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Evaluating The Prospects

With Cleveland (and many other teams also) loading up with  many more prospects, and many fans being somewhat 'uneducated' concerning prospect/player evaluation stats, we decided we would create our own notebook here.

Most like to keep it simple. Batting averages and ERA's are good enough. If you can evaluate a prospect/player with just that, we salute you.

But hopefully, you will entertain the idea of going deeper into the count, so to speak, and gather a few more of the tools used for evaluation.
And hopefully, I present this in such a good fashion that someone like The Master John Sickels cruises in and adds his expertise to  it. (hint,hint John)

....................................The NoteBook................................

OPS (On-base percentage Plus Slugging) is the most important prospect evaluation tool, as it weighs power, patience, and overall hitting ability.  The On-base percentage portion of the OPS measures a player's ability to get on base, while the Slugging Percentage rewards a player for extra-base hits. A measure of total bases as a whole.

Plate Discipline A player should walk in no fewer than 10% of his at-bats, although that number could be bumped up a few percentage points. Any player with twice as many strikeouts as he has walks should be immediately downgraded. This is quite a serious plate discipline problem, and likely won't be fixed anytime soon. Likewise, anybody with as many walks as he has strikeouts should be upgraded, as this is a rare tool that is indicative of future success in many cases.

League Averages
Here is a list of general minor league averages.

Class AAA
International League: .739 OPS
Pacific Coast League: .777 OPS

Class AA
Eastern: .740 OPS
Southern: .721 OPS
Texas: .726 OPS

Class A
California: .741 OPS
Carolina: .702 OPS
Florida State: .698 OPS
Midwest: .691 OPS
South Atlantic: .697 OPS
New York-Penn: .676 OPS
Northwest: .678 OPS

Appalachian: .745 OPS
Pioneer: .746 OPS

General Age Guidelines
Class AAA= 23 years old
Class AA= 22 years old
Class A/A+ = 21 years old
Class A-= 20 years old
Rookie-level= 19 years old

How do you calculate OPS? OPS, or On Base % (Hits+Walks, divided by ABs + Walks)
Slugging Average (Singles + 2 x Doubles + 3 x Triples + 4 x Homeruns, divided by ABs).

At the MLB level, OPS values of .950+ are outstanding; values of .850-.950 are very good; and values of .750-.850 are average or better.  Position must be taken into account, of course, when applying these rules-of-thumb.  An "average" value for corner infielders or corner outfielders would be substantially higher than an "average" value for middle infielders or catchers.

Baserunners-per-inning (also WHIP or Ratio)pitchers
Walks + hits divided by the number of innings pitched.  Less than 1.25 is considered very good and more than 1.50 is considered very bad.

Slugging Percentage  Defined as [Singles + (2 x Doubles) + (3 x Triples) + (4 x HR) ] divided by at-bats.  A measure of total bases accumulated per at bat and traditionally used as the primary index of a hitter's power potential.  Although it has been criticized on a number of counts, it is a very useful diagnostic statistic when added to OBP (on-base percentage) to obtain OPS (Production).  When used as a stand-alone stat, the best MLB power hitters have SLUG values of .500+. Hitters who are "power-challenged" have values below .350.

Just some general notes for the general type fans. If your passing by and would like to add or provide a more indepth note to the notebook, we welcome it.