Prospect Watch: The Top Prospect-Age Hitters by FIB*

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on rookie-eligible players. Read previous editions of the Prospect Watch here. Note also: all cited ages are relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year).

***

J.D. Sussman, the member of FanGraphs’ crack squad of prospect analysts typically responsible for Thursday’s edition of this daily Watch, has suggested that his “real job” will prevent him from fulfilling his obligations to the site today. The present author, who is barely employed by anyone, has volunteered to replace Sussman, provided that he (i.e. that same and present author) might also avoid exerting himself unduly.

To that end, what one finds in this edition of the Watch is a brief survey 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 three 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 with which the author experimented last fall and which is calculated almost precisely like FIP, except then placed on the same scale as wOBA*. Alternately stated: FIB* is a wOBA estimator which accounts only for home runs, walks, and strikeouts.

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

Below are the top-10 qualified prospect-age minor-league hitters by FIB* this season, where prospect age is somewhat arbitrarily defined as 24 or below for players at Triple-A, 23 or below at Double-A, 22 or below at High-A, etc.

Rank Name Team Level Age Pos PA HR% BB% K% FIB*
1 Ryan McMahon Rockies A 19 3B 70 11.4% 15.7% 24.3% .518
2 Clint Coulter Brewers A 20 C 62 6.5% 16.1% 12.9% .468
3 Jon Singleton Astros AAA 22 1B 91 8.8% 14.3% 27.5% .458
4 Jesus Aguilar Indians AAA 24 1B 69 7.2% 11.6% 17.4% .449
5 Joey Gallo Rangers A+ 20 3B 76 7.9% 15.8% 27.6% .449
6 Joc Pederson Dodgers AAA 22 OF 88 5.7% 18.2% 18.2% .448
7 Eric Haase Indians A 21 C 55 7.3% 12.7% 23.6% .437
8 Patrick Leonard Rays A+ 21 1B 68 5.9% 10.3% 14.7% .428
9 Tyler Goeddel Rays A+ 21 3B 63 3.2% 15.9% 7.9% .425
10 Billy McKinney Athletics A+ 19 OF 81 7.4% 9.9% 24.7% .424

Brief Comments
• The reader should note that no attempt has been made here to adjust either for park- or league-specific factors. Accordingly, a player such as Oakland outfield prospect Billy McKinney — who’s recorded six home runs already in the hitter-friendly California League — might benefit from his environment in a way that isn’t accounted for.

• While the reader is noting that, he or she should also note, however, that the aforementioned McKinney is both (a) just 19 years old in a league which features an average batters age of about 23 and also (b) has played center field exclusively as a professional. Reports, such as Marc Hulet’s from this past offseason, suggests that McKinney perhaps doesn’t have the necessary tools to remain at center. Still, the overall performance relative to age and level is promising.

• Colorado prospect Ryan McMahon, the leader by this measure among prospect-age minor leaguers, was examined in some depth by means of Nathanial Stoltz in a recent edition of the Watch. A summary of that piece: McMahon’s home field features inflated park factors, but McMahon is promising apart from that.

• Entirely powerful Texas third-base prospect Joey Gallo continues to record home-run rates among the very highest in the minor leagues — but has done so this year (through his first 80-plus plate appearances, at least) while also controlling the strike zone more ably. After having produced walk and strikeout rates of 10.8% and 37.0%, respectively, last season in the Class-A South Atlantic League, Gallo has improved upon both marks — even as one of the Carolina League’s younger players. Of note, as well: according to StatCorner, Gallo’s home park actually deflates home runs for left-handed batters by 12%.

• Catcher Eric Haase probably earns the distinction of most obscure player among those listed here. A seventh-round selection out of a Michigan high school by Cleveland in 2011, Haase played in the Class-A Midwest League last season, as well. That he’s repeating the level ought certainly to be considered — although, one notes that he recorded an above-average offensive line (113 wRC+) in 420 plate appearances his first time through.



Print This Post



Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
sabermetrics
Guest
sabermetrics
2 years 2 months ago

this is fucking stupid

American Stephen Crane
Guest
American Stephen Crane
2 years 2 months ago

Would it have been worth while,

To have bitten off the matter with a smile

Ben Suissa
Member
Ben Suissa
2 years 2 months ago

Carson you mispelled Jace Peterson.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 2 months ago

If Dee Gordon regresses 100% and the Padres fall completely out of the race, the Dodgers should trade Joc Pederon for Jace Peterson.

Joc would immediately slide into a starting role for San Diego, and Jace could transition into a quality 2B. Too bad these teams are in the same division.

Michael S
Guest
Michael S
2 years 2 months ago

Why not just use wOBA instead of this dumb stat?

Lutz
Guest
Lutz
2 years 2 months ago

Don’t know, but maaaaybe because minor league defense is so bad? But HR-inflating minor league parks are at least a big a factor as minor league defense, so….

AsDevilsRun
Guest
AsDevilsRun
2 years 2 months ago

It’s too bad Joey Gallo’s numbers are from yesterday. He just went 3 for 4 with 3 HRs and 3 BBs last night with no Ks.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 2 months ago

Gallo has officially broken the Oliver projection system:

2018: 40.3% K%, 6.1 WAR (!)

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=sa657856&position=3B

Mr. Jones
Member
2 years 2 months ago

Oliver has been broken for a while.

Lutz
Guest
Lutz
2 years 2 months ago

Has FIB* been applied retrospectively to previous classes of prospects to see what predictive qualities it has?

Shawnuel
Guest
Shawnuel
2 years 2 months ago

I think a Joc for Nick Franklin deal would be of the same cloth and the Mariners and Dodgers are not in the same division…..or league.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 2 months ago

Almost makes too much sense. I’ll hold off on printing those “Free Nick Franklin” and “Free Joc Pederson” T-shirts.

schneidler
Member
schneidler
2 years 2 months ago

YES. I’ve thought this for some time too. The woeful Mariners are dreadful in the outfield, so they spent over $200M on…a middle infielder where they actually already had 2 pretty good and dirt cheap players for the next several years. Meanwhile the Dodgers have a big hole at 2nd. Yes, this seems like an obvious swap. I wonder who is saying no?

Theo Epstein
Guest
Theo Epstein
2 years 2 months ago

All minor leaguers should have the same BABIP. Excellent analysis here

Sosa
Guest
Sosa
2 years 2 months ago

I don’t know what this stat is, but I’m wondering where Mookie Betts is on it. He leads in everything, pitching stats too. He does it all.

Spit Ball
Guest
Spit Ball
2 years 2 months ago

Its the 450 babip that’s killing him but Mookie is the Man and I would like to see Carson chronicle his meteoric rise through A, A+, AA. You should publish it the first week of may and dedicate the article to the ridiculous numbers he put up starting May 1 2013 through May 1,2014. You could even compare some of the stuff to Pedey. The batting average, OBP, Power, K/BB rate, stolen bases, runs, RBI, are just so promising. Please right something.

Tyler
Guest
Tyler
2 years 2 months ago

xFIB?

wpDiscuz