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Thursday, June 06, 2019

IS FINDING A STAR NOTHING BUT LUCK?: QUANTIFYING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MLB PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

Some interesting research.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 06, 2019 at 08:41 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: player development

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   1. RickA. Posted: June 06, 2019 at 08:51 AM (#5848937)
Did TOLAXOR write this headline? Nice to know he's still with us, and gainfully employed.
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 06, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5848952)
It's weird that they go through the process in extremely granular fashion and then print the team totals in aggregate, without giving you any idea of which players accounted for how much development.

They seem to be way off on the team I'm most familiar with, the Rockies. The Rox have been in the postseason the past two years with a largely homegrown core; last year, they had a team total of 36.7 bWAR, 35 of which was provided by players they developed themselves. Yet, they claim the Rockies are only 22nd best at player development over the course of the study (2012-19). That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Part of the problem seems to be that their method of evaluating major league players is nonsensical: As a result, we decided to go one by one and manually grade each graduated player based on his age, 2019 projected WAR, and previous MLB production... Once a player relinquished prospect status, their MLB FV grade remained constant for the remaining duration of his career unless he switched organizations, established himself as an MiLB player again, and then proceeded to demonstrate a significantly different talent level upon reaching the Major Leagues with his new organization.

So once a player reaches the majors, they decide how good he's supposed to be, and that number never changes, no matter what his actual production was. Thus, you get "analysis" that shows Kyle Schwarber providing more value in 2018 than Kyle Freeland.

If I'm misunderstanding any of this, please let me know.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: June 06, 2019 at 09:57 AM (#5848961)
That appears to be correct Tom. When Max Muncy improves his outcome upon joining the Dodgers, the Dodgers get credit for that. But if Kyle Freeland improves his outcome at the MLB level with the same organization that developed him, nobody gets credit for that.

It's a clever study but there are so many assumptions in there. The idea of assigned a Future Value to amateurs based exclusively on signing bonus size is an interesting one. But the attempt to isolate minor league development leads to the problem Tom noted, which is a strange one.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:12 AM (#5848973)
Changed my mind. They must adjust the FV grades based on eventual production - it can't just be snapshot of a player the moment that he debuts. They gave Aaron Nola a 65 and Carlos Rodon a 45, but when those two debuted, Rodon was considered the potential ace and Nola more of a likely #3.

Ditto Kyle Freeland (55) and Jeff Hoffman (35) - there was no huge disparity between them when they debuted.

Addison Russel (50) vs Mitch Haniger (60) - another one that would've been flip flopped.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5848978)
They must adjust the FV grades based on eventual production - it can't just be snapshot of a player the moment that he debuts. They gave Aaron Nola a 65 and Carlos Rodon a 45, but when those two debuted, Rodon was considered the potential ace and Nola more of a likely #3.


It looks like they're assessing each player's career as a whole, then going back and retroactively assigning that value number to each year of the player's career. Thus, Nola is given a grade of 65 (the highest of any 2014 draftee, which is reasonable) and assigned that value for each of his seasons in the majors, including not just 2018, when he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, but 2016, when he threw 111 innings with an 87 ERA+.

That's certainly an original way of quantifying player value.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5848982)
Does he accrue value every single year? Or do they just realize $X when he graduates with a 65?

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