Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
OK for the most part the Rox have decided to become the NL version of the Minnesota Twins. That is, develop your minor league system, field the majority of your big league squad with that talent, and when they become free agents trade them away for more minor league stock. A decent model to follow since there will always be big money teams eager to throw big dollars at proven commodities while sending along unproven minor leaguers. So if this is the case and you have a loaded (or competitive?) minor league system, then shouldn't eventually your major league team see spikes in their winning percentage? If your loaded AA wins the Texas League championship, then shouldn't that same talent be fielded and face similar players in the big leagues, eventually? Of course if your AA team stinks perhaps you have no big league talent and thus they never reach the big leagues but then you would still have an age gap for a few years against those teams...Then of course there are those teams that develop talent but not enough at the right time and end of trading it away (think of the Pirates trades over the last few years, had they developed together who knows...)
So figure each year there are 8 playoff spots. Pencil in the big spenders...the Yanks, Red Sox, Angels, Mets, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants (?), and Dodgers as perennial playoff teams that take five or six of those spots. That leaves just two or three teams from the non-big spenders teams that have a chance to get to the dance. Now let's assume that those remaining 22 teams, about 8 are just plain poorly managed by the front office (i.e., Nats, Baltimore, Royals, and Reds for instance) and don't have a clear plan on how to win now or in the future so that leaves about 14 teams with some clue. Now if those 14 teams follow the model of raising good talent from within and having a competitive minor league system then don't you think that looking at the minor league records and tracking the success among those other teams would suggest that as this talent matures you should be competitive among those non big spenders and thus get that hand me down playoff spot? The graph above attempts to show some sort of correlation to a minor league record and major league output. Does minor league winning percentage in past lead to major league success in the future? All minor league percentage includes rookie ball and short season records and the A, A+, AA, AAA is the records of just the big 4 minor league clubs.
There does seem to be about a 3 - 4 year difference between a peak in the minors to a peak in the big leagues. The biggest example would be 2003 peak in the minors to the 2007 big league record. The 2003 had Holliday and Hawpe and a young Jimenez. If we assume that the 2007 big league squad overachieved then the next peak was in 2005 which again had Holliday, Hawpe, Jimenez, and added Tulo and then you have 2009 winning record.
Since 2003 - 2004, the Rox minor league system has consistently faired well. Depth in the minors can't be bad. Obvious alot of talent moves in and out of the minors...some of this talent succeeds, some fails, some remain in limbo, some are fast movers, others take time to develop. I think another problem is you need talent to mature together (think Pittsburgh) and for this success to continue then talent must come in waves. If you think Holliday, Hawpe, Atkins were Group 1, then this was followed by Tulo, Iannetta, Smith and then followed by Fowler and Young. As older talent moves on then good talent exists to take there place. I doubt whether one can truly quantify a correlation but for non big spenders it feels good to think that young talent will eventually mature and sneak into the playoff picture once in a while (and even win!).