This section will help you understand some of the terminology used on The Baseball Cube.
For the purposes of The Baseball Cube, a level is a class of baseball organized hierarchically by the baseball world based on the quality of its play. There may be several leagues within a class.
A player's highest level reached gives you an indication as to what level, professionally, a player was able to reach. The highest level reached is based solely on the statistical data available on the site and is based on the player having played at least one game. Some players may have been added to a September MLB roster but never entered a game and thus, they will not, for the purpose of this category, be considered Major Leaguers. Recent players should be accurately captured but older players, especially those prior to 1977, without statistics in our database, will not be correctly listed with the proper high level. Please don't ask us to manually override a value as it calculated automatically every day. The levels, in order are ranked as follows:
MLB - International (Japan) - AAA - AA - A+ - A - A- - Independent - Rookie - College (NCAA)
Though minor league teams operate independently, their players are supplied by a parent Major League baseball organization and are thus considered to be affiliated with a Major League team. An affiliation is a contracted partnership between the Major League and Minor League teams. A Major League team owns the right to the players and coaching staff for the minor league team but not to the team itself and therefore, it is not uncommon to see a minor league team switch affiliations from season to season. The players will move to the new team if this occurs. Each Major League team will have between 5 and 7 Minor League affiliates spread out between the different levels above. Unlike most major sports leagues, players usually will climb the ladder through virtually all minor league levels before making it to the professional leagues. It is rare to see a player go directly from the draft to a Major League team.
TBC considers a baseball job to be any baseball-related function within an organization that is directly connected to the players on the field or finding players for the field. For example, trainers are excluded since they are "body people" and not necessarily baseball people whereas coaches and scouts and assistant General Managers are related to finding and developing talent.
There are about 100 different categories tracked by The Baseball Cube that accumulates a list of players satisfying particular criteria. For example, a list of players who hit 30 homers and stole 30 bases or a list of players who went on to play in the NFL. Each player page will provide a listing of all the lists (or tags) associated with that player.
Within seasons, a player's age is determined as of June 30th of the season, the halfway point. If a player turns 31 in August, he will be listed as 30. If he turns 31 in May, he will be listed as 31.
Within the confines of this site, college data will almost always refer to NCAA Division I only. We understand there is a lot of college baseball beyond the first Division but since the site's historical college data is focused almost exclusively on Division I, when you hear us mention college data, we're more often than not, referring to Division I.
Throughout the site, the Minor Leagues refers only to affiliated leagues with a designated level (see above) that are not considered Independent (no affiliation to the Major Leagues). Independent Leagues are referenced separately on the Cube.
TBC doesn't explicitly designate prospects. Instead, we rely on Baseball America
rankings released each off-season. There is no TBC prospect rankings nor do we pretend to be experts on prospects. All references to prospects and lists or rankings are from Baseball America from whom we have not received explicit permission to include.
The value represents the percentage of the number of player-games returning from the prior year which will result in a roster continuity or turnover metric that can help determine how much a team's core has changed.