League Offensive Levels for Padres Affiliates, 2007

Yesterday we were talking about Rookie-league numbers and reader Didi asked about something I hinted at but didn’t delve into as much as I might have. I wasn’t being coy, so much as I was being… disorganized.

In discussing the motivation behind providing comparable players for Padres minor leaguers, I noted that:

Cedric Hunter hit .282/.344/.373 in the Midwest League, which seems really low until you consider how much his league suppressed offense in 2007.

Didi then asked:

Is it possible to describe the league (as you mentioned the number of games played and league average numbers) to add a bit more detail?

Yes, it is absolutely possible. It also is absolutely necessary:

Offensive Stats by League, 2007
Statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference and ESPN.
R/G 4.80 5.13 4.63 5.59 4.34 5.13 5.66 4.65
BA .268 .279 .264 .271 .255 .259 .264 .238
OBP .336 .346 .338 .344 .324 .344 .350 .338
SLG .423 .437 .407 .426 .372 .386 .377 .320
BB/SO .500 .494 .503 .477 .417 .456 .464 .542
ISO .155 .158 .143 .155 .117 .127 .113 .082

As you can see, higher levels are at left. The stats should be self-explanatory. ISO is SLG – BA. Bear in mind that this represents output from 2007 only.

I find it interesting that the Padres’ farm teams (above the statistically unreliable short-season squads) alternate between leagues that favored hitters last year and those that favored pitchers. The Midwest League proved unforgiving to hitters in ’07, while the Cal League was a haven. The same holds for the Texas League and PCL, respectively, albeit to lesser extremes.

Assuming that these levels remain roughly constant over time (quick check reveals that in 2006, the Midwest League averaged 4.35 R/G, while the Cal League averaged 5.32; in ’05 those numbers were 4.93 and 5.75 — this probably deserves further study), what can we learn? Well, for one thing, we can learn to cut Kyle Blanks some slack for hitting .292/.382/.455 in the Midwest League as a 19-year-old in ’06 when the league as a whole hit .253/.325/.365. When you’re young and you produce like Nick Swisher in a league of Jack Wilsons, you do not, as Baseball America suggested prior to the 2007 season, “need to re-establish [yourself] as a prospect.”

Going forward, we can apply this same logic to Cedric Hunter. Remember how excited everyone was about Hunter after his 2006 debut in the Arizona League? We were right to be excited, because he’s a fine talent, but we shouldn’t have gotten so hung up on his Rookie-league numbers. Only in light of his AZL showing does ’07 appear to be a disappointment.

Hunter won’t dominate the Cal League when he gets there, as Blanks did, because Hunter isn’t as good of a hitter. Then again, why would we expect a center fielder to hit like a first baseman? If he did, Hunter would be the second coming of Ken Griffey Jr., but I digress.

The larger point comes back to context. When we’re looking at minor-league numbers, we need to ask ourselves — as with any other numbers, really — what was the environment in which these were created? In addition to the league averages we’ve just examined, we also need to consider age relative to league, park factors, and probably some other stuff as well.

The moral of our story? Same as always: When in doubt, ask more questions.

Winter Leagues

  • Azucareros 3, Escogido 0 (box). Vince Sinisi, batting third and playing left field, singled twice and walked.
  • Mochis 4, Hermosillo 2 (box). Marshall McDougall, batting third and DH’ing, went 0-for-3 with a sac fly in a losing cause. Who batted behind him? Vinny Castilla.
  • Mazatlan 7, Navojoa 1 (box). Oscar Robles, batting second and playing shortstop, was hitless in three trips to the plate. Luis Cruz, in the #7 hole and playing center field, went 1-for-3 and scored his club’s only run. On the other side, Brian Myrow went 0-for-2 with two walks while batting fifth and playing first base. Who backed Myrow? Why, it’s the greatest left fielder in Padres history, Miguel Ojeda.

Now back to your regularly scheduled waiting to see which rumors turn out to be true…

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110 Responses »

  1. 47:

    I would not be suprised if the Cubs signed him for 3 years 45. (speculation)

  2. Re: 49 thats the call that set me off

  3. It was also reported that the Red Sox had some intrest in Fukudome. I could see how they might if they include Ellsbury in a deal for Santana.

  4. i dont – they would just start coco in his place, no?

  5. Why start Coco if you have unlimited budget and can sign someone better?

  6. Well, with that theory, the Red Sox could sign everyone on the market. But Crisp was their center fielder last season, and they won the World Series. This season, he would just be playing behind Santana.

  7. 56 … well, obviously “unlimited budget” is an exageration … but it seems to me that a key reason that the the BoSox don’t “sign everyone on the market” is that “everyone on the market” is *not* “better” than what they already have (the criteria of SteveC’s it seems like you missed).

  8. True. I understand. But I’m just saying Crisp is compotent, and they will have a lot invested in their star players and then Santana. No reason to trade for him unless there is a big extension.

  9. Talks between the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres over right-hander Mark Prior have apparently cooled. Meanwhile, other clubs haven’t shown interest.


  10. Here’s a perspective on Wolf from WC @ BP …

    Hal (Montreal): What do you think of Randy Wolff in San Diego? Is he healthy enough for 160 innings? Great park for his pitching skills?

    Will Carroll: Good situation, but he’s going to be a gamble. The Pads have enough that they can afford to take this chance, so it’s all upside.

  11. 29. You should do one, along with a few other who post here regularly such as Tom W and Lynch. The key to making the list is to come up with a definition of why you ranked players where they are – is it on projection, performance or more likely what type of blend. For example Josh Geer may have a ceiling of around a #4 or #5 MLB pitcher – but he’s much closer to being a productive MLB pitcher than Simon Castro is – who has tremendous potential, but can’t find the plate right now.

    Put some comments by each name – and it should be pretty interesting.

    43. Baum is a nice player who just missed my Top 30 – which doesn’t mean that he can’t move up, but the Padres system overall improved in depth.

  12. “Third-base prospect Chase Headley was at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday, relieved to hear the Padres have essentially no intention of trading him. He said he’s put on 15 pounds of muscle this winter and is up to 230 pounds. Headley will take fly balls at PETCO Park next month in anticipation of playing the position to some degree in Spring Training…”


  13. #30, 31: I’ll get right to work on that grocery list. ;-)

    #61: Okay, there seems to be enough interest. To answer your original question, then, I’m aiming for Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

  14. 62: 15 pounds must be the magic number. Milton Bradley lost 15, Miguel Cabrera lost 15, Headley gained 15. 6’2″ 230 sounds like a power hitting left fielder to me.

  15. Dodgers sign Andrew Jones 2 year 36 million. I sure hope last year wasn’t a fluke bad year. I wonder if we even made an offer.

  16. Jones signed with the Dogs. 2/36!!

  17. I have to say that I am now officially disappointed. The Dodgers have just signed Andruw Jones… for 2 years/$36M. How could we not consider that type of deal? Does the extra year really make that big of a difference, especially with money coming off the books after the 08 season? *sigh* I really want to lock up Fukudome now, but that’s 50/50 at best. I am not feeling the vibe of a LF platoon, Cameron, Giles OF.

  18. I’m glad the Padres didn’t make that offer to Andruw Jones.

  19. 65: Jones doesn’t even project as a $15M/year player the next two years.

  20. I don’t know how the Dodgers will handle their OF, but they’re better off treating Pierre as a sunk cost and playing Ethier-Jones-Kemp. But I doubt they’ll do it. Jones is a HUGE improvement over Pierre, but he’s not THAT much better than Ethier or Kemp… I still think the Dodgers are more likely to finish 4th than 1st (most likely they’ll finish 3rd or maybe 2nd). Despite the Dodgers’ lack of power they scored a decent amount of runs in the second half. It was their pitching that failed them. And the pitching staff hasn’t gotten better.

  21. To be honest… I think the Andruw Jones deal is a genius. That is the exact number I thought the Padres would offer and wouldn’t be able to sign him for. I can’t believe that we wouldn’t give Andruw an extra year. In 2 years Hunter might be ready or the FO could have 2 years to look elsewhere. If Andruw bounces back the deal is amazing and if he doesn’t you only have a 2 year commitment and you still get great defense and probably 25-30 HR’s. They better have something up their sleeve or they will take a ton of SH!T for this.

  22. I think it’s reasonable that we’ll have a Headley-Fukudome-Giles or Fukudome-Cameron-Giles OF next year… I think the Padres want Fukudome bad enough that they’ll sign him whether or not Cameron is back in CF for us next year…

  23. 69-72: I agree that this is a great deal for the Dodgers. I do wish that we had gotten out on Fukodome and gotten in on Andruw at this price point for just 2 years. He murders the ball in PetCo and now he’s going to be here every other weekend wearing blue…yuck. This is the rarely seen astute baseball move by Colletti.

  24. 73.

    I would love it if we land Fukudome but at this point from what I hear I seriously doubt that we will have the winning offer. He has interest froma lot of teams. Do you think the Padres will go 3 years $45 million on him? I don’t and I bet that’s about what he gets.

  25. re: 72

    That is a severe over-reaction.

  26. 76: Agreed. As for everyone saying, “But, but, but, why didn’t we…”

    How in the hell do you know that we didn’t? Even given Andruw’s track record in Petco, if you’re a FA slugger trying to rebuild value and you get comparable offers from SD and LA, where are you gonna sign?

    As others have pointed out, whos to say that 07 isn’t indicative of what Jones is now? Also, I just read on MLBTR that we may be buying the first pick from the Rays so we can get Barton.

    Before everyone goes all “the FO is cheap” lets please remember that it’s been less than a week since we reached an agreement with the second best pitcher in the world to a reasonable 3-year extension that constitutes some serious spending of money.

    And, by the way, if you think that Jones will help out the veterans vs. youngsters problem that plagues the Dodgers, you haven’t been paying attention. Anyone catch how Jones abused their young LF when he was here? It was ridiculous…

  27. Another thing: If that’s the best contract Boras could get for Jones, doesn’t that mean many teams, including the Padres, were being cautious.

    Two years, $36 mil from the free-spending, stupid Dodgers. That probably means 1 year for $9-12 mil was about right.

  28. Anyone here about the potential trade for the first pick in the rule 5 draft tomorrow … http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=680

    Looks like they’d take Brian Barton … I’d like that move quite a bit, at first glance.

  29. I think Jones is going to kill us for the next two years but it’s not the end of the world. The Dodgers will screw it up by sticking Pierre in LF and trading one or more of their young studs.

    The Barton rumor is interesting to say the least, he put up some nice .400+ OBPs in the minors. Is he our centerfielder next year? Or insurance in case Fukudome can’t handle CF in Petco? With his engineering degree he might be the one guy on the team that can hang with Chris Young intellectually. And Coach Kenterra will love him if he has speed. Speed shows up every day you know, unlike power and on base percentage.

  30. 79: er, that should be “hear” … gettin’ late, I guess.

    80: My take is he’ll be a 4th outfielder type, but I really have no idea. I like the move though (if it happens), picking up a pretty legit player in the Rule 5.

  31. Wow, the Dodgers spent the money for Jones? Curious move.

    Hmm….I’m really worried that they’ll get Bedard now or Haren.
    The signing may indicates that Kemp/Ethier is going to be traded. I don’t see Pierre being the veteran that gets cut/traded.

    Sure hope that they will trade away two/three of their young studs.

  32. Love the Brian Barton move if it is true. let’s hope his knee is cool.

    76, 78

    How do you figure that’s an over reaction. Do you not think the Padres will get killed by the media and the fans if they don’t have a good CF option up their sleeves? This is the type of crap we are going to have to hear fans bitch about on the radio for years. Every letter to the editor section in the UT is going to go on on about this for months and it is going to drive me off the deep end (that’s really why i’m pissed).

    At the end of the season they were talking about a 1 year offer of $18 mil for Jones. Lets keep in mind that he is a future HOF’R that is like 30. I’m sure the market for him was down but when Tori Hunter is signing for $90 million and Aaron Rowand is looking for $65 or more a 2 year deal for a guy that has produced more (by leaps and bounds) and is younger than both of them.

    I am not one to say the Padres don’t spend any money and all that. I understand their philosophy on long term contracts and all that jazz. So when we don’t go after pricey long term investments I get it and I don’t get broken up about it. It’s just that this seems like the type of deal that the Padres were talking about going into the off-season. Saying we will offer him a year or two and see if he will take it.

    Truthfully I’d rather have someone younger with better hitting discipline. I’d much rather have a good OBP guy that hits 15 HR’s than a guy that hits 30+ hr’s and strikes out swinging on nearly every other at bat. It just seems like the Padres through an idea that they never thought would happen out and then their biggest rival came in and gave it to him and he took it.

  33. 79: I guess the FO is pretty high on Barton to move up like that. OTOH, it probably not the only move to get a CF for the Padres’ next season. I hope that’s the case.

    Interesting name on that list is Evan Meek who used to be with the Twins and then the Padres picked him up and traded him to the Cubs. How he ended up with the Devil…oops…Rays, I don’t know. His numbers used to be pretty good. Must have turned out to be not as good for the Rays to expose him.

  34. 81.

    Someone else’s 4th outfielder is our starter haha!

    Let’s look at it this way…

    1. Could he be worse than Termel Sledge? Probably not!

    2. Is he a better defender than Russell Branyan or Geoff Blum? We could probably chop 1 of his legs off and still say yes.

    3. Does he have more upside than say Rob Mackowiak? At 25 I might.

    4. There is always Brady Clark… Umm yeah I’m good. Remember that last game?

    If Barton can hit and knows how to catch a ball then he will probably be an upgrade from last year. Plus he has a world of potential and plenty of young guys around him to bond with. I’m sure he and Kouz crossed paths at some point.

    Good move IMO if it’s true.

  35. 83:

    It didn’t seem like the Padres were ever serious about Jones, so I don’t get this whole characterization that the Dodgers swooped in and stole him. The Padres didn’t give a shit.

    As far as spending money, the Padres are using their free agency money to lock up Peavy. That’s the smartest big money deal of the offseason. By far. But it’s not getting the buzz, because he’s technically not a free agent.

    The smartest low money deal is proabably Wolf.

    Towers is having a great offseason.

    I wouldn’t have wanted Jones for one year, $18 mil. I have confidence that Towers didn’t either, because I think he is smart.

    Jones could be finished. We don’t know. He should close out a Hall of Fame career, but lots of supposed Hall of Fame careers have skidded off the tracks. Probably more than have turned into Hall of Fame careers. He could be a few years older than we think, too.

    Is your main point that the Padres will get killed in the media and by the fans? Who cares what they think? I would rather Towers do a good job and get ripped than do a bad job and get praised. If the fans and media are paying attention, they will see that Peavy is their big offseason splash and they got him at a great rate. If they lock up Greene, that will be another similar deal, while certainly not as big.

    Some writers are praising the Angels for getting Hunter, but it’s not a good deal. If the Padres would have singed him, it would have been a big splash but not a good deal.

  36. 71: I agree. But it might free them up to trade Kemp or Ethier for a good pitcher without hurting their team as much.

    According to the BA link, Barton traveled all season with a pet turtle. I think he might be my new favorite player, if we get him. I really like the move for him as a fourth or fifth outfielder this year, but I’d prefer him to not be the big centerfield acquisition.

  37. 83: Sorry to disappoint you but Jones’ career OBP is a tad over .340 with SLG a tad under .500 so last season was the worse in his career after the two career high seasons preceeding it. Probably the Padres could have matched the offer but Jones prefer to play with the Dodgers. I don’t know any details, just an example.

    So, yeah, the FO is going to get killed in the media. Still, that’s a lot of dough to tie up with a player if the FO doesn’t believe Jones will bounce back for two seasons.
    I think he will be better than last season but not as good as 05-06.
    Why? It looks like Jones has been changing his swing the last 3 season and started to hit more flyballs. Playing in big OF parks in the division may reduced those flyball hits into outs.

    I guess the Padres better gets better pitchers then like the best #4, #5, #6, and #7 pitchers in the division at least. They are going to be important.

    BTW, what are the Dodgers going to do with Delwyn Young? Isn’t he ready for the majors?

  38. im curious could someone whos been keeping track count up what our 25 man look like now?
    how many spots do we have left open?

  39. Re: 85 the Pads may spin it to say that thier FA money went to signing Peavy this year but Peavy will still make $6.5M this year and $11M next year, his $52M extention does not kick in untill 2010.

  40. Re: 89 at the moment it looks something like this:

    C: Bard
    1B: A-Gon
    2B: Stanssberry
    3B: Kouz
    SS: Greene
    RF: Giles
    CF: Lane
    LF: Hairston




  41. Re: 93 what happened to he pads trade?

  42. 92:

    I think it looks more like this:

    C: Bard
    1B: A. Gonzalez
    2B: E. Gonzalez/Stansberry/Robles/Antonelli
    SS: Greene
    3B: Kouzamanoff
    LF: Headley
    CF: Hairston
    RF: Giles

    (The Luke Scott deal hasn’t gone through yet.)

  43. 94: I guess it didn’t happen. We took Callix Crabbe in the second round. At least we got a great name out of it.

  44. Crabbe is a switch hitting 2B, hit .287/.377/.435 in the PCL last year as a 25 year old. Antonelli insurance I guess.

  45. Re: 97 to complement Robles, Rodriguez, Stansberry, and Gonzalez

  46. Rule 5 guys can be traded, right? I guess we could still get Barton but you don’t want to have two Rule 5 guys on the roster (is that even allowed) so we’d have to send them Crabbe. I was feeling pretty good this morning with Barton & Fukudome but now it looks like we’re still without any viable CF option.

  47. this is starting to look like 2006 when the pads started the year with Barfield, Bellhorn, Blum, and EY Ive never seen so many 2B on one roster.