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September 8, 2011 / Nat Anacostia

Major league equivalencies for Marrero, Lombardozzi, Brown, and Harper

I’ve posted major league equivalencies a couple times before.  These are formulas for adjusting minor league statistics for quality of play and run-scoring environment to make them “equivalent” to what the player would have hit at the major league level. I thought I’d post them for our September call-ups (as well as for our most prominent player who wasn’t called up).

The link for the MLE calculator that I gave in earlier posts appears to be dead. Fortunately, it’s now available at drivelinebaseball.com. Let’s start with Chris Marrero—here’s what the calculator says that his Syracuse statistics would be equivalent to with the Washington Nationals:

496 AB, 45 R, 123 H, 25 2B, 0 3B, 11 HR, 52 RBI, 46 BB, 103 K, .248 / .313 / .363

As others have noted, at this point he doesn’t hit with enough power to hold down a first base job at the major league level. Next season he’ll be 23 years old, so he may still have time to add the power, but it will need to happen soon.

Turning to Steve Lombardozzi, here are his MLEs:

568 AB, 62 R, 142 H, 21 2B, 7 3B, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 30 BB, 85 K, .250 / .294 / .343

I know there are fans who think he’d be an offensive upgrade from Ian Desmond, but these numbers aren’t showing that. (If you just use Steve’s Syracuse numbers to calculate the MLEs, you get .258 / .299 / .343 — not too different.) I’ll be interested to look at his defense this month, but at this point I’m skeptical that he’ll be part of our solution to the middle infield problem.

If you’ve already looked at Corey Brown‘s numbers from Syracuse, you know we can’t expect much from him. I’ll just give his MLE slash numbers:  .193 / .270 / .320. Since he’ll be 26 years old next season, I wouldn’t be surprised if this September turns out to be the full extent of his major league career.

Finally, here are Bryce Harper‘s MLEs for his first professional season:

413 AB, 35 R, 85 H, 17 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 33 RBI, 35 BB, 100 K, .206 / .271 / .322

While I like the power ratio, he obviously still has quite a ways to improve before he can help a major league team. Fortunately he’s still very young—19 years old next season—and probably will improve quickly. Still, I’m not expecting to see him at Nationals Park until 2013.

Finally, a general comment on September call-ups. I enjoy seeing some of the top prospects, but it’s important to remember that it’s only one month, and statistics from any one month can be quite misleading. I’m mostly interested in the stuff we can see: fielding, type and location of pitches, etc. I try not to get too excited if a prospect has a good month or lose hope if he has a poor one.

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