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Minor League Stats to MLB Career Projections

The Idea
I have been working on ranking minor leaguers with stats for 4 years now. It doesn't work. There are too many variables and even at the MLB level, developing one number to rank them all (WAR) doesn't work, so there is no way it will in the minors. What I have decided to do is look at projections instead. I don't use minor league equivalencies. I hate MLE's. I dislike the concept and the application even more. What I did was more comparison based.
I took the formulas I used in the past, applied percentages, found groups and found more exact comparisons, assigned MLB data from comps, regressed and viola. Projections for how similar minor leaguers performed in the majors and the chance that they even make it.
The percentages and groupings were released earlier this year for sale. Now I've developed this system. Right now, I only have a good system done for hitters. It's not great, it's good but could be improved upon. I've already altered it some and I regress TOO much right now. Essentially, these are "safe" projections. Players who are likely to succeed will likely produce better slash lines then what I project. From what I see, the most volatile stat is hits. The better players can outproduce their average projection by .020 to .030 points. In the full model I have created, I have a floor and average and a ceiling projection. This is only the average projections. I don't know if I will make the others available yet, because I am not confident in the results.

The Data

I chose a random year from the data I got from The Baseball Cube: 1996. No real reason for that choice other than it was long enough ago that most players would have much or all of their career played. I chose to use Low A ball for my group. Early enough in their career that it should be hard to predict but considering I was going to use 1996-98, they should have enough data to solidly predict their MLB skills.
After running these numbers, I liked the results but I wanted to see how much would change using A ball and lower levels. I used 1994-1996 in a separate calculation and the results were expected. Most players potential was decreased and a couple top players were overlooked. It's A ball. Hard to pick out all the best players. Mike Lowell was the biggest miss.

I am currently working on this projection for all the best current prospects. I currently have a list of 370 players I plan to do this for using their 2010-2012 data or as much is available.

Here is the Google Doc Link if you want to look at it or download it.



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Over the next month or so, I will be moving most Draft related info to MLB Draft Prospects. MiLB Prospects will be more focused on current minor leaguers.

These lists are far from perfect but it's a start

2011
Aaron Brown , OF , Chatsworth HS, Calif.
Aaron Westlake , OF , Vanderbilt
Aaron Collazo , SS , Lady Bird Johnson, San Antonio, TX
Aaron Deguire , C , El Camino College
Aaron Dunsmore , OF , Dayton
Aaron Fanning , SS , Northwest (TX) HS
Aaron Gretz , C , Apple Valley, Apple Valley, MN
Aaron Johnson , LHP , Dunham, Baton Rouge, LA
Aaron Knapp , MIF , Granite Bay Granite Bay CA
Aaron Moore , RHP , Westwood Austin TX
Aaron Nola , RHP , Catholic, Baton Rouge, LA
Aaron Novak , OF/RHP , Germantown Academy (PA)
Aaron Thomassen , RHP , Nathan Hale Seattle WA
Aaron Westlake , 1B/OF , Vanderbilt
Abram Cartledge , LHP , Thomson, Thomson, GA
Adam Bennett , SS/RHP , …

Top 300- 2010 MLB Draft Prospects

Name POS Schools
1 Bryce Harper C Southern Nevada CC
2 Jameson Taillon RHP The Woodlands (Texas) HS
3 Anthony Ranaudo P LSU
4 Drew Pomeranz LHP Mississippi
5 Nick Castellanos 3B Archbishop McCarthy HS, FLA
6 Bryce Brentz OF Middle Tennessee State
7 AJ Cole P Oviedo HS, Orlando
8 Zack Cox 3B Arkansas
9 Austin Wilson OF Harvard-Westlake HS, CA
10 Deck McGuire RHP Georgia Tech
11 Karsten Whitson RHP Chipley HS, Bartow, Fla.
12 Christian Colon SS Cal State Fullerton
13 Matt Harvey P North Carolina
14 Levon Washington 2B/OF Chipola JC
15 Manny Machado SS Brito Prep, Miami
16 Josh Sale OF Bishop Blanchet HS, SEA
17 Chris Sale LHP Florida Gulf Coast
18 Jedd Gyorko 2B West Virginia
19 Brandon Workman P Texas
20 Stetson Allie 3B St. Edward HS, Lakewood, Ohio
21 Brian Ragira OF Martin HS, Arlington
22 Dylan Covey P Maranatha HS, Pasadena, CA
23 Derek Dietrich SS Georgia Tech
24 DeAndre Smelter P Tattnall Square GA
25 Kevin Gausman RHP Grandview HS, Aurora, Colo
26 Cameron Bedrosian P East Coweta HS, Sharpsburg, GA
27 Jos…