Statistical analysis has transformed the way front offices across Major League Baseball manage the rosters of their teams. However, much of this statistical analysis is limited to evaluating players playing in the American major league environment. Little has been done in the way of using statistical analysis to evaluate how performance translates from league-to-league, and the market for international and college players remains highly inefficient, despite expansion of these player pools. My study is an attempt to make this market a more efficient one.
I measure the correlation between performance in two top international baseball leagues (Nippon Professional Baseball and the Korean Baseball Organization) as well as America’s top amateur league (the NCAA) and performance in Major League Baseball. I am studying three performance metrics for both batters and pitchers: strikeout rate, walk rate , and home run rate .. I find that these metrics in the foreign and amateur leagues studied account for little of the variation in Major League performance. However, the predictive power of foreign league statistics is not significantly lower than the predictive power of past performance in the MLB, indicating predicting player performance is a difficult task.