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November 5, 2010

Carson Cistulli’s SCOUT system (and Eduardo Escobar’s AFL BABIP)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 5, 2010 3:04 pm
Tags: , ,

Carson Cistulli devises the SCOUT system to get around, as much as he can, the small sample sizes issues of the AFL stats:

Herein lies at least one of the problems with winter-league stats. Because the AFL leaders in plate appearances rarely top even the 125-PA threshold, we’re forced to regress them over two-thirds of the way back to league average. That creates little in the way of meaningful separation. An alternative, however, is to look at those categories that (a) become reliable more quickly, but also (b) tell us the sorts of things we like to know about a prospect — namely, the quality of his tools. In this case, we can probably say at least something about contact- and power-hitting — via strikeout and home-run rate, respectively. …

… With all that as preface, allow me to introduce what I’ll call SCOUT. To devise it, what I’ve done is to find the regressed strikeout and home-run rates (xK% and xHR%) for all the qualified batters in the AFL. Then, for each player, I’ve found the z-score (that is, standard deviations from the mean) in xK% and xHR%, and averaged them (i.e. the z-scores) together. SCOUT is the result of that.

Here’s today’s SCOUT leaderboard (earlier versions):

Hmmm, a .373 BABIP. I’m not excited.

Speaking of Eduardo Escobar this is from Bryan Smith’s ‘Must watch White Sox prospects’ post today:

The question is how much he’s going to hit. His walk rate is downright Viciedo-esque, and it did not improve between 2009 and 2010. His contact rates are about average, maybe a touch better. Overall, Escobar is a much better hitter from the right side with these batting lines in his three leagues this year: .326/.343/.495 in CAR, .321/.333/.491 in SOU, and .542/.577/1.208 in AFL. It should be said that his patience is non-existent from that side, but he swings a big stick. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised he tripled off the best southpaw prospect in Arizona. It’s clear that Escobar has grown since his initial listed weight of 5-10, 150, so there’s slight optimism for 10 home run power potential. Strength is where the similarities with Jose Vizcaino (one of those lazy comps you’ll hear people use) end, and where you can see his ceiling is that much higher.

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