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What is the purpose of AAA?


NewMarketSean

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[b]Player       AA  AAA[/b]Longoria    131   38Ellsbury     67   87Chamberlain   8    3Smith        23   11Johnson      28   27Soto        104  309Jurrjens     31    0Cueto        10    4Bruce        16   99Kershaw      17    0---Pedroia      66  162D. Young     84  138Bannister    26   14Willits     123  107Fields      134  232Braun        59   34Tulowitzki  104    0Pence       136   25C. Young    126  100K. Kendrick  12    0---Verlander     7    0Papelbon     14    7Liriano      20   30Weaver        8   12Markakis     33    0H. Ramirez   32  122Zimmerman    63    0Uggla       218    0Johnson      31    0Cain         15   26

I don't know why I just did this, but...

Of the 30 players you listed, 10 played more games in AAA, 20 in AA.

On average, these 30 players played 5.3 more games in AA than AAA.

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I think there is a good chance the Stockstill was blowing some smoke. The current situation is that the O's have most of their prospects at AA. That brings up two factors. 1) that probably gives Bowie a better opportunity to win titles. 2) They would like their prospects to grow together and win together.

I don't know the exact timing on when Stockstill said this to Tony but I wonder if he would say the same thing now that Bowie is 8.5 games back in the race. Maybe AAA is looking like a better path now.

I do believe there are more older players that have not made it in the majors in AAA. However most clubs still have their prospects spend some time at AAA. I don't believe for a minute that there is no value in having most prospects spend time against guys with major league experience and top prospects at AAA.

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[b]Player       AA  AAA[/b]Longoria    131   38Ellsbury     67   87Chamberlain   8    3Smith        23   11Johnson      28   27Soto        104  309Jurrjens     31    0Cueto        10    4Bruce        16   99Kershaw      17    0---Pedroia      66  162D. Young     84  138Bannister    26   14Willits     123  107Fields      134  232Braun        59   34Tulowitzki  104    0Pence       136   25C. Young    126  100K. Kendrick  12    0---Verlander     7    0Papelbon     14    7Liriano      20   30Weaver        8   12Markakis     33    0H. Ramirez   32  122Zimmerman    63    0Uggla       218    0Johnson      31    0Cain         15   26

So if your random sample shows that no prospect has spent as much as 140 games at AA and most prospects spend some time at AAA. Don't you think it is time for Reimold after 146 games to move to AAA?

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Interesting conversation. I think there are a couple of underepresented explanations here that warrant mention:

1. The effect the ML roster has on where prospects go after graduating from AA (glaring holes in the ML roster may lead to skipping AAA, while lack of an opening might result in time at AAA);

2. Dominance at AA versus success at AA (both warrant promotion, though potentially to different levels);

3. Developmental checklist (you hope to have a prospect close to ML-ready by the time he is succeeding at AA, but the fact is sometimes there are aspects of his game you'd like to be worked on before tossing him in with the sharks -- a prime example would be Nick Adenhart's or Homer Bailey's walk rate); and

4. AAA environment (the playing environment at AAA can steer whether or not organizations choose to have prospects skip the level -- you may want your hitters to spend time on a PCL AAA squad to build confidence (Adam Jones) or even to build value (Jeff Clement) whereas you'd prefer to have a pitcher skip the hitter's league for the same reason (Clayton Kershaw) -- BAL may be more likely to have hitters skip Norfolk and have pitchers stop-over for this reason).

Anyway, interesting topic. Good thoughts from everyone.

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So if your random sample shows that no prospect has spent as much as 140 games at AA and most prospects spend some time at AAA. Don't you think it is time for Reimold after 146 games to move to AAA?

Keep in mind that they weren't your average run of the mill prospect. However, yes, it's time for Reimold to be promoted.

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Frobby nailed this one.

Of course the 22 y/o putting up decent numbers with good perifs in AA has a better chance of pitching in the majors in 3 years than the 28 y/o guy pitching very well in AAA. But, that 28 y/o is a better player today than that 22 y/o is, and thats why AAA is harder.

I want to see my young guys going up against the best. The best is at AA.

And Leitch is right...The IntL league is great for pitchers, bad for hitters...So the evaluation process is altered...If someone in the PCL tears it up, the first thing said is it it the PCL.

I know all leagues have this but I would just prefer to see my top guys against the other top guys and if they show they are ready and have age on their side, i see no reason for them to go to AAA.

I don't need to see what Reimold and Wieters can do against a rotation ful of Jon Leicesters...I want to see what they are doing against Carrasco or Price or guys like that.

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My guess is ML depth and not starting young player options.

This is the biggie. My buddy pitches for the Angels, and he was telling us that most organizations' big prospects are in AA and that AAA is mostly "lifers" that get called up for junk duty because they've been around for a while as opposed to bringing up a good prospect too soon.

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Interesting conversation. I think there are a couple of underepresented explanations here that warrant mention:

1. The effect the ML roster has on where prospects go after graduating from AA (glaring holes in the ML roster may lead to skipping AAA, while lack of an opening might result in time at AAA);

2. Dominance at AA versus success at AA (both warrant promotion, though potentially to different levels);

3. Developmental checklist (you hope to have a prospect close to ML-ready by the time he is succeeding at AA, but the fact is sometimes there are aspects of his game you'd like to be worked on before tossing him in with the sharks -- a prime example would be Nick Adenhart's or Homer Bailey's walk rate); and

4. AAA environment (the playing environment at AAA can steer whether or not organizations choose to have prospects skip the level -- you may want your hitters to spend time on a PCL AAA squad to build confidence (Adam Jones) or even to build value (Jeff Clement) whereas you'd prefer to have a pitcher skip the hitter's league for the same reason (Clayton Kershaw) -- BAL may be more likely to have hitters skip Norfolk and have pitchers stop-over for this reason).

Anyway, interesting topic. Good thoughts from everyone.

Excellent, excellent point.... It's rarely a cookie cutter approach. The Orioles on average promote cautiously, especially in season since David has taken over. He prefers full season stops and only promotes prospects when they are no longer getting value out of the league they are playing in (example Wieters).

There are certainly more AAAA starting pitchers in the International League and more prospects in the Eastern League. Adding that to the fact that Norfolk is not good on the confidence of any power hitter, it makes sense for me to see guys like Reimold and Montanez stay at Bowie.

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Excellent, excellent point.... It's rarely a cookie cutter approach. The Orioles on average promote cautiously, especially in season since David has taken over. He prefers full season stops and only promotes prospects when they are no longer getting value out of the league they are playing in (example Wieters).

There are certainly more AAAA starting pitchers in the International League and more prospects in the Eastern League. Adding that to the fact that Norfolk is not good on the confidence of any power hitter, it makes sense for me to see guys like Reimold and Montanez stay at Bowie.

Maybe they should move the fences in at Norfolk like we talked about last winter. Then if it was a fair park all the AA players could be promoted. Well, maybe next year.

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Interesting conversation. I think there are a couple of underepresented explanations here that warrant mention:

1. The effect the ML roster has on where prospects go after graduating from AA (glaring holes in the ML roster may lead to skipping AAA, while lack of an opening might result in time at AAA);

2. Dominance at AA versus success at AA (both warrant promotion, though potentially to different levels);

3. Developmental checklist (you hope to have a prospect close to ML-ready by the time he is succeeding at AA, but the fact is sometimes there are aspects of his game you'd like to be worked on before tossing him in with the sharks -- a prime example would be Nick Adenhart's or Homer Bailey's walk rate); and

4. AAA environment (the playing environment at AAA can steer whether or not organizations choose to have prospects skip the level -- you may want your hitters to spend time on a PCL AAA squad to build confidence (Adam Jones) or even to build value (Jeff Clement) whereas you'd prefer to have a pitcher skip the hitter's league for the same reason (Clayton Kershaw) -- BAL may be more likely to have hitters skip Norfolk and have pitchers stop-over for this reason).

Anyway, interesting topic. Good thoughts from everyone.

Very insightful points. I think the cat is a bit out of the bag when it comes to the PCL...but you know what they say: "there is one born every minute." On the whole though, I think your points are spot-on.

That being said...I think it is important to add that ML hitters on the whole are more patient and make pitchers work for outs. Seems to me that fringe players have this experience and may prove a tougher out for pitchers. Consequently, a player like Hernandez who has a more difficult time throwing strikes consistently may benefit more from AAA's more patient hitters than Tillman. This is pure speculation on my part but it seems logical.

Now then again, the Orioles consistently have had a difficult time hitting "soft tossers," especially lefthanders. It may behoove all Orioles' hitters to spend some time at this location to learn patience and the ability to hit a pitchers pitch.

On another note, this is my first post. I have sat on the outside looking in for a few months now. I highly enjoy the discourse and look forward to learning more and contributing often.

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So if your random sample shows that no prospect has spent as much as 140 games at AA and most prospects spend some time at AAA. Don't you think it is time for Reimold after 146 games to move to AAA?

Not a random sample - those are the top 5 Rookie of the Year vote getters for '06 and '07 (minus the Japanese players), plus a guess at the top 5 for '08.

But yes, I think Reimold should be graduating from Bowie.

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AAA is practically a taxi squad for teams. AA is where you really discover if a prospect can hack it so going to AAA really doesn't prove much for prospects except to get ABs against AAAA talent.

Eh, I sort of agree. I think AAA isn't viewed as a level to "conquer", like A-AA. Still, there are times when teams want to see "something" from a prospect at AAA before putting him on the big squad -- be it plate discipline, walks for pitchers, defense, etc. Generally, though, I agree.

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Very insightful points. I think the cat is a bit out of the bag when it comes to the PCL...but you know what they say: "there is one born every minute." On the whole though, I think your points are spot-on.

That being said...I think it is important to add that ML hitters on the whole are more patient and make pitchers work for outs. Seems to me that fringe players have this experience and may prove a tougher out for pitchers. Consequently, a player like Hernandez who has a more difficult time throwing strikes consistently may benefit more from AAA's more patient hitters than Tillman. This is pure speculation on my part but it seems logical.

Now then again, the Orioles consistently have had a difficult time hitting "soft tossers," especially lefthanders. It may behoove all Orioles' hitters to spend some time at this location to learn patience and the ability to hit a pitchers pitch.

On another note, this is my first post. I have sat on the outside looking in for a few months now. I highly enjoy the discourse and look forward to learning more and contributing often.

Para 1 -- I agree, general league tendencies are probably accounted for in player evals.

Para 2 -- Couldn't agree more. The more experienced players at AAA provide unique challenges for the AA graduates.

Para 3 -- It'd be nice if there wasn't such a stigma associated with being sent down. Various players across baseball could stand to "fine-tune" for a week or two, from time-to-time.

Para 4 -- Welcome!

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