Just before the season started I introduced you a cool new stat for minor league pitchers called Dominance Factor. Patrick Sullivan at Project Prospect developed the stat last May (then tweaked it this January) as a way to see which pitchers were really “dominating” the level they were playing at when you considered their age. It’s based on three factors, all of which the pitcher can control (to varying degrees): strikeouts, walks, and groundballs. The formula is very simple and straight forward:
Dominance Factor, DF = (K% + 0.72*GB% – BB%)+ (Age Level Standard – Actual age)*7
GB% is multiplied by 0.72 because generally speaking, 72% of groundballs turn into outs. The Age Level Standards are basically the average age at a given level, and are 20-yrs old for Low-A, 21 for High-A, 22.5 for Double-A, and 24 for Triple-A. If you want to see an example, click on the first link. The stat doesn’t have any real analysis purposes because of the assumptions used for GB% and age, so it’s best used for reference. It’s still fun to look at, though.
This year’s leader in DF was none other than RAB’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year Manny Banuelos, who checked in at 65.0 DF. That, however, doesn’t even come close to Phil Hughes’ record of 85.98 DF with Triple-A Scranton in 2007. Mark Melancon was a close second (63.9 DF) because of his exceptional walk and groundball rates, and Zach McAllister (58.6) rounded out the top three. Andrew Brackman checks in at a disappointing 24.1 DF because he was three years old for his level and his walk rate was through the roof. You’ll see that the bottom of the leaderboard is mostly filled with journeyman and low level relievers, organizational arms like that.
The full table of Dominance Factors is huge, so it’s hidden after the jump. Players highlighted in yellow are no longer with the organization, and players highlighted in blue are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this December unless added to the 40-man roster. I think I got everyone, but it’s tough to figure out when some of the international guys actually signed, so someone like Hector Noesi might actually be R5 eligible even though I didn’t highlight him. My bad if so.
All of the K, BB, and GB data come from the wonderful site First Inning, and I rounded the player’s age to whatever age they spent the majority of the year at. It’s also broken down by level, so you’ll see a DF for Pat Venditte with Low-A Charleston and then another for High-A Tampa. I could have combined them, but eh, I figured seeing them separate was more useful. I also made it a minimum of 25 IP at a level, so Ian Kennedy and his 22.2 IP at Triple-A Scranton didn’t make the cut. If you’re interested, here’s the DF’s for 2008, 2007, and 2006.
Remember to click the table for a larger view, but I don’t think you’ll have any trouble reading this one.