Clever Farming-Related Title

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
Player Age AB BB SO XBH H BB/AB SO/AB BB/SO XBH/H
Kevin Reese 27 256 22 35 27 68 0.086 0.137 0.629 0.397
Mitch Jones 27 238 18 80 35 73 0.076 0.336 0.225 0.479
Mike Vento 27 228 20 47 25 68 0.088 0.206 0.426 0.368
Felix Escalona 26 201 20 40 13 56 0.1 0.199 0.5 0.232
Colin Porter 29 154 20 45 11 26 0.13 0.292 0.444 0.423
Wil Nieves 27 147 2 14 13 39 0.014 0.095 0.143 0.333
Ryan Hankins 28 128 21 19 14 31 0.164 0.148 1.105 0.452
David Parrish 26 122 3 24 8 28 0.025 0.197 0.125 0.286
Bubba Crosby 28 122 8 19 9 29 0.066 0.156 0.421 0.31
Caonabo Cosme 26 120 9 24 13 31 0.075 0.2 0.375 0.419
Andy Phillips 28 100 7 23 15 34 0.07 0.23 0.304 0.441
Damian Rolls 27 88 11 24 6 23 0.125 0.273 0.458 0.261
Gabe Lopez 25 58 4 6 5 18 0.069 0.103 0.667 0.278
Deivi Mendez 22 18 1 3 1 5 0.056 0.167 0.333 0.2


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
Player Age IP K BB K/9 BB/9 K/BB
Alex Graman 27 66.3 59 20 8.01 2.71 2.95
Pete Munro 29 65.3 41 24 5.65 3.31 1.71
Brad Voyles 28 61.3 51 20 7.49 2.94 2.55
Sean Henn 24 45 30 12 6 2.4 2.5
Jason Anderson 26 39.7 36 10 8.16 2.27 3.6
Jorge De Paula 26 38 23 12 5.45 2.84 1.92
Colter Bean 28 31 42 11 12.19 3.19 3.82
Scott Proctor 28 31 41 9 11.9 2.61 4.56
Wayne Franklin 31 26.7 34 6 11.46 2.02 5.67
Sam Marsonek 26 22.7 22 9 8.72 3.57 2.44
Eric Schmitt 26 21.7 9 4 3.73 1.66 2.25
Kris Wilson 28 13.3 11 4 7.44 2.71 2.75
Moving on to the pitchers, the benchmarks set forth in Cameron's article are 9.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9 and 2.00 K/BB (with your upper prospects hitting 3.00). For younger prospects, the most important rate stat is K/9, though you expect your older prospects to have gotten the walks under control.

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.

Spreadsheets:
Click here to download Batting Spreadsheet
Click here to download Pitching Spreadsheet
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