Like all (except maybe one) of you, I'm tired of hearing about the Royals' awful past, and I've pretty much given up on the Royals' present. That only leaves the Royals' future, and that means the endless hope provided by the farm system.
The purpose of this post is to give all of us the easiest way to check the season statistics of all the Royals prospects.
I know that stats aren't the best way to measure minor leaguers, but I don't know squat about tools. In the Futures game, I thought Wil Myers looked really fast and had a messed up swing, but Baseball America says he has below average speed and Keith Law says he has the best hit tool in the minors. So I'll let the experts stick to judging tools, and I'll take try to remember to include a grain of salt with each stat.
Also, I don't want to duplicate or take away from work that others are already doing. I really appreciate the daily updates that Clint provides each day, and TrueBlueTradition has started posting good weekly updates that include in-depth season statistics on a few of our top prospects.
The easiest way to check the Royals' Minor Leaguers is these two links:
(links updated on 7/20 to add four newly qualifed players: pitchers Dwyer and Binford and hitters Escobar and Bautista)
** note that Fangraphs mistakenly has two entries for Ismael Bautista of the Royals DSL team [Batistia and Bautista] and his games are split across those two entries, so combine them together to get a sense of his overall performance
Discussion of what you'll find at the links and summary of the tops of the leaderboards follow after the jump
What's at the links:
The two links go to custom leaderboards on fangraphs, and they include every player in the Royals minor league system who falls under my arbitrarily-set age cutoffs: every player no older than
24 for Omaha,
23 for NW Arkansas,
22 for Wilmington,
21 for Kane County,
20 for Idaho Falls and Burlington,
19 for Surprise Royals, and
18 for DSL Royals
The idea of these age cutoffs is both to keep the lists to a manageable size and to exclude the Clint Robinsons and Max Ramirezes of the world, who might dominate the leaderboard but don't really figure in the hope for a better future.
As it turns out, some players widely followed in the minors are older than these age cutoffs and don't appear on the list, but if they get back on track, they'll be added. If, for example, Edwin Carl (23 years old) or Brett Eibner (23) get promoted to NW Arkansas, I'll add them to the list and update the links.
How to read the leaderboards:
I've got the hitters leaderboard sorted by wRC+, which is basically an all inclusive measure of hitting (same idea as wOBA) measured against league average (where 100 is league average and 150 is 50% above league average). Given that NW Arkansas and Omaha are in hitters leagues and Wilmington and Kane County are in pitchers leagues (and who knows which side the Pioneer League, Appalachin League Arizona Summer League, and Dominican Summer League favor), I think league-adjusted statistics are the only good way to compare players across different leagues.
If you want a counting stat to account for how many plate appearances these guys have sustained their performanes, wRAA is a league-adjusted counting stat.
The pitchers leaderboards are sorted by K/BB. Fangraphs does not offer a league-adjusted measure of pitching performance, so K/BB is the best we can do.
A blurb for Statcorner
For minor league stats, I actually prefer Statcorner over Fangraphs. For starters, I'm not sure if Fangraphs' league-adjusted stats are also adjusted for home park, but I know Statcorner's are (Statcorner's wOBA+ and batV are conceptually equivalent to Fangraphs wRC+ and bRAA) . More importantly, Statcorner offers tRA+ and pRAA, league-adjusted, park-adjusted stats that let us compare players across different levels.
Unfortunately, statcorner only has data for our top four affiliates, their leaderboards are not up to date, and you can't look at more than one team at once, so it doesn't work as well for this purpose. Still, I've linked each player mentioned here to his statcorner page and I encourage everyone to cross check numbers on the teams' Statcorner pages:
Leaders at the All-Star Break
By wRAA, here are the Royals top six hitting prospects (as of 7/10):
37.6 wRAA Wil Myers (21 - NWA/OMA) statcorner: 37.7 batV
12.6 wRAA Jorge Bonifacio (19 - KCC) statcorner: 14.3 batV
12.2 wRAA Johnny Giavotella (24 - OMA) statcorner: 11.8 batV
10.5 wRAA Lane Adams (22 - KCC/WIL) statcorner: 12.9 batV
9.9 wRAA Alexis Rivera (18 - SUR)
6.8 wRAA Christian Colon (23 - NWA) statcorner: 4.9 batV
By wRC+, here are the Royals top six hitting prospects (as of 7/10):
235 wRC+ Luis Villegas (19 - SUR)
195 wRC+ Alexis Rivera (18 - SUR)
184 wRC+ Wil Myers (21 - NWA/OMA) statcorner: NWA: 149 wOBA+; OMA: 126 wOBA+)
175 wRC+ Bubba Starling (19 - BUR)
137 wRC+ Cristian Cano (18 - DSL)
136 wRC+ Johnny Giavotella (24 - OMA) statcorner: 116 wOBA+
By K:BB, here are the Royals top six pitching prospects (as of 7/10):
8.50 K/BB Yender Caramo (20 - BUR)
6.00 K/BB Yimauri Pena (18 - DSL)
5.50 K/BB Adelso Polanco (18 - DSL)
5.50 K/BB Jake Junis (19 - BUR)
4.50 K/BB Kyle Smith (19 - IDA/KCC)
4.50 K/BB Pedro Fernandez (18 - DSL)
Since all of these guys started in short-season leagues and have fewer than 25 IP, here's the leaderboard with a 40-IP minimum (as of 7/10):
3.77 K/BB Jason Adam (20 - WIL) statcorner: 101 tRA+, 0.4 pRAA
3.63 K/BB Michael Mariot (23 - NWA) statcorner: 123 tRA+, 4.7 pRAA
3.54 K/BB Jake Odorizzi (22 - NWA/OMA) statcorner: NWA: 162 tRA+; OMA: 106 tRA+, 14.3 pRAA total
3.50 K/BB Yordano Ventura (21 - WIL) statcorner: 118 tRA+, 7.6 pRAA
3.24 K/BB Will Smith (22 - OMA) statcorner: 115 tRA+, 7.7 pRAA
2.88 K/BB Sugar Ray Marimon (23 - WIL/NWA) statcorner: WIL: 107 tRA+; NWA: 115 tRA+, 3.1 pRAA total
I hope that this is useful, and I'll keep updating the main links at the top as more prospects join teams.