Bulls on Parade: How's Durham Doing Compared to League?

Minor league stats aren't seen as terribly illustrative for prespecting. Part of that is due to the fact that players are incomplete and working on things, so judging them by what they're doing now is pointless. A large part of it, though, is that it's hard to get a good grasp on how the players are doing compared to their competition. That's what we'll be looking at today. I've taken the raw numbers for the hitters and pitchers in Durham and tried to put them in league context, so we can better understand who is doing what well.

We'll start with the position players. Here are their raw numbers that are generally looked at by the common fan:

Durham_position_players_raw_medium

As you can see, the Durham hitters are doing well boasting above-average stats in all the slash-line components. How does that hold up, though, if we look a little deeper?

The below chart shows rate stats for K/AB, BB/AB, and HR/AB (I prefer to use per plate appearance, but for some reason per AB is the more widely used tool) as well as wOBA and Iso. The colored part of the table is a metric comparing the player or team's production compared to league average. Like OPS+ on baseball-reference 100 is league average, but it isn't park neutralized.

Durham_position_players_rates_medium

This further illustrates the Bulls' success so far. Their wOBA and OPS are above league norms, and looking at individual players really shows where the strength lies. Canzler, Guyer, Jennings, Lobaton, and Ruggiano are carrying this offense. Other than strike-outs, Canzler, Ruggiano, and Lobaton are well above-average across the board. Guyer is similar except his struggle has been walks (not a huge surprise). Jennings has excelled pretty much across the board. These are some encouraging signs because we have the two real prospects in the group performing very well, and there's also players at short-term needs that are doing very well as well. 

On to the pitchers, we'll once again starts with the basics. This table shows how the players are doing in the usual suspect stats with team and league included:

Durham_pitchers_raw_medium

Once again, we see Durham performing better than league average. ERA and FIP are both below league average which when coupled with the above-average offense leads to a winning record. Let's delve a little deeper in to the numbers. The following table takes a look at strikeout, walk, and homerun rates (each statistic per batter faced) as I think they're more illustrative than per 9 IP which penalizes you for facing less batters per inning for strikeout rates and does the opposite for the other two). It also includes ERA+, FIP+, K+, BB+, and HR+ statistics. These are also on a 100 scale where we measure over a 100 is better than league average. Lets see how the Bulls are doing here:

Durham_pitchers_rate_medium

Not a lot of red on this chart either. The Bulls staff as a whole is about 3% better in ERA and FIP than the rest of the International League. Alex Cobb really, really stands out for his performance. Across the board he's Hulking out posting green "errywhere." Alex Torres is the other big anme starter in the group, but his struggles with walks overshadow his strikeout and homer prowess producing right around league average ERA/FIP. Jake McGee's homer troubles in his smallish sample throw some of his numbers out of whack, but I'd expect those to come back to earth.

What say ye, DRB? Anything else stick out? Do you like this series? Should I keep doing it for the other affiliates?

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