I've decided to take a look at the farm systems of a handful of clubs of interest. If you have one you'd like to see analyzed in the fashion below, let me know in the comments. Each organization will be broken down one level at a time from Triple-A to Low-A. The basis for most of the analysis will be David Cameron's Prospect Report: How Ya Do It and all statistics are from the wonderful MinorLeagueBaseball.com.
Today, we begin with the New York Yankees' AAA affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. To give us something to start with, here are the relevant statistics:
|Columbus Clippers Batting Stats|
The first word that comes to mind is "old." The average age is 26.9 years old and the median 27. The second word that comes to mind is mediocre. I'll expand on that second word.
The benchmarks set forth in the Cameron article linked to above (since I assume most people didn't read it) are 0.1 BB/AB, 0.2 SO/AB, 0.5 BB/SO and 0.3 XBH/H. The first statistic, walks per at bat, is generally considered the most important and I consider extra base hit percentage a close second, especially with older prospects.
Felix Escalona, Ryan Hankins and Damian Rolls are the only Clippers who reach one walk per ten at-bats. That's pathetic considering the average age of the team. You don't necessarily expect 22 year old Deivi Mendez to have great discipline in Triple-A, but you would expect more than three of the 13 25+ y/o players to manage some patience.
Strikeouts per at-bat also give you a decent idea about a prospect's bat control and his ability to judge balls and strikes. It's less important than walks per strikeout, though, and it's really only worth looking at the ridiculously high and low levels. Colin Porter and Damina Rolls fall into the former category and not one Clippers player into the latter.
As for power, Reese, Jones, Vento, Porter, Nieves, Hankins, Cosme and Phillips have shown a fair amount. That's more than half the team's batters, but their average age is 27.4. That's half a year older than the team average for those who can't remember.
Basically, your most complete player by internal numbers is Ryan Hankins, a 28 y/o Catcher batting .242. That really doesn't cut it by anyone's standards.
Setting aside internal numbers, Andy Phillips, Mike Vento and Mitch Jones are putting up respectable lines that are held together by high batting averages.
|Columbus Clippers Pitching Stats|
|Jorge De Paula||26||38||23||12||5.45||2.84||1.92|
Only three pitchers are managing to get one out by themselves each inning. Neither Bean, Proctor, nor Franklin are starters. Proctor and Franklin are combining those high strikeout rates with a relatively low number of free passes. Now, if these guys were all five or more years younger, that'd be something to get excited about.
All but three of members of the Columbus staff have their walk rate under control and because of that have decent K/BB numbers. Again, they're all old, though.
The biggest exception to Clipper mediocrity seems to be 24 y/o Sean Henn. He's walking only 2.4 per nine and is K'ing a respectable six per nine. Also, Henn has allowed only one home run in 45 innings.
There you have it. Very little to get excited about. I'd appreciate any feedback. Is there anything you'd like added to future installments? Did I mess something up? Let me know.
Click here to download Batting Spreadsheet
Click here to download Pitching Spreadsheet