Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Minor League Shortstop Data

Determining the defensive value of a player has always been difficult, and even when looking at Major League data, there are still some caveats and exceptions. When looking at minor league fielding statistics, we are struck by somewhat of a lack of data. Most minor league writers either just don't use fielding statistics (citing scouting reports instead) or use fielding percentage, which is not a holistic statistic. However, there are two different numbers that I use, that are publicly available, when looking at minor league fielding, Range Factor and FRAA. Both have their problems and are somewhat crude, but they give us an idea of how many plays and outs the player is recording. However, these two metrics are used by two different sites (Baseball Reference and Baseball Prospectus) and are without leader-boards, making it hard to compare players. Since I am always interested in shortstops, I decided to gather all of the 2012 Minor League shortstops and rank them by FRAA and Range Factor. I also used Fangraphs' Speed Score (for one, FanGraphs made it easier to look at all the shortstops in the minors at once) to get an idea of their general athleticism/baserunning abilities. The criteria was rather simple, they had to show up on FanGraphs' leaderboard as qualified shortstops, they had to have spent the majority of games at shortstop (there is no way to separate FRAA from positions played, but I used just the Range Factor for the time at shortstop), and they cannot have reached the Majors at any time. I also didn't include Billy Hamilton since he is moving to centerfield so his fielding numbers at shortstop (which were actually good, at least according to FRAA) don't really matter. Because FRAA data doesn't seem to be available for DOSL or VSL, I excluded them. I also didn't include Mexican Leaguers (just because they aren't in an affiliated system and it seems that FRAA data is not available for them either), even though they show up on FanGraphs' leaderboard. There are 115 shortstops that met this criteria and in the spreadsheet that you can download below that are sorted by FRAA (but I believe that you can sort it by range factor or speed score if you want). You can download the spreadsheet by clicking on this hyperlink or by copying and pasting the following link into your browser (the rest is self explanatory):


No comments:

Post a Comment