Daily Notes: Notable Performances of the Texas League So Far

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

1. Three Notable Texas League Peformances
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Double-A Texas League
3. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
4. Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages

Three Notable Texas League Peformances
The leaderboards for the Double-A Texas League are below. Here are brief notes on three players from those leaderboards — like who they are mostly, for example.

• Outfielder Randal Grichuk is most commonly known as the player who was selected immediately before Mike Trout. While he’s developed more slowly, (a) so has every other player and (b) hitting well at Double-A as a 21-year-old is a decidedly encouraging sign.

• Cardinals minor leaguer Mike O’Neill is both (a) corner outfielder with almost no power and (b) playing at Double-A in his age-25 season. Still, his 78:26 walk-to-strikeout ratio last season in 520 plate appearances between High- and Double-A last season is impressive. He currently has a 5:1 walk-to-strikeout ratio — nearly sustainable, one might assume, given his numbers from last seaosn.

• A 14th-round pick by San Diego out of the University of Oklahoma in 2011, right-hander Burch Smith posted a 137:27 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 128.2 innings last season in the High-A California League. He recently touched 98 mph on his fastball, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock — harder than the 95 at which he seemed to top out during a start from last July recorded by Bullpen Banter’s Steve Fiorindo.

SCOUT Leaderboards: Double-A Texas League
Previously considered: International League (April 10) / Pacific Coast League (April 11) / Eastern League (April 12) / Southern League (April 16).

Below are the present SCOUT hitting and pitching leaderboards for the Double-A Texas League.

“What is a SCOUT leaderboard, gentleman author?” perhaps a person is asking somewhere — to which question that same author has provided a (hopefully) reasonable answer here. In brief, however, it’s this: an attempt to use our knowledge of certain metrics, and at what sample sizes they become reliable, to measure run production and prevention in instances where small samples prevail.

Below, as I say, are those leaderboards for the Double-A Texas League. (Note: statistics current as of Tuesday.)

SCOUT Leaderboard: Texas League Hitters (Overall)
Below is the current SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Double-A Texas League. SCOUT+ combines regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates in a FIP-like equation to produce a result not unlike wRC+, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all Texas League hitters) and above 100 is above average. xHR%, xBB%, and xK% stand for expected home run, walk, and strikeout rate, respectively.

Player Team Age PA HR BB K xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Austin Wates Astros (AA) 24 50 1 10 5 1.9% 11.1% 17.3% 116
Alex Buchholz Rangers (AA) 25 36 2 1 0 2.4% 7.2% 16.0% 112
Randal Grichuk Angels (AA) 21 39 1 6 3 2.0% 9.6% 17.5% 112
Anthony Aliotti Athletics (AA) 26 53 1 11 11 1.9% 11.5% 20.9% 110
Mike O’Neill Cardinals (AA) 25 47 0 5 1 1.6% 8.8% 15.1% 110
Brett Nicholas Rangers (AA) 24 45 2 4 6 2.3% 8.4% 18.7% 110
Henry Wrigley Rockies (AA) 26 37 3 2 7 2.7% 7.7% 20.5% 109
Rolando Gomez Angels (AA) 24 31 2 3 5 2.4% 8.4% 20.0% 108
Ryan Strausborger Rangers (AA) 25 37 2 3 6 2.4% 8.2% 19.8% 107
Guilder Rodriguez Rangers (AA) 29 36 1 2 2 2.0% 7.7% 17.3% 107

SCOUT Leaderboard: Texas League Hitters (Age 23 and Under)
Here are the top-10 batters of the Double-A Texas League who might still, because of their age, be considered prospects — again, as determined by the methodology explained above.

Player Team Age PA HR BB K xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Randal Grichuk Angels (AA) 21 39 1 6 3 2.0% 9.6% 17.5% 112
Everett Williams Padres (AA) 22 38 0 7 5 1.7% 10.1% 19.0% 107
Enrique Hernandez Astros (AA) 21 38 1 5 6 2.0% 9.1% 19.7% 107
Reymond Fuentes Padres (AA) 22 50 2 4 9 2.3% 8.1% 20.0% 106
Jefry Marte Athletics (AA) 22 47 0 9 9 1.6% 10.8% 20.4% 105
Taylor Lindsey Angels (AA) 21 38 0 5 4 1.7% 9.1% 18.4% 105
Jiovanni Mier Astros (AA) 22 45 1 7 10 2.0% 9.9% 21.4% 105
Jett Bandy Angels (AA) 23 30 0 1 1 1.7% 7.5% 17.5% 103
Chris Bisson Padres (AA) 23 42 0 7 9 1.7% 10.0% 21.1% 102
Darwin Perez Athletics (AA) 23 37 0 6 8 1.7% 9.7% 21.2% 101

SCOUT Leaderboard: Texas League Pitchers (Overall)
Below is the current SCOUT pitching leaderboard for the Double-A Texas League. SCOUT- combines regressed strikeout and walk rates in a kwERA-like equation to produce a number not unlike ERA-, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all Texas League pitchers) and below 100 is better than average. xK% and xBB% stand for expected strikeout and walk rate, respectively.

Player Team Age G GS IP TBF K BB xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Kevin Siegrist Cardinals (AA) 23 4 0 6.0 22 11 2 25.3% 8.2% 86
Keith Butler Cardinals (AA) 24 4 0 4.0 14 9 1 25.0% 8.2% 87
Mike Piazza Angels (AA) 26 4 2 12.0 51 17 5 25.2% 8.3% 87
Burch Smith Padres (AA) 23 2 2 11.0 38 13 1 24.4% 7.8% 88
Colt Hynes Padres (AA) 28 5 0 6.0 22 9 0 23.9% 7.9% 89
Paul Smyth Athletics (AA) 26 4 0 7.0 29 10 0 23.6% 7.8% 90
Carlos Pimentel Rangers (AA) 23 3 2 11.0 46 14 3 23.9% 8.1% 90
Yordano Ventura Royals (AA) 22 2 2 10.0 37 12 2 23.8% 8.0% 90
Randy Henry Rangers (AA) 23 3 0 6.1 24 9 0 23.6% 7.8% 90
Nick Tropeano Astros (AA) 22 3 2 14.0 55 15 2 23.3% 7.7% 91

SCOUT Leaderboard: Texas League Pitchers (Starters Only)
Here are the top-10 pitchers in the Double-A Texas League who have made at least half of their appearances as starts — again, as determined by the methodology explained above.

Player Team Age G GS IP TBF K BB xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Mike Piazza Angels (AA) 26 4 2 12.0 51 17 5 25.2% 8.3% 87
Burch Smith Padres (AA) 23 2 2 11.0 38 13 1 24.4% 7.8% 88
Carlos Pimentel Rangers (AA) 23 3 2 11.0 46 14 3 23.9% 8.1% 90
Yordano Ventura Royals (AA) 22 2 2 10.0 37 12 2 23.8% 8.0% 90
Nick Tropeano Astros (AA) 22 3 2 14.0 55 15 2 23.3% 7.7% 91
Ryan Feierabend Rangers (AA) 27 3 3 15.0 63 16 2 22.9% 7.6% 92
Asher Wojciechowski Astros (AA) 24 3 2 14.0 50 14 4 23.3% 8.2% 92
Scott McGregor Cardinals (AA) 26 2 2 11.0 45 13 4 23.4% 8.3% 92
Boone Whiting Cardinals (AA) 23 2 2 11.0 41 11 2 22.6% 7.9% 94
Neil Ramirez Rangers (AA) 24 2 2 9.1 36 11 6 23.3% 8.8% 94

Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
St. Louis at Pittsburgh | 19:05 ET
Through three starts, Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett has posted the league’s third-highest strikeout rate among 96 qualified starters, at 36.5% — this relative to the ca. 20% marks at which he’s generally sat over the previous four years. There’s no indication that he’s changed his pitch mix at all, nor does he seem to be throwing demonstrably harder. Of note: much of the added value appears to be coming from his curveball. Burnett faces Shelby Miller (12.1 IP, 3.25 xFIP), who is young and handsome and fast and pretty and can’t possibly be beat is unlikely to be beat very often.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: St. Louis Radio.

Tampa Bay at Baltimore | 19:05 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Matt Moore (11.1 IP, 3.76 xFIP) faces Chris Tillman (9.0 IP, 4.62 xFIP).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Tampa Bay Radio.

Detroit at Seattle | 22:10 ET
It’s unfortunate that this game — which features the very talented Max Scherzer (11.0 IP, 2.53 xFIP) and the also very talented Felix Hernandez (20.2 IP, 3.93 xFIP) — will be played in front of the Safeco center-field camera. Set rather far off to the center, said camera is less likely to document the Real Art taking place on that stadium’s mound.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Detroit Radio.

Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages
Note: the very proprietary and also critically acclaimed NERD game scores will become available again at the end of April/beginning of May.

Here — for purposes entirely of entertainment and not for gambling, which is a Scourge of Propriety — are all of today’s games with moneyline odds (from relatively “sharp” sportsbook Pinnacle Sports) translated into projected winning percentages (and adjusted to account for the vigorish).

Games are listed in Eastern Time, as the author has recently bothered to learn how to convert time zones in Excel. Game presented in order of (a) National League and then (b) American League and, finally, then (c) interleague play.

***Note: because no odds were available for them on Tuesday night, the Texas-Chicago NL (20:05 ET, Justin Grimm vs. Carlos Villanueva) and New York NL-Colorado (20:40 ET, Jeremy Hefner vs. Jon Garland) games are omitted from the following.***

Game Teams Starters Line Win%
19:05 St. Louis Cardinals Shelby Miller 1.81 54.1%
ET Pittsburgh Pirates A.J. Burnett 2.14 45.9%
19:10 Philadelphia Phillies John Lannan 2.20 44.6%
ET Cincinnati Reds Mike Leake 1.77 55.4%
19:10 Washington Nationals Ross Detwiler 1.61 60.8%
ET Miami Marlins Ricky Nolasco 2.50 39.2%
20:10 San Francisco Giants Ryan Vogelsong 2.12 46.3%
ET Milwaukee Brewers Kyle Lohse 1.83 53.7%
22:10 San Diego Padres Tyson Ross 3.28 29.9%
ET Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw 1.40 70.1%
15:35 Houston Astros Bud Norris 2.56 38.3%
ET Oakland Athletics Bartolo Colon 1.59 61.7%
19:05 Chicago White Sox Jose Quintana 2.18 45.0%
ET Toronto Blue Jays J.A. Happ 1.78 55.0%
19:05 Boston Red Sox Alfredo Aceves 2.23 44.0%
ET Cleveland Indians Justin Masterson 1.75 56.0%
19:05 Tampa Bay Rays Matt Moore 1.86 52.6%
ET Baltimore Orioles Chris Tillman 2.07 47.4%
20:10 LAA Angels Tommy Hanson 1.78 55.2%
ET Minnesota Twins Vance Worley 2.19 44.8%
22:10 Detroit Tigers Max Scherzer 2.01 48.8%
ET Seattle Mariners Felix Hernandez 1.92 51.2%
12:10 Kansas City Royals Wade Davis 2.65 37.0%
ET Atlanta Braves Mike Minor 1.56 63.0%
19:05 Arizona Diamondbacks Wade Miley 2.36 41.5%
ET New York Yankees CC Sabathia 1.68 58.5%



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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


6 Responses to “Daily Notes: Notable Performances of the Texas League So Far”

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  1. John says:

    Very pleased with these notes, with a single exception:

    You failed to make a Mike Piazza joke. He was born in 1986, so it seems purely coincidental that he shares a name with a certain well-known Mets catcher. Still, I demand a back acne test.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Frank says:

    Kershaw vs. Ross has to be the biggest mismatch in win% on the year, right?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. jfree says:

    How is xHR% derived?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. I read the entire piece (as I always do, thank you for what you do), but parenthetical interruption aside, I read the entire piece while skipping every single adverb. My conclusion? No difference really.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. j pearson says:

    Are Matt Long and Angelo Aliotti (25) too old to be included? They are tearing it up in the TL. Yet you have Mike Piazza at 26?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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