22 August 2008

Where Capra Ranks

A recent trend in the HBD forums has been to attempt to rank all 150 or so HBD Worlds using varying methods. Somebody devises a statistical methodology and then punches in data for all the worlds and posts the results, which are followed, of course, by many pages of debate on the validity of said rankings.

tecwrg recently posted his rankings which are based upon the # of -(minus) plays within each world's most recently completed season. His theory is that quality worlds care about defense and will not either play people out of position or in spots that will be detrimental to the team's ability to execute the fundamentals. Out of 142 worlds, his system ranked Capra at #18. Not bad. Another way to think about his rankings, though, is to consider the positive difference between + plays and - plays(see his chart). If his rankings were ordered that way, Capra would come in at #5 overall. Now that's more like it.

98greenc5 posted a different set of rankings this morning that is based on competitive balance and the number of teams who deviate from an average of all the worlds by considering Wins, Runs Allowed, and Unearned Runs Allowed. His formula gets more complicated from there because he weights Wins to 50% and the others to 25%. Still follow? In any case, he finds Capra at #36 out of 137 worlds, but says that his methodology might unfavorably reward newer worlds that have had less opportunity for variance. (See addendum below)

The original attempt to rank the worlds was much more unscientific and based upon participant input. We also scored well there. The user who started this thread seems to be no longer active in cataloging input.

Addendum: 98greenc5 has revised his rankings with an allowance for # of seasons completed. This pushes Capra now up to #22.

18 August 2008

Int'l Report Card, Round 3/Preview

Will feature the following players:

P Sammy Reyes, Ottawa Ice. $4.8m bonus.
C Raul Ortega, Little Rock Travelers. $4.8 bonus.
P Michael Li, Toronto Beavers. $4.5m bonus.
P Orlando Armas, Pawtucket Patriots. $3.9m bonus.
P Ugueth Rosado, St. Louis Archers. $3.5m bonus.
3B Julio Wilfredo, Chicago Vipers. $3.3m bonus.
P Matty Calvo, Buffalo Hunters. $3.2m bonus.
SS Del Gabriel, Oklahoma City Drunken Ducks. $2.9m bonus.

Int'l Report Card, Round 2

Round 2 of the I.S. Report Card covers 8 more players listed in descending order of signing bonus. Remember, the grades are not reflective of merely said player's projections, but rather the cost of acquiring that set of skills. And again, my projections are based on a $14m advance scouting budget. Please feel free to disagree with my grades in the comments section.

1B Ismael Maduro, Anaheim Anteaters. $15.9m bonus.
-We may be a little partial here, but Maduro projects to us as a near Hall-of-Fame masher and is a good deal at almost any price. His only offensive category that projects under 82 is his lefty-split, the one weakness we would cherry pick if we could. We are especially fond of his potential future success against righties(94) and his eyeball at the plate(100). His durability, at 78, could be better as he'll have to sit out a few games every season. And it's a shame Maduro doesn't play a tougher position to fill, but otherwise, the Anteaters have found a worthy successor to Kip White.
Grade: A-

CF Felipe Vargas, Minnesota North Stars. $12m bonus.
-Vargas is solid in many areas, but spectacular in none. His D is fine, he'll be a good baserunner, and he should have a respectable BB/K ratio at the dish. But his power/contact and splits all max out in the low to mid 50s, and he will have trouble maintaining a consistent batting line at the big league level. I'd feel better about Vargas if his bonus was half this much.
Grade: C+

2B Dennis Yamaguchi, Oklahoma City Drunken Ducks. $11.3m bonus.
-A good one. Yamaguchi will be a nice hitter from the 2-hole someday. His power/contact splits range from 52-78. His eye could reach 70. He's a top notch bunter(100) and offers decent wheels at 71. Yamaguchi is not likely to be an all-star, but should be a strong role player.
Grade: B

1B Esteban Lee, Syracuse Salt City Ballers. $9.8m bonus.
-Almost nothing to not like. All of his important offensive projections are in the 80s, minus his righty split of 73, which isn't bad. Perhaps Lee's only drawback is his sloppy work with the leather(projected glove of 25), as he might be better suited to the DH in the AL. Otherwise, nothing will stop Lee from raking with the big boys.
Grade: A-

P J.P. Mercado, Buffalo Hunters. $6m bonus.
-Hmm. Not too sure about this one. We see Mercado's control/splits as ranging from 39-58. He's got only one pitch that projects higher than 51(@ 74). Frankly, his ceiling of success looks like AAA, more than the bigs, making this a tough signing to get behind.
Grade: C-

P Miguel Gonzalez, El Paso Diablos. $6m bonus.
-Gonzalez could use a better 2nd pitch(55) and effectiveness against lefties(53). Otherwise, he'll be a strong reliever and possibly a good closer with projections ranging from 69-86. The one drawback to this plan, though, is that his durability, at 24, is not well suited to the daily rigors of closing. Maybe Capra's best long reliever someday?
Grade: B

P Torey Gandarillas, Rochester Rough Riders. $4.9m bonus.
-Gooooaaaallll! Despite spending only $2M on Int'l Scouting, Rochester found Dominican righthander Torey Gandarillas under their Xmas tree earlier this season. With projected 89 control and 85/100 splits, does it really matter what his pitches look like(all 3 are above 65)? The only drawback here is that Gandarillas doesn't quite have the durability to be a closer nor the stamina to be a starter. Wherever he enters the game, he'll be stud in a few seasons.
Grade: A

P Willie Torres, Minnesota North Stars. $2.5m bonus.
-This is why mnnorthstars drops $20 on the int'l scouts. Torres will be a quality starter who projects to 92 control, 90 fastball, 68 curve, and good velocity(82). His splits are mediocre(47/50), but his control will help compensate there. All for just 2.5M.
Grade: A

17 August 2008

A Look at the Division Races & Post-Season Predictions

NL North: No news here. Fargo will cruise to their 9th straight division flag and is currently on pace for their best record yet, in spite of Ozuna, Henderson, etc. all getting old enough to need Viagra prescriptions. Minnesota looks very strong for the first wild card seed.

NL East: Chicago(formerly Atlanta) is on pace for their 8th straight division title, though Syracuse is coming on hot and heavy and currently just a game behind. This looks like the first time since S1 that this division will have two better-than-.500 teams in a race.

NL South: Little Rock has been leading El Paso by a nose all season long it seems. This is a close, two-pony race that should come down to the wire. Stay tuned.

NL West: Anaheim hosts a comfortable, eight-game lead, though, considering their collapse late last season, they're not likely to get complacent. Division-rival St. Louis features too many weapons and will be in the playoff hunt, one way or another, at season's end.

AL North: Montreal looks like a clinch for their 4th straight division crown with an 11-game lead and .700 win %. Scranton, though, is Capra's best 2nd place team(tied with Jackson @ 71 wins) and appears slated for an October invite.

AL East: San Juan and Boston again pace this division. The Express currently have a four-game lead on reclaiming their flag from seasons 4-7, which Boston interrupted last year. The Diego Santana Brigade needs to step it up either in the division or the wild card race.

AL South: Jackson's won the last 3 rounds here, but currently trail Montgomery by eight games. The Constitutions seem to have recaptured some of their early Capra magic when they won four of the first five division races(though never with a record this good @ .675). Jackson looks like a wild card berth.

AL West: Albuquerque's gonna make it seven straight here. No one else is over .500.

Playoff predictions, as of game 115:

NL Division Play-In Series
St. Louis beats Chicago
Little Rock beats Minnesota

AL Division Play-In Series
Albuquerque beats Scranton
Jackson beats San Juan

NL Division Championship Series
Fargo Beats Little Rock
Anaheim beats St. Louis

AL Division Championship Series
Montreal beats Jackson
Albuquerque beats Montgomery

NL Championship Series
Fargo beats Anaheim

AL Championship Series
Montreal beats Albuquerque

World Series
Montreal beats Fargo

08 August 2008

Separated at Birth?

In the S5 Amateur Draft, 3B Trenidad Rios was selected with the 19th overall pick by the Anahaim Anteaters. That same season, Anaheim paid a whopping $12.3M bonus to sign 18 year-old 3B Moises Guzman from the Dominican Republic.

Both right-handed sluggers with solid defense at the corner, Rios and Guzman are similar physical specimens, with Guzman just 1 inch taller and about 10 pounds heavier. The big difference is that Guzman has better health and durability, but otherwise it'd be hard to tell them apart.

The following season, Anaheim traded Guzman to Jacksonville for soon to be All-Star SS Delino Julio. Guzman proceeded to rip apart minor league pitching for the next few seasons and is currently in his first campaign at the big league level, much like his old 3B competition, Rios. Since both these young studs are in their first big league season, let's compare the stats and soon just how alike they really are:

Trenidad Rios: 270/341/601. 27hrs, 70ribbies, 29/60 bb/k ratio in approx 300 at bats.

Moi. Guzman: 274/329/549. 25hrs, 66ribbies, 27/68 bb/k ratio in approx 370 at bats.

Separated at birth, indeed. And, it should be noted, that with 27 and 25 homers respectively, Rios and Guzman lead all of Capra third sackers in home runs, and they're just 23 and 22 years old. The future of Capra's 3B class has arrived. And they just may be secretly related.

New Ttitle Photo

The Pic above is Smith-Wills Stadium, the minor league park in Jackson, Missisippi. This is, of course, in honor of Season 8 champion, the Jackson Riverdogs.