Rather than goose this tangent that was starting in the other games thread, I thought it might be worth some discussion on its own.
The response:Rosenthal has been a 9K/9 guy in his career.......in the minors. Does anyone really think he will continue at (a higher pace) that pace the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time through the league? Really?
This kind of question also arose in the Xavier Paul thread (improved BB rate in majors vs. minors sustainable or fluke?). Older school, I remember it being said about Votto's power potential (he never hit more than 22 homeruns in a season in the minors, why would anyone think he can hit 30+ in the majors arguments).Chapman's K/9 went from 12.0 in the minors to 14.3 in the majors. Rosenthal's K/9 went from 9.2 in the minors to 11.8 in the majors. I fail to see the problem.
Which leads me to this...in terms of overall minor league track record, what can be reasonably guessed about a player's major league skillset? When it comes to the majors, we have discussed at length on this board over the years with regard to a large enough sample size that a player is who he is (think discussions over whether Gomes had changed approach enough to impact OBP - spoiler - he hadn't). Generally, for the vast majority of players, with a large enough major league sample size, you know what you are going to get.
But what of a guy with a minors track record? Is it reasonable to look at a stat in the minors and project it to generally be his ceiling in the majors, a la the initial take on Rosenthal I quoted above? Or is it more of a prospect specific inquiry - meaning that blanket referrals to a minors track record as being the baseline for what to expect for that prospect in the majors are ill-taken.
For the record, I tend to fall into the second camp. I don't generally find references to what a person has done in the minors to necessarily be exactly predictive of their major league ceilings for a category, and give weight to the fact that some players will hone their craft and fully develop their talents in their major league years, improving on minor league baselines. So, in the above exchange, I don't necessarily believe that reference to Rosenthal's minor league K:9 is predictive of his ceiling for same in the majors.
Thoughts? Worth a thread? Discuss if it is!