Wednesday, February 09, 2011

All-Star Prospect Team vs KC Royals

A FanPost at the Beyond The Boxscore a few weeks ago got me thinking about how well a team pieced together from the minor leagues best prospects would do playing against major league teams. What a perfect exercise to use my simulator for. What I did is took the ZIPS projections of the best minor leaguers and used them as input into my baseball simulator and played this imaginary team against a real MLB team. I filtered these minor leaguers to only use players under the age of 25 with little or no MLB experience. There are still a handful of teams that ZIPS does not have projections for at this time, so players from those teams are not eligible yet.

After building my minor league All-Star team, the first team I decided to have them face was the Kansas City Royals, who are likely the American Leagues worst team. In this exercise I had each #1 starting pitcher face each other, both away and home. I then did the same thing for the #2 thru #5 pitchers, thus having a 10 game series. Each of the 10 games was simulated/played 100K times with the simulator spitting out a win probability for each game. I decided to use the same bullpens for each team (the Royals bullpen) and give all of the minor league players a league average defensive rating.

Here are the rosters of the two teams that I used.

AAA All-Stars Kansas City Royals
Pos Name Org Name Pos
CF Charles Blackmon COL CF Melky Cabrera
C Devin Mesoraco CIN 2B Chris Getz
1B Brandon Belt SF LF Alex Gordon
3B Mike Moustakas KC DH Billy Butler
DH Freddie Freeman ATL RF Jeff Francoeur
LF Jerry Sands LAN 1B Kaile Kaaihue
RF J.D. Martinez HOU 3B Mike Aviles
2B Daniel Descalso STL C Jason Kendall
SS Grant Green OAK SS Alcides Escobar

Now let's take a look at the starting rotations.

AAA All-Stars Kansas City Royals
  Name Organization   Name
#1 Michael Pineda SEA vs Luke Hochevar
#2 Julian Teheran ATL vs Kyle Davies
#3 Jake McGee TB vs Bruce Chen
#4 Christian Freidrich COL vs Vinny Mazzaro
#5 Mike Montgomery KC vs Jeff Francis

Now let's take a look at the game results...

Away Away SP Home Home SP Favorite Win Prob
Royals Luke Hochever AAA All-Stars Michael Pineda AAA All-Stars 56.57%
AAA All-Stars Michael Pineda Royals Luke Hochever Royals 52.55%
Royals Kyle Davies AAA All-Stars Julian Teheran AAA All-Stars 55.24%
AAA All-Stars Julian Teheran Royals Kyle Davies Royals 53.69%
Royals Bruce Chen AAA All-Stars Jake McGee AAA All-Stars 59.77%
AAA All-Stars Jake McGee Royals Bruce Chen AAA All-Stars 50.03%
Royals Vinny Mazzaro AAA All-Stars Christian Freidrich AAA All-Stars 55.71%
AAA All-Stars Christian Freidrich Royals Vinny Mazzaro Royals 53.04%
Royals Jeff Francis AAA All-Stars Mike Montgomery AAA All-Stars 53.99%
AAA All-Stars Mike Montgomery Royals Jeff Francis Royals 54.80%

Mean win percentage for the AAA All-Stars is 51.722%. So using the ZIPS projections as input for the AAA All-Star team and my proprietary set of projections for the Kansas City Royals, the AAA All-Star team is slightly stronger. Up next, I will attempt to run this same exercise with a National League team - probably a good one. I am thinking about doing it for the Phillies.

Simulator Notes: My simulator takes into account (among other things) park factors, home field advantage, defense, splits, base running and uses a proprietary set of hitter and pitcher projections for MLB players.

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