Throughout the year, we here at IBI bring you first-hand coverage of Cleveland’s minor league system like nobody else. From beat writers covering each minor league affiliate to weekly notebooks to extended interviews with coaches and front office personnel, IBI has in-depth scouting information you cannot find anywhere else.
What we do not have as much of on the minor league side is statistical analysis. Many of our writers implement stats and sabermetrics into their writing and analysis, but when it comes to minor league players, that is harder to do. So much of minor league performance is context-based; comparing a 21-year-old and a 27-year-old both succeeding in Triple-A, for example. That, plus a relative lack of available information, makes just using raw stats impossible. Want to know how well defensive metrics rated Mike Trout in 2013? Just head to Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, etc. But what about Francisco Lindor in High-A? That is not publically available.
But how far can we go with what is publically available? Well, that is the point of this article.
WAR is a stat that has its flaws, but it also has some pretty important uses, and what I will be doing with The WAR Room, starting next week, is revealing my computations of WAR for minor leaguers in the Cleveland system. The WAR Room will be a bi-weekly subscription feature.
The formula to create WAR is not a secret (in fact it is right here on Fangraphs for hitters and pitchers), but putting it together with minor league statistics is not necessarily readily available. Plus it has some problems, which I am going to outline below.
But more importantly, it is another tool we can use to evaluate the minor leaguers moving up through the system. I will not just be throwing raw WAR totals at you; each set of stats will have an accompanying write-up putting it all into the proper context. Read More…
From Indians Baseball Insider, April 6, 2014