Baseball Analytics

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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).

Selection Criteria

  • 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)

Terminology

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).

((13*HR+3*(HBP+BB)-2*K)/IP)+3.2)

Assessment

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.

Starting Lineup Age Year Teams Levels POS RC140 BA HR RBI OBP SLG
Devon Travis 22 2013 WMI,LAK A,A+ 2B 114.3 0.351 16 76 0.418 0.518
Robert Fick* 23 1997 WMI A DH 130.2 0.341 16 90 0.429 0.566
Jim Mooring* 22 1964 JAM A 1B 153.2 0.377 22 89 0.421 0.637
Gabe Kapler 22 1998 JCK AA RF 126.8 0.322 28 146 0.393 0.583
Mack Jones* 25 1964 SYR AAA CF 122.2 0.317 39 102 0.413 0.630
Bubba Trammell 24 1996 JCK,TOL AA,AAA LF 119.0 0.316 33 99 0.391 0.605
Howard Johnson# 21 1982 EVN AAA 3B 117.4 0.317 23 67 0.390 0.571
Javier Cardona 23 1999 JCK AA C 116.4 0.309 26 92 0.384 0.569
Michael Hollimon# 24 2006 WMI A SS 94.5 0.278 15 54 0.386 0.501
Bench Age Year Teams Levels POS RC140 BA HR RBI OBP SLG
Jesse Queen 24 1961 KNX,DEN A,AAA OF 116.8 0.321 18 88 0.460 0.529
Wilbert Franklin* 24 1963 JAM,KNX A,AA OF 114.3 0.333 21 110 0.421 0.530
Steve Kemp* 21 1976 MTG,EVN AA,AAA OF 113.6 0.328 19 81 0.429 0.557
Juan Encarnacion 21 1997 JCK AA OF 111.1 0.323 26 90 0.394 0.560
Curtis Granderson* 23 2004 ERI AA OF 110.0 0.303 21 93 0.407 0.515
Phil Nevin 25 1996 JCK AA C 109.9 0.294 24 69 0.397 0.561
Ryan Raburn 26 2007 TOL AAA CF 109.4 0.292 17 64 0.394 0.540
Alejandro Freire 22 1997 LAK A+ 1B 108.3 0.323 24 92 0.396 0.545
Eric Gillespie* 24 1999 JCK AA OF 107.8 0.306 19 88 0.375 0.511
Scott Sizemore 24 2009 TOL,ERI AAA,AA 2B 107.4 0.308 17 66 0.389 0.500
Mike Rivera 24 2001 ERI AA C 107.2 0.289 33 101 0.368 0.578
Chico Salmon 21 1962 KNX,DEN A,AAA OF 106.5 0.331 17 91 0.394 0.480
Carlos Villalobos 23 1998 JCK AA 3B 106.4 0.320 18 80 0.387 0.505
Purnal Goldy 23 1961 BIR,DEN AA,AAA OF 104.9 0.338 9 99 0.381 0.486
Dave Stegman 23 1977 MTG,EVN AA,AAA OF 104.6 0.296 17 77 0.434 0.538

 

Starters Age Year Teams Levels FIP WLSV ERA WHIP BB9 SO9
Justin Verlander 22 2005 LAK,ERI A+,AA 2.20 11-2 1.29 0.905 2.0 10.4
Joel Zumaya 18 2003 WMI A 2.20 7-5 2.80 1.188 3.8 12.6
Drew Smyly* 22 2011 LAK,ERI A+,AA 2.30 11-6 2.07 1.103 2.6 9.3
Chris Cody* 23 2007 WMI,LAK A,A+ 2.00 5-6 2.04 0.978 1.6 8.8
Fred Bruntrager* 24 1972 CLI A 2.34 10-5 1.67 1.215 2.8 8.8
Relievers Age Year Teams Levels FIP WLSV ERA WHIP BB9 SO9
Joe Jimenez 21 2016 ERI,LAK,TOL AA,A+,AAA 1.58 30 1.52 0.808 2.9 13.2
John Schreiber 23 2017 WMI A 1.06 11 0.54 0.659 1.4 12.6
Bryan Corey 22 1996 FAY A 1.75 34 1.21 0.817 1.9 11.1
Brett Jensen 23 2007 WMI A 1.94 23 1.80 0.998 1.2 9.9
Brandon Reed 20 1995 FAY A 1.95 41 0.98 0.903 2.5 10.9
Bench Age Year Teams Levels FIP WLSV ERA WHIP BB9 SO9
Dave Rozema 18 1975 CLI A 2.40 14-5 2.09 0.976 1.8 6.8
Guillermo Moscoso 24 2008 LAK,ERI A+,AA 2.38 5-4 2.71 0.940 2.2 12.7
Marty Willis 24 1990 LAK A+ 2.42 10-6 2.66 1.120 2.7 8.8
Bill Snyder 23 1998 WMI A 1.86 3-1 1.83 0.981 2.7 12.8
John Birtwell 22 2002 WMI A 1.97 7-2 1.59 0.834 2.0 11.5
Ricky Steik 22 2006 WMI A 1.98 3-4 2.64 1.087 2.0 10.6

Honorable Mention

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.

Batters Age Year Teams Levels POS RC140 BA HR RBI OBP SLG
Frank Kostro 24 1962 DEN AAA OF 103.8 0.321 13 97 0.402 0.492
Ryan Strieby 22 2008 LAK A+ 1B 103.4 0.278 29 94 0.352 0.563
Marv Lane 22 1972 MTG AA OF 103.0 0.312 13 63 0.417 0.501
Frank Catalanotto* 22 1996 JCK AA 2B 101.1 0.298 17 67 0.398 0.493
Mike Laga* 21 1981 BIR AA 1B 100.4 0.289 31 86 0.348 0.536
Michael Holodick 22 1963 JAM A 2B 100.0 0.327 8 48 0.396 0.430
Nelson Simmons# 21 1984 EVN AAA OF 99.9 0.307 22 83 0.370 0.541
Barbaro Garbey 26 1983 EVN AAA OF 99.9 0.321 14 59 0.373 0.520
Jesse Ibarra# 24 1997 JCK AA 1B 99.8 0.283 25 91 0.363 0.512
Russ Nagelson* 26 1971 TOL AAA OF 99.1 0.293 16 59 0.420 0.500

 

Pitchers Age Year Teams Levels FIP WLSV ERA WHIP BB9 SO9
Kevin Ziomek* 23 2015 LAK A+ 2.42 9-11 3.44 1.141 2.0 8.3
Austin Sodders* 22 2017 LAK,WMI A+,A 2.43 11-5 1.81 0.964 1.9 7.9
Brian Warren 24 1991 LAK,FAY A+,A 2.44 11-3 2.44 0.961 1.4 7.2
Joe Mantiply* 25 2016 ERI,TOL AA,AAA 2.02 4-2 2.74 1.066 1.8 10.5
Francisco Cordero 22 1997 WMI A 2.04 35 1.00 0.943 2.5 11.1
Randor Bierd 23 2007 ERI,WMI AA,A 2.07 4-3 2.95 0.952 2.1 10.8

 

References and Resources

Baseball-Reference

Bill James Baseball Abstract

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

 

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 Retroactive”, published in June 2018, is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com along with digital eBook format at GooglePlay.com.  

“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.

 

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I am a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games who enjoys spending quality time with his family. Visit my Amazon author page to check out my books, promotional videos, and post a review if you're a Hardball Retro fan! https://www.amazon.com/author/derekbain https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Derek+Bain

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