Reese Kaplan -- Digging Deeper into Minor League Numbers


One of the problem with glancing quickly at stats is they can give you a very wrong impression about the value of the player in question.  Sometimes a player is doing far better than his numbers would indicate and other times the gaudy numbers are painting a false positive narrative.

Take, for example, the exploits of Ruben Tejada, the once and (he hopes anyway) future Met.  A perusal of the box scores or stat sheets would have you think he’s having a late renaissance that warrants another look at the big league level.  After all, he’s batting .328 and owns a highly impressive .916 OPS.  What’s not to love?

Well, for one thing he’s not been very adept at producing runs.  In 128 Abs he has 4 HRs and 15 RBIs.  Those are nice numbers and if they could be extrapolated over the course of a full season, 16+ home runs and 60+ RBIs would be personal bests for the man whose previous best talent was drawing a walk. 

However, to give you a comparison to others in the same environment, Adeiny Hechavarria was up only 92 times and drove in 17 runs.  Arismendy Alcantara hit more HRs (6) and drove in more runs (22) while providing 5 SBs and hitting .314 in just 102 ABs, yet you never even hear his name mentioned.  They’re not alone.  Carlos Gomez and David Thompson (since demoted!) have provided more run production in fewer ABs.   Even the much maligned Tim Tebow and 38 year old Rajai Davis have driven in more runs.    Also you have Dilson Herrera, Danny Espinosa, Travis Taijeron, Rene Rivera and Luis Guillorme outproducing the career .251 hitter.  That’s not exactly heady company. 

On the flip side you have a guy like Chris Mazza who doesn’t post huge strikeout numbers and whose 3.3 record and a 3.67 ERA was OK but not enough to make you demand he get bumped up the ladder to the big leagues.  For his career he also pitched to a 3.67 ERA, so he was providing pretty much what was expected.  His career mark of 7.1 Ks per 9 IP is nothing that would get scouts excited, though his mark of 2.4 BBs per 9 IP showed some decent control. 

What made him stand out this year was his improvement to confounding the batters.  His strikeouts ticked upwards and his walks ticked downward.  However, the number that jumps out at you is he only gave up 38 hits in 49 IP.  The end result is a HIGHLY impressive WHIP of 1.02.  While it was more likely desperation due to the Firestarter bullpen that resulted in his major league promotion for the first time at age 29, the fact is that his first time out after giving up a quick run he demonstrated how he’s able to keep folks off-stride and off base. 

So you can see that numbers can form a good basis for judging how well a player is doing, but sometimes it takes a little more than a cursory glance to reveal what Paul (not Matt) Harvey called “the rest of the story.”


Tom Brennan said...

Show Ruben some love...he has no one to drive in because Tebow never gets on - although Tim is on a HR tear with 2 in the last few days.

I hope if the Mets become sellers that Mazza gets a real chance to succeed or fail in Queens.

Dilson was on a real power surge, but has opted out of the Mets. He did make 14 errors, so that was a drawback, but a team like Baltimore could cut Broxton and promote Herrera (just a suggestion). I would have liked Dilson on the Mets as a sub if there were larger rosters. Had JD Davis faltered, he might have replaced him, but JD has been a true beneficiary of Lowrie's absence and Frazier's early several week absence. JD's fine hitting shows he is a real big leaguer.

Tom Brennan said...

Tebow has slightly rebounded since early May - last 120 at bats, 6 doubles, 3 HRs, .192. Before that, .130. Ks still very high.

Time is running out for Timmy T. That .192 is an improvement, but not nearly enough of one.

8 for his last 29 might be a sign that he is in the process of doing that, though.

Gary Seagren said...

2 IN A ROW GUYS!!!! lighten up :) Anyway really nice game from JD and finally a big hit from Conforto who I don't really know what to make of. Just for me he's not the guy I want up in a big spot but maybe it's just me. Also we all know now how this season will play out as we'll play better in Aug. and Sept. to kill a top 10 draft spot like last year BUT HOPEFULLY Brodie and company will reverse last winters disaster. Lets send him a link to "The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again" can't hurt.

Tom Brennan said...

The odd thing, Gary, is if they have a healthy (enough) Familia, Wilson, and Avilan back, and somehow win the 4 games pre-All Star break, the team could be poised for a run.

Mack Ade said...


Tebow hitting 2 HRs is not getting on base either. :)

Reese Kaplan said...

The WORST thing that could happen is for them to win four games prior to the break. Then they will delude themselves into thinking all is well and do nothing to improve the roster.

Tom Brennan said...

Reese, they are just waiting for the right time to promote Ruben :)

Reese Kaplan said...

And bat him cleanup, while benching McNeil

Mack's Mets © 2012