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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!