Attached is the current fruit of a long-term project I’ve been working on. Namely, a large reference of minor-league-to-major league translations (zMLE or ZiPS MLE). We get back into the late 70s here as going back to then, there’s always some source that has the statistics required. Once we get earlier, there are some years that have BB and SO data, generally the most important missing data, but it’s extremely spotty and sometimes, not even whole years are filled. Some day, I’ll have these going back for as long as there was minor league baseball as SABR’s database project proceeds.So, what value do these have? For me, two things stand out as the most important. First, having these either reminds us or introduces us to fine players that never got a shot in the majors. We live in a time when Japan is a real alternative option for Ken Phelpsers like Greg LaRocca to have lucrative careers playing baseball and when increased understanding of the usefulness of minor league statistics in the mainstream has resulted in fewer guys getting completely overlooked.
Second, more information helps us increase our knowledge of how players age and develop. For systems that look at comparable players, it’s quite useful to have more 18-21 year-olds that aren’t stars to help us crack, from a statistics standpoint, who will develop and who will not. …
September 10, 2009
3 Decades of Minor League Translations
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