Research Project

Dave · October 3, 2005 at 7:50 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

One thing we get in our inbox fairly frequently are comments like “hey, love the site, if you guys ever need anything, let me know.” Well, I’m taking you guys up on it.

Baseball America has relaunched their player finder feature, which allows you to search for a player by name and pull up his 2005 statline. It’s a very nifty tool that they made so unbelievably cool by adding the hardest-to-get-meaningful-stat in the minors in groundout/flyout ratio. This is a pretty important part of evaluating a pitcher, and until now, we had to jump through hoops to find out what a minor leaguers G/F rate was.

Here’s the catch, though. It’s only available through the player search pages. They aren’t listed on the team by team statistics or the league statistics. So, while we now know that Clint Nageotte was a groundballing machine (2.82 G/F rate) in Tacoma, we have no idea what that means, in context. He was definitely more of a groundball pitcher than Felix was in Tacoma, but that might be sample size. We don’t even know where Nageotte stands among his peers in the PCL. Or where the PCL stands in regards to the Cal League. Basically, we lack context.

I don’t want to lack context, so I’m making a request; if anyone is really bored, has a ton of free time, and wants to help, you can claim a league or half a league in the comments section and start knocking it out, player by player. You can get the rosters from a multitude of sources and just start using the player finder feature. Drop the players statline from his BA team stats page in an excel spreadsheet and add a column for G/F rate. Then, add the numbers to the spreadsheet from the player search page. When you’re finished, you can send it to me, and when I get enough of them, I’ll start creating league averages and leaderboards, and we can have some kind of idea of where these guys stand in relation to the other players in their leagues.

In other words, we’ll have context.

So, claim away in the comments. You can claim the Midwest League. You can claim the Cal League. You can claim the PCL North. You can claim the whole PCL. Just pick more than one team. Pick as many as you think you can handle. And then get to work. I’d love to have, say, 12 guys (or girls) chip in and each claim a league, which would cover the 10 full season leagues and the 2 short season leagues. I don’t care too much about the rookie leagues or at all about the complex leagues – those stats are worthless anyways. But I’ll take what I can get.

Knock yourselves out. When this gets done, it’ll be darn cool and we’ll have created a resource for the rest of the baseball fan community to share. And we’ll know just how excited to get about Nageotte’s G/F rate, and what it might mean for his future.


34 Responses to “Research Project”

  1. Shannon/ on October 3rd, 2005 8:33 pm

    Dave, I’ll get the Texas League.

  2. Jeff Sullivan on October 3rd, 2005 8:50 pm

    I’d just like to point out that most, if not all minor league rosters and statpages will leave off players who have been demoted/promoted during the season, so it’s going to take some background research to find out who’s thrown at least one inning for each team, and then include his GB/FB for the sake of completeness.

  3. Jean-luc Perrier on October 3rd, 2005 9:00 pm

    I have the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen covered.

  4. Fez-tivities on October 3rd, 2005 9:15 pm

    League of Nations, right here.

  5. shaun on October 3rd, 2005 9:30 pm

    I got Brandon League.

  6. Kelly M on October 3rd, 2005 9:38 pm

    I’ll take the Southern League.

    It would be super helpful if you mailed out a sample spreadsheet with a sample entry. That way we’d all have the right format before we started.

  7. dw on October 3rd, 2005 10:07 pm

    Dave, I’ll get the Texas League.

    Damnit, I wanted the TL!

    So… I’ll take the Eastern League.

  8. Brian on October 3rd, 2005 10:26 pm

    Not that I have any idea how to do this or not but wouldn’t it be easier to have someone from Baseball America dump the entire database onto one easy to use page. I can’t imagine it taking very long for someone who knows what they are doing to set that up, it wouldn’t need to be pretty or even public. They could email Derek the results. Maybe you’re long past thinking about this route.

  9. Conor Glassey on October 3rd, 2005 10:29 pm

    I’ll start with the Northwest League.

  10. Adam S on October 3rd, 2005 10:40 pm

    If you can wait until Wednesday morning (or maybe late Tuesday night) I can write a macro to iterate through all of the player pages by ID and suck the data into Excel. Total time 2 hours max, not counting the time to run the macro (which could be overnight). It would help if someone could narrow down the range of IDs with data. For example, Nageotte is 425788 and Felix is 433587.

  11. dw on October 3rd, 2005 10:41 pm

    Not that I have any idea how to do this or not but wouldn’t it be easier to have someone from Baseball America dump the entire database onto one easy to use page. I can’t imagine it taking very long for someone who knows what they are doing to set that up, it wouldn’t need to be pretty or even public. They could email Derek the results. Maybe you’re long past thinking about this route.

    That would be the easy route, but you’d have to A) know who to talk to (the DBA), B) convince them you mean no harm, and C) then convince them to write up a query and send you the results.

    And even if you can’t get to A, you’re going to have a hell of a time with B, and even then if C could be a pain (though most DBAs know it’d take five minutes and hide behind A and B to keep the rabble from asking them for data 24/7).

  12. dw on October 3rd, 2005 10:47 pm

    Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. The BA site has seized up. Either someone is trying to scrape all the data at once, or they’re running MS Access for the DB.

    Now it’s looking all denial-of-service.

  13. Ace of Spades on October 3rd, 2005 11:37 pm

    Despite lacking context or sample size, this is still sweet as @#$!. ‘Bout time someone posted G/F ratios.

  14. Mat on October 3rd, 2005 11:53 pm

    I’ve started working on the International League.

    Jeff Sullivan’s comment is pretty important, though. Someone might need to come up with a list of callups to add to the stats. (The demotions out of the minors entirely would probably be good for completeness, too.)

  15. Jeromy on October 4th, 2005 12:42 am

    Um, I think I’ve found a way around the problem. Go to and pick your league from the dropdown menu near the top of the page. Then, near the top center of the screen there will be a blue box titled “LEADERS.” Click one of the “pitching” categories — I think clicking “IP” would be the best. You’ll get a big fat table listing every pitcher that has pitched in that particular league this year sorted by innings pitched. It looks complete to me, anyway.

    There sure are a lot of pitchers who have pitched in every league. How about a minimum numbers of innings pitched?

  16. Mat on October 4th, 2005 12:56 am

    Ok, Jeremy’s suggestion seems to be a good fix, if not a bit disheartening. I’ve waxed the first 95 or so in the Int’l League. BA had 170 or so pitchers listed on the year-end rosters in the Int’l League, but MILB shows 370(!) or so such pitchers, and since amongst them are the Sept. callups, it’s probably important to include most of them. I’ll get started again in the morning.

  17. Jeromy on October 4th, 2005 2:09 am

    I’ll claim the PCL. *gulp*

  18. Replacement Level Poster on October 4th, 2005 4:41 am

    I’m looking at the Cal league won’t happen till this weekend though, so if someone can do it quicker feel free.

    Couple questions, is there a minimum number of innings pitched that we want to set a floor on? How soon do you want these? I think a sample of what you would like the spreadsheets to look like would be nice as well, so you can get format that you are used too when compiling leaderboards, and what not. That’s entirely upto you though if you want it that way or not.

    Great idea Dave, glad I can finally give back and help with something!

  19. Jeromy on October 4th, 2005 5:10 am

    I finished the PCL stats and sent them out. Before I started sticking in the g/f data, I made an Excel file with all the player names and stat lines and I think that made it a lot easier. I copy/pasted the “league standings” web table into Word, made a couple macros to sort each player’s statline into its own line of text (with each stat separated by commas), saved it as a text file, then opened it up in Excel. It seems like there would be an easier way but I don’t know of any. After that, it was just a matter of going down the list and plugging in the g/f ratio. It was like being in a pleasant trance.

  20. David J Corcoran on October 4th, 2005 6:29 am

    I’ll take the NY-Penn League

  21. Kelly M on October 4th, 2005 9:28 am

    Hey Jeromy, can you send me a copy of your spreadsheet. I want to tackle the Southern League tonight, but I suspect it will be easier to compile at the end if we submit in the same format.


  22. dw on October 4th, 2005 10:23 am

    Hey Dave — BA has opponent averages, MiLB doesn’t. How important is having that info in these spreadsheets? Do you just care about G/F more than anything else?

  23. Dave on October 4th, 2005 10:48 am

    I’d prefer the BA statline. The goal is to get G/F rate, but if everyone would go with a similar format, it will make it easier on me when I’m putting things together.

  24. Mat on October 4th, 2005 10:57 am

    What about statlines for players that BA doesn’t have on the team pages anymore?

    Right now, I’ve just added all the missing players (using the MiLB leaderboard), and if necessary, I can copy the whole BA statline from each player page, but it’d probably be easier to just go with the MiLB stats for the missing players. Trying to do whatever will make it easiest to compile. Another thing that’s a bit inconsistent is that the player search stats don’t have TBF, which is really unfortunate, I like that one a lot.

    Also, I noticed that the MiLB numbers combine performances from various Int’l League teams altogether, I plan on seperating those into team-by-team performance.

  25. Rusty on October 4th, 2005 11:42 am

    (Playoff comment) Seems to me it was just 3 or 4 years ago when Reggie Sanders was judged as a mediocre talent about to emark on the downside of his career. Granted, he’s sort of an every other year kind of guy but 38 he seems to have surpassed expectations.

  26. Conor Glassey on October 4th, 2005 11:55 am

    I’ll tackle the Sally and the Midwest.

  27. Jeromy on October 4th, 2005 3:35 pm

    Kelly M,

    I sent you the Excel file with the PCL info. If anyone else would like it as a template or if you’re just curious, feel free to e-mail me at

  28. David J Corcoran on October 4th, 2005 6:41 pm

    Signed, Sealed, and Delivered.

  29. Jon Fellows on October 4th, 2005 7:45 pm

    I’ll take a crack at the Carolina League.

  30. Mat on October 4th, 2005 10:17 pm

    Pretty close on the IL. An interesting finding: the Baseball America roster IP total is about 10,000 total IP, and the MiLB leaderboard IP total is about 17,600, which fits pretty well with the number of innings you would expect considering the number of games played in the season. That’s a much bigger difference in IP than I expected.

  31. Mat on October 5th, 2005 1:24 am

    International League complete.

  32. David J Corcoran on October 5th, 2005 6:19 am

    Yeah, I imagine that’s true of AAA teams. Think about all the shuttling back and forth.

  33. Mat on October 5th, 2005 9:26 am

    Yeah, I expected some shuffling, but not something on the order of 3/8ths of the total innings in the league lost by the end of the season.

  34. The Real Neal on October 6th, 2005 8:16 am

    I’ll do the FSL- I’m home sick today and bored.