- FanGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs -

Daily Notes: The Top Prospect-Age Hitters by FIB*

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

1. The Top Prospect-Age Hitters by FIB*
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

The Top Prospect-Age Hitters by FIB*
Introduction
Minor-league regular seasons everywhere have come to their respective conclusions. Last week, before the author had become a really big deal and moved to Europe, he published a leaderboard of the top-10 qualified minor-league pitchers by kwERA (i.e. an ERA estimator derived entirely from just strikeout and walk rates).

Today, despite the fact that he’s a really big deal now and lives in Europe, the author has condescended to publish a second leaderboard — in this case, of the top-10 qualified minor-league hitters by FIB*, or Fielding Independent Batting (Asterisk). What FIB* isn’t is the same metric introduced to readers by Bradley Woodrum about two years ago. That one, called Fielding Independent Batting, but without the very integral asterisk, accounts for xBABIP and is presented as an index stat, like wRC+. What FIB* is is a batting metric calculated almost precisely like FIP, except then placed on the same scale as wOBA*.

*The equation, in full: [(HR*12 + BB*3 – K*2) * .141] + .3267.

Leaderboard: The Top Prospect-Age Hitters by FIB*
FIB* is a wOBA estimator which accounts only for home runs, walks, and strikeouts and was popularized — to the degree that it’s popular, at all — by the author just, like, 30 seconds ago. Below are the top-10 qualified prospect-age minor-league hitters by FIB* this season. (Note: batters who made zero appearances above rookie-level ball have been excluded, as have all Mexican League hitters, because their numbers are super loco.)

Rank Name Team Level Age PA HR% BB% K% FIB*
1 Miguel Sano Twins A+, AA 20 519 6.7% 12.5% 27.4% .416
2 George Springer Astros AA, AAA 23 589 6.3% 14.1% 27.3% .416
3 Zachary Borenstein Angels A+ 22 465 6.0% 9.2% 18.9% .414
4 Ryan Rua Rangers A, AA 23 525 6.1% 10.7% 21.9% .413
5 Joey Gallo Rangers R, A 18 467 8.6% 10.7% 36.8% .413
6 Max Muncy Athletics A+, AA 22 625 4.0% 14.1% 16.3% .408
7 Jabari Blash Mariners A+, AA 23 452 5.5% 13.3% 25.0% .406
8 Mookie Betts Red Sox A, A+ 20 551 2.7% 14.7% 10.3% .406
9 Maikel Franco Phillies A+, AA 20 581 5.3% 5.2% 12.0% .405
10 Marcus Semien White Sox AA, AAA 22 625 3.0% 15.7% 14.4% .404

Three Notes
• Were he a year or two younger, San Diego minor-league first-baseman/catcher Robert Kral, 24, would actually appear atop this entire list, after having produced a .426 FIB* on the strength of a Cal League season during which he hit 13 home runs and recorded walk and strikeout rates of 18.5% and 15.0%, respectively.

• It’s entirely possible that Angels outfield prospect Zachary Borenstein, playing in his age-22 season, deserves more attention for his offensive skills. There’s also a non-zero change that he, like other hitters (including Robert Kral, above), benefited from the offensive environment of the California League.

• To that point, it should be noted that the calculation of FIB* in this instance makes no allowances either for park or league.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Detroit at Minnesota | 20:10 ET
Justin Verlander (206.1 IP, 95 xFIP-, 4.5 WAR) faces Mike Pelfrey (146.2 IP, 114 xFIP-, 2.0 WAR).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Detroit Radio.

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.

Note that these NERD scores are calculated using the methodology introduced recently and designed to account for the influence of playoff odds on the watchability of games. ***Unlike in recent iterations of this table, the author has adjusted the day’s NERD Game Scores such that, combined, they average 5.0.*** This allows said table to resemble more closely the Game Scores that have appeared here over the preceding four months.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Wei-Yin Chen BAL 4 0 6 3 6 TB Chris Archer 15:10
Marco Estrada MIL 7 0 4 0 7 ATL Mike Minor 19:10
Aaron Harang NYN 4 0 6 2 8 CIN Johnny Cueto 19:10
Roy Halladay PHI 2 0 3 0 7 MIA Nathan Eovaldi 19:10
Jordan Lyles HOU 4 0 9 6 7 TEX Derek Holland 20:05
Charlie Morton PIT 6 2 7 0 8 CHN Jeff Samardzija 20:05
Justin Verlander DET 7 0 3 0 1 MIN Mike Pelfrey 20:10
J.A. Happ TOR 1 0 2 0 5 CHA Jose Quintana 20:10
Tanner Roark* WAS 7 0 9 4 9 STL Adam Wainwright 20:15
A.J. Griffin OAK 5 0 4 0 7 LAA Garrett Richards 22:05
Brandon McCarthy AZ 6 0 3 0 4 SD Eric Stults 22:10
Yordano Ventura* KC 9 0 5 0 5 SEA Brandon Maurer 22:10

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