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.