The Ides of March are come – but not yet gone.
As a round of cuts hits the spring teams, I don’t have cuts – I have adds. I’ve been digging through a slew of other stats, and now have translations up for – get this – 17 leagues not previously listed for 2016.
Now, the fun part of this for me wasn’t so much where the players fell within their leagues, but where the leagues fell with respect to each other.
The Pecos League, a 12-team league playing a 72-game schedule in the Southwest, was the weakest of the leagues I reviewed. The common players I found in Organized Baseball came from low-level leagues – Arizona, Gulf Coast, Pioneer, and a few AB in the South Atlantic. The rating comes in at .245 – meaning that every run in the Pecos league was only worth a quarter of a run in the majors.
Next up was the Dutch league, which rated .269. Really hard to say much, though, since the rating depends almost entirely on Nick Urbanus and Kevin Moesquit, who played in the SAL and Midwest leagues.
The Pacific Association, a four-team group operating in northern California, checks in at .273.
For reference, we now hit a set of OB leagues. The GCL and Arizona leagues come in at .338 and .333; the Pioneer and Appalachian leagues register at .387 and .381. And, not far above, the short-season As – the Northwest league rated .387 in 2016, while the New York-Penn drew .406.
The weakest of the winter leagues was the one in Australia – which, ironically plays in the (Australian) summertime. They draw a variety of players, quite a few from AA. It comes in at a New York-Penn equivalent of .406.
The Frontier League comes in with a .433 rating. The majority of the common players came from the slightly-stronger mid-A leagues, the Midwest and South Atlantic.
I was surprised by the Italian League’s rating, a robust .504, splitting the difference between the South Atlantic (.476) and Midwest (.511) leagues. They even had a former major leaguer, in Ronny Cedeno.
The next set of OB leagues up are the high-A leagues. In 2016, the Carolina rated .556, the California was at .577, and the Florida State league led with a .595. Fitting neatly into them would be the new American Association, at .587. The 12 teams of the AA mainly lie along a north-south line running between Laredo, Texas, and Winnipeg, Manitoba; the team in Gary, Indiana is the only one significantly off the line.
Between the high-A and AA leagues are the highest independent leagues – the Canadian-American league at .617 and the Atlantic league at .644. Both are primarily in the northeast US region. The Can-Am common players are primarily from AA and high-A, which is a little surprising. Generally speaking, independent leagues made up of players from league X tend to plat a level somewhat below X – they were, after all, players who did not move up in Organized Baseball. The Atlantic fits better – it is highly regarded, with many players from AA, AAA, and even recognized major league players.
The Mexican league, at .652, also falls in here. Matching it is the Puerto Rican winter league.
Double-A leagues come in at .667 (Texas), .671 (Southern), and .697 (Eastern). The Arizona Fall League, at .667, steps right in at the lower end of AA.
Just on the high side of AA are three more winter leagues, surprisingly equal to one another. The Venezuelan rated .701, the Mexican Pacific was at .708, and the Dominican was on top with .733.
The Korean Baseball Organization rates .734.
The Triple-A leagues are at .759 (PCL) and .802 (International).
The Japanese Central league (.809) and Japanese Pacific (.840) are the highest leagues outside of the majors…
which is the only thing left, the National League at 1.000 and the AL (1.107).
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