FanPost

Do Angels Hitters Successfully Advance to the Majors?

 

Suboptimal’s post got me thinking.  My curiosity goes beyond just the hitting coach, though:  It seemed to me that the Angels, as opposed to other organizations, had difficulty developing hitters.  Matt Welch seemed curious, too.  Many of them had done well, to various degrees, during their minor league career, yet couldn’t seem to carry that success over into the major leagues.  I realize that almost every rookie suffers through some growing pains, but eventually the good ones "figure it out."  Ours didn’t.  Or so it seemed.

 

THE METHODOLOGY

As someone who prefers to rely on facts, I decided to take a few minutes and find out if my hunch was true.  In order to determine this, though, I needed to set some basic criteria.  I tried to keep it simple, too.  I decided to use simple slash stats that almost every fan knows and understands.  It may be crude, but I believe it gets the job done.

I looked at batters with current teams who:

►       Were drafted by that team

►       Had over 1,000 AB's by the end of 2009

►       Had 100 AB's this year

I used that easily identifiable criteria because I wanted to see which teams

►       Drafted the right "type" of player

►       Developed them throughout the minors

►       Reaped the rewards via major league performance

Guys like Grady Sizemore and Michael Young spent a lot of time in their respective team's minor league systems, but were not drafted by Cleveland or Texas, so I left them off.  Maybe the Indians and Rangers played a part, perhaps a huge part, in each player's major league success, but then the waters started getting murky as to which point we give the current organization credit or the original organization credit.  I decided to keep it simple.  Feel free to disagree with my methodology.  But the players I chose are "pure" in that no other organization has tainted them in any way.

That being said, I included Peralta and Martinez with the Indians even though neither is with Cleveland anymore.  They were both drafted and developed by the Indians, and I felt they each added to the discussion.  So I cheated with those two, but not much.

The list of the Angels players includes extra players who did not qualify due to limited AB's or who were "players of interest."  You'll see why when you check out their section.

So, using my handy dandy Baseball America Register, I looked up each player that qualified, and simply looked up their career minor league stats, and compared them to their career major league stats.  Crude, but easily understandable.  Finally, I compared their minor league OPS with their major league OPS.  The +/- score is in the last column.

THE LIST

BOS

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Youkilis

 

299

442

439

881

 

292

391

487

878

-3

Pedroia

 

308

392

454

846

 

307

370

455

825

-21

Ellsbury

 

314

390

426

816

 

297

350

414

764

-52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NYY

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Cano

 

278

331

425

756

 

306

339

480

819

+63

Jeter

 

308

385

418

803

 

317

388

459

847

+44

Posada

 

258

368

436

804

 

277

379

480

859

+55

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOR

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Wells

 

289

350

463

813

 

280

329

470

799

-14

Lind

 

318

380

509

889

 

287

338

495

833

-56

Hill

 

295

371

423

794

 

285

337

434

771

-23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TB

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Crawford

 

295

336

400

736

 

295

335

437

772

+36

Longoria

 

301

386

534

920

 

277

355

528

883

-37

Upton

 

297

393

457

850

 

266

352

410

762

-88

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAL

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Markakis

 

301

380

471

851

 

298

367

470

857

-14

Roberts

 

281

377

372

749

 

284

356

421

777

+28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MIN

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Morneau

 

310

378

527

905

 

280

350

501

851

-54

Mauer

 

332

407

426

833

 

327

408

483

891

+58

Cuddyer

 

290

380

485

865

 

270

344

457

801

-64

Span

 

286

356

357

713

 

305

390

422

812

+99

Kubel

 

320

385

499

884

 

278

339

474

813

-71

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHI

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

None

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DET

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Inge

 

248

317

421

738

 

236

305

394

699

-39

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KC

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Gordon

 

325

432

583

1015

 

250

331

415

746

-269

DeJesus

 

301

400

464

864

 

286

358

425

783

-81

Butler

 

336

416

561

977

 

291

346

451

797

-180

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLE

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Peralta

 

277

353

414

769

 

266

331

425

756

-13

Martinez

 

316

399

475

874

 

299

372

465

837

-37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OAK

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Suzuki

 

283

380

419

799

 

272

329

398

727

-72

Chavez

 

301

357

527

884

 

268

345

482

827

-57

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEX

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Kinsler

 

301

378

497

875

 

279

350

477

827

-48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEA

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Lopez

 

288

331

433

764

 

271

303

412

715

-49

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAA

Minors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Majors =>

Avg

OBP

SLG

OPS

Min/Maj +/-

Kendrick

 

360

403

569

972

 

302

333

434

767

-205

Aybar

 

312

357

453

810

 

285

324

383

707

-103

Napoli

 

257

374

470

844

 

256

358

493

851

+7

Kotchman

 

324

406

492

898

 

269

337

406

743

-155

Morales *

 

332

373

528

901

 

283

334

505

839

-62

Mathis *

 

277

340

444

784

 

200

277

320

597

-187

Willits *

 

299

393

390

783

 

265

365

309

674

-109

Wood *

 

286

354

541

895

 

192

222

313

535

-360

*  Less than 1,000 AB's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS

Obviously, most players' major league OPS are lower than their minor league OPS.  That makes intuitive sense.  But I believe the best organizations can keep the drop off to a minimum.  One organization, in fact, develops players that actually improve during their big league careers (TMFY).  Most organizations are OK - some a little better than others.  The Royals have two big "minuses" in Gordon and Butler, yet their OPS's are still halfway decent.  Those two hitters simply dominated the minors.

And then....the Angels.  Aside from Gordon, Howie has the biggest drop off from his minor league OPS to his major league OPS.  Just amazing.  Kotchman's plunge is equally impressive, as is Mathis.  Aybar and Willits don't looks so hot, either.  Wood is just off the charts crazy.  (Please note that I included Kotchman because he never realized his promise as an Angel, and his walk rates were plummeting even before he got traded.  Call it artistic license.  Sue me).

(Now, before you say that Salt Lake and Rancho Cucamonga are the culprits, I might remind you that A) Arkansas and Cedar Rapids are NOT hitters havens, and B) other teams have affiliates in the PCL, too, and their hitters seem to develop nicely.)

Now it's true that this may not be Hatcher's fault.  But it is definitely an organizational flaw that only Napoli has been able to avoid.  The Red Sox, Twins and Yankees all seem to be able to bring up hitters and have them perform.  Toronto and Tampa Bay seem fine, too.  Why can't the Angels?  Are they drafting the wrong kind of player.  Teaching them improperly throughout the minors?

This Fan-Post is authored by an independent fan. Tell us what you think and how you feel.

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