type of player you are evaluating as well. Appx half of MLB players right now were drafted out of college, so their minor league careers were more brief and often they put up better numbers right away and advance to the big leagues in several years. But highschool dratees spend more time in the lower minors and sometimes they often struggle for a few years. So while the majority of the time YOU may be "right" the exceptions to the rule is going to be the 18 year old drafted out of high school who may have struggled for a few years before he caught on. theres a story behind the stats, these are often 18, 19, 20 years old who are still learning to play the game and moving up a learning curve.
Should we really weight what a player does at 18 years old in the gulf coast league as a predictor of MLB success? or course not, should we weight what a 20 year old is doing in single A or the pen state league? of course not. Can we put a lot more weight behind what a player does when he reaches AA or AAA, yes we can.
And Like I said before if we work backwards then ALL or most MLB players will have had similiar and successful MiLB careers. But I've laid out my case, that we have to consider, where the player came from (high school, college) and acknowledge that we have to take MiLB stats with a grain of salt because some players are rushed for example.
You did specify that it is a predictor of MLB success for OFFENSIVE players. Now that may hold more true as we see many examples of pitchers who have horrible control in the minors and put it all together in the majors E.G. Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez. Offensive players tend to have more stability (the ones who make it) with BB/K and OBP, OPS. However the one stat that fluctuates and is a poor predictor with MiLB players are their power numbers as any F.O. any scout, andy talent evaluator, anyone in the baseball community who is in the know will tell you that power is the last tool to develop. One of WMB best tools is his POWER. If that develops into what it could then he will have a good successful MLB career. It's not like looking at what a players AVG was from the GLC to the Carolina League up to the International league, when it develops a lot of players take off. E.G. Hanley Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis, Frank Thomas, Adam Jones, Josh Hamilton. Yes if you weight their MiLB career totals they might of had good AVG's and good OPS's but was the power there?
You are saying we can look at a players career and see that he had succesfull MILB stats: generally speaking I AGREE
I'm saying you canno't predict a players MLB future on MILB stats alone. The future has not happened yet, your analysis is all in HINDSIGHT. If WMB power develops he can be a very special player, not Miguel Cabrera special, but an above average offensive player none the less.
So yes once again if we go back and look at every MLB players MiLB career OF COURSE they are going to have good/similiar numbers nobody gets promoted by going 0/4 every night. But if don't work from hindsight and look at all MiLB players that put up great numbers you will find that a majority of them never turn into that players in the big leagues, BUT SOMETIMES when a player isn't playing up to his potential we can see in hindsight that the scouting reports had still showed that all the tools were there for that player to be something special.
Take Hanley Ramirez for example his MiLB OPS in 1,572 at bats were .788 with 27 HR's
thats 3 MLB seasons yet his 162 game average is .877 with 26 HR's
clearly he became a different player in the bigs, but he always scouted well.
WMB is showing more power that he really didn't start to show until he reached the upper minors, but he always scouted to have good power numbers. So we may look back at WMB 10 years from now and see that if you want to look at his MiLB stats what he did in Portland and Pawtucket reflect the player he is and not what he was doing in Lowell and Greenville.