Daily Notes, Featuring the Best Performances of A-Ball

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. SCOUT Leaderboards for Both the Class-A Leagues
2. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

SCOUT Leaderboards for Both the Class-A Leagues
Regarding What This Is, First of All
What follows are the SCOUT Leaderboards for both the Class-A Leagues (the Midwest and South Atlantic ones, that is) combined.

Regarding a “SCOUT Leaderboard,” What That Is
SCOUT is metric designed to assess performance in those instances — like in a minor league, for example — where small samples are ubiquitous. A high SCOUT+ is good for a hitter; a low SCOUT- is good for a pitcher.

More on SCOUT, How It’s Calculated
SCOUT uses regressed, defense-independent inputs to calculate FIP-like stats for both pitchers and hitters. Click here to learn more about it.

Regarding SCOUT, One of Its Benefits
A benefit of SCOUT is, because both SCOUT+ and SCOUT- are presented relative to league, it allows one to compare the relative performances of players across multiple leagues — like in what follows, for example.

Regarding These Numbers
All the following numbers are final for 2012.

Top Batters of the Class-A Leagues (Overall)
Here are the top-10 batters of the Class-A Leagues, as determined by the methodology explained above.


Player Team League Age PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Matt Skole Nationals Sally 22 448 6.0% 21.0% 25.9% 177
Alejandro Segovia Rays Midwest 22 284 5.1% 10.2% 12.7% 160
Nolan Fontana Astros Sally 21 222 1.1% 29.3% 19.8% 155
Curt Casali Tigers Midwest 23 206 3.2% 13.1% 8.7% 154
Colin Walsh Cardinals Midwest 22 425 3.8% 14.1% 15.3% 151
Steve Souza Nationals Sally 23 293 5.7% 7.5% 16.7% 151
Brian Goodwin Nationals Sally 21 266 3.2% 16.2% 14.7% 151
Miguel Sano Twins Midwest 19 553 5.1% 14.5% 26.0% 146
Kennys Vargas Twins Midwest 21 186 4.3% 14.6% 22.0% 145
Dan Paolini Mariners Midwest 22 473 3.8% 10.4% 13.3% 144

Top Batters of the Class-A Leagues (Aged 21 and Under)
Here are the top-10 batters of the Class-A Leagues who might still, because of their age relative to the level, be considered prospects — again, as determined by the methodology explained above.


Player Team League Age PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Nolan Fontana Astros Sally 21 222 1.1% 29.3% 19.8% 155
Brian Goodwin Nationals Sally 21 266 3.2% 16.2% 14.7% 151
Miguel Sano Twins Midwest 19 553 5.1% 14.5% 26.0% 146
Kennys Vargas Twins Midwest 21 186 4.3% 14.6% 22.0% 145
Josh Sale Rays Midwest 20 297 3.3% 17.2% 20.9% 144
Christopher Austin Yankees Sally 20 309 4.5% 12.3% 22.0% 140
Cameron Garfield Brewers Midwest 21 257 3.9% 10.5% 16.3% 140
Gregory Polanco Pirates Sally 20 485 3.3% 9.1% 13.2% 134
Aderlin Rodriguez Mets Sally 20 352 4.5% 8.2% 20.2% 132
Max Muncy Athletics Midwest 21 274 1.5% 15.0% 13.5% 130

Top Pitchers of the Class-A Leagues (Overall)
Here are the top-10 pitchers of the Class-A Leagues, as determined by the methodology explained above.


Player Team League Age IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Matthew Stites Padres Midwest 22 48.2 175 34.3% 6.4% 49
Michael Tonkin Twins Midwest 22 39.0 154 34.4% 7.8% 53
Aaron Barrett Nationals Sally 24 34.2 139 36.1% 8.8% 53
Matt Barnes Red Sox Sally 22 26.2 97 35.0% 8.2% 55
Jose Fernandez Marlins Sally 19 79.0 295 33.6% 7.5% 57
Dylan Bundy Orioles Sally 19 30.0 99 33.4% 7.8% 58
Nick Goody Yankees Sally 20 24.2 94 34.1% 8.8% 59
Cody Hall Giants Sally 24 38.1 161 33.5% 8.6% 60
Russell Brewer Rockies Sally 24 60.1 236 32.2% 7.9% 62
Mariano Llorens Cardinals Midwest 19 20.1 81 31.6% 8.2% 62

Top Pitchers of the Class-A Leagues (Starters Only)
Here are the top-10 pitchers in the Class-A Leagues who made at least half of their appearances as starts — again, as determined by the methodology explained above.


Player Team League Age IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Matt Barnes Red Sox Sally 22 26.2 97 35.0% 8.2% 55
Jose Fernandez Marlins Sally 19 79.0 295 33.6% 7.5% 57
Dylan Bundy Orioles Sally 19 30.0 99 33.4% 7.8% 58
Kyle Smith Royals Midwest 19 67.1 280 31.1% 7.9% 63
Clayton Blackburn Giants Sally 19 131.1 531 26.9% 3.6% 65
Noah Syndergaard Blue Jays Midwest 19 103.2 420 29.0% 7.7% 69
A.J. Cole Athletics Midwest 20 95.2 376 27.1% 6.2% 70
Alex Meyer Nationals Sally 22 90.0 367 29.2% 9.2% 74
Justin Nicolino Blue Jays Midwest 20 124.1 495 24.0% 4.7% 75
Adam Conley Marlins Sally 22 74.1 301 27.9% 8.5% 76

Three Notable Performances
Matt Skole, a third baseman in the Nationals system, was pretty clearly the offensive leader of A-ball by this methodology. Both age (born in July of 1989, Skole was an old 22 this year) and defense (Brian Cartwright’s OLIVER projects Skole as almost a full win below average at third base) remain concerns regarding Skole’s status as a prospect, even as his offensive line provides a certain optimism.
• Houston’s Nolan Fontana is the only player both to (a) appear among the league’s prospect-age offensive leaders and (b) do so while playing the majority (and, in this case, roughly all) of his defensive innings at shortstop. Drafted in the second round out of Florida this summer, Fontana showed little in the way of power (hitting just two home runs in 222 plate appearances), but a great deal in the way of patience: Fontana’s regressed walk rate was eight percentage points higher than the next Class-A batter.
• There are a number of impressive and quite young pitchers on the SCOUT starting-pitcher leaderboard: of the five 19-year-olds toward the top of the list, three of them (Jose Fernandez, Dylan Bundy, and Noah Syndergaard) are widely hailed prospects. What follows are the most cursory possible notes on the other two. Kyle Smith is a right-hander and former fourth-round pick by the Royals (in 2011) who had little in the way of presence on preseason prospect lists entering the season. Reports from 2011 had his fastball in the 88-92 mph range, although there isn’t much coverage of him on the internet. Clayton Blackburn has a “heavy fastball,” according to Marc Hulet, who ranked the right-hander 12th among Giants prospects before the season. Blackburn was taken in the 16th round last year (i.e. 2011) out of a Oklahoma high school.

Other SCOUT Leaderboards
International League (Triple-A)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
Eastern League (Double-A)
Southern League (Double-A)
Texas League (Double-A)
California, Carolina, and Florida State Leagues Combined (High-A)
New York-Penn and Northwest Leagues Combined (Low-A)
Appalachian, Arizona, Gulf Coast, and Pioneer Leagues Combined (Rookie)

Today’s Notable Games
Oakland at Detroit | 19:05 ET
Oakland right-hander A.J. Griffin (65.0 IP, 87 xFIP-, 1.7 WAR), whose curveball doesn’t stop to the tick-tock or any other manner of onomatopoeic expression, faces well-regarded man of letters Max Scherzer (176.2 IP, 76 xFIP-, 4.1 WAR).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Oakland or Detroit Radio.

Chicago AL at Kansas City | 20:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Gavin Floyd‘s last start, against Detroit, was his best of the season on a per-batter basis. Line: 4.2 IP, 19 TBF, 7 K, 1 BB, 70.0% GB, 1.37 xFIP. He starts tonight for the White Sox.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Kansas City Radio, I Guess.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 4.1.

Note: the following Game Scores include the poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment discussed in a recent edition of Daily Notes. Also note: the following table is entirely sortable.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Aaron Harang LAN 1 1 3 7 8 WAS J. Zimmermann 19:05
Yovani Gallardo MIL 6 9 6 4 8 PIT A.J. Burnett 19:05
P.J. Walters MIN 2 4 2 2 6 CLE David Huff* 19:05
A.J. Griffin OAK 7 6 8 4 10 DET Max Scherzer 19:05
Ricky Romero TOR 2 5 4 6 10 NYA Andy Pettitte 19:05
Paul Maholm ATL 4 6 2 4 4 MIA Nathan Eovaldi 19:10
Felix Doubront BOS 7 5 4 5 3 TB J. Hellickson 19:10
Tyler Cloyd PHI 5 5 5 2 10 NYN Matt Harvey 19:10
Homer Bailey CIN 6 4 2 1 4 CHN Justin Germano 20:05
Gavin Floyd CHA 4 4 4 8 5 KC Luke Hochevar 20:10
Fernando Abad* HOU 3 3 4 9 5 STL Kyle Lohse 20:15
Eric Stults SD 3 7 3 6 5 AZ Ian Kennedy 21:40
Ryan Dempster TEX 6 7 5 8 4 LAA Jered Weaver 22:05
Wei-Yin Chen BAL 5 2 5 4 9 SEA Er. Ramirez 22:10
Jeff Francis COL 6 6 4 4 7 SF Tim Lincecum 22:15

To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.



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Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
4 years 9 days ago

I wish MLB Network used NERD to decide what to broadcast nationally. I want to see Griffin v. Scherzer in HD!

*checks MLB Network listings*

Oh. Dodgers-Nationals or A’s-Tigers. I should consult before I complain.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
4 years 9 days ago

Great. The one time I can sit in front of a TV to watch Max Scherzer, this happens.

Pickles
Guest
Pickles
4 years 9 days ago

“Clayton Blackburn has a “heavy fastball,” according to Marc Hulet, who ranked the right-hander 12th among Giants prospects before the season. Blackburn was taken in the 16th round last year (i.e. 2011) out of a Oklahoma high school.”

Dat’s Funny. Marc Hulet saw someone in the minors pitch.

Your Van Cs
Guest
4 years 9 days ago

Do you have the SCOUT numbers for Kevin Pillar? Curious how he was second in Midwest league in wRC+ but not on top 10 above. Low expected home run rate?

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