The author has published a weekly statistical report for the Arizona Fall League each week since its brief season commenced back in October — 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 the entirely last statistical report for the AFL, following that league’ championship game this past Saturday.
Very Final SCOUT Leaderboard for AFL Hitters
What follows represents the very last 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.
|Thomas La Stella||Braves||24||78||1||16||4||1.6%||17.1%||5.1%||148|
|Jared Mitchell||White Sox||24||87||5||14||17||3.8%||14.6%||19.5%||139|
|Travis Shaw||Red Sox||23||73||5||10||14||4.0%||12.5%||19.2%||135|
Very Final SCOUT Leaderboard for AFL Pitchers
What follows represents the very last 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.
The AFL’s Top Hitter: Michael Ohlman, Baltimore
In what barely anyone is likely to call a “stunning upset,” Baltimore prospect Michael Ohlman — who may or may not have the capacity to remain at catcher — appears to have usurped Atlanta infielder Thomas La Stella on the batting leaderboard over the final week of play (which also very closely resembles just the final day of play). Ohlman actually produced a higher wOBA than league MVP Kris Bryant even while recording a BABIP 200-plus points lower — both in sample sizes that barely deserve one’s attention, of course.
To get a sense of the degree to which Ohlman’s defensive skills might influence his future value as a major leaguer, here are two versions of his Steamer projection for 2014. The first one assumes that Ohlman’s a defensively average catcher; the latter, a defensively average first baseman:
Even with 100 fewer plate appearances (to account for a catcher’s playing-time deficit) the difference in value is significant — about 2.5 wins over the course of a full season. Steamer suggests that, as a catcher, Ohlman could theoretically be an asset of some sort as early as this next season; as a first baseman, perhaps never.
Top AFL (Starting) Pitcher: Kyle Crick, San Francisco
Right-handed Giants prospect Kyle Crick pitched almost precisely the same way in the AFL as he has at every other professional level — which is to say, he both struck out and walked an above-average number of batters. Because strikeout rates generally become reliable more quickly than walk rates, Crick is rewarded more than he’s penalized for his indulgence in the two outcomes. If credited with the full weight of his walks, however, he likely would have ended up tied almost exactly with Alex Meyer among the league’s top starters. Meyer, for his part, has never recorded a walk rate above 10% as a professional.
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