With the C’s big Canada Day win over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes we officially mark the first calendar month (abbreviated, of course) of the Northwest League season and therefore the first edition of YourVanCs statistical analysis. I’m going to try and do something monthly for both hitters and pitchers but if trends start to take hold I may be able to squeeze more in throughout a month.
Instead of re-gurgitating what can be found on the C’s MiLB.com page I’m going to endeavour to look a bit deeper using some of the tools available on sites such as fangraphs.com and baseballreference.com
There’s been a lot of talk, thus far, about the Canadians hitters inability to generate much power. While I think it’s an easy narrative to continually mention ding-dongs, too much is being made of their lack of long-balls. Yes, they are dead last in the Northwest League in home runs with three but that has a lot to do with the park they play in.
For those that regularly frequent the Nat, balls leaving the yard are looked on more as a pleasant surprise. It’s big. Looking at last year’s Northwest League park factors bears out what we all know in a more quantifiable fashion. With the C’s having played half their games at home thus far and none at the two parks that are significantly above average in terms of home runs allowed then it’s no surprise the Canadians are last. Granted, three is kinda weak, but I think we’ll see a few more as the season wears on.
Power shouldn’t be measured on home runs alone anyway. In terms of team slugging percentage they are about middle of the pack, leading the league in triples (a lot of that is down to great team speed) and (as of writing) only four doubles off the league lead. All this means that the C’s are third in the league in runs scored behind Boise — who’s park had the highest 2013 PF_R — and Spokane who are just flat out good.
Home runs may be the most efficient way to score runs, but all runs count, and so far, the Canadians haven’t been too bad.
Now, on to the individual players:
I’ve included some of the more advanced metrics fangraphs calculates as I find it interesting to compare the players amongst themselves. I’m still not sold on using weighted average stats when it comes to fluid minor league levels but it obviously requires more research on my behalf.
As it stands, 2014 draftee Ryan McBroom is the most valuable offensive player to the C’s. A recent cold streak from Franklin Barreto has allowed Michael De La Cruz to slip by him in many categories. They both still have quite high BABIPs though, so could see some further regression.
As I’ve continually been banging on the podcasts though. Look at Barreto’s age in comparison to rest of lineup. The kid is going to go through some rough patches, but he’s a stud.