Monday, March 9, 2009

Update and Contest Time: TPC 2009 Top 10 Hitting Prospects

After much thought and deliberation, I've decided that the TPC 2009 Top 10 Hitting Prospects list would not be complete if I left Michael Stanton off the list. At first, I felt like his strikeout rate was a deal breaker, but the more I looked at his 2008 stats and searched for comparable players, the more I realized that the Marlins are holding on to a very special player. Sure, he struck out a lot, but he was only 18, and I think if he were to stay at A ball for another 2 years, he'd be a 20 year old with a K% of 20% or less hitting 40 plus home runs a year (maybe 50) with an ISOP above .350. 

I spent about an hour last night searching for any player in the past 20 years that has posted the types of power numbers at A ball that Stanton put up last year, and I haven't found a single one. In fact, the only player I've found that came close to comparing to Stanton's A level ISOP (.318) was Evan Longoria, who posted an ISOP of .333 between A- and A+ ball as a 20 year old. The next closest hitter was Jay Bruce, who posted an ISOP of .319 in 66 at-bats at AA at the age of 20 (Darryl Strawberry also posted an ISOP of .319 at 20 years old in AA ball, and Jose "Roids" Canseco put up a whopping .431 at the same age and level), followed by a .291 ISOP posted by Ken Griffey Jr. at the age of 18 in A ball.  There are a few others that posted similar ISOPs, but they were all much older, so there really isn't much of a comparison.  I'll admit up front that my search wasn't an exhaustive one, but I searched through several hundred players, including any prominent power hitter I could think of.  So, to make sure I'm not mistaken about this one, I'm going to have a contest and everyone is free to enter.

If anyone can find any player that has posted an ISOP above .318 at the age of 18 years old at A ball in the past 25 years, I'll send you a 2007 Bowman Sterling Madison Bumgarner autographed card (at least 150 plate appearances is required)!    Just post the player (if there is one) in the comments section, and if you're right, you win!  

Anyways, now that I feel like Stanton is worthy of a top 10 position, I'm going to slide him in with Chris Carter at #6(b).  If he's able to repeat his 2008 performance at AA ball this summer and keep his K% under 30%, I think he'll be a good candidate for a top 3 ranking next year.


James said...

Yeah about studying... pretty sick of it...

WBC definitely has me psyched though.. China won a game!!! woot!!!

I don't think anyone has shown Mike Stantonish Power when they were that young.

I don't know how to find the minorleague ISO of older player but I find what A-Rod did when he was at 18 much more impressive. He moved all the way to AAA!!!??? And he had 900+ OPS and near 600 SLG all the way from A - AAA!!

I think that's as close as anyone will get you :)

James said...

According to my ghetto estimation, ARod's ISO was .406

I suck at math nowdays so u might want to double check

James said...

Last thing from me..

1) i ignored his Major league number... I think that's fair :)
2) this is the source I used.. u know us sciency peeps... gotta cite :)

James said...

PS Stanton is going to be a bust... Thurman x 2 or 3 :)

Goooo Logan Morrison!!!

James said...

PSS Alex was 18 :D

James said...

I take it all back... my calculation was ghetto... it was only .265... meh but his single A ISO was .286 and his AAA ISO was .277 AT 18!!!

Man I should went to bed and tackled this problem tomorrow... meh

Adam G said...

Excellent attempt, James. A-Rod did have some very amazing numbers during the first several years of his career (including his unfathomable MLB season at just 20 years old), but he failed to top Stanton's IsoP.

For those of you interested in calculating a player's IsoP, just take their slugging percentage and subtract their batting average. Essentially, IsoP is the consideration of a player's total power, minus all singles, which may be the result of luck, speed, or bad fielding.

Thanks for playing!

rutgersjpm said...

Can you make it 27 years? CECIL FIELDER. I really want that card!

rutgersjpm said...

Does college count? Robin Ventura.

James said...

LOL I think everyone wants that card and mmm college isn't single A... com'on play by the rule

Dick Simpson

Hit 42 HR when he was 18

I think this is as close we'll get

even Prince Fielder didn't have ISO of 300 when he was 18

rutgersjpm said...

It doesn't say anything about it needing to be a single A player. Just needs to be an 18 year old.

Adam G said...

Sorry guys, I edited the post to say 'A ball'. I thought with the other comps I gave that everyone would assume A ball or higher (had we been using rookie ball stats, I could have found a bunch of those, and I would never have put a card up as a prize). Unfortunately for you all, rookie ball and college stats do not count. Dick Simpson was a great suggestion, but he played in 1962 so he doesn't really fit the criteria.

Larry Walker came close by posting a .334 IsoP at A ball, but he was 19 years old.

James said...

haha I think Adam just doesn't want to let that MadBum card go ;)

What is more impressive. 17 and rocking the Rk league or 18 and rocking single A?

james said...

What is the limit in terms of the year?

Adam G said...

Well, rookie ball is very hard to guage, even if a guy puts up monster stats. I've tried to determine if there is any correlation between A ball and rookie ball numbers, but there are way too many factors to consider, and the level of talent is pretty much like a good high school league.

I'd take an 18 year old crushing in A ball over any 17 year old at rookie ball, just like I'd take any 19 year old killing AA pitching over an 18 year old doing the same at A ball.

As for a year limit, I'm just looking for a modern day equivalent. Anything prior to the early 1980's is usually too old for running retro-analytical comparisons and projections due to poor record keeping and other unknown variables, and since our interest here is finding comps for Stanton, we need something recent.

Anyways, I'll keep looking. If I find one before anyone else, maybe we'll do another contest on another subject.