Batavia Muckdogs Notebook: 2010 Week 1 (Pt 1)

Analyzing the rosters of the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League offers some interesting insight into the upcoming season.

Current Record:  4-4

Current Standing:  Tied for second/third with Jamestown (Florida), one game behind Auburn (Toronto) and Williamsport (Philadelphia)


Of Interest:

This report kicks off the Short-season A season with an in-depth look at the roster composition of the six teams that comprise the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League. 


First, let us look at the rosters' average age:


NY-Penn League  - Pinckney Division
  Parent Average Age
Team Club Years Months Days
State College Spikes Pittsburgh 21 5 2
Jamestown Jammers Florida 21 6 0
Williamsport Crosscutters Philadelphia 21 8 27
Auburn Doubledays Toronto 21 9 7
Batavia Muckdogs St. Louis 21 10 17
Mahoning Valley Scrappers Cleveland 22 3 9


The gap in each team's average age from youngest to oldest is ten months.  (Contrast that with the same gap at the Double-A level at their season's start which was 23 months.)  The gap between the first five teams is five and one-half months and then there is an equivalent gap between the fifth place and oldest team of about five months.  There is a very good reason why the Cleveland organization is the oldest team by a fair margin and that will become apparent later.  St. Louis' Batavia team came in fifth of six teams.


Next, we will break down how the players came into their organizations:  drafted, non-drafted free agent (NDFA) or signed directly from a foreign country (ND).  Included in the NDFA category are the few players that were signed as minor league free agents (MiLFA).


  Total Drafted - Year MiLFA  
Team Roster 10 09 08 07 06 05 04 NDFA ND
Auburn 30 6 11 2         5 6
Batavia 31 9 10 2 1 3     1 5
Jamestown 28 7 9           6 6
Mahoning Valley 28 8 5 3 1     1 8 2
State College 28 8 7 2           11
Williamsport 28 8 8 2 1       2 7


What sticks out here is how the youngest team has the highest number of ND players, by far, and did not have either a NDFA or a MiLFA on their roster.  The ND players sign their first professional contract at a much younger age than do their American counterparts, generally speaking.  On the other hand, the NDFA players sign out of college which ups the average age. 


Pittsburgh's organization has relied on the June First-Year Player draft and their foreign operation to feed this team.  Compare that to the oldest team which is from Cleveland's organization.  They relied heavily on their United States operation with almost no foreign input.  Mahoning Valley had the highest number of NDFA players on their roster.  Batavia, who signed only one MiLFA, pitcher Houston Summers, had an average number of ND players but had four players that were drafted before 2008 which is the most of the six teams.


Focusing solely on Batavia, their players separate into the following groups (including their draft round/first pro year-HS or College-Prior Professional Experience):


Nine 2010 draftees:  P Chase Reid (39), C Geoff Klein (15), 2B Joey Bergman (33), 1B Victor Sanchez (26), 2B Matt Valaika (34), OF Pat Biserta (24), OF Nick Longmire (5), OF Adam Melker (44) and OF Mike O'Neill (31) – all College-all professional debut


10 2009 draftees:  P Keith Butler (24-1st time), P Chris Corrigan (30-Returnee), P Justin Edwards (28-Returnee), P David Kington (34-Returnee), P Travis Lawler (32-Returnee), P Nick McCully (9-Other), P Andrew Moss (35-Returnee), 3B Alan Ahmady (14-Returnee), 1B Jonathan Rodriguez (17-1st time) and CF Ross Smith (14-Other) – all College


Two 2008 draftees:  P Anthony Ferrara (7-HS-Returnee) and P Kevin Siegrist (41-C-Returnee)


One 2007 draftee:  P Zach Russell (49-HS-1st time)


Three 2006 draftees:  P LaCurtis Mayes (23-JC-Other), P Matt North (5-HS-1st time), OF Jon Edwards (14-HS-Other)


One MiLFA:  P Houston Summers (originally drafted by Arizona in the 47th round of the 2005 draft-HS-Other)


Five ND:  P Jose Rada (2008-1st time), C Luis De La Cruz (2007-Other), SS Yunier Castillo (2008-1st time), C Audry Perez (2008-1st) and OF Rainel Rosario (2006-1st time).


Now to look at whether the draftees came from the high school or college ranks. 


  2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Auburn   6 1 10 1 1                
Batavia   9   10 1 1 1   2 1        
Jamestown   7 3 6                    
Mahoning Valley   8   5 2 1 1             1
State College   8 3 4 1 1                
Williamsport   8 2 6 1 1 1              


Batavia's and Mahoning Valley's rosters do not include a single player that was drafted out of high school in either 2009 or 2010.  The latter is to be expected because none of the six teams has a 2010 draftee that came out of high school on their roster.  But Batavia has only one of the fifteen high school players drafted from 2008 onwards on their roster.  State College has four of the fifteen.  Three of the four Batavia players that were previously mentioned as being drafted prior to 2008 came out of high school.


Since we are coming to the issue of where the players come from and their prior professional experience, it should be noted that St. Louis is the only one of the six organizations to have two rookie level teams in the United States:  Appalachian League Johnson City and the Gulf Coast League team that operates out of the Jupiter complex. 


Below is a chart slowing the distribution of the NDFA/MiLFA players.  The MiLFA group is italicized.


  2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Auburn   2   2         1          
Batavia                     1      
Jamestown   3   2   1                
Mahoning Valley   6   2                    
State College                            
Williamsport           2                

Italics = MiLFA i/o of NDFA


As is apparent, NDFA players do not last long at this level.  They either produce and are promoted or do not produce and are cut.


Below is the ND table.  It should be noted that the table is based on the best available information but that data for this group remains sketchy.


  2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Auburn     1   3   2              
Batavia         2   1   2          
Jamestown         2   4              
Mahoning Valley     1               1      
State College 1   3   1   6              
Williamsport     1   1   5              


The final cumulative table breaks down the prior experience:  professional debut, first time at the level but with prior pro experience solely at a lower level, returnee from the 2009 season or other – prior pro experience including at an upper level.


  Debut 1st time Return Other
Auburn 1 9 5 3   6 3 3
Batavia   9 6 3 1 6 3 3
Jamestown   10 7 3 1 3 1 3
Mahoning Valley   14 5 4   3   2
State College 1 8 11 3 3 2    
Williamsport   8 9 3   3 2 3


A separate article will give tables that show which draft rounds the draftees came from and give other interesting (at least to me) factoids.  It will have the ‘Hot and Not' plus a brief game summary.  Stay tuned!



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