FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Where do you get JC Sulbaran at #4 for the Royals? He couldn’t be any higher than 20.

    Comment by Rusty — March 14, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

  2. Meant to mention that. He came in 5th in 1 ranking and not all in any others. Really bizarre.

    Comment by Mark Smith — March 14, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

  3. Now noted in the article. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Comment by Mark Smith — March 14, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

  4. No problem, and I think you’ve probably got the right idea with giving them a “31″ if they’re unranked.
    Who had Sulbaran at 4? Love to hear their rationale…

    Comment by Rusty — March 14, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

  5. I remember seeing him at 5 on sombody’s list – I think it was Mayo – and thinking “I want some of what he’s smoking.” Of course, I often think that when viewing Mayo’s lists.

    Comment by rbt — March 14, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

  6. I’ve been putting together lists like this for fantasy baseball purposes for years. Here’s what I do to avoid the issue you encountered with JC Sulbaran:

    • create an additional column (I call it “Ranked” or “# Ranked”)
    • write a formula that counts how many sources (BP, BA, Sickels, Hulet, etc.) ranked that player at all
    • assign your ranks using a two-tiered sort, first sorting descending (large to small) by “Ranked” then sorting ascending (small to large) by your calculated average ranking.

    It’s not perfect, like any method of dealing with aggregations of rankings like this. For instance, if a specific ranker doesn’t like a player & omits him while all other rankers have that player ranked highly, that player could end up lower than he maybe should be. But, this method will get you closer than a straight average.

    Comment by Scooter — March 14, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

  7. A similar issue to that noted by the excellently-named commenter above is in calculating the “System Grade” number. Teams with less consensus, like the Tigers here, will have a lot more average-graded prospects (50s by BA/BP, C+ by Sickels), which washes out the assessment of the system’s top tiers. It may be worth exploring other methods, like an average of the top 20 player scores, or explicit mention of the number of values average together.

    Methodological arguments aside, this is definitely a nice dashboard-style view! I’ve read some of your sources, but not all of them, and I certainly hadn’t taken the time to look at them systematically.

    Comment by rustyspatula — March 14, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  8. I’m enjoying this series. Thanks!

    Comment by Shankbone — March 14, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

  9. It was Mayo.

    Comment by Mark Smith — March 14, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

  10. That’s part of the reason I added in the 50+ and 60+ scores, but I’m always interested in hearing suggestions. I think a big help would come if some of the other lists started adding Grade and Risk in a similar way, which would help with the tiers. I also kind of wonder if the evaluators aren’t too “nice” to some of the lower guys, who might deserve more 40 scores.

    Comment by Mark Smith — March 14, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

  11. My only issue with that, which might be only a small one, is that certain rankings only go to 10 while others go to 30. But it’s something to consider.

    Comment by Mark Smith — March 14, 2013 @ 4:59 pm


    Mayo ranked Sulbaran 19 here. Is this the right list?

    Comment by busch — March 14, 2013 @ 6:56 pm


    Mayo ranked Sulbaran 19 here. Is there a reason you are using Mayo’s 2012 rankings?

    Comment by busch — March 14, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

  14. Not sure how that happened. I’ll go back and check.

    Comment by Mark Smith — March 14, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

  15. John Sickels rankings are the worst of these. I didn’t notice his were included in your AL West post. The only thing he cares about is closeness to being MLB ready.

    Comment by l1ay — March 15, 2013 @ 1:39 am

  16. I think your second point here validates my first (and only) concern after reading through the article. Most systems are ranked predominately on their top-end prospects (maybe top 15) with some consideration given to the ‘depth’. Building a system ranking that equally weights those #15-30 prospects seems to take away from the true impact prospects at the top.

    Comment by section223 — March 15, 2013 @ 11:00 am

  17. Love your work!

    Comment by busch — March 15, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  18. I was thinking about this last night (because I have nothing better to do apparently), and I think you’re right. My only concern is the specific limit of where I would cut off where I counted. For example, the White Sox don’t have enough prospects to be concerned about, but the Padres may have more than 20 prospects worth considering. I may play around with this a little to see what happens. There’s an overall farm system post yet to come at the end, and I may address this then.

    Comment by Mark Smith — March 15, 2013 @ 11:41 am

  19. I think a lot of people underrate that aspect of prospects

    Comment by cody k — March 15, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

  20. Very interesting series, Mark. What stands out about this group is that _all_ of the clubs have a lot of high to extreme risk guys in system. Most of those won’t make it, realistically, so the focus is on getting major league stars it would seem.

    I’m not sure I buy the valuations for Minnesota’s set, although where Hicks is pegged seems realistic, but if they get 2-3 superior guys out of it, that’s a win.

    With Cleveland, all of their top prospects are high to extreme with the inexplicable exception of Bauer. He’s listed as ‘Medium’ but it’s hard to see him as anything but High risk, to me, until he demonstrates a willingness and ability to throw strikes in the pros. And there’s a big drop off in their system after that, plus they just punted their #1 for Swisher. . . . Cleveland had better catch a break, or there could be a real talent collapse in a couple of years.

    Kansas City has a wholllllle bunch of risk in system as you say, Mark. High ceilings, high risk. Which maybe says something about how many of KCs high-ceiling prospects have floundered to bombed in the Bigs lately. To me, it would seem that they could use a bit more diversity in their drafting strategy. Of course if swapping their best prospect in recent years for Shields lands them in the playoffs, then a develop-and-swap routine can show dividends. Chances of that happening?? < 5% in my view. We see What KC is trying to do, and it's a lot like hitting line drives into a stiff wind; loud outs it seems.

    Keep 'em comin'.

    Comment by Balthazar — March 15, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

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