The WAR Room: 2014 AZL pitchers season in review (11.16.14)

16 Nov

The WAR Room is back again, bringing you the 2014 advanced stats for every Cleveland minor leaguer. With the minor league seasons at an end, we continue bringing you seasons in review, with today’s featuring the 2014 Arizona League pitchers.

The list of previous season in reviews are below:

Of course, it is always important to keep context in mind, just like with scouting. A pitcher who is old for his level using that experience to succeed against young, inexperienced hitters must be taken with a grain of salt; the same goes when looking at these WAR totals.

But it is a useful tool to put each player’s performance into context and look at where they sit in regard to the rest of the league.

For reference on how I computed WAR, a reminder on the problems inherent in the stats, and everything else you need to know, click here. For a refresher on WAR and what it is, click here.

As a reminder, a 0.0 WAR per 162 games is replacement level — otherwise known as the kind of performance an average player from the level below could offer — a 2.0 WAR per 162 games is average, and a 5.0 WAR per 162 games is All-Star level.

Also note that pitchers have FIP-based WAR — which is based on peripherals like strikeouts, walks, home runs, etc. — and RA-based WAR — which is based on runs allowed.

One more thing, all “+” stats are averaged at 100. Anything over 100, like 110, is higher and means that player is 10 percent better than the league average. Anything under 100, like 90, is lower and means that player is 10 percent worse than the league average. In the case of any “-” stats — when lower is better, like with ERA — a 90 ERA- means that player is 10 percent better than the league average.

Today we begin our look at the Arizona League team with the pitchers before moving to the hitters next week. Keep in mind that for the short season leagues, the projection of each player features heavily into the equation, not just the raw stats. For the full stats, go ahead and click here.

Though the stats are of lesser quality for draft picks in their draft year, left-hander Justus Sheffield’s 4.79 ERA (119 ERA-) and -0.1 RA-based WAR in 20.2 innings is still a little disappointing. Luckily for Sheffield and the organization, however, the 2014 first round pick’s peripherals were much better, with his 2.68 FIP (67 FIP-) and 0.6 FIP-based WAR foreshadowing what should be a bright future for the 18-year-old. Much of Sheffield’s high ERA is wrapped up in his .436 BABIP (139 BABIP+) — a figure that will definitely fall in time — and the left-hander’s impressive 30.9 percent strikeout rate (135 K%+) is a much more important stat for him going forward. The 9.6 percent walk rate (103 BB%+) could use a little work, but as long as Sheffield keeps striking batters out, that walk rate will play going forward. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, November 16, 2014

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Posted by on November 16, 2014 in ZV. November 2014


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