Lost in the hub-bub of one of the crazier trade deadlines in recent memory, I churned out a new analytic over at Beyond The Box Score – a hitter classification system I’ve dubbed CAL, or Comparison And Likeness. CAL, quite frankly, is an improved version of what I described HERE.
In a nut shell, CAL churns through a litany of statistics for a given prospect and searches for a list of minor league comparables in hopes of providing additional evidence to help in player evaluation. The guys over at Royals Review also did a rundown on the system as well.
So the Indians ended up trading two struggling free-agent-to-be former All-Stars in Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera right before the deadline and netted to 24-year-old prospects: shortstop Zach Walters, a ninth round pick in 2010, and center fielder James Ramsey, a 2012 first rounder.
And both Walters’ and Ramsey’s numbers this season — .311/.365/.629 and .289/.380/.504, respectively — are incredibly impressive. But CAL, in all its glory, is exceptionally pessimistic about the duo’s big league chances. Here are Walters’:
|Age-23||AAA||Juan Francisco; Brandon Wood (2010); Brandon Wood (2008); Brandon Wood (2009); Tyler Greene|
|Age-24||AAA||Brandon Wood (2008); Brandon Wood (2009); Sean Rodriguez; Trevor Plouffe; Jayson Nix|
Walters’ list is littered with one of the game’s biggest prospect busts, Brandon Wood, five different times, which is a first for CAL, and a combination of solid role players and fringy big leaguers. The lone hope is Minnesota’s Trevor Plouffe, who’s had a late career emergence and would represent the ultimate best case scenario.
And Ramsey’s top CALs are even less favorable:
|Age-22||A+||Clay Fuller; Darren Ford; Madison Edwards; Justin Jackson; Kyeong Kang|
|Age-23||AA||Jeremy Hazelbaker; Kyeong Kang; Marc Kraus; Ronnie Welty; Blake Smith|
|Age-24||AA||Ryan Goleski; Steven Souza; Matt Den Dekker; Casper Wells; Marc Kraus|
Now, CAL only looks at a player’s overall ability, so there’s hope that Walters, who has hit .283/.333/.515 against right-handers in his career, could develop into a viable platoon candidate. And the same could be said for Ramsey too (.270/.373/.453).
Overall, the net gain for the Indians isn’t much – a little bit of money saved from the Masterson deal and two fringy players.