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Willihammer

Twins top 19 position prospects as ranked by JAVIER

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Over at Beyond The Boxscore, Chris St John revealed a system for predicting major league success of minor leaguers based on prospect age and level. The system is called JAVIER (named after Cubs SS prospect Javier Baez), and you can read about it here. The system predicts whether a prospect will bust, have an average career, or be a productive player (defined as having at least 1000 MLB PAs and producing at least 0.0275 VORP per PA - read about VORP here), based on a dataset of 41,238 player-seasons between the years 1978 and 2013.

In part 2 of St John's reveal, he gives us is a tool where you can input a prospect's age, level, zBB, zK, and zISO values to see how they compare, historically, against all prospects with similar plate discipline and power at a given age/level.

So I inputed the values of the top Twins position prospects in the 2013 minor league season (prospects taken from Seth Stoh's top 50 list ). Where prospects split time between two leagues, I used the values from the league where he logged the most PAs. I inputed the player's age as listed on baseball-reference's Minor's page as the minimum of the age range, and their age + 1 as the maximum. I inputed zBB, zK, and zISO values that were +/- one standard deviation. The results are below.
Player Productive Average Bust Total Avg MLB PA Avg MLB VORP
Aaron Hicks 17 31 98 146 1137 44
Adam Brett Walker 4 3 39 46 624 31
Brian Navarreto 16 12 148 176 571 52
Byron Buxton 10 11 44 65 1428 80
Dalton Hicks 6 5 210 221 166 16
Danny Ortiz 24 64 447 535 558 21
Danny Santana 17 57 328 402 636 17
Eddie Rosario 41 85 278 404 1222 38
JD Williams 11 7 160 178 433 38
Jorge Polanco 43 57 152 252 1620 77
Josmil Pinto 13 17 203 233 442 21
Kennys Vargas 16 16 248 280 414 30
Levi Michael 13 18 268 299 297 23
Max Kepler 21 21 118 160 1065 63
Miguel Sano* 1 0 1 2 4213 243
Mike Kvasnicka 2 1 230 233 67 11
Niko Goodrum 10 10 207 227 309 22
Stuart Turner 4 8 306 318 154 33
Travis Harrison 12 6 69 87 876 54
Zach Larson 13 10 175 198 459 49

Sano stands out right away - he kinda breaks the projection. Only two batters in St John's dataset fall within a standard deviation of Sano's plate discpipline and power profile as a 20 year old in AA. They are Jose Canseco and Randy Johnson (not that Randy Johnson). So his JAVIER projection is pretty useless due to SSS.

We can re-rank the Twins top position prospects in a number of ways. Here they are in order of Productive%:
Player Productive Total Productive %
1 Jorge Polanco 43 252 17.06%
2 Byron Buxton 10 65 15.38%
3 Travis Harrison 12 87 13.79%
4 Max Kepler 21 160 13.13%
5 Aaron Hicks 17 146 11.64%
6 Eddie Rosario 41 404 10.15%
7 Brian Navarreto 16 176 9.09%
8 Adam Brett Walker 4 46 8.70%
9 Zach Larson 13 198 6.57%
10 JD Williams 11 178 6.18%
11 Kennys Vargas 16 280 5.71%
12 Josmil Pinto 13 233 5.58%
13 Danny Ortiz 24 535 4.49%
14 Niko Goodrum 10 227 4.41%
15 Levi Michael 13 299 4.35%
16 Danny Santana 17 402 4.23%
17 Dalton Hicks 6 221 2.71%
18 Stuart Turner 4 318 1.26%
19 Mike Kvasnicka 2 233 0.86%

Ranked in order of highest average VORP at the MLB level, the top 19 are:
Player Avg MLB PA Avg MLB VORP
1 Byron Buxton 1428 80
2 Jorge Polanco 1620 77
3 Max Kepler 1065 63
4 Travis Harrison 875.7 53.9
5 Brian Navarreto 570.9 51.9
6 Zach Larson 458.8 49.1
7 Aaron Hicks 1137 44
8 JD Williams 433.1 38.3
9 Eddie Rosario 1222 38
10 Stuart Turner 153.8 33.1
11 Adam Brett Walker 624.3 30.5
12 Kennys Vargas 414.4 30.3
13 Levi Michael 297.4 23.2
14 Niko Goodrum 308.5 22
15 Josmil Pinto 442.4 21.4
16 Danny Ortiz 558.1 21.2
17 Danny Santana 635.6 16.9
18 Dalton Hicks 166 16.2
19 Mike Kvasnicka 66.55 10.92

Ranked in order of lease likely to bust, the top 19 are:
Player Bust Total Bust%
1 Jorge Polanco 152 252 60.32%
2 Aaron Hicks 98 146 67.12%
3 Byron Buxton 44 65 67.69%
4 Eddie Rosario 278 404 68.81%
5 Max Kepler 118 160 73.75%
6 Travis Harrison 69 87 79.31%
7 Danny Santana 328 402 81.59%
8 Danny Ortiz 447 535 83.55%
9 Brian Navarreto 148 176 84.09%
10 Adam Brett Walker 39 46 84.78%
11 Josmil Pinto 203 233 87.12%
12 Zach Larson 175 198 88.38%
13 Kennys Vargas 248 280 88.57%
14 Levi Michael 268 299 89.63%
15 JD Williams 160 178 89.89%
16 Niko Goodrum 207 227 91.19%
17 Dalton Hicks 210 221 95.02%
18 Stuart Turner 306 318 96.23%
19 Mike Kvasnicka 230 233 98.71%
You get the idea.

In part 3 you can compare players by minor league careers (rather than single seasons). A blog for another day maybe.

Updated 07-17-2014 at 01:01 PM by Willihammer

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Comments

  1. ericchri's Avatar
    Start the trade Dozier to make room for Polanco chants now?
  2. Willihammer's Avatar
    I had to update the tables because I had Polanco's 2013 level wrong (A+ instead of A). He still comes out looking ok.
  3. ericchri's Avatar
    Interesting to see how well Kepler and Harrison are stacking up in these. The sudden onrush of decent pitching prospects in our system has seemed to push those two a little into the afterthoughts category with a lot of us.
  4. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Good work. I appreciate the look from a different lens.
  5. curt1965's Avatar
    We'll done! Extremely interesting, for a non-tech savvy person like myself!
  6. tarheeltwinsfan's Avatar
    Can you explain this in more detail please.
  7. Willihammer's Avatar
    @ tarheel, all I did was input the Twins prospects' PA, AB, 2B, 3B, HR values into the tool on the beyondtheboxscore site (linked above), to produce zK, zBB, and zISO values which I then plugged into St John's other tool (sounds dirtier than it was). The tool based on the 41,000 minor league player seasons. That produced the probabilities described above.
  8. clutterheart's Avatar
    Their system likes age & and on base %. Thus Polanco is gets love.

    That also explains the high rankings for Kepler and Harrison.
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