Analysis

Project 2019: Small Samples, Barely Any Signals

NolaTwo weeks ago I asked readers to help me project the 2019 Phillies. The prompt: Assign a rating – 10 being highest, 1 being lowest – based on how confident you felt in an existing organizational player as a member of the Phils’ 25-man roster in 2019.

I collected 19 surveys of data (a small sample size). I’ll reveal some things now.

(By the way, please help! Click here to find the original ballot; copy and paste it and send it to me in an email to tsmalcolm@gmail.com.)

My hope is for all of us to put together the perfect team for 2019. We’ve only just begun, so here are some the preliminary findings:

1. Optimism is high for the top players.

If we’re using a 1-10 scale, I’d say 7 is an optimistic indicator of confidence, while 6 shows a little more trepidation. That was true in the data: Those who garnered an average of 7 or more had very few individual ratings of 6 or fewer.

Player

RAT=10

RAT=9

RAT=8

RAT=7

RAT=1-6

J.P. Crawford

13

4

2

Maikel Franco

11

3

4

1

Aaron Nola

7

6

4

2

Nick Williams

4

4

5

6

Jake Thompson

1

5

4

5

4

Jorge Alfaro

2

7

5

5

Cornelius Randolph

3

1

4

3

5

This cohort represents the players of highest confidence. Just under Randolph was Odubel Herrera, who garnered seven ratings of 6 or fewer. People seem to also be universally confident that Crawford, Franco, Nola and Williams will be playing regular ball for the 2019 Phillies.

I’m a little surprised about the confidence in Alfaro, who still has to clear a few hurdles. He needs to stay healthy, needs to improve his hitting and develop a consistent game, and has a more polished hitter ahead of him on the catching depth chart in Andrew Knapp. That said, Alfaro offers a more complete package than Knapp, and quite honestly, if he can live up to potential could be a generational talent. But oh those hurdles. That may be why the data only shows two 9 or 10 ratings but a whole bunch more 6-8s, which indicate slight doubt.

Randolph is interesting too. While he’s certainly advanced for his age (18) and level (rookie ball), he’ll need to test himself against full-season pitching, fully adapt to the outfield and show steady improvement – especially power – in a number of tools while facing better talent each year. It’s possible Randolph has a meteoric rise to the majors, a la Bryce Harper, but that’s the most unlikely scenario. A 2019 callup is in range for him, but considering what’s ahead for him, the confidence is still pretty impressive.

Of course nobody is a sure thing. Anyone can be traded, released or, worst of all, can suffer a career-ending or career-altering injury. But Crawford is close to a lock, our data suggests.

2. It’s hard to remove names off the roster.

While 19 ballots is a small sample, trends still start to emerge if there’s little noise. And for a couple players, there’s little noise (on the bad end).

Here are the players who didn’t garner much confidence:

Player

RAT=1-2

RAT=3-4

RAT=5-6

RAT=7-10

Daniel Stumpf

10

7

1

Peter Bourjos

14

4

1

Cody Asche

14

5

The Rule 5 lefty Stumpf generated a 5 from one voter, while Bourjos received a 6 from a voter. Asche never cracked 5. I get the pessimism about Asche and Bourjos, as the former is close to the abyss and the latter will probably be flipped or released before even 2018.

But I’m not as ready to kill Stumpf. If there was a mascot for the left-handed reliever, it would be Morris the Cat, as in, Stumpf and those of his ilk have nine lives. Antonio Bastardo was here for about six years, for example. And some of the readers understand this, as Stumpf received seven 3 or 4 ratings, which indicate a sliver of uncertainty.

Otherwise players are still in the noise. The are plenty of players in that uncertain 3-5 range.

3. What’s the mean?

After averaging all the ratings across the board, the average score was 4.74, which for confidence seems fair. A 5 would indicate a reader is confident that the player will make the majors one day and for someone, but chances are 50-50 of that day being April 5, 2019, and that team being the Phillies. A 4 would indicate that reader has real doubts about the convergence of that player being worth it, and the Phillies reciprocating and investing the time and money.

So let’s use 4.74 as a mean and extrapolate by 1.00 each way, which keeps us from being too optimistic and too pessimistic. Thus, if we go with a range of 3.74-5.74, we remove four ballots (rated 6.481, 6,185, 3.629 and 3.5) – the outliers – and come up with a slightly more pinpoint grade for each individual player.

Here are the leaders and trailers:

Leaders

Player

Pos

AVG rating

1

J.P. Crawford

SS

9.666

2

Maikel Franco

3B

9.2

3

Aaron Nola

SP

9.0

4

Nick Williams

OF

8.2

5

Jake Thompson

SP

7.666

6

Jorge Alfaro

C

7.266

7

Odubel Herrera

OF

7.133

8

Cornelius Randolph

OF

6.928

9

Roman Quinn

OF

6.733

10

Vincent Velasquez

SP

6.642

Trailers

Player

Pos

AVG rating

54

Cody Asche

OF

1.8

53

Severino Gonzalez

SP

2.2

52

Jeremy Hellickson

SP

2.266

51

Daniel Stumpf

RP

2.357

50

Juan Luis

OF

2.384

49

David Hernandez

RP

2.384

48

Peter Bourjos

OF

2.4

47

Darin Ruf

1B

2.533

46

Cameron Perkins

OF

2.666

I would say anything above 7.5 is a good indication of a player who we think will be on the opening day roster for the 2019 Phillies. And a player accruing anything under 2.5, conversely, is one who we don’t feel confidently about at all.

As for the middle range – that range between 3.74 and 5.74 – 18 players reside there, and that seems to be the most interesting group right now.

But again, small sample size. It’s impossible to make any definitive statements about how we feel until I get more ballots. Please help! I hope to keep this experiment going for a while.

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2017
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top