Expansion Era Minor League All-Star Rosters – Tigers
Founded on my research for the “Minors vs Majors” chapter in my book, “Hardball Retroactive” paired with complementary articles “Minors vs. Majors: The Top Minor League Batters in the Expansion Era” and “Minors vs. Majors: The Top Minor League Pitchers in the Expansion Era“, the ensuing series will reveal the Minor League All-Star rosters for every MLB franchise based primarily on single-season statistics in Runs Created / 140 Games (batters) and Fielding Independent Pitching (pitchers).
- individual seasons in the Expansion Era (1961 – 2017)
- levels A through AAA
- ages 24 or younger (A and A+)
- age 25 seasons (AA and AAA)
- age 26 seasons (AAA)
RC – Runs Created – using the basic formula devised by Bill James:
((H + BB) * TB) / (AB + BB)
Note: I utilized the basic formula as opposed to the Technical Version due to
incomplete GIDP and IBB data.
RC/140 – Runs Created per 140 Games as Minor League ballplayers
RC / (G / 140)
FIP – Fielding Independent Pitching – “Fielding Independent Pitching converts a pitcher’s three true outcomes into an earned run average-like number. The formula is (13*HR+3*(HBP+BB)-2*K)/IP, plus a constant (usually around 3.2) to put it on the same scale as earned run average.
FIP is a component ERA inspired by the work of Voros McCracken on defense-independent pitching statistics, but has become more widely used because of the ease of computation – it requires only four easily-found box score stats, uses only basic arithmetic operations and has four easily-memorized constants. It was conceived of by both Tom Tango and Clay Dreslough, the latter of who called it Defense-Independent Component ERA.” (definition courtesy of Baseball Prospectus Glossary).
The Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (11-2, 1.29) sailed through his lone minor league campaign, splitting the 2005 season between Lakeland (A+) and Erie (AA). “JV” compiled a WHIP of 0.905 with a 2.20 FIP while striking out 10.4 batters per nine innings. The seven-time All-Star earned AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2006 and swept the Cy Young and MVP awards in 2011. Drew Smyly (11-6, 2.07) followed in Verlander’s footsteps six years later, notching a 2.30 FIP with the same ballclubs. Dave Rozema (14-5, 2.09) fashioned an 0.976 WHIP during his age-18 season as a member of the Clinton Pilots (A). Rozema compiled a record of 15-7 with a 3.09 ERA in his rookie year (1977) and hung up his spikes after pitching for a decade in the Majors. Flamethrower Joel Zumaya whiffed 126 opposing batsmen spanning only 90.1 innings as an 18-year-old starter for the West Michigan Whitecaps (A) in 2003. “Zoom Zoom” delivered an ERA of 1.94 and registered 10.5 SO/9 with Detroit in ’06.
Jim Mooring slashed .377 / .421 / .637 and recorded the highest RC/140 mark (153.2) in the Tigers’ farm system since the start of the Expansion Era while manning first base for the Jamestown Tigers (A) in ’64. Robert Fick (.341/16/90) laced 50 doubles and accrued a 130.2 0 RC/140 as a member of the West Michigan Whitecaps in 1997. Gabe Kapler (.322/28/146) enjoyed a stellar campaign with the Jacksonville Suns in ’98, tallying 113 runs and ripping 47 two-baggers. Howard Johnson compiled a .317 BA with 23 jacks and 35 steals for the Evansville Triplets (AA) in ’82. “HoJo” notched three 30/30 seasons for the Mets (1987, 1989, 1991) and topped the Senior Circuit with 38 moon-shots and 117 ribbies in ’91. Steve Kemp produced a .328 BA with 55 extra-base hits while splitting his first professional campaign between Montgomery (AA) and Evansville (AAA) in ’76. Three years later, Kemp merited his lone All-Star appearance as he batted at a .318 clip with 26 blasts and 105 RBI. Juan Encarnacion carved out an 11-year career as a starting outfielder in the Majors subsequent to an outstanding 1997 season with the double-A Jacksonville Suns (AA) in which he batted .323 with 31 doubles and 26 circuit clouts. Three-time All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson paced the American League in triples during back-to-back seasons (2007-08) and later led the Junior Circuit in runs scored (136) and RBI (119) with the Bronx Bombers in 2011. The Erie Seawolves (AA) reaped the benefits as the “Grandy Man” supplied a .303 BA and 21 four-baggers for the ’04 squad. Phil Nevin, the Astros #1 selection in the 1992 Amateur Draft, clubbed 24 round-trippers as a backstop in the Tigers system following an August 1995 trade in exchange for closer Mike Henneman. Nevin merited All-Star status as a member of the Padres on ’01 when he established career-bests with 41 taters and 126 rib-eye steaks.
Frank Catalanotto eclipsed the .300 mark on three occasions during a 14-year MLB career. Mike Laga, Nelson Simmons and Barbaro Garbey were members of the 1984 Detroit Tigers championship team.
Francisco Cordero racked up at least 30 saves in seven big-league seasons and saved 329 contests in a 14-year career after honing his craft in 1997 for West Michigan (A). Cordero whiffed 11.1 batters per nine innings and notched 35 saves while posting an ERA of 1.00 along with a sub-1.000 WHIP.
References and Resources
Bill James Baseball Abstract
About the Author
I am a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games who enjoys spending quality time with his family.
“Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.
Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.
“Hardball Retrospective – Addendum 2014 to 2016” supplements my research for Hardball Retrospective, providing retroactive standings based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and Win Shares (WS) for each “original” team over the past three seasons (2014-2016). Team totals from 2010 – 2013 are included for reference purposes. “Addendum” is available in paperback and digital formats through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace.