Increasingly Relevant Stat Report on the Arizona Fall League

Over the past three weeks, the author has published an entirely premature statistical report and then a slightly less premature one of those and then, most recently, an almost not premature statistical report on the Arizona Fall League — not necessarily because such a thing is of great utility to prospect analysis, but more because, for those of us not currently present in the Greater Phoenix area, it’s one of the few ways to participate in that very compelling league.

What follows is fourth edition of this site’s weekly AFL statistical report — itself something that is become increasingly relevant for reasons the author would be embarrassed to note for someone as smart as the reader.

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Increasingly Relevant SCOUT Leaderboard: AFL Hitters
Below is the current SCOUT batting leaderboard for all Arizona Fall League hitters. 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 and above 100 is above average. Note that xHR%, xBB%, and xK% stand for expected home run, walk, and strikeout rate, respectively.

Player MLB Age PA HR BB K xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Thomas La Stella Braves 24 52 1 12 1 1.8% 16.3% 4.5% 149
Jared Mitchell White Sox 24 45 3 11 5 3.1% 16.1% 13.6% 146
Michael Ohlman Orioles 22 25 2 8 3 2.7% 15.4% 17.3% 132
Henry Urrutia Orioles 26 45 2 5 3 2.5% 11.1% 10.3% 130
Matt Skole Nationals 23 39 2 11 7 2.6% 16.7% 19.1% 130
Dustin Garneau Rockies 25 37 3 7 7 3.2% 13.5% 19.8% 126
C.J. Cron Angels 23 52 3 5 7 3.0% 10.5% 14.5% 126
Andrew Susac Giants 23 40 1 10 6 2.0% 15.7% 17.0% 124
Nick Ahmed D-backs 23 44 1 8 5 1.9% 13.7% 14.0% 124
Colin Moran Marlins 20 58 0 10 7 1.2% 14.1% 12.4% 119

Increasingly Relevant SCOUT Leaderboard: AFL Pitchers
Below is the current SCOUT pitching leaderboard for the AFL. SCOUT- combines regressed strikeout and walk rates in a kwERA-like equation to produce a number not unlike ERA-, where 100 is league average and below 100 is better than average. Note that xK% and xBB% stand for expected strikeout and walk rate, respectively.

Player MLB Age G GS IP TBF K BB xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Nick Wittgren Marlins 22 7 0 7.2 27 12 1 30.1% 9.9% 78
Angel Baez Royals 22 5 0 8.2 42 15 5 29.9% 11.3% 82
Bo Schultz D-backs 27 4 4 18.1 74 20 4 27.0% 8.6% 82
Cam Bedrosian Angels 21 5 0 5.1 22 9 1 27.3% 10.2% 85
Jeff Urlaub Athletics 26 6 0 7.0 26 9 1 26.1% 10.0% 87
Drew Hutchison Blue Jays 22 3 3 10.2 39 11 1 25.1% 9.1% 87
Jonas Dufek Astros 25 5 0 6.1 27 9 1 25.8% 9.9% 87
Alex Meyer Twins 23 5 5 17.1 72 18 5 25.0% 9.3% 88
Chad Rogers Reds 23 5 0 7.2 28 9 2 25.5% 10.4% 89
Matthew Loosen Cubs 24 5 0 9.1 37 10 1 24.2% 9.3% 89

Notes
• Very athletic White Sox prospect Jared Mitchell, whose scouting reports (for good reason) rarely fail to note the outfielder’s lack of contact, appears not to be lacking contact presently. One will note that Mitchell is 24 years old, of course, even while many of the AFL’s batters are in the 20-22 age range. One will also note, however, that Mitchell has rarely posted a strikeout rate below 30% at any level — and so something at least resembling muted optimisim is called for, probably.

• Thoughts on Nick Ahmed‘s defense appear to differ. Baseball America reported in 2012 that it’s excellent, for example. FanGraphs’ own Nathaniel Stoltz, meanwhile, has suggested to the author that he’s read reports to the effect that Ahmed might be something between a true shortstop and second baseman. In either case, what appears to be happening presently in the AFL is that Ahmed is controlling the hell out of the strike zone. A +5 defender (that is, something between short and second base) with control of the strike zone and above-average baserunning needn’t do much else to produce league-average numbers in terms of wins.

• Other Diamondback Bo Schultz was featured in the entirely premature statistical report on the Arizona Fall League that appeared in these pages three weeks ago — mostly because (a) he’d pitched well in his AFL debut and also (b) he’d attended Northwestern. He’s featured in this increasingly relevant statistical report because he’s continued to pitch well, it seems. Moreover, PITCHf/x data from Brooks Baseball indicates that Schultz has been sitting at 94-95 mph with his fastball over his last two starts. After writing that last sentence, the author now believes that he ought to have dedicated this entire post to Bo Schultz.

The End!




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


13 Responses to “Increasingly Relevant Stat Report on the Arizona Fall League”

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  1. Eminor3rd says:

    Note on Mitchell: Former first rounder who lost substantial parts of several seasons due to a very serious leg injury. So it’s not entirely unreasonable that he could be a good late-bloomer candidate — he probably has the same number of plate appearances as a 22 year old

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  2. Adam C says:

    As a Giants fan I really, really hoping Andrew Susac pans out. The Giants need hitters.

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  3. purpleJesus says:

    Wow, it`s hard to believe Drew Hutchison is only 22 ! He was making good starts for the Jays in his age 20 season before he blew his arm out.

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  4. lewish says:

    Well, as a Mariners fan I won’t look to the AFL as an escape for my pain.

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  5. LaLoosh says:

    will the real Nick Ahmed please stand up?

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  6. Andrew says:

    You want a really fun, and moderately relevant stat. Austin Hedges is throwing out roughly 64% of base stealers in the AFL, while all other catchers are throwing out roughly 26%.

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  7. KS says:

    Holy crap, when was the last time the Orioles had two hitting prospects in the top four on ANY list that wasn’t about draft busts??!!

    (Probably not since Don Baylor and Bobby Grich were in the system.)

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  8. MLB Rainmaker says:

    It may be the way your SCOUT+ stat values Ks vs. BBs for batters, but Kris Bryant really needs to be on this list somehow. He’s sitting at 46 total bases, compared to 30 for the next closest hitter and continues to rake. He’s riding a 7 game hit streak including homers in each of the last two games — at 21 that’s pretty notable stuff.

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    • What you say with regard to Ks (in particular) is all it is. They stabilize more quickly. The home runs, less so. That’s not to say Bryant’s power isn’t prodigious, of course. The regression just pulls it back in such a small sample.

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  9. Jeremy says:

    Kris Bryant is like slugging .900.

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  10. doug K says:

    I am in Arizona and going to a Fall League game almost every day. Without a doubt LaStella has been very impressive here for his contact bat and eye. But Kris Bryant is the story of the Fall League right now as he is just mashing away seeing pitch after pitch from that wide stance. The AFL version of Big Papi.

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    • If Bryant looks impressive, then I’m entirely inclined to believe it. The home runs don’t show up in these calculations as quickly because there’s more regression there. Strikeouts stabilize much more quickly, and Bryant has been doing that about a standard deviation more frequently than the AFL average.

      Like I say, though, if the power is continuing to look excellent (as it seem to have before the AFL) then that’s obviously not something to ignore.

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