2008 Dominance Factors

Previewing the 2009 Yankees
Rosenthal: Yanks not looking to replace A-Rod

Last summer Brett Sullivan at Project Prospect presented a new metric he developed for minor league pitchers called Dominance Factor, which measured performance based on four key factors: strikeout, walk and groundball rates, as well as age relative to level. He adjusted the formula a few weeks ago to more accurately weigh groundball rate and age, and now what we have a nice easy number that gives us an idea of how well a pitcher performed at their level.

It’s a very straight forward formula that requires nothing more than simple addition, subtraction and a tiny bit of multiplication. I was going to show you an example of how it works, but it’s not worth the effort. If you click the first link above, Sully runs through an example for you. What I did do though is run the numbers for all of the Yanks’ minor league pitchers in 2008. Well, not all of them, just guys with at least 25 IP at any level from Low-A up through Triple-A.

I’m sure there’s a way to combine stats across several levels, but I’m not smart enough to figure out how to do it. Instead you’re getting different number for each player at each level in which they pitched, meaning you’ll get Zach McAllister‘s DF at both Low-A and High-A. As you can imagine the data table is pretty big, so I hid it behind the jump.

2008 Dominance Factors(click the chart for a larger view)

The data gives us a nice little bell curve; there’s a small amount of players that scored very well, a small amount that scored very poorly, and a whole lotta guys in-between. You can see how important age is, since the bottom of the list is cluttered with guys who actually performed well, but were old for their league. The 25 IP requirement might be a little low (I wanted to get Hughes’ time with Triple-A in the analysis, and he was at 29 IP), and that’s why four of the top ten are relievers. Perhaps setting a minimum of ten starts, or something like that, would have been more appropriate, but whatever.

I am somewhat surprised to see that there is that much separation between the top two and the rest of the pack. D-Rob’s strikeout rate was absurd and he put up a strong groundball rate while being young for Triple-A, which is why he scored so well. Jairo performed well in all three rate stats but got a big boost because he was so young for his league. Phil Hughes is just the freakin’ man, he’s still going to be young for Triple-A this year.

I got all the data from First Inning, which conveniently lists all the necessary rate stats sorted by level. Their data goes back to 2006, so at some point I’ll run the numbers for ’06 and ’07 as well.

Previewing the 2009 Yankees
Rosenthal: Yanks not looking to replace A-Rod
  • Adam

    For multiple level combined factors, wouldn’t it just be:
    (Factor for Level 1)*(% of innings at Level 1) + (Factor for Level 2)*(% of innings at Level 2)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Yeah, that’s it. I wrote this post last night, didn’t feel like thinking to much.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Well, I guess Brackman is in a -30 hole before the season even starts.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      Actually, Brackman could strike every single batter out this year, not walk anyone and have a dominance factor of 70.0.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Sorry, didn’t read everything. I guess now he only starts in a -21 hole.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          You have let Melvin down.

  • A.D.

    Nice, not much drop-off for Z-Mac from A to A+, probably helped by some age factor when he moved up

  • http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com Bronx Baseball Daily

    He has Zach McCallister a lot higher than you do. Why is that?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      He has McAllister at 58.1 in Low-A, I have him at 61.62. He has him at 53.6 in High-A, I have him at 57.10, so I’m the one on the high side.

      It has to do with the ages he used. I just used nice whole number, he used age in year and months. So instead of age 20 for McAllister, he has age 20.5. If I plug 20.5 into my spreadsheet, I get the following for Z-Mac:

      Low-A: 58.12
      High-A: 53.60

      So we’re dead on then, it’s just a small differences in the ages we used.

      • http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com Rob Abruzzese

        Overall he has him at 74.7 DF though. What’s that all about?

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    For reference sake, where would you say the rough cutoff lines are between good Dominance Factor scores, average ones, and bad ones?

    Like, 100 is amazing, 99-80 is great, 79-60 is good, 59-40 is questionable (where this kid probably isn’t major league caliber), 39-20 is poor, and 19-0 is Varitekian?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      You know, I’m not really sure. It seems like once you go above 40 or 45, then you get into players who were very “dominant.” 30-40 seems to be about average.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        There’s an interesting gap-line in the chart between Ian Kennedy’s age 23 AAA season of 56.12 and Jon Ortiz’s age 22 A+ season of 48.62. That’s a pretty large marginal increment.

        Can we use that gulf as a natural breaking point? Say that somewhere between 56 and 48 is the line between dominant minor league seasons and pedestrian minor league seasons?

        If that’s the case, that means the only truly “dominant” minor league campaigns from our pitching prospects were turned in by Robertson, Heredia, Hughes, McAllister, Melancon, and Kennedy, and that all the others (including Betances and Kontos and Zink ) were just “average” or “solid” at best. Does that square with your educated analysis, Mike, or do we still need to re-define which adjective goes with which group?

        And, how do we square these numbers with those put up by other teams? Phil Hughes putting up a 62.38 seems good, until you see that Jamie Garcia put up a 90.2 for the Cardinals at the same level. Is Jaime Garcia really THAT MUCH BETTER than Phil Hughes?

        I wonder if the age weight factor is large enough…

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Is Jaime Garcia really THAT MUCH BETTER than Phil Hughes? I wonder if the age weight factor is large enough…

          Never mind, scratch that, Hughes and Garcia are the same age. My bad.

          • http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_postseason.jsp?c_id=nyy&playerID=121250&statType=2 Slugger27

            ya, looking at everyone on the list… it really makes u appreciate how young hughes still is

            ppl forget pettitte was already like 24 when he debuted

            had hughes gone to college, he would just now be graduating, yet hes still very dominant in AAA

          • Accent Shallow

            You’re looking at the older version of DF. If you look at the second link (which Mike has under “adjusted the formula”), you’ll see that Garcia’s DF is now 64.9. So still better than Hughes’, but not much.

    • http://statspeak.net dan

      BUT VARITEK WAS AN ALL-STAR!?!?!

    • http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_postseason.jsp?c_id=nyy&playerID=121250&statType=2 Slugger27

      from what im gathering, anything over 50 is pretty damn good

  • A.D.

    So despite Cox coming off surgery, running out of gas at the end of the year & having surgery he was still better, in terms of dominance factor, than Steven Jackson who supposedly put it together last year.

    • A.D.

      *”having surgery” should have been “having an injury”

    • http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_postseason.jsp?c_id=nyy&playerID=121250&statType=2 Slugger27

      jackson is 2 years older… that probably had a lot to do with it

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Yep. Similar walk rates, Cox had a better GB rate. Whatever he loses in K rate he makes up for in age.

  • http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_postseason.jsp?c_id=nyy&playerID=121250&statType=2 Slugger27

    mike is there any thought into having everyone over 25 in the same group… i mean your physical development is essentially over by the age of 25… so should a guy thats say, 28, be penalized more than a 25 year old?

    • Crab Dribble Ointment

      Well a 28 year old would theoretically have more experience.

  • Crab Dribble Ointment

    Thus one would assume he should perform better.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Okay, you have GOT to explain your name. Inquiring minds want to know.

      • pat

        Lebron’s famous crab dribble.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          And the “ointment”?

          • pat

            I believe he is equating the crab dribble to a std. Hence an ointment for your crab dribble.

            • A.D.

              No where on Urban dictionary is Crab Dribble equated to an STD, therefore it cannot be true

  • John

    how long did this take?

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      LOIS: What do you do?
      GEORGE: I’m an architect.
      LOIS: Have you designed any buildings in New York?
      GEORGE: Have you seen the new addition to the Guggenheim?
      LOIS: You did that?
      GEORGE: Yep. Really didn’t take that long, either.

      • http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_postseason.jsp?c_id=nyy&playerID=121250&statType=2 Slugger27

        hahahahahahaha

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    Did Venditte not make it to 25IP?

    • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

      ‘Cause he had a dominance factor of infinity in my mind.

      • Arin

        He played short-season ball, which is ranked below A.

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