Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email
Photo

Article: How Many of the TOP International Signings Make It?

  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 jorgenswest

jorgenswest

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,242 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:18 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...ignings-make-it

#2 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,568 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:26 AM

Fantastic. I've been waiting to see someone do this and your data backs up my initial thoughts... It's really hard to figure out which 16 year old players will become quality MLB players, which makes the Twins strategy of "throw smaller amounts of money at a lot of guys" seem pretty logical.

#3 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 22,817 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:38 AM

I have been looking for someone to do this.....is this as far back as the data goes? Did you look at more recent data? I might do that if I actually go to RAGBRAI and hang out (since I am not recovered enough from last year's bike accident enough to ride 7 straight days).

The real deal here is that it is a lottery pick.

#4 John Bonnes

John Bonnes

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 5,662 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

I loved this story. Thanks for writing it. In god we trust - all others must bring data.

#5 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 15,068 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:44 AM

Tremendous article! Thank you for doing this jorgenwest!

This is a topic that Jeremy and I have spent a lot of time talking about in the last couple of weeks on the Twins Hangouts show. We're both obviously thrilled to have Miguel Sano on the Twins roster ($3.15 million), but generally, I would rather that the Twins sign 6 guys at $500,000 than one guy at $3 million when it's such an uncertain thing.

#6 Monkeypaws

Monkeypaws

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,726 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:50 AM

I like that you point out some pretty good Twins prospects that were signed in the same year as the big money kids.

Very well-done article.

#7 birdwatcher

birdwatcher

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,150 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:01 AM

Wow. This is incredibly illuminating. Thanks for digging this up, jorgenswest. The scouting quality and the overall environment in 2014 is probably vastly superior compared to 2006/7, but still, it would be hard to contend that signing the most highly-rated prospects today is that much more predictable. It appears the answer to your first question is that it's probably still pretty much a crap shoot. The second question is impossible to answer: will the Yankees get rewarded? Even if they turn out a Teheran for roughly $14M? A lot of that might depend on if they end up suffering the consequences for cheating, i.e. no signings over $300k the following year, but then again they can still find the Arcias, Santanas, and Pintos, right?

Some have criticized the Twins for not signing more of these more highly-ranked prospects, and I'd say this data suggests that the criticism is unfounded, for two reasons. First, they DO sign a number of prospects that others rank highly, such as Sano, Minier, Diaz, Barrie, Silva and Ynoa in the last two years. They sign prospects they like regardless of these dicey outside rankings. Secondly, the many success stories bubbling up support their process: Arcia, Santana, Polanco, Pinto, Sano, Vargas, Thorpe...

And the Twins should NOT do the same thing, even if it would clearly work, because it cheats others and it's wrong by every ethical standard one can cite.

#8 SDFan

SDFan

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 22 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:05 AM

Fantastic research on a very interesting topic. Thanks!

#9 gunnarthor

gunnarthor

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 7,938 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:13 AM

A few questions:
1) Were those signings the top signings of those years or the list made by BA? Maybe BA isn't as good at scouting international signees so their list might not be accurate enough to make a determination.

2) How many players, not on that list, made it? You pointed out that the Twins made a few nice signings in that period. How about other teams (yes, that's a lot of work).

3) Another way to review international signees may be to review BA top 100 prospect lists and find out, in whatever year, how many became top 100 guys.

#10 Dman

Dman

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 953 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:29 AM

I think what gets many of us is the Sano effect. A high profile high priced prospect who looks like he could be a super star. I think the mentality becomes that every high profile high priced prospect will likely succeed. It is good to see facts dismiss conjecture. 16 year olds and even 18 year olds are hard to project. This is a good exercise to help us put international signings in proper perspective.

#11 twinsfan34

twinsfan34

    Paul DeVos

  • Members
  • 748 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:26 AM

Here's a link with a few more years to add to the sample size.

http://www.mlbprospe...l-signings.html

2010 and 2011 was a bit better...a few other years as well. Still hit and miss. Not quite enough data out there to compare vs the MLB Rule IV June Drafts.

I ran some comparisons using the Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list and players who were international signings were more often "Stars" (War over 30, War over 40, War over 50, etc) but College/HS drafted players more often made MLB. BA's lists go back to 1995: http://www.baseballa...spects/all-time

#12 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 22,817 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:44 AM

This is all super stuff, thanks everyone!

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#13 tarheeltwinsfan

tarheeltwinsfan

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 362 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:28 AM

Very interesting. These facts seem to verify what we all think we know...the younger the prospect, the more difficult it is to predict whether he will be a major league baseball player.

#14 Oxtung

Oxtung

    If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence of tryin

  • Members
  • 1,820 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:29 AM

I think there are a couple of factors that aren't being discussed and a few things being conflated in this discussion. First we should separate whether the Yankees should have gone all in from did the Twins do right by signing many smaller signings.

The Yankees (and all high income teams), have a real dilemma of where to put there money. Which route will provide the largest return? They are capped in the rule IV draft. With potential FA players being locked into long term contracts early on in their MLB careers the big FA additions are becoming less attainable even as their contracts become obnoxiously bloated and for MANY years beyond their productive seasons. Perhaps from the Yankees point of view the return on potential young controllable players is greater than adding another big FA contract (hello A-Rod). They have money to spend and need to spend it somewhere. The questions really just becomes where should that be?

The Twins on the other hand don't have that kind of money and so their question is is it better to sign one or 2 big players or spread it around? I think in order to accurately answer that question you'd have to also look at how many players signed lower priced contracts and succeeded. You can spend a million dollars on 7 kids and get nothing out of it just as easy as spending a million dollars on 1 kid. What are the success rates? Also a part of this discussion becomes one of numbers. There are only a certain number of players the Twins can field. They can't sign 30 guys to $30,000 contracts because there just isn't room for them all. At what point are the Twins leaving money on the table by spreading it too thin to prospects? Perhaps the biggest return on investment is what the Twins are currently employing. Sign 1 or 2 guys your scouts really like for a "big" price and then sign another bunch of "potential players" to smaller checks. That way you cover both bases.

Interesting questions. Thanks for starting the research.

#15 Winston Smith

Winston Smith

    2 + 2 = 5

  • Members
  • 2,593 posts
  • LocationOceania

Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:41 AM

Just looked at the June draft for 07 and 08.

In the 07 draft in round 1 and 1s had 64 players picked and 8 of them have a war of over 5.

In the 08 draft in round 1 and 1s had 46 players drafted and again 8 have a war over 5.

Weather it's with Int. signings or with the draft it appears that baseball talent people have a hard time picking the right guys. Not a very good success rate either way.

#16 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 22,817 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:16 PM

I think there are a couple of factors that aren't being discussed and a few things being conflated in this discussion. First we should separate whether the Yankees should have gone all in from did the Twins do right by signing many smaller signings.

The Yankees (and all high income teams), have a real dilemma of where to put there money. Which route will provide the largest return? They are capped in the rule IV draft. With potential FA players being locked into long term contracts early on in their MLB careers the big FA additions are becoming less attainable even as their contracts become obnoxiously bloated and for MANY years beyond their productive seasons. Perhaps from the Yankees point of view the return on potential young controllable players is greater than adding another big FA contract (hello A-Rod). They have money to spend and need to spend it somewhere. The questions really just becomes where should that be?

The Twins on the other hand don't have that kind of money and so their question is is it better to sign one or 2 big players or spread it around? I think in order to accurately answer that question you'd have to also look at how many players signed lower priced contracts and succeeded. You can spend a million dollars on 7 kids and get nothing out of it just as easy as spending a million dollars on 1 kid. What are the success rates? Also a part of this discussion becomes one of numbers. There are only a certain number of players the Twins can field. They can't sign 30 guys to $30,000 contracts because there just isn't room for them all. At what point are the Twins leaving money on the table by spreading it too thin to prospects? Perhaps the biggest return on investment is what the Twins are currently employing. Sign 1 or 2 guys your scouts really like for a "big" price and then sign another bunch of "potential players" to smaller checks. That way you cover both bases.

Interesting questions. Thanks for starting the research.



Love this post. Love it.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#17 jay

jay

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,504 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:47 PM

Great stuff. I really love this type of data-driven analysis. Really shows that the rankings, while fun, don't provide that much value. It's the results that we all care about in the end.

Along those lines, it would be amazing to do an ROI-like study with $/WAR across multiple years of int'l signings to look at how each team has performed and how tiers of signing bonuses compare to each other -- somewhat like the recent blog I put up on free agent SPs.

#18 drivlikejehu

drivlikejehu

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,768 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:48 PM

I think teams are reasonably good at signing amateur players. Draft studies show that MLB production is very high at the top of the draft, in aggregrate, and then drops sharply before eventually levelling out. Signing players at 16 certainly increases the variance, but consider the cost of acquiring MLB production - 1 win above replacement costs $6-7 million in free agency.

The spending has be considered in totality - yes, most fail, but it doesn't take much justify the expense.

#19 Major Leauge Ready

Major Leauge Ready

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,170 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:54 PM

I put this together about a week ago when someone made an off-hand comment about the Twins being cheap. I presumed the more likely case was they were acting in a manner consistent with the data they had collected on international signings. I found this list of the all-time top 20 international free agents. It is hard to measure their relative success without really diving in so I measured mostly how they rated in terms of their teams prospect list or in a couple cases they were already out of pro baseball.
[TABLE="width: 958"]

1
Michael Ynoa
2008
RHP
Athletics
16
$4.25
Ranked #22 in 2009 / Now in A+ with an ERA over 7 the last two years


2
Miguel Sano
2009
SS
Twins
16
$3.15



3
Gary Sanchez
2009
C
Yankees
16
$3
Top 100 prospect at AA (age 21)


4
Adonys Cardona
2010
RHP
Blue Jays
16
$2.80
2103 at RK league had 6.75 ERA / 2014 8.44 ERA


5
Luis Heredia
2010
RHP
Pirates
16
$2.60
Not in Pitt top 20 prospects


5
T-5. Ariel Ovando
2010
OF
Astros
16
$2.60
A-Ball with an OPS of 651 / OPS of 469 last year


7
Rafael Rodriguez
2008
OF
Giants
16
$2.55
In A-ball / Not listed in Giants top 20 prospects


8
Yorman Rodriguez
2008
OF
Reds
16
$2.50
AA (Age 21) OPS of 638 / Rated as Red's #8 prospect


9
Wily Mo Pena
1999
OF
Yankees
17
$2.44
4th outfielder / out of baseball before he was 30.


10
Joel Guzman
2001
SS
Dodgers
16
$2.26
Top 5 prospect in 2005. Never made it past AAA.


11
Byung-Hyun Kim
1999
RHP
Dbacks
20
$2.25
Never made it past AAA


12
Phillips Castillo
2010
OF
Mariners
16
$2.20
Not in Ms top 20 prospects


13
Renato Nunez
2010
3B
Athletics
16
$2.20
A+ / Scouting report gives him a 50 overall / Not likely to stick art 3B


14
Chin-Hui Tsao
1999
RHP
Rockies
18
$2.20
Was rated as high as #15 / Never made it past AAA


15
Angel Villalona
2006
3B
Giants
16
$2.10
Was rated as high as #33 / Now at AA / Not in SF top 20


16
Juan Duran
2008
OF
Reds
16
$2
AA / Not in Cin top 20


17
Guillermo Pimentel
2009
OF
Mariners
16
$2
AA - Seattle's #10 prospect


18
Adys Portillo
2008
RHP
Padres
16
$2
AA - Not in Padres Top 20


19
Jose Vinicio
2009
SS
Red Sox
16
$1.95
Not in Red Sox top 20


20
Miguel Cabrera
1999
SS
Marlins
16
$1.90


[/TABLE]

#20 TCisNotaBear

TCisNotaBear

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 11 posts

Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:08 PM

I loved this story. Thanks for writing it. In god we trust - all others must bring data.


To be Fair... I expect God to bring data too. At least, if he want to talk baseball that is. I'll take good baseball stories over "the good news" any day.

Good story!