Mets Minors: An accurate rating system

As the “Minor League Guy” in these parts the 2013 season is actually pretty exciting for a fan like me. Sure it is important for the big league club to win games but I am going to be equally (potentially more) involved with the progress of prospects. Though it is true that one has to understand the prospects to be excited about them.

One of the challenges of a minor league blogger is to convey the talents, progress and ceiling of prospects in the minor league system. It isn’t easy. People each have there own methods and the exact reasons why two pitchers with 95 mph fastballs might have completely divergent results is a bit tricky to define. So, let’s turn to video games.

Video games make baseball players easy to understand. David Wright has B+ power and B- contact with A- speed. Okay, we can understand the type of player he should be from those rankings. The problem becomes that those rankings are in comparison to other players in a given year. Those rankings directly effect various probability formulas and allow you to play a game. Actual baseball doesn’t work that way.

More importantly, the minor leagues don’t work that way. A player could be described as having “plus plus speed” but that player is only as good as his development and his tools might not reflect his stats. This doesn’t mean that the video game approach doesn’t work, it just means that you need a different platform.

When trying to put numbers to a player’s ability I tend to think in terms of a game called Baseball Mogul. It’s sorta like a Billy Beane simulator where you are managing a team and trying to build a team on paper that will create a winning formula. In this game a player is listed as having two basic ratings: Overall & Ceiling. Where they are now and where they might be by the time they reach maturity.

In the game nine out of 10 players matures between the ages of 24 & 26 and wherever they’ve gotten by that point is how good they will end up. There are exceptions, of course, but it is basically the “prospect expiration date.” To that point they rise through the system with MLB players averaging between a 75-100 Overall, AAA a 65-75, AA a 65-55, A+ a 55-45 and so on. As a player’s overall shifts, so, too, their ceiling will get higher or lower before eventually locking in and establishing a semi-permanent rating.

Then, when a player reaches the end of their prime 30-38, they begin to diminish and eventually can no longer hack it in the majors.

I will be doing a review of the Mets’ minor league system but before starting to discuss a player’s rating it seemed this explanation would be helpful.

6 comments for “Mets Minors: An accurate rating system

  1. Jerry Grote
    January 21, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I have to say, I am really REALLY looking forward to this series.

    • Jerry Grote
      January 21, 2013 at 10:13 am

      … and now I have to say that I will hate you forever, for showing me Baseball Mogul. I may never work a full day again for the rest of my life.

      • January 21, 2013 at 11:38 am

        It’s definitely addictive.

        injuries are catastrophic in that game and… strange players suddenly become stars.

        • Jerry Grote
          January 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

          honestly? I haven’t done a gddmd thing since I downloaded it. Thank god today is MLK day, or I’d be farked.

          Freakishly fun.

        • January 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm

          I used to be all about Baseball Mogul. Then I gave OOTP Baseball a try. I like it much better.

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