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Frobby

A look at 35 international amateurs who debuted from 2013-19

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I think overall, this shows that spending big money (relatively speaking of course) isn’t the best use of funds.  It doesn’t mean you don’t do it at times or that you shut down the idea but it isn’t the end all be all and it’s not right to judge them on “you didn’t sign a guy in the top 10 according to Ben Badler”.

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1 hour ago, Sports Guy said:

I think overall, this shows that spending big money (relatively speaking of course) isn’t the best use of funds.  It doesn’t mean you don’t do it at times or that you shut down the idea but it isn’t the end all be all and it’s not right to judge them on “you didn’t sign a guy in the top 10 according to Ben Badler”.

Just to piggy back on this point...

Not only does Ben Badler not know what a 16 year old kid will turn into, he REALLY doesn't know what a 16 year old kid from the DR, who he has likely never seen, who he has not seen in comparison to the rest of the guys down there, who he has no idea about his background, and who he's ranking essentially out of organizational leaks that are often intended to shape a narrative. The international talent is still a relative black hole to American press. At least Keith Law goes to see college games and some high school showcase events. There's precious little of that available internationally. 

On the other hand, I'm sure that signing bonuses generally correlate to market value at the time, but this is an area where if you have a really good evaluation and player development staff, that can be more meaningful than anything else.

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13 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

Just to piggy back on this point...

Not only does Ben Badler not know what a 16 year old kid will turn into, he REALLY doesn't know what a 16 year old kid from the DR, who he has likely never seen, who he has not seen in comparison to the rest of the guys down there, who he has no idea about his background, and who he's ranking essentially out of organizational leaks that are often intended to shape a narrative. The international talent is still a relative black hole to American press. At least Keith Law goes to see college games and some high school showcase events. There's precious little of that available internationally. 

On the other hand, I'm sure that signing bonuses generally correlate to market value at the time, but this is an area where if you have a really good evaluation and player development staff, that can be more meaningful than anything else.

Sure..there is a reason the kids with higher bonuses get them.  They are the more sought after guys.  They are the ones the scouts have identified as having the higher upside at that time.  But a lot changes from 16-20 years old and that’s stuff you can’t assume or know.  
 

That’s why they are called lottery tickets.  May be a little crass to use those words but it’s a short hand way of saying, it’s a shot in the dark and see if you get lucky.

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17 hours ago, Frobby said:

In response to an issue Sports Guy brought up in another thread today, I decided to have a look at all the international amateur free agent players who debuted in the majors in the 2013-19 period who rank in the top 20 in their overall debut class in rWAR.     Of the 140 overall debut players (7 years x 20 players/year), 35 of them, or 25%, were signed as international amateur free agents.   This does not include older players signed from the Asian professional leagues, but it does include the older Cuban “amateurs.”

Looking at the 35, I break them down into several categories:

The Sky-High Priced Cubans (4).     These include Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu, Yuli Gurriel and Yoan Moncada.    Each was signed for at least $30 mm, either via a major league contract (Puig, Abreu, Gurriel) or a signing bonus (Moncada).   All of these players were older than the typical Dominican or Venezuelan amateur.  

The Million Dollar Club (8).   This includes Vlad Guerrero Jr. ($3.9 mm), Gary Sanchez ($3 mm), Eloy Jimenez ($2.8 mm), Yordan Alvarez ($2 mm), Gleyber Torres ($1.7 mm), Rafael Devers ($1.5 mm), Juan Soto ($1.5 mm), and Carlos Martinez ($1.5 mm).  

The Upper Middle Class ($400 k - $999 k) (5).    Here you will find Willson Contreras ($850 k), Max Kepler ($800 k), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($700 k), Willy Adames ($420 k) and Xander Bogaerts ($410 k). 

The Middle Class ($100 k - $399 k) (8).  These players include Ozzie Albies ($350 k), Antonio Senzatela ($250 k), Luis Severino ($225 k), German Marquez ($225 k), Eduardo Rodriguez ($175 k), Odebel Herrera ($160 k), Ketel Marte ($100 k) and Ronald Acuna ($100 k).

The Bargain Basement Guys ($10 k – $ 99 k) (7).   Found here are Jonathan Schoop ($90 k), Jose Ramirez ($50 k), Marcell Ozuna ($49 k), Luis Arraez ($40 k), David Peralta ($35 k), Eugenio Suarez ($10 k) and Yonny Chirinos ($10 k).  

The Mystery Boys (3).   I couldn’t find any signing bonus information on Ender Inciarte, Luis Castillo or Jaime Barria.   I’d probably infer they were all in the bargain basement category.

I’m sure if you waited ten years, you’d find that these 35 players were not necessarily the best 35 international amateurs who debuted in the 2013-19 window.   But, it’s a pretty good sampling and shows that teams can find good players at any bonus level.    Keep in mind that for every player signed for $1 mm and up, there are a couple of dozen guys who are signed for less than that.   1,022 players were signed in the 2019-20 signing period.    Only about 12% of them got bonuses over $300 k, and 3% over $1 mm.

Just curious as to your thoughts on the top lists

 

Cubans Abreu 24 WAR, Puig 19 WAR,  Moncada (8 WAR so far for about 3 million in salary allocation of his contract, Gurriel has been worth nearly 10WAR over 4 seasons plus 30 games. 
 

Is it fair to say that 3 of these contracts are wins regardless of what your position is on Gurriel? Is Gurriel a win? If 2 WAR is worth around 16 million then it’s a fair contract even if you think it’s a bad allocation of resources.

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@Frobby

MILLION DOLLAR CLUB

Vlad Guerrero Jr. ($3.9 mm) 2.1 WAR   (Under team control until 2026

 

Gary Sanchez ($3 mm)  10.8 WAR over 5 season   (made 500k, 500k, 600K, and prorated 5million this season)

 

Eloy Jimenez ($2.8 mm) 2.8 WAR so far ….Plus a contract of 6 yrs/$43M

 

 Yordan Alvarez ($2 mm), 3.8 WAR so far (1 ½ seasons) controlled though 2025

 

Gleyber Torres ($1.7 mm) 6.6 WAR so far in 2 ½ season controlled through 2024

 

 Rafael Devers ($1.5 mm)  6.3 WAR in 3 ½ seasons …controlled to 2023

 

 Juan Soto ($1.5 mm) 9.7 WAR in 2 ½ seasons …Controlled through 2023

 

Carlos Martinez ($1.5 mm)   14.8 WAR for 7 ½ seasons …. Signed thru 2021, 5 yrs/$51M (17-21) & 22-23 team option

@Sports Guy

I think its pretty safe to say you would have been happy with the Orioles if they made the investment in any player that was in the top 2 categories

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14 minutes ago, Roll Tide said:

@Frobby

MILLION DOLLAR CLUB

Vlad Guerrero Jr. ($3.9 mm) 2.1 WAR   (Under team control until 2026

 

 

 

Gary Sanchez ($3 mm)  10.8 WAR over 5 season   (made 500k, 500k, 600K, and prorated 5million this season)

 

 

 

Eloy Jimenez ($2.8 mm) 2.8 WAR so far ….Plus a contract of 6 yrs/$43M

 

 

 

 Yordan Alvarez ($2 mm), 3.8 WAR so far (1 ½ seasons) controlled though 2025

 

 

 

Gleyber Torres ($1.7 mm) 6.6 WAR so far in 2 ½ season controlled through 2024

 

 

 

 Rafael Devers ($1.5 mm)  6.3 WAR in 3 ½ seasons …controlled to 2023

 

 

 

 Juan Soto ($1.5 mm) 9.7 WAR in 2 ½ seasons …Controlled through 2023

 

 

 

Carlos Martinez ($1.5 mm)   14.8 WAR for 7 ½ seasons …. Signed thru 2021, 5 yrs/$51M (17-21) & 22-23 team option

 

 

@Sports Guy

I think its pretty safe to say you would have been happy with the Orioles if they made the investment in any player that was in the top 2 categories

You don’t get it.  It’s not the successes worth looking at..it’s all the failures. Way more failures than successes.

 

On top of that, remember that all of those failures and all that money means there is that much less talent you did sign.

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10 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

You don’t get it.  It’s not the successes worth looking at..it’s all the failures. Way more failures than successes.

 

On top of that, remember that all of those failures and all that money means there is that much less talent you did sign.

If you dont try, then you succeed at not failing, but that isnt winning either.

Just because you throw money at prospects mean they will even make it to the bigs and play.

 

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7 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

You don’t get it.  It’s not the successes worth looking at..it’s all the failures. Way more failures than successes.

 

On top of that, remember that all of those failures and all that money means there is that much less talent you did sign.

So how many of the 140 were signed in the million dollar club range? I'm betting that the largest majority was signed in the middle class or bargain bin.

 

All I care about is the percentage of players that meet @Frobby's criteria.

 

Also, I did not look at the WAR of the 8 players in the middle class or 7 in the bargain bin to see how they compare. Are they anywhere close to the 54 WAR generated by the MDC? I'm betting not!

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26 minutes ago, Roll Tide said:

So how many of the 140 were signed in the million dollar club range? I'm betting that the largest majority was signed in the middle class or bargain bin.

 

All I care about is the percentage of players that meet @Frobby's criteria.

 

Also, I did not look at the WAR of the 8 players in the middle class or 7 in the bargain bin to see how they compare. Are they anywhere close to the 54 WAR generated by the MDC? I'm betting not!

This is a very important point.

I've seen/heard people make the point for college football that "recruiting rankings don't matter," because there's almost as many former three-star prospects in the first round of the NFL draft as there are five-stars. This of course misses the fact that there are only ~30 five-stars in any given year, compared to thousands of three-stars. The funnel from five-star to first round is much more likely than lower ratings for any individual recruit.

Similarly here, that the buckets are fairly evenly sized neglects to consider how many potential players came in at the top of the proverbial funnel. 

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33 minutes ago, Redskins Rick said:

If you dont try, then you succeed at not failing, but that isnt winning either.

Just because you throw money at prospects mean they will even make it to the bigs and play.

 

But they are trying.

Trying is one thing. 
 

Throwing money around the way Roll Tide has discussed is just irresponsible.

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8 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

But they are trying.

Trying is one thing. 
 

Throwing money around the way Roll Tide has discussed is just irresponsible.

You can spend money and it does work, but you have more Chris Davis and Ryan Baum failures than you have successes.

I thought Schrezer was a total overspend and high risk, but its one of the big dollar that has worked. Some of thought Price to Boston was a high risk as he had a lot of wear on that arm.

 

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47 minutes ago, Roll Tide said:

So how many of the 140 were signed in the million dollar club range? I'm betting that the largest majority was signed in the middle class or bargain bin.

 

All I care about is the percentage of players that meet @Frobby's criteria.

 

Also, I did not look at the WAR of the 8 players in the middle class or 7 in the bargain bin to see how they compare. Are they anywhere close to the 54 WAR generated by the MDC? I'm betting not!

It is amazing how much information is provided to/for you, almost exclusively, in this thread and how you interpret that data.  Folks have explained the international processes in general, the complications, found insightful articles, and some "investment" results and somehow you want to be the teenager that doesn't do any chores or homework and yet points to the shiny Dre Beats headphones and yells - I want that one.

 

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41 minutes ago, Roll Tide said:

So how many of the 140 were signed in the million dollar club range? I'm betting that the largest majority was signed in the middle class or bargain bin.

 

All I care about is the percentage of players that meet @Frobby's criteria.

 

Also, I did not look at the WAR of the 8 players in the middle class or 7 in the bargain bin to see how they compare. Are they anywhere close to the 54 WAR generated by the MDC? I'm betting not!

My very small study had a limited purpose, which was just to get some group of relatively successful international amateur players and figure out what kinds of bonuses they got.   It’s not intended to be fully representative or very scientific — more like a back of the napkin thing.   In the period of my study, probably 350 international amateurs debuted in the majors.   Knowing that 1,022 foreign amateurs were signed in 2019, I’d guess that it took 5,000-7,000 foreign amateur signings to generate those 350 players.   Maybe 150 or so got million dollar bonuses.   That’s completely a guess.   I suspect that if I hunted around I’d find a much more systematic study of those signings and the payoffs in the various ranges than I’m able to do.   

Also keep in mind that almost all the players in my study are now between ages 22-28 (except the Cuban guys).    Some are really early in their careers.    So who will have a long, great career and who just had a good season or two is yet to be determined for many of these guys.  

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36 minutes ago, Frobby said:

My very small study had a limited purpose, which was just to get some group of relatively successful international amateur players and figure out what kinds of bonuses they got.   It’s not intended to be fully representative or very scientific — more like a back of the napkin thing.   In the period of my study, probably 350 international amateurs debuted in the majors.   Knowing that 1,022 foreign amateurs were signed in 2019, I’d guess that it took 5,000-7,000 foreign amateur signings to generate those 350 players.   Maybe 150 or so got million dollar bonuses.   That’s completely a guess.   I suspect that if I hunted around I’d find a much more systematic study of those signings and the payoffs in the various ranges than I’m able to do.   

Also keep in mind that almost all the players in my study are now between ages 22-28 (except the Cuban guys).    Some are really early in their careers.    So who will have a long, great career and who just had a good season or two is yet to be determined for many of these guys.  

I’m merely trying to understand if the success was higher in a certain group. Was the achievement of the players in each group comparable...... Purely Hypothetical Alert ... It’s one thing to say that the in the bargain bin there were 500 bargain type signings each year. Of those 5% made it to the majors and 1% were worth mentioning in your list.

 

Rather than having @Sports Guy or @hoosiers trying to put words in my mouth or treat me like I’m a moron. I’m trying to determine the comparable value of the categories, hit rates, WAR values to see if there is any benefit to investing money in a specific category over the others.

If the teams that are spending 3 millions on a guy over signing 30 guys for 100k each. If the answer were as easy as @Sports Guysays then why would they take that approach?

Maybe there isn’t good data to come to a conclusion....and that’s fine. 

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1 hour ago, Roll Tide said:

 Also, I did not look at the WAR of the 8 players in the middle class or 7 in the bargain bin to see how they compare. Are they anywhere close to the 54 WAR generated by the MDC? I'm betting not!

Since you asked:

Upper middle class: 62.7 rWAR

Middle class: 95.6 rWAR

Bargain basement: 101.9 rWAR

Mystery boys: 30.5 rWAR

Again, I wouldn’t make too much of it.   

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