Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Updating my Shadow System

This year, I'm doing this a little differently. From here forward, I will only be looking at players I drafted and international players I signed, eliminating existing Astros. I want this to be my team, not take credit for the great job that Jeff Luhnow and company have done in Houston liquidating MLB talent for prospects. To simplify the 2010 and 2011 drafts in which I intended to break the bank and sign all the players, I will only carry forward my picks in rounds 1-10 and the players that actually signed. This is more realistic than signing all the players. I did that to show how quickly a large investment at the amateur acquisition level could turn a team around. I will post a follow up about that in a year or two, using the logic I used when I did the drafts but for now, this is my shadow system.

This is my way of showing who I identified and thought were more valuable than others, while not losing out on all the talent I identified. This way, I can re-draft talent that I like that I previously drafted. I'm losing out on potential 1st round picks like Jonathon Crawford, Nick Burdi and others over the next two years but I can take them again if I'd like. I didn't like them enough to spend a high pick on them, so I can't claim I knew better than the rest in that way.

I also decided to look at my 2008 and 2009 rankings and while I didn't do a shadow draft for them, I went through the rankings I did and took the top player available at each Astros pick for those two seasons. I will add them to the system as well to help fill the rosters in and speed up the process by two years. I think I have improved considerably at talent evaluation since then but I still grabbed a few excellent picks, mostly because the teams that drafted them paid overslot when that was still a thing. I'm happy with the way the system shakes out and now I can start thinking about who I want to add this year.

These are the players that I will carry forward:


A.J. Griffin P
Justin Smoak 1B
Robbie Grossman OF


Sonny Gray P
Seth Maness P
Chris Hernandez P
Kyle Gibson P
James Paxton P
Jorge Reyes P
Chris Carpenter P
Jonathan Singleton 1B
Ryan Gennett 2B
Ryan Jackson SS
Nick Castellanos OF


Kevin Gausman P
Dan Renken P
Michael Ojala P
Forrest Snow P
Dean Kiekhefer P
Arcenio Leon P
Cody Martin P
Alex Sogard P
Dan Barnes P


A.J. Cole P
Ross Stripling P
Kyle Winkler P
Josh Osich P
Ethan Stewart P
Daniel Webb P
Colby Shreve P
Matt Lollis P
Hunter Cervenka P
Curtis Casali C
Tyler Hanover 2B
Tyler Rahmatulla 2B
Garin Cecchini 3B
Preston Tucker OF
Isaac Galloway OF
Josh Sale OF

Lance McCullers P
Mitch Brown P
Daniel Norris P
Drew Cisco P
Jharel Cotton P
Evan Rutckyj P
Brett Mooneyham P
Austin Maddox  P
Madison Younginer P
Max Stassi C
Christian Walker 1B
Roderick Shoulders 1B
Creede Simpson 2B
Adrian Morales 3B
Stetson Allie 3B
Rio Ruiz 3B
Adalberto Mondesi SS
Phillip Evans SS
Carlos Correa SS
Taylor Dugas OF
Jake Cave OF
Kyle Robinson OF
Danry Vasquez OF

Extended Spring Training

Mauricio Silva P
Amir Garrett P
Casey Upperman P
Dillon Maples P
Tim Brechbuehler P
Tim Melville P
Brett Hunter P
DeAndre Smelter P
Hunter Virant P
Tomas Nido C
Charles Moorman C
Matt Rice C
Kris Bryant 1B
Jared Lakind 1B
Eric Arce 1B
Martin Peguero 2B
Josh Tobias 2B
Amaurys Minier 3B
Matthew Dean 3B
Kevin Ross 3B
Mitchel Martes 3B
Wendell Rijo SS
Frandi Delarosa SS
Luis Enrique Acosta SS
Yairo Munoz SS
Austin Wilson OF
Derek Fisher OF
Manuel Margot OF
Yoel Araujo OF
Vicmal De La Cruz OF
Hersin Martinez OF
Luis Barrera OF
Ryan Garvey OF
Khiry  Cooper OF
Willie Argo OF
Danny Poma OF
Joseph Loftus OF
Iosif Bernal OF

James Jones P released
Michael Palazzone P released
Daniel Marrs P released
Kyle Necke P released
Austin Urban P released
Brett Bruening P Restricted List
Kendal Volz P retired

1st round picks:
2008 Justin Smoak
2009 Kyle Gibson
2010 Josh Sale
2010 Nick Castellanos
2011 Sonny Gray
2012 Carlos Correa

Friday, April 26, 2013

GAPPER 4-26-13

I'm not going to write a lot about these guys as many we are well aware of. A few interesting names show up though.

Top 15 hitters this week Team Level
Nick Castellanos Tigers AAA
Xander Bogaerts Red Sox AA
Arismendy Alcantara Cubs AA
Dalton Pompey Blue Jays A
Danry Vasquez Tigers A
Jorge Bonifacio Royals A+
Jose Ramirez Indians AA
Tyler Goeddel Rays A
Jose Osuna Pirates A+
Adalberto Mondesi Royals A
Jonathan Schoop Orioles AAA
Jonathan Galvez Padres AAA
Aaron Altherr Phillies A+
Brandon Drury Diamondbacks A
Roderick Shoulders Cubs A
Top 15 pitchers this week Team Level
Trevor Bauer Indians AAA
Jesse Biddle Phillies AA
Colin Rodgers Royals A
Taijuan Walker Mariners AA
Matt Andriese Padres AA
Eduardo Rodriguez Orioles A+
Michael Wacha Cardinals AAA
Tyler Skaggs Diamondbacks AAA
Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays A+
David Holmberg Diamondbacks AA
Henry Owens Red Sox A+
Mark Sappington Angels A+
Jose Alvarez Tigers AAA
Robbie Ray Nationals A+
Noah Syndergaard Mets A+
Overall top 25 hitters this season
Name Team Level Points
Francisco Lindor Indians A+ 168
Joc Pederson Dodgers AA 164.5
Byron Buxton Twins A 138.3
Nolan Arenado Rockies AAA 137.4
Jose Ramirez Indians AA 134.7
Hak-Ju Lee Rays AAA 125.9
Miguel Sano Twins A+ 124.5
Wilmer Flores Mets AAA 122.7
Adalberto Mondesi Royals A 121.6
Chris Owings Diamondbacks AAA 120.7
Arismendy Alcantara Cubs AA 120
Andrew Toles Rays A 116.2
Benjamin Gamel Yankees A+ 115
Nick Castellanos Tigers AAA 112
Reymond Fuentes Padres AA 108.8
Jurickson Profar Rangers AAA 106.5
Gregory Polanco Pirates A+ 105.8
Jorge Bonifacio Royals A+ 104
Jonathan Galvez Padres AAA 101.7
Maikel Franco Phillies A+ 98.5
Ramon Cabrera Tigers AA 98.5
Andrew Burns Blue Jays A+ 96.3
Rougned Odor Rangers A+ 94.7
Hernan Perez Tigers AA 94.4
Kolten Wong Cardinals AAA 93.5
Overall top 25 pitchers this season
Name Team Level Points
Jesse Biddle Phillies AA 202.7
Archie Bradley Diamondbacks A+ 188.9
Taijuan Walker Mariners AA 183.3
Tyler Skaggs Diamondbacks AAA 179.9
Clayton Blackburn Giants A+ 168.7
Jameson Taillon Pirates AA 167
Henry Owens Red Sox A+ 160
Zach Lee Dodgers AA 157.3
Matthew Wisler Padres A+ 155.3
Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays A+ 148.9
Rafael Montero Mets AA 146.2
Alex Wood Braves AA 146
Michael Wacha Cardinals AAA 136.3
Roberto Osuna Blue Jays A 136.1
Shane Watson Phillies A 134.7
Edwin Escobar Giants A+ 134
Robbie Ray Nationals A+ 133
Will Smith Royals AAA 129
Danny Hultzen Mariners AAA 128.2
Tony Cingrani Reds AAA 126.6
Trevor Bauer Indians AAA 126
Eduardo Rodriguez Orioles A+ 121.7
Shawn Morimando Indians A+ 118.3
Josh Hader Orioles A 116.7
Adam Morgan Phillies AAA 116.2
Age to Level
Name Team Level
Adalberto Mondesi Royals A
Carlos Tocci Phillies A
Jurickson Profar Rangers AAA
Francisco Lindor Indians A+
Jose Ramirez Indians AA
Wilmer Flores Mets AAA
Chris Owings Diamondbacks AAA
Nick Castellanos Tigers AAA
Rougned Odor Rangers A+
Oscar Taveras Cardinals AAA
Xander Bogaerts Red Sox AA
Carlos Sanchez White Sox AAA
Joey Gallo Rangers A
Carlos Correa Astros A
Hanser Alberto Rangers AA
Age to Level
Name Team Level
Taijuan Walker Mariners AA
Tyler Skaggs Diamondbacks AAA
Roberto Osuna Blue Jays A
Jesse Biddle Phillies AA
Jameson Taillon Pirates AA
David Holmberg Diamondbacks AA
Archie Bradley Diamondbacks A+
Zach Lee Dodgers AA
Michael Wacha Cardinals AAA
Clayton Blackburn Giants A+
Shane Watson Phillies A
Henry Owens Red Sox A+
Zachary Bird Dodgers A
Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays A+
Matthew Wisler Padres A+
The sexy numbers
Power Hitters
Name Team Level
Scott Van Slyke Dodgers AAA
Joey Terdoslavich Braves AAA
Miguel Sano Twins A+
Chris Snyder Angels AAA
Joc Pederson Dodgers AA
Stephen Vogt Athletics AAA
Caleb Joseph Orioles AA
George Springer Astros AA
Joey Gallo Rangers A
Robert Hefflinger Braves A+
Ernesto Mejia Braves AAA
Nolan Arenado Rockies AAA
Max Muncy Athletics A+
Stetson Allie Pirates A
Josh Bell Pirates A
Strikeout Pitchers
Name Team Level
Archie Bradley Diamondbacks A+
Jose De Paula Yankees A
Andy Oliver Pirates AAA
Will Smith Royals AAA
Yusmeiro Petit Giants AAA
Jesse Biddle Phillies AA
Jake Odorizzi Rays AAA
Edwin Escobar Giants A+
Kyle Zimmer Royals A+
Mark Sappington Angels A+
Andrew Barbosa Diamondbacks A+
Justin Fitzgerald Giants AA
Brandon Workman Red Sox AA
Rafael Montero Mets AA
Robert Stephenson Reds A
Red Flag potential
Highest K Rate
Name Team Level
Courtney Hawkins White Sox A+
Harold Riggins Rockies A+
Lewis Brinson Rangers A
Nick Ramirez Brewers A+
Evan Marzilli Diamondbacks A+
Denny Almonte Mariners AAA
Melky Mesa Yankees AAA
Mike Olt Rangers AAA
Xavier Avery Orioles AA
Trevor Story Rockies A+
Joey Gallo Rangers A
David Chester Red Sox A
Alex Liddi Mariners AAA
Justin Bloxom Nationals AA
Nomar Mazara Rangers A

Most Hittable..Poor Jason Adam...not a list you want to be on.
Name Team Level
Justin Germano Blue Jays AAA
Marcus Walden Blue Jays AA
Kyle Kaminska Red Sox AA
Seth Maness Cardinals AAA
Andrew Werner Athletics AAA
Chris Heston Giants AAA
Shawn Hill Tigers AAA
Bryan Blough White Sox A+
Jeremy Bonderman Mariners AAA
Andrew Carraway Mariners AAA
Jason Adam Royals AA
Ramon Del Orbe Marlins A
Tim Stauffer Padres AAA
Yusmeiro Petit Giants AAA
Zach Stewart White Sox AAA

Draft Profiles

Player Profiles
Willie Abreu, OF, Florida HS (3/5/13)
Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford (9/29/12)
Ryan Boldt, OF, Minnesota HS (1/12/13)
Kris Bryant, 1B, San Diego (10/15/12)
Nick Ciuffo, C, South Carolina HS (4/7/13)
Ian Clarkin, LHP, California HS (1/22/13)
Zack Collins, 1B, Florida HS (11/30/12)
Jonathan Crawford, RHP, Florida (2/7/13)
Jon Denney, C, Oklahoma HS (3/8/13)
Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU (12/9/12)
Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford (2/16/13)
Dominic Ficociello, 1B, Arkansas (12/11/12)
Clint Frazier, OF, Georgia HS (10/30/12)
Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma (3/28/13)
Josh Hart, OF, Georgia HS (10/16/12)
Jan Hernandez, SS/3B, Puerto Rico HS (1/16/13)
Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State (10/13/12)
Michael Lorenzen, OF/RHP, Cal State Fullerton (1/19/13)
Joe Martarano, 3B, Idaho HS (4/6/13)
Jeremy Martinez, C, California HS (1/23/13)
Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State (10/9/12)
Sean Manaea vs. Tom Windle Faceoff (3/17/13)
Reese McGuire, C, Washington HS (1/20/13)
Austin Meadows, OF, Georgia HS (10/23/12)
Oscar Mercado, SS, Florida HS (1/13/13)
Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina (11/27/12)
Chris Okey, C, Florida HS (2/10/13)
Brian Ragira, 1B, Stanford (11/20/12)
Hunter Renfroe, OF/P/C, Mississippi State (1/14/13)
Cord Sandberg, OF, Florida HS (11/1/12)
Dominic Smith, 1B, California HS (12/4/12)
Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas (9/28/12)
Kohl Stewart, RHP, Texas HS (12/15/12)
Brandon Thomas, OF, Georgia Tech (10/10/12)
Drew Ward, 3B, Oklahoma HS (3/9/13)
Karsten Whitson, RHP, Florida (10/12/12)
Justin Williams, OF, Louisiana HS (10/6/12)
Trey Williams, 3B, Junior College of the Canyons
Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford (10/5/12)

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Development of GAPPER: Garrioch's Analytical Prospect Point Ranking

The amount of value currently being placed on unproven minor league talent calls for the identification of key attributes that lead to a player reaching the major leagues. This is a commodity that should be heavily invested in. Originally, I did research on the MLB Draft, analyzing college, high school and junior college picks in each round to see what percentage of each made it to the majors. I added the additional variable of position but the results were too variable and not personal enough.

The next step was analyzing performance. I did not use advanced metrics, only the standard counting stats for this process because of the variation in any subjective statistics and scouting at the minor league level. I analyzed many years of data to find the correlation between minor league performance and reaching the major leagues.

I created a weighted point system to represent these numbers for an overall score to track in-season progress but the core of my system comes from full season analysis. Taking players and breaking them into groups of other players with similar results is the first step. The second step is just breaking the groups down one more step based on age, level and results. The third step is more granular and unique to the player. In the end, each player fits into three groups of varying sizes from very unique to very broad depending on how they performed and player comparisons available.

Once these groups were formed, I used the MLB data of the players that made it to the majors and assigned it to each group. This is a simple prediction of how similar minor leaguers performed in the majors and the chance that they even make it. These data sets are applied to each player and regressed based on the success of similar players.

The projections I have created are safe projections, regressed more toward the mean and it isn't rare for the best players to out produce them when I have studied past results. To counteract this deficiency, I created ceiling and floor projections as well, pointing out the potential for a player who could be a star and those that have red flags. Ideally, I need three years of data to run this projection but it's not necessary. It can be done with as little as 50 plate appearances.

This system has a lot to be done to it before it is finished but the structure is sound. I have concentrated on hitters but have a strong system for pitchers started as well it's just not as advanced. Because all of the talent in MLB comes from the minor leagues and one person can't see everyone, this could be a great tool to integrate with a scouting department and developmental staff to identify impact talent. For now, it will be used by anyone reading my blog or Minor League Ball.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Comparing MLB and International Slots

This years' international signing period will have slots. Sorting them with the MLB Draft, we can see where these players would slot in the MLB Draft, according to MLB. The Astros would get 1st (between 7th and 8th overall), 4th, 5th and 6th round picks while the Nationals would get 4th, 5th, 6th and 10th round picks.

First Slot:
6- 1st Round
1- Supplemental 1st Round
7- 2nd Round
1- Supplemental 2nd Round
13- 3rd Round
2- 4th Round

Second Slot:
20- 4th Round
10- 5th Round

Third Slot:
13- 5th Round
17- 6th Round

Fourth Slot:
4- 6th Round
15- 7th Round
4- 8th Round
5- 9th Round
2- 10th Round

Thursday, April 11, 2013

OOTP 14 Review

Last summer, I bought a new Mac and didn’t have any games on it. I was browsing through the app store and saw OOTP. I had never played OOTP before. I had purchased iOOTP for two years and loved it. I played it often on my phone at night or during breaks during the day. It was quick and easily accessible to pretend to be a GM and build up a dynasty. The depth of the game was as good or better than any other baseball game on the market. When I saw the game in the app store, I couldn’t pass on it. If the portable version was good, this has to be great…and so it began.

I played it a lot. Sometimes a couple hours would pass and I wouldn’t even realize it. That is what a game should do, in my opinion. It isn’t MLB The Show. It doesn’t look like a real baseball game or even try to attempt that. While I love the aesthetics of that polished console game, it fails on so many levels that I find many part of the game unplayable. Yes, I am a baseball snob and I am proud of that. What OOTP 14 does is replicate how baseball works better than any other game I have ever seen. OOTP 13 was a great game but lacked in amateur player acquisition. I worked on custom rosters but I got sidetracked. So I waited for the new version, one in which I hoped would have the updates I wanted.

For the couple months, I’ve been waiting for a new version to come out and I was excited when I saw the pre-release information that said it improved the parts of the game I wanted improved. Yes! I was lucky enough to get a version of the game before the pre-order release date so I could play it for a few days before I wrote my review.

This year, they used PECOTA for player ratings so the accuracy is as good as it gets. The minor leagues have all your favorite prospects, and the ones who are just organizational guys. You need them too in this game. You don’t want the AA team to suck. It will hurt the other guys’ morale. There are real players for the 2013 draft in the game…and the ratings are pretty accurate. I don’t know who did the labor on this but it is an impressive feat. Congrats to the development team for making a picky guy like me happy. Thanks as well.

At this point, I’m only one season in. I started a game as the GM of the Minnesota Twins. After playing the first season, the Owner thought we should play .500 ball (delusional) so I gave up on that by the 40th game or so and started selling off. I was pleased to find that I had to give up quality to get quality. By moving any veteran that I could get something for, I ended up getting a few decent prospects. The game is very realistic.  You can't trade scrubs for good prospects, though once a team is in win now mode, it is easier to pry them away. IF you want an easier go of it, you can tweak settings or even play in commissioner mode. You want to punish the Marlins? Want to make that contract for A-Rod a couple years longer to hurt the Yankees? You can do it in this game.

Back to my season. I checked the waiver wire often and picked up Jimmy Rollins and Roy Oswalt. I was hoping to flip them. Well that didn’t happen. So, J-Roll is the Twins 2014 short stop and Oswalt will be in the rotation…see being a GM isn’t that easy.

I went through the draft. Some of it was really accurate, some of it wasn’t but it’s hard to replicate something so unpredictable. Mark Appel lasted to the second round. The great part is that most of the ratings are representative of the real player. That is crazy. Eugene Vazquez wanted $2.6 million to sign, so did Justin Williams. They are good players but damn, that’s crazy. The thing is, they might actually have expectations like that. They are both talented, so in a simulation, this is believable. In the end, I paid them. Save at the big league level, spend on the draft. It was fun. The list of available players is huge and I recognized the vast majority of the names. I’m not sure if some were computer generated or not, the big names are there, so you can actually draft Jonathan Gray or Clint Frazier. So much fun.

I got skunked in the international free agency though. The top players kept running up the amount they wanted. By the time I realized I wasn’t landing a big fish, the little ones were gone. I only got a couple low level guys. That hurt.

Well, I will see how I can improve next year. I’ll try to move Rollins, wait for my youth to develop and hope Sano doesn’t miss almost an entire season with a leg injury. Yes, the game is very realistic and can crush dreams just like the real game. 

The game is phenomenal. The depth is amazing. There are reports on everything you could want. It is like having a full staff reporting to you. If I were a real GM, I would want many of the things in this game available to me. 

I can’t recommend this game more than I do. It is the best baseball game on the market. Hands down. Go buy it right now. You will be happy you did. Check out their facebook page for information, screenshots and to read what others are saying. I'm not the only one loves it. Don't miss out.