Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Projecting the Future

In my preliminary research, I analyzed players different paths to the major leagues. I had to understand how they got there and how it changed how they were viewed as prospects. At that point, I was trying to understand why a player was a prospect and how good of a prospect he was. That is not dissimilar to what I am still trying to do. Now I know the best prospect from AAA to HS, but what's the next step. How likely is a player to make it to the majors and how good will he be when he gets there.

Right now, I am working on a projection system for predicting how good a minor leaguer will be when he reaches the majors. I have enormous amounts of data to sort through at this point in the process and figuring out how to make it mesh and come up with a good result will be hard but it's the challenge that keeps me interested.

I decided to look back at what I wrote over two years ago (hitters) (pitchers). It still works. It makes sense but turning those brief descriptions into something meaningful numerically is a daunting challenge. This will likely be my stat focus over the next 12 months. Growing what are just percentages and labels now into statistical projections.

With very basic information and manually running the numbers of what I have right now, here are two projections:

Fernando Martinez: Projected
AgeTmLgABH2B3BHRSBBBSO

50013427316947131
Actual
Age Tm Lg AB H 2B 3B HR SB BB SO
162 Game Avg. 458 96 28 2 15 4 24 110
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/16/2013.



Adrian Beltre: Projected
Year Age AB H 2B 3B HR SB BB SO

500 132 24 3 20 7 44 120

Year Age AB H 2B 3B HR SB BB SO
162 Game Avg. 610 171 35 2 27 9 44 100
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/16/2013.

At least it looks like I'm going down the right path at this point. With a day or two worth of work, I could hammer out a couple hundred of these but I'm not going to do that until I have more of the final framework in place. I know I can improve on this and I'm sure doing this with some guys who washed out would look horrible. I bet Brandon Wood would have projected well. I have to try to figure out where players like that go wrong and if predicting that is even possible. From preliminary looks, it's not. Derrek Lee had huge swing and miss issues too and he made it. The odds are against these players but they still have a good shot.
For next year, or maybe later this spring, we will see, I hope to produce a projection system for every hitter in the minors to go along with the percentages and other data that I see is useful.

If you want to help support my effort, check out my prospect percentages and get a little insight as to who the best players in each farm system are. If you buy the prospect percentages, I will send my preliminary projections to you for free.

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