Minor League Fielding Stats
Are they a waste of time?
Actually, no. I looked at infielders who had at least 100 zone chances (using averaged zone rating between the STATS and BIS numbers) who last year played in the minors. 21 players qualified, including Evan Longoria, Mike Aviles, Yunel Escobar, and Mark Reynolds. The minor league numbers I'm looking at are Dan Fox's simple fielding runs (SFR), which is similar to my TotalZone.
The correlation between Major League 2008 and Minor League 2007 was .54, which is higher than I expected, and higher than I would have expected between two major league seasons when the sample of chances (153 average) is so small. That may be a fluke, maybe I pick 20 players who fit the same criteria next year and get .07 or even a negative number. Fox did publish ratings for 2005 to 2007, so I could look at 3 years to see if the correlation holds up.
If it does, super cool, we can project fielding for minor league infielders as well as we can for major leaguers. Interestingly, the players had slightly better fielding ratings in the majors than they did in the minors - as a group they were +5 per 500 chances in the bigs and +2 in the minors.
The only problem now is getting the data - I'd have to take the time to build a PBP database from the MLB gameday stats. I doubt that will happen this year.