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Version 2.4.3 Changes: Notable Prospects

By on April 23, 2015

One of the big questions that gets asked when someone watches minor league baseball is “who should I be watching?” If you aren’t familiar with a team’s farm system, it’s hard to know how many prospects are on each team. Thanks to our partnership with we’ve solved that problem. Every minor league team’s page in the current season now prominently displays the players to watch on every team.


The players that appear on this list are only players that are currently on that team’s roster. Now you can distinguish the players with big league potential at just a glance.

Juan Nicasio and Knowing Where Your Stats Come From

By on April 20, 2015
The best* hitter in baseball this year

The best* hitter in baseball this year (photo via

wOBA is a fantastic tool for showing how valuable a player is offensively. It takes into account league contexts as well as the relative values of each way to get on base to provide a quick picture of how much someone contributes with the bat. Want to know who the best hitter in baseball has been a couple weeks into this season? wOBA is a great place to start. So who leads the sport so far? Adrian Gonzalez has set Dodger franchise records with his explosive start. Nelson Cruz has more home runs than some teams. Corey Seager is making headlines by tearing up the Texas league at just 21 years old. So it should come as no surprise when I tell you that the current best hitter in all of baseball is…Dodger reliever Juan Nicasio.

Is it a cheat to pick a relief pitcher with one plate appearance? Yes, but what makes this situation interesting is Nicasio is 0 for 1 this season, yet he’s still ahead of other guys sporting 1.000 batting averages in similar small sample sizes. This must be a bug, right?

If you read how we calculate wOBA you can see that one of the components that contributes to it is reaching via error, something almost no other offensive measurement gives a hitter credit for. On top of that, the run suppression that has happened all over the MLB the last few years has turned the National League into the most pitching friendly league in baseball. While reaching on an error is worth less than a single in the wOBA calculations getting on base is still so much more valuable in the NL than anywhere else that it’s worth more to reach on an error in the NL rather than get a hit in the Texas League.

The lesson here is that if you’re going to use stats, it’s important to know where they come from. Especially this early in the season these little quirks can end up having huge effects on the final numbers. By knowing how some of these weird results happen, you are better equipped to know how and when to use these tools. It’s become very popular lately to start quoting WAR figures this early in the season, but by taking the time to learn how WAR is calculated you’d learn that almost by design the UZR figures that make up a huge part of WAR are meaningless after two weeks. “Best hitter in baseball Juan Nicasio” is an extreme misapplication of stats, but the lesson is the same: there’s a time and place for all numbers, and it’s important to learn when that is before you use them.

Back For 2015 And A Partnership With

By on April 19, 2015

We had some update issues over the off season that have finally been fixed. If you’ve stuck with us, that’s great and we’re glad to have you around. I’ve had some major life changes since I first started Minor League Central in 2010 and that unfortunately means I can’t always give this site the time it needs. That being said, things are up and running again. There’s a few minor display things that need to be fixed but those should be taken care of the the coming days.

We’d also like to announce that we’ve formed a partnership with to provide prospect rankings for the site, which you can see here:

ranking capture

For now that’s all the rankings add but having this info available will allow us to add more features in the future. Again, thank you for sticking around, and we hope to continue to provide you with the best info possible.

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:


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 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.