2016 Minor League Stats Predictions

I had all these minor league predictions written out, but they just rehash a lot of the things I say all the time. I think Jose Pujols will have a breakout year, but still have a lot of questions. Ricardo Pinto will be good, as will Nick Pivetta. Carlos Tocci and Roman Quinn will hit for more power than you expect. Stuff like that, that I say all the time. So rather than that, I wanted to do something I haphazardly did at the end of last year’s predictions, predicting not entirely relevant stats. The fun part of this exercise is that it forces you to think about park factors, lineup construction, and developmental goals.

Hitting:

Batting Average: Rhys Hoskins
On Base Percentage: Rhys Hoskins
Slugging: Rhys Hoskins
Home Runs: Rhys Hoskins
Doubles: Cornelius Randolph
Triples: Roman Quinn
Walks: J.P. Crawford
Strikeouts: Jose Pujols
Stolen Bases: Roman Quinn

I know, it is boring. But Rhys Hoskins lead the org in avg/obp/slg while playing in Lakewood and Clearwater, and he is not playing in Reading so it seems like a safe bet to me. Cornelius Randolph has not yet grown into his power, and Lakewood suppresses home runs and raises doubles some, and he is going to hit. Betting against Roman Quinn in triples and stolen bases is a bad idea. I don’t think Crawford is going to actually end up leading the org in walks, but I think he has the highest odds to do it, but I might take the field. I love Jose Pujols’ upside and I think he is going to have a great year, but he is at a full season level and the system actually lacks in hackers.

Pitching:

Innings: Thomas Eshelman
Wins: Ricardo Pinto
ERA: Tyler Gilbert
Walks: Mark Appel
Strikeouts: Tyler Gilbert
Strikeouts/9 (SP): Tyler Gilbert
Strikeouts/9 (RP): Alberto Tirado
Walks/9 (SP): Thomas Eshelamn
Walks/9 (RP): Victor Arano
Home Runs: Nick Pivetta
Saves: Robert Tasin

Last year Ricardo Pinto lead the org in innings, but rather than pick him again I am going to go with a similar player, someone who can handle a large workload, works efficiently, and is of a level and skill to be successful, which leads me to Thomas Eshelman. I am going to go with Pinto as the wins leader because the Reading offense is much better than the Clearwater offense.  Last year the ERA title was Aaron Nola and Ricardo Pinto. Given that Thompson/Appel/Eflin are good, but not Aaron Nola I am going to follow the Pinto path and take a Lakewood arm. I like Kilome long term, but Tyler Gilbert is left handed and throws strikes. To lead in walks you need innings and control problems, and while the Phillies have mostly weeded out their players who lack in control they still have some guys who don’t paint the zone and so I am going to take one of them in Mark Appel who will get the innings to bring up the numbers without ungodly BB/9 rates. Your strikeout king last year was Mark Leither based on his innings workload, give me Gilbert to do it in Lakewood with a decent amount of innings, because I will also take him in the K/9 competition. On the reliever side, Alberto Tirado will be going down a level and it might not matter how much he misses the zone, because guys will swing. He will also miss the strikezone a lot. When it comes to starters not walking anyone, the answer is Thomas Eshelman. On the reliever side I expect Victor Arano to just fill up the strikezone. Most home runs is always a reading pitcher, and this year Nick Pivetta will edge Ben Lively. Saves last year were easy because Shackleford had the Reading job, but the problem this year is that no one has a job. Reading will be cycling guys all year, as will Clearwater, and Lehigh Valley will have its bullpen in constant turmoil. The best reliever in Lakewood is Tirado, but he won’t be closing games, but Robert Tasin might because of his success in the role in Williamsport.

Image of Rhys Hoskins by Baseball Betsy

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.