Earlier today, polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet published his 2014 organizational prospect list for the Tampa Bay Rays.
It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Rays or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.
What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.
Steamer Projections: Tampa Bay Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select Tampa Bay batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.
Steamer Projections: Tampa Bay Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select Tampa Bay pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR, which has been calculated by using kwERA — that is, an ERA estimator which utilizes only strikeouts and walks — so as to remove the vagaries of park effects, and probably also because the author has no idea what he’s doing. Listed ages are as of June 30, 2014. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.
• Shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee batted .422/.536/.600 over 57 April plate appearances at Triple-A last year before missing the remainder of the season with a knee injury. A giant, throbbing BABIP was one of the variables informing that excellent slash-line. Another, though, was Lee’s 11:9 walk-to-strikeout ratio over the same interval. A promising development, that. Indeed, Steamer’s computer math suggests that Lee is capable of recording a walk rate approaching major-league average as just a 23-year-old this year.
• No one appears to have made an explicit comparison between the two, but it wouldn’t be unfair probably to suggest that Ryan Brett and Mookie Betts possess nearly identical skills sets. Both are above-average athletes playing second base, both control the strike zone well, and both seem to be candidates for producing positive runs via baserunning — and both were similarly young for their respective levels in 2013.
• “Why is promising left-hander Enny Romero projected as a relief pitcher?” the reader might wonder. “Why is promising left-hander Enny Romero projected as a relief pitcher?” the author, similarly curious, inquired of Steamer owner-operator Jared Cross this morning. Updates to follow regarding that — unless they don’t follow, that is. In either case, Steamer doesn’t appear particularly optimistic about Romero’s strikeout and walk rates for 2014.
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