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  • #31
    I am "using my common sense", cubano100%. Davenport said that after defections, the 90 game league was about AA level based upon the data he had from 2000 forward. That still leaves open the possibility it was better before that. I'm not convinced he's right, but the evidence available to me hasn't convinced me he's wrong, either. There's too little evidence to make that determination yet in my opinion.

    HRW, the Cuban leagues the Negro Leaguers played in during the winter were often four team leagues. It may not be what we traditionally think of as a league, but what matters is the quality of opposition. Certainly, I would expect that four team "league" to have a higher quality of competition. The shorter schedule makes it harder to make evaluations, but if we take all the data available to us and do the best we can with it, we can clarify the picture. That's the most important thing. Let's get the evidence, evaluate it properly, and let the chips fall where they may.

    I will say this: if a guy seems to have played well in the 16 team Cuban league but played very little in the 4 team league, you have to question his ability to be more than a benchwarmer/marginal starter in the majors.

    Another way of looking at the issue of "leagues" is that if we require six or more teams and a balanced schedule with at least 80 games, we'd lose a lot of the data we have on the Negro Leagues. League schedules were rarely over 90 games in order to allow teams to barnstorm to meet the bottom line--and some teams blew off league games for more lucrative barnstorming opportunities. Thus, schedules rarely wound up being balanced. So I'd be very careful about the restrictions required to consider a group of teams playing each other with some idea of a champion emerging from them a "league".

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 12-04-2005, 05:26 PM.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by jalbright
      I am "using my common sense", cubano100%. Davenport said that after defections, the 90 game league was about AA level based upon the data he had from 2000 forward. That still leaves open the possibility it was better before that. I'm not convinced he's right, but the evidence available to me hasn't convinced me he's wrong, either. There's too little evidence to make that determination yet in my opinion.

      HRW, the Cuban leagues the Negro Leaguers played in during the winter were often four team leagues. It may not be what we traditionally think of as a league, but what matters is the quality of opposition. Certainly, I would expect that four team "league" to have a higher quality of competition. The shorter schedule makes it harder to make evaluations, but if we take all the data available to us and do the best we can with it, we can clarify the picture. That's the most important thing. Let's get the evidence, evaluate it properly, and let the chips fall where they may.

      I will say this: if a guy seems to have played well in the 16 team Cuban league but played very little in the 4 team league, you have to question his ability to be more than a benchwarmer/marginal starter in the majors.

      Another way of looking at the issue of "leagues" is that if we require six or more teams and a balanced schedule with at least 80 games, we'd lose a lot of the data we have on the Negro Leagues. League schedules were rarely over 90 games in order to allow teams to barnstorm to meet the bottom line--and some teams blew off league games for more lucrative barnstorming opportunities. Thus, schedules rarely wound up being balanced. So I'd be very careful about the restrictions required to consider a group of teams playing each other with some idea of a champion emerging from them a "league".

      Jim Albright
      Jim,

      However the situation that the Negro Leaguers had doesn't apply to the Cuban Super League. The Cuban Super League is playing a very short schedule by design. They are not losing games because they are out barnstorming. There are many issues that come up in a four team team that would make it very difficult to determine how good a player is. I brought this up in another thread and no one commented on it. Let's try a thought experiment. Let's say the major leagues contracted immediately to just four teams. Only the 100 best players were on those teams. What kind of statistics would a player on one of these teams generate? Let's take Albert Pujols for an example. How wound he do in such a league? Would Pujols hit .332/416/.621, his career numbers? I highly doubt that because every pitcher he is facing would be an all-star caliber pitcher. Given the high concentration of top talent his offensive numbers would suffer. But this would also apply to the pitchers as well. They's be facing great hitters in every AB. So their numbers would suffer as well. It's my belief that all the numbers would tend to be pulled down toward league averages. Most of the hitters would be .260-.270 hitters and most of the pitcthers would probably have 4.00+ ERAs. I'm not sure how I would test this theory but it would be fun to find out.
      Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 12-04-2005, 09:15 PM.
      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by jalbright
        I am "using my common sense", cubano100%. Davenport said that after defections, the 90 game league was about AA level based upon the data he had from 2000 forward. That still leaves open the possibility it was better before that. I'm not convinced he's right, but the evidence available to me hasn't convinced me he's wrong, either. There's too little evidence to make that determination yet in my opinion.

        Jim Albright

        Davenport suggested the Cuban National League is A not AA. I think that is to low. Again, if the Mexican Summer League is rated AAA by MLB and all the best Mexican players do not play in Mexico (they are in the US), the Cuban League should be a little bit higher than A.

        In 2005, there were 11 players from Cuba in A league. I have doubts about one of those players nationality, but I will assume he is Cuban and not from Spain. 4 were selected in the 2005 draft. The draft is in June and many teams have their rosters set for their A, AA, AAA teams. Mael Rodriguez is injured. He used to throw 100 and 101 mph back home. He could not pass 88 mph in the workouts. Arizona drafted him and placed him in A ball. If he is healthy, there is no way he would be in A ball. He would be in the majors. Zaidel Beltran left Cuba with Yuniesky Betancourt. He came after the season began and was placed in A ball.

        There were 6 in AA ball in 2005. Kendry Morales should be playing in the majors. The Angels usually manage their players very well. The Angels want him to get used to the USA first and not to put pressure on him right away. That is why they still have Darin Erstad playing even though Casey Kotchman and Super Kendry are knocking the door. Juan Muniz spent at least 2 years in Brazil getting his paperwork. Though he is not a top prospect even when he was younger. Yobal Duenas should not be there. Because he came old, he is there. Hansel Izquierdo saw action with the Marlins in the past. He almost threw a no hit no run in Mexico 2 weeks ago for los Mayos de Novojoa. Here is the link, in Spanish though.

        http://www.mayosbeisbol.com/

        There were 10 Cubans in AAA.

        There were 3 players in the Mexican AAA Summer League.

        There were 5 in the Big Leagues.

        These are the same Cubans that have played in the Cuban National League. They were formed as a players in Cuba. I can not believe they learned everything in the USA. They just proved they were good or bad in the A, AA, AAA or major leagues once they came to the USA.

        So you have 24 players above A league and 11 at A level.

        I still think the Cuban National League is above A level.
        Last edited by Cubano100%; 12-04-2005, 08:59 PM.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
          This is a ridiculous statement. A four team league that plays just 30 games is not really a league. That's not enough teams or games. The Cuban Super League is essentially four all-star teams with all the top talent concentrated on four teams. What if the majors created a Super Major League with just four teams? That would be an incredible amount of talent on just four teams. But it wouldn't really be league.
          Honus:

          The Dominican and Puerto Rican Winter leagues have 6 teams. They do not play to many games either. The Cuban Super League was created so that the top players play each other. You become better playing against the best. If Mexico plays soccer matches against Cuba all the times instead of Brazil or Argentina, the Mexican soccer will not be as good. Cuba is one of the worst soccer teams in the world.

          The Major Leagues now have to many teams. Are these teams major league teams? Tampa, Brewers, Royals, Pirates, Rockies. They have been bad for a long time. I bet you that some of the teams in the Cuban Super League would finish ahead of them in the majors.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Cubano100%
            Honus:

            The Dominican and Puerto Rican Winter leagues have 6 teams. They do not play to many games either. The Cuban Super League was created so that the top players play each other. You become better playing against the best. If Mexico plays soccer matches against Cuba all the times instead of Brazil or Argentina, the Mexican soccer will not be as good. Cuba is one of the worst soccer teams in the world.

            The Major Leagues now have to many teams. Are these teams major league teams? Tampa, Brewers, Royals, Pirates, Rockies. They have been bad for a long time. I bet you that some of the teams in the Cuban Super League would finish ahead of them in the majors.
            The Domincan and Puerto Rican winter leagues are not really traditional leagues either. Being bad doesn't mean a team is not major league. A better scenario is to take an average team from the Cuban National Team and place them in the American or Naional League and see how they would do over a 162 game schedule. Whether a Cuban Super League team would finish ahead of some major league team is simply speculation.
            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by jalbright
              The fact a couple of guys did better from a statistical standpoint means virtually nothing. The BA's against are less of a story than ERA. I'd just guess walk and/or power rates are up more substantially to create that 15%difference in ERA. Where available, runs are the preferred measure.

              Beyond that, I've learned not to judge hitters by the conversion factors of pitchers or vice versa. For instance, if the parks are small, pitchers can gain a benefit by moving to larger major league parks. That means hitters get a double dose of bad news, though (i.e. leaving both a weaker league and smaller ballparks to go to a tougher league with bigger ballparks). The example may or may not apply to Cuba, but it illustrates the point I'm making. It is my understanding that in Cuba they use aluminum bats. Is that correct? When did it start? Certainly, that might be a factor which helps hitters in Cuba.

              I'm not trying to knock Cuban ball nor build it up. I'm seeking facts and to interpret those facts as accurately as possible. So far, I haven't seen anything which disproves either your contentions or Clay Davenport's about the quality of Cuban ball.

              Jim Albright
              The 2 players that have better stats in the ML as oppose as the Cuban League happen to be young players. They did not leave their best years behind. Older players have done worst in the USA.

              If Davenport wrote his article before President Bush, he could have gone to Cuba at least. Once there, he could have attended games and films games. There are a number of American reporters that have gone to Cuba in the past.
              Last edited by Cubano100%; 12-06-2005, 04:27 AM.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                Jim,

                However the situation that the Negro Leaguers had doesn't apply to the Cuban Super League. The Cuban Super League is playing a very short schedule by design. They are not losing games because they are out barnstorming. There are many issues that come up in a four team team that would make it very difficult to determine how good a player is. I brought this up in another thread and no one commented on it. Let's try a thought experiment. Let's say the major leagues contracted immediately to just four teams. Only the 100 best players were on those teams. What kind of statistics would a player on one of these teams generate? Let's take Albert Pujols for an example. How wound he do in such a league? Would Pujols hit .332/416/.621, his career numbers? I highly doubt that because every pitcher he is facing would be an all-star caliber pitcher. Given the high concentration of top talent his offensive numbers would suffer. But this would also apply to the pitchers as well. They's be facing great hitters in every AB. So their numbers would suffer as well. It's my belief that all the numbers would tend to be pulled down toward league averages. Most of the hitters would be .260-.270 hitters and most of the pitcthers would probably have 4.00+ ERAs. I'm not sure how I would test this theory but it would be fun to find out.
                Actually, I think my idea is fully applicable at least until the league is so concentrated that on average it is better than the majors. At that point, your example holds water. But if the league is still below major league quality on average, all we've done is move the bar closer to major league quality. Yes, the numbers would suffer in comparison to the larger league--but that is exactly what would happen to the players' numbers if they went to the majors. You could run a test through any solid game but just picking say divisional all-star teams. There may be other issues--but are they really so serious as to merit throwing away data? I doubt it, especially when we're in a situation where we need all we can get. That's another similarity to the Negro League situation which I think makes the comparison quite apt.

                Jim Albright
                Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Cubano100%
                  The 2 players that have better stats in the ML as oppose as the Cuban League happen to be young players. They did not leave their best years behind. Older players have done worst in the USA.
                  This highlights why I'd like to have season by season data. Then we could compare the older players in the seasons in Cuba closer in time to their defections to minimize this issue. Without being able to do so, it limits our ability to make reasonable evaluations.

                  Jim Albright
                  Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                  Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                  A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by jalbright
                    This highlights why I'd like to have season by season data. Then we could compare the older players in the seasons in Cuba closer in time to their defections to minimize this issue. Without being able to do so, it limits our ability to make reasonable evaluations.

                    Jim Albright
                    How about the Cuban defectors stats in the minor leagues? I have not done any research on it, but I think the younger ones have done way much better than the older ones.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                      The Domincan and Puerto Rican winter leagues are not really traditional leagues either. Being bad doesn't mean a team is not major league. A better scenario is to take an average team from the Cuban National Team and place them in the American or Naional League and see how they would do over a 162 game schedule. Whether a Cuban Super League team would finish ahead of some major league team is simply speculation.
                      In 1959, the Cuban Sugar Kings were the AAA champs. There were many Cubans playing in the ML. The Sugar Kings roster was mostly if not all Cubans I believe. Don't you think one of the Cuban Super league teams would finish ahead of some MLB teams? Most of the best Cuban players are back home.

                      If you do the same with Japanese players and form 4 teams, some of the MLB teams would finish behind the Japanese teams. That is for sure. Some of the MLB teams make me cry.

                      You can not do the same with other countries because these players are part of the ML teams and you would weaken these teams.

                      It is just speculation, but this is what I think.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Cubano100%
                        How about the Cuban defectors stats in the minor leagues? I have not done any research on it, but I think the younger ones have done way much better than the older ones.
                        Sure, we need all the valid information we can get. Of course, the accomplishments in the minor leagues aren't the same as accomplishing that in the majors, but we can make those comparisons.

                        Jim Albright
                        Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                        Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                        A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by jalbright
                          Sure, we need all the valid information we can get. Of course, the accomplishments in the minor leagues aren't the same as accomplishing that in the majors, but we can make those comparisons.

                          Jim Albright
                          Allright Jim and HWR, you guys are making me work hard. I know you like stats as much as I do.



                          Players Series AB H AVE 2B 3B HR SLU OBP RBI BB SO IW FPCT

                          Cuban National League

                          Reynaldo Ordonez 4 712 186 261 23 4 4 322 71 23 76 0 96

                          Jorge Toca 8 2497 796 319 165 15 100 517 465 217 348 47 992

                          Yuniesky Betancourt 4 1187 333 281 60 23 26 436 148 62 123 2 973

                          Alex Sanchez never made any team


                          Kendry Morales 3 871 287 330 60 5 37 537 170 116 124 15 954

                          Juan Miguel Miranda 4 1138 343 301 70 14 57 538 205 197 242 11 981

                          Ayalen Ortiz 4 596 167 280 29 4 8 383 53 37 110 3 964

                          Juan Muniz 5 765 178 233 26 2 9 307 83 98 154 2 958


                          Yobal Duenas 14 5025 1615 321 282 46 136 477 763 351 359 61 974


                          Yunel Escobar 4 439 119 271 16 2 6 358 50 77 96 0 923


                          Joel Perez There are 3 players name Joel Perez in Cuban records. None of them have more than 20 AB.


                          MLB or Minor Leagues

                          Reynaldo Ordonez 9 3115 767 246 129 17 12 310 289 287 64 976
                          His batting average is almost the same between the two leagues. I always wrote he could not hit a water melon back home.


                          Jorge Toca 3 27 7 259 1 0 0 296 259 5 0 1000
                          http://cbs.sportsline.com/mlb/players/playerpage/127123
                          http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/a...d=milb&cid=494

                          His is a product of the aluminum bat. He came after 8 seasons in Cuba. He was in the refugee camps in Bahamas. Then, he went to Japan with his Japanese wife. Finally, he came to the USA. I do not know how much time he lost.

                          Yuniesky Betancourt 1 211 54 256 11 5 1 370 296 15 0 981
                          http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/a...ilb&pid=435358

                          Where is Orly? He said that Betancourt hitted 3 for The Villa Clara Oranges. I doubt it with this kind of numbers.
                          Orly: you seem to be gone from Baseball Fever. Prove to me he was the third hitter for The Oranges.

                          Alex Sanchez http://tampabay.devilrays.mlb.com/NA...layerID=400128

                          He never made a team in Cuba. He was either to young or not that good or a combination of the too.

                          Kendry Morales http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/a...ilb&pid=434778

                          He hit 37 Hrs in 3 series in Cuba. He hit 24 in the USA minor leagues in half a season after not playing for 2 years. Where is the minor league pitching?

                          Juan Miguel Miranda: He is in the Dominican Republic waiting to get legal papers.

                          Ayalen Ortiz: He is in the Dominican Republic waiting to get legal papers.

                          Juan Muniz http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/a...d=milb&cid=249
                          He did better in AA than in Cuba. He wasted a lot of time in Brazil waiting for legal papers.
                          Yobal Duenas http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/a...ilb&pid=430577

                          He played 14 seasons in Cuba. He wasted a lot of time in El Salvador trying to get his legal documents. He came to the USA close to being 35 years old. Gabe Lopez and J. T. Stotts recieved more playing time than him. These two are younger not necesary better. These two have more potential than Duenas because they are younger.

                          Yunel Escobar http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/a...ilb&pid=488862

                          He was a reserve in Cuba. His stats in Cuba are not great. Now he is the number 4 prospect in the Braves system. How would better players still in Cuba be ranked?
                          He was drafted in 2005 and placed in A ball where he did very well. He should not be in A ball.

                          Joel Perez http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/a...ilb&pid=489205

                          Drafted in 2005 and placed in rookie league. He hit with some power but his ave was not good. He did not have 20 AB in Cuba as far as I can tell.



                          As far I can tell, Kendry Morales and Juan Miguel Miranda were good in Cuba and are young enough to do well in the majors. Betancourt has his glove and needs to hit 270 to be in the majors for a while. Escobar has to work harder to make it. All the others have a very long shot to make the major leagues.

                          Now, don't forget Alain "El Toro(The Bull)" Soler. He is a pitcher and got some talent. He has not pitched a lot in 2 years while in the Dominican Republic.

                          Major League teams must do a better job scouting Cuban players and gathering info on them before creating false expectations. As for Davenport, he needs to take a trip to Cuba whenever he can. The New York-Penn league is A ball. In A ball you have very young players that are just pullishing their skills. Some of the best prospects also go to AA ball unless they are coming from high school. Mention one name in that league that is close to Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez. Contreras came form Cuba to the majors. Hernandez spent 2 months in AAA because he was suspended from playing in the Cuban National League after his half brother Livan defected. He could have come straight to the majors.

                          There is no way that the Cuban National League is A ball. I am done with this topic. You are entitled to your own opinions. Not all Cuban defectors were great in Cuba to begin with. Why should we expect them to become major leaguers?

                          I do not want to sound to smart, but watch out with the Cuban pitching in the BWC. I have been warning some of you. Pitching and defense win ball games and championships. Teams with good pitching have a better shot than others.
                          Last edited by Cubano100%; 12-07-2005, 11:23 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            I just discovered this site/forum. Some very interesting discussions.

                            I've been following Cuban baseball very closely for about 8 years. I agree with Cubano100% that Davenport's study yielded an inaccurate comparison. There is simply no way the Cuban National Series is comparable to Class-A in the U.S.

                            Tossing aside all baseball statistics and just applying some basic math, the average Class-A team is lucky to yield just one Major League player. That would suggest the Cuban National Series currently has but 16 Major League-caliber players, which is laughably absurd.

                            As Cubano100% pointed out, a lot of young players came to U.S. and did better than they did in Cuba. Yuniesky Betancourt was completely unheralded when he left Cuba and a lot of people around MLB gasped when he signed the big contract with Seattle, yet he reached the big leagues in 3 months.

                            Another example is Yunel Escobar (Braves). Escobar played 4 full seasons in Cuba and was only a .270 lifetime hitter with 6 home runs. In half a season in U.S., he tore up A-ball and matched his Cuban career mark for HRs.

                            (I don't know Davenport's methodology, but it seems as if he might have assumed, incorrectly, that the players on the National Team are actually Cuba's best players, which is false.)

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Agente Libre
                              I just discovered this site/forum. Some very interesting discussions.

                              I've been following Cuban baseball very closely for about 8 years. I agree with Cubano100% that Davenport's study yielded an inaccurate comparison. There is simply no way the Cuban National Series is comparable to Class-A in the U.S.

                              Tossing aside all baseball statistics and just applying some basic math, the average Class-A team is lucky to yield just one Major League player. That would suggest the Cuban National Series currently has but 16 Major League-caliber players, which is laughably absurd.

                              As Cubano100% pointed out, a lot of young players came to U.S. and did better than they did in Cuba. Yuniesky Betancourt was completely unheralded when he left Cuba and a lot of people around MLB gasped when he signed the big contract with Seattle, yet he reached the big leagues in 3 months.

                              Another example is Yunel Escobar (Braves). Escobar played 4 full seasons in Cuba and was only a .270 lifetime hitter with 6 home runs. In half a season in U.S., he tore up A-ball and matched his Cuban career mark for HRs.

                              (I don't know Davenport's methodology, but it seems as if he might have assumed, incorrectly, that the players on the National Team are actually Cuba's best players, which is false.)
                              What about Morales even thogh he out up decent numbers I think he was a minor disappointment

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Cubano100%
                                Allright Jim and HWR, you guys are making me work hard. I know you like stats as much as I do.
                                ........
                                Major League teams must do a better job scouting Cuban players and gathering info on them before creating false expectations. As for Davenport, he needs to take a trip to Cuba whenever he can. The New York-Penn league is A ball. In A ball you have very young players that are just pullishing their skills. Some of the best prospects also go to AA ball unless they are coming from high school. Mention one name in that league that is close to Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez. Contreras came form Cuba to the majors. Hernandez spent 2 months in AAA because he was suspended from playing in the Cuban National League after his half brother Livan defected. He could have come straight to the majors.

                                There is no way that the Cuban National League is A ball. I am done with this topic. You are entitled to your own opinions. Not all Cuban defectors were great in Cuba to begin with. Why should we expect them to become major leaguers?

                                I do not want to sound to smart, but watch out with the Cuban pitching in the BWC. I have been warning some of you. Pitching and defense win ball games and championships. Teams with good pitching have a better shot than others.
                                Cuba has had talents well above A or AA ball. That is not something I have disputed. That is so because if guys don't defect, they have nowhere to go. The question is, how many of them are there and how do they affect the average quality of play? Data like this helps nail down the issue. Sometime when I have some time to really dig into it, I'll do so.

                                It's not only the majors creating false expectations. Actually, I think the main problems are 1) agents for the defectors, who have a vested interest in having their players seen as budding superstars, and 2) well-meaning but at least overzealous fans of Cuban ball.

                                Cuba could do well in the WBC--and maybe not. Either way, as I've said, I'm not sure how much that proves. Even if Davenport is right, the National team should probably be two steps (maybe more) up from the sixteen team league. Teams that get blown out aren't very good, but I doubt that will happen to Cuba. How much do the 2004 Olympic results mean? About as much as the WBC--but it will be good for fans to see all these talents together in a way that hasn't happened in the Olympics.

                                Jim Albright
                                Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                                Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                                A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                                Comment

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