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  1. Has Jesus Montero even played a game at 1B? I understand people think he may n ot “stick” as a catcher, but isn’t he exclusively a catcher right now?

    Comment by BD — March 12, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

  2. Is that it? No explanation at all?

    Wait, sorry. I meant WHY IS JESUS MONTERO NOT IN THE TOP FIVE GRRRR

    Comment by Kilometers Davis — March 12, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  3. Interesting. Tampa Bay has 4 of the top 30, 6 overall. The Yankees 3(would have had 5, but traded Jackson and Vizcaino to get Granderson and Vazquez)
    Toronto has 4, Baltimore 5, and Boston 3. Tough division.

    Every team represented. St. Louis is the only team with just 1.

    Comment by snapper — March 12, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  4. No, he’s never played a game at 1B. It’s a bit of a reach to pencil him in as a “slash” player.

    Comment by Kilometers Davis — March 12, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

  5. Just after a quick glance, and feel free to call me a Mets homer all you want, Mejia is way too low, behind McAllister makes no sense, he’s younger, at the same level, and has similar results with higher upside. The fact that Eric Hosmer is above Ike Davis (and Yonder Alonso) is a joke, I would really like to know the reasoning behind that. And I think Jon Niese gets looked over on almost every list when he should be in the 80s.

    I know it’s hard to make a top 100, just saying what I think regarding the players I know the most about. Also, sorry of it came off a bit dickish, didn’t intend it to.

    Oh, and this goes for almost every list, I do not get the Austin Jackson love at all. He looks like a fringe 100 prospect at best.

    Comment by Evan_S — March 12, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

  6. This too.

    How do you rate Stanton ahead of Montero?

    Stanton is carrying around a career 30% K-rate in mLB. Those guys get chewed up in the bigs.

    Not to mention the uninspiring 110 wRC+ in AA. Can’t see him as a top-5 talent.

    Comment by snapper — March 12, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

  7. I don’t want to argue with anything, just to thank you for all this hard work. It’s always nice to have more of these lists floating around out there. This is a nice addition. Good job!

    Comment by Jon — March 12, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

  8. I believe Niese is past his prospect status.

    Comment by Twac00 — March 12, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  9. I don’t think so. He’s only been in 8 games and thrown 39.2 major league innings.

    Comment by Evan_S — March 12, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

  10. I have a question regarding Moustakas and Vitters. They were drafted 2 and 3 in the 2007 Draft so there will always be comparisons. Neither has lived up to the hype yet and both need better plate discipline. I understand that Moustakas moved up the chain about a 1/2 year quicker than Vitters, but he’s also a full year older. Vitters hit for a better average, OBP, Slugging pct. and, of course, OBP in his full year at low A ball than Moustakas did. Vitters may have done it a year later than Moustakas, but both put up their respective numbers in the same league and in their age 19 season. What, in your opinion, put Moustakas over Vitters on your list?

    Comment by John — March 12, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  11. I can’t believe you ranked Alex White over Kyle Gibson! I’m shocked! Stunned! Don’t you know three leading prospect experts picked Gibson over White?

    Confession: I don’t know jack about White or Gibson (though I have had my eye for over a year on another Indian pitching prospect, Hector Rondon). I just left the reply because it still surprises me how upset some get with prospect rankings, especially the ranking of pitchers, whose correlation between ranking and major league success isn’t all that high.

    Comment by rotofan — March 12, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  12. Great work!

    Comment by Edwincnelson — March 12, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  13. Just finally saw Heyward in a spring training game. Wow. Kid is no joke. The only real question is why the Braves made it a point to get an outfielder like Melky Cabrera in the Vazquez trade when they have such a stud waiting in the wings. I’m not complaining, I’m a Yankee fan, but Melky won’t see a lot of field this year.

    Comment by Matt — March 12, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  14. If he’s not going to be a catcher wouldn’t you think his long term position would have to be an outfielder instead of 1st because of Tex?

    Comment by Dwight Schrute — March 12, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  15. What is the point of another list? Seriously, enough already.

    Comment by mike — March 12, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  16. I was wondering what you relied on to create this list. First hand observations? MLB projections using minor league stats? Ancedotal evidence, and if so, what kind? Combinations?

    Thanks!

    Comment by neuter_your_dogma — March 12, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

  17. Would also like to add that Vitters ISO was higher (.219 vs. 194) and he’s more likely to play 3b in the majors,.

    Comment by John — March 12, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

  18. I can’t speak for Marc, but the fact that Moustakas walks 2.5 to 3 times more often than Vitters while striking out less the 1.5 times more probably has a lot to do with it. Guys with walk rates as low as Vitters very rarely make it at the ML level, especially when their strikeout rate isn’t all that great once their BB rate is considered.

    Comment by Alex — March 12, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

  19. The Braves needed a guy that can platoon in corners and log some time in CF if need be. Melky fit the bill for that opening. Still, I doubt he was truly a sticking point in negotiations. More than anything he was a piece that could help in the short term while the prize of the trade, #57 overall prospect Arodys Vizcaino, hopefully continues to develop into a potential TOR starter in the minors.

    Comment by Alex — March 12, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  20. I asked it in the other thread, so I’ll ask it again: Why the love for Tim Beckham? At 27, that is easily the highest I’ve seen him ranked in anything. Why? What has he done since being drafted to justify that?

    Comment by Seels — March 12, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  21. List seems to be fair and accurate unlike Gammons wannabee Keith Law who had 7 Boston prospects in his top 100.

    Comment by R U For real — March 12, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

  22. I guess you’re right, plus the salary that the yanks ate for them. I can’t wait to see heyward banging walls this year, should be sweet.

    Comment by Matt — March 12, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  23. Actually, in their most comparable seasonns — their age 19 seasons in the same A league, Vitters had a lower strikeout rate. I wouldn’t put a significant advantage to Moustakas walk rate when every other statistic falls short. It’s not like he’s a walk machine. Granted, Vitters walks at a Dunstonian rate but he also has better hitting tools. His hand-eye coordination and plate coverage are superior…he managed to strikeout less despite the incredibly low walk rate. I would say Vitters has a better chance of making it as a free-swinging slugger than Moustakas simply because he makes contact more easily. We’re talking about a guy who put up superior numbers across the board despite being more likely to swing at pitcher’s pitchers. If Vitters can get his walk rate up to Moustakas level (not an impossible feat since Moustakas isn’t that high), he’ll be that much better.

    Comment by John — March 12, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  24. You beat me to it. Except I was going to rip them and demand my money back because Fangraphs flipped Logan Forsythe and Hak-Ju Lee.

    Comment by Steve Balboni — March 12, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  25. No kidding. As the trade goes I think it was truly a good trade for both teams. The Yanks get better this year, the Braves get some financial flexibility, feel a hole on the ML roster, and add a huge upside young arm. Works for both sides.

    Comment by Alex — March 12, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  26. I said Moustakas struck out less than 1.5 times more than Vitters which is still more than Vitters did. Maybe I could have worded it better, but I know Vitters strikes out less. The point is that he walks far, far less than Moustakas does, so much so that his slight K rate advantage is essentially meaningless.

    You also miss the point if you think striking out less with a lower walk rate is somehow impressive. If you don’t walk much it means you rarely take pitches, which means fewer called strikes, which means more swings. The less you walk, the less you should strikeout. The fact that Vitters still strikes out at a significant rate in spite of his low walk rate is a red flag. You think that Vitter’s could get his walk rate up to Moustakas level while maintaining a better strikeout rate. I’d argue that if Vitters were able to get his BB rate up to Moustakas level it would necessitate a big jump in his K rate, well beyond Moustakas current level.

    Vitters is the sort of player that should get eaten up by higher level pitching. His numbers indicate terrible plate discipline and pitch recognition that he attempts to overshadow with his ability to make contact with lots of pitches. As he moves up the latter, better pitchers are just going to eat him up with better stuff outside the zone. Honestly Vitters strikes me as a poor man’s Jeff Francoeur currently. Frenchy posted a far better BB rate with a lower K rate at 19 in A ball

    Comment by Alex — March 12, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

  27. I love that conviction with which some argue over these rankings. If anyone knew exactly which prospects were the best they’d be working for a big league club and not posting on fangraphs.

    Comment by RodeoJones — March 12, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  28. Ha, it’s not like the Red Sox have a good track record in developing quality players through their farm or anything. Trust me, I dislike the overexposure of the Red Sox, too, but they really might legitimately have that much talent in their farm system. Can’t knock Law for ranking them like that until there’s actual proof they were ranked too high….

    Comment by B — March 12, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  29. Or DH?

    Comment by B — March 12, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

  30. I would counter with the opposite. If you’re taking more swings, it stands to reason that you’re likely to miss more often than those who swing less. Moreover, if you’re swinging at pitches outside the strike zone, that only increases the chances the number of pitches you will miss. That Vitters doesn’t strikeout as much as Moustakas despite swinging at so many more pitches – especially those outside the strike zone – does mean he makes contact with more frequency. It reaffirms what scouts say about his superior hand-eye coordination and plate coverage.

    On a related note, I have an observation with walk rates. I think it’s an advantage to have a lower contact rate if you want to walk more. To illustrate what I mean, I’ve been following Starlin Castro closely, another Cub prospect with a low walk rate. What I’ve noticed is that he does work the count, he’s not flailing away up there…but when he swings he actually hits the darn thing with startling regularity. Contrast that with someone like Adam Dunn or Jack Cust. They can take two hacks on a 3-0 count, miss them both (and they often do) and still have one more chance to get a walk. It is, in an odd sort of way, an advantage that they lack the ability to make contact when it comes to piling up walks. They don’t just get a piece of it, they don’t hit it right at someone, they don’t get a lot of hits, they miss completely and it puts the pressure on the pitcher to throw yet another strike…it’s just an observation like I said, and I don’t have the numbers to back it up, but it seems to me that an inability to make contact, combined with some patience is a pretty damn good formula to draw a walk.

    Comment by John — March 12, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

  31. How is that Domonic Brown gets ranked that high and Fernando Martinez gets ranked that low when you take into consideration that.

    1. Martinez at age 20 posted an OPS of .877 showing tremendous power at AAA and Brown posted and OPS of .802 at AA while being a year older at age 21?

    I know the hate on Martinez for his injured checkered history is a reason why people like to knock him, but production on the field should not be overlooked and while Brown is a bit more gifted or polished, their difference in rankings should not be 37 spots apart. Martinez should be a top 20 guy period.

    Comment by Omar — March 12, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

  32. …and as for Mejia how is a guy like Cashner ahead of him, let alone ranked 40 spots in front of him?

    Cashner who was 2 years older posted similar numbers to Mejia at High A and while Cashner had a better ERA than Mejia at AA, Mejia posted a much better k rate of 9.5/9 while Casner posted a lackluster 6.3/9 k-rate.

    Mejia also had an insane 2.95 go-ao ratio at AA while Cashner had an average go-ao ratio of 1.25. Is this ranking just being based on the fact that Cashner is 6’6” and Mejia 6’0”?

    Seriously some of the disrespect the Mets kids get is borderline ridiculous.

    Comment by Omar — March 12, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

  33. You have a 0% chance of making contact with a ball you don’t swing at, so people who swing less are more likely to see their ABs end in either a strikeout or walk. There’s a reason there is a relatively strong positive correlation between BB rate and K rate. A guy like Vitters that swings a lot and walks very little shouldn’t be striking out nearly as much as he does. It points to a huge flaw in his game. The sort of flaw that I see keeping him from ever being more than a 2nd division regular or backup corner IF in the majors without a huge adjustment in his approach. Vitters likely needs to change everything about his offensive approach (while also learning better pitch recognition which I consider the toughest skill to add) if he even wants to be an above average starter someday.

    Comment by Alex — March 12, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  34. No reason to make a huge fuss over these lists.

    Delmon Young, Brandon Wood, Stephen Drew, Lastings Milledge, Andy Marte, Humberto Sanchez, Brad Lincoln, etc. were all on these lists at some point, some higher than others.

    Comment by H.W. Plainview — March 12, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

  35. Beckham over Wade Davis? Just wow. I’m sure Andy Friedman has a tough call on which of those 2 to keep on the big club this year.

    Or next year.

    Or the year after.

    Or the year after that.

    Comment by JayCee — March 12, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

  36. The first 5 on your list were each top-10 prospects at one point in time, let alone top-100. Well played!

    Comment by JayCee — March 12, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

  37. No Al Avila? Seems like a pretty decent hitter for a catcher with average defensive skills, plus a left handed bat.

    Comment by Tigs — March 12, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

  38. St. Louis just having one is one of the best things about this.

    Comment by Yeti — March 12, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  39. I understand what you say is true in a vacuum, all things being equal. If a batter doesn’t swing at all, there is a 100% he’ll either walk or strikeout (or HBP). If he swings once, it’s slightly less likely. If he swings twice, it’s slightly less…and so on. But someone’s ability to make contact factors into that equation. It depends on who’s taking the swing(s). If you’ve got Jack Cust swinging at one pitch, you’re more likely to see the AB result in a strikeout or walk than say if Vlad Guerrero (in his prime) were swinging because Vlad has a far better chance of actually hitting that one pitch.

    I’m all for walks but I think they’re a bit overrated. I think it’s more important to work counts and swing at good pitches even if it doesnt always result in a walk. If Vitters can at least do that, he’ll be a very good player, and the walks will come later if he becomes a threat at the plate. Moreover, I haven’t read anything from scouts with concerns about Vitters pitch recognition. That’s an assumption you make because of his low walk rate. Rather the consensus is that he knows he can make contact with pitches outside the strike zone, even if he shouldn’t because it affects the quality of contact he makes.

    I think when it comes to stats, they should consider a “missed opportunity” factor when it comes to walks. To walk more you have to take more strikes (lest you make contact and put the ball in play). There must be a way to measure how many of those swings would have resulted in singles, or more importantly for run scoring purposes– doubles, triples and home runs…even singles, sacrifice flies or ground ball RBIs can be more important than walks depending on the situation. I am certain “out avoidance” will still outweigh this factor, and walks should remain valuable, but I really do think their value is overstated. I’d be curious to see how much that value would be impacted. It’s the behavior, the discipline at the plate, that is more important to me than the walk itself…if this discipline results in a walk, so be it…but if it results in a batter swinging at – and hitting — good strikes, then that’s good too.

    Comment by John — March 12, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  40. Or Jay Jackson over Trevor May. What were they thinking!? I can’t believe the obvious bias, hate, and stupidity embodied by this list!

    Comment by joser — March 12, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  41. Even the folks working for the big league clubs don’t know. Plenty of “can’t miss” prospects have done exactly that; some stars come out of nowhere. Predictions are subject to error, especially when they’re about the future.

    Doesn’t stop pretensions of certainty when pontificating on the internet, however.

    Comment by joser — March 12, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  42. He’s barely 20 years old dude.. would your opinion be different if Florida was less aggressive and let him tear up advanced A ball for all of 2009?

    If Montero was a safe bet to remain behind the plate in the long run like a Buster Posey kind of, it’d be different. But right now the fact is there’s a strong chance he’s gonna end up at DH, while Stanton is widely regarded as a plus defender in the outfield.

    Comment by tdp992 — March 12, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

  43. Everyone bitching: make a list of the top 50 MLB players for the next 5 years.
    Compare.

    If you can’t even agree on the top 50 MLB players, which you won’t, how do you expect prospect lists to be exactly the way you want them to be?

    Chill the F out.

    Fangraphs, maybe do things differently and rank them in tiers so we don’t have to listen to the bitching and moaning about why Jesus Montero is ONLY the 8th best prospect in the game.

    Tier 1: Strasburg, Heyward
    Tier 2: #3-8
    etc

    Comment by Boom Boom — March 12, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  44. OK, there’s only one incontrovertible blunder on this list, and that’s doing separate top 50 lists for each league and then combining them to get a Top 100.

    Not only are you entitled to your opinion that Danny Duffy is the #94 prospect in MLB, that opinion is to be valued. But there’s no law that dictates that each league be as strong as the other and no way that the next 6 best prospects in MLB are all from the NL (well, the odds against it are 1 in 95). So we are left wondering which of Aaron Crow, Grant Green, Jared Mitchell, Jason Knapp, Alex Colome, Josh Reddick, Travis D’Arnaud, Adam Moore, Lars Anderson, Miguel Sano, Peter Bourjois, Noel Arguelles, Ben Revere, Michael Ynoa, Carlos Triunfel, Michael Brantley, Ryan Kalish, Jose Iglesias, etc., actually belong in your top 100 instead of Decker, Jay Jackson, and May.

    Comment by Eric M. Van — March 12, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

  45. Brandon Wood is pretty studly. I saw him in batting practice on Sunday, and the dude was mashing them out of the park a good 420-440 feet for each shot, while only Juan Rivera could hit anything close. I would LOVE to have BW on the Dodgers to take over at 3B, SS, or 2B (Don’t think he plays 2B, but he could learn I’m sure).

    Comment by Ivdown — March 12, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

  46. What makes you so sure the AL has better prospects? The BA list had it pretty even 51-49. They also had Jay Jackson and Jaff Decker in their top 100. In fact, both have been in several top 100s that I’ve seen.

    And really…who cares? It’s just one person’s list. It’s not like Moses came down with 20 stone tablets. The main point is that it generates discussion. You could definitely make an argument for other players both AL and NL…but really, when and if anyone looks back 5 years from now, every list is going to have it’s share of shoulda’s and should notta’s, no matter how it’s comprised.

    Comment by John — March 12, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  47. The Yankees had a good track record of developing prospects in the mid-90s. That’s why their farm system was consistently ranked in the top 10 in the early part of the decade – when the reality was that they weren’t really all that stocked with minor league talent.

    Similarly, the Red Sox were pretty bad at producing minor league talent late in the 90s, so that’s why their system was ranked near the bottom of the league early in the decade – even when they had Lester, Hanley and Youkilis all in their system.

    It’s a sad fact that prospecting is very much based on prior results. It’s why no one should take farm system rankings all that seriously.

    Comment by AndrewYF — March 12, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  48. Brad Lincoln’s actually still on this list. Seems pretty aggressive to me, but I hope it turns out to be right.

    Comment by matt w — March 12, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

  49. What the HELL?!

    Why is Player X ranked ahead of Player Y? Player Y is obviously at least the equal of Player X. I’m assuming you even didn’t consider that Player Y matched Player X in Rate Stat Z while playing at a more pitcher/hitter friendly environment?
    And further had Small Number more Counting Stat Q in nearly as many ABs/IPs?

    This is just further evidence that Author has an extreme West Coast / East Coast bias and this whole list is therefore crap.

    Comment by The Generic Commenter — March 12, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

  50. Agree. Great list and work, but it would be improved by not restricting yourself to 50 from each league on the overall top-100. I’m a Brewers fan, and I don’t understand how Gamel made the list.

    Comment by rickieweeks — March 12, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

  51. Ha! I can see it now:

    {Moses walks down from Mount Sinai carrying two tablets, 1 with MLB’s #1-50 prospects and the other with #51-100 prospects for the upcoming season}

    Moses: Behold, thus speaketh our Lord, and here are his Top 100 prospects for the upcoming season
    Onlooker #1: What! Jaff Dacker at #98?
    Onlooker #2: Hey, what about Miguel Sano?
    Onlooker #3: No way is Montero sticking at catcher! These tablets are bogus, Moses!
    Moses sits downs and sighs, looking up at the clouds
    Moses: You should just given us something like rules to live by…like commandments or something. These lists are too subjective.

    Comment by Jim — March 12, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

  52. “He’s barely 20 years old dude.. would your opinion be different if Florida was less aggressive and let him tear up advanced A ball for all of 2009?”

    What does age have to do with it? Montero was born 20 days AFTER Stanton. Yes there are question if Jesus can stay at C, Stanton also struggled at AA (yes low BABIP but 33% K rate), while Jesus did not struggle at AA.

    Comment by Zack — March 12, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

  53. “it’s not like the Red Sox have a good track record in developing quality players through their farm or anything”

    That should have 0 to do with the list. Being on the Red Sox doesnt mean they are a lock for anything; the list should be based on the prospect and his projections.

    Comment by Zack — March 12, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

  54. “Mejia is way too low, behind McAllister makes no sense, he’s younger, at the same level, and has similar results with higher upside.”

    “Similar” results? Nah:

    McAllister, career: 378 IP, 3.3 strikeouts per walk,
    Mejia, career: 166IP, 2.4 strikeouts per walk.

    McAllister (AA): 121 IP, 2.9 strikeouts per walk, 3.03 FIP.
    Mejia (AA): 44 IP, 2.0 strikeouts per walk, 3.49 FIP.

    I’m OK with the argument that Mejia’s youth makes him the better prospect, though I don’t necessarily agree.

    But to say their results have been similar is laughable. McAllister has been better by quite a bit over a much larger sample size, whether one is looking at their careers or purely at their highest levels reached (AA).

    Comment by Joe D. — March 12, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

  55. I still don’t like the deal for the Braves. They had a guy just like Melky that they DFA’d in Church, and Vazquez was an easy type A guy that would definitely get a good enough offer on the market to turn down arb. I really think that two first round picks could have produced more value than Dunn and Viscaino (or at least similar value), and may very well have produced guys that get to the majors just as fast. If they needed money that badly, just keep your #20 pick and pass on Billy Wagner, as he’ll not be anywhere close to the value of Vazquez.

    Comment by SchmidtXC — March 13, 2010 @ 1:13 am

  56. Apparently you and I have a different definition of similar. Those numbers are pretty close. Yes, you are correct in McAllister having a better K/BB rate. McAllister has better control, but isn’t as prolific a strikeout pitcher as Mejia. So yeah, in AA McAllister had a 2.91 K/BB to Mejia’s 2.04, but Mejia had a 9.54 K/9 to McAllister’s 7.14.

    The other huge thing Mejia has over McAllister is his tendency for inducing the ground ball. In 2009, between A+ and AA, Mejia had a GB% of 59.3% (56.3% in AA, 61.7% in A+) while McAllister had one of 47.4%. A 19 year old pitcher in AA who throws in the mid 90s with a K/9 over 9 and gets as many ground balls as he does should be in the top 30. So maybe McAllister has slightly better numbers while being two years older, but he doesn’t have anywhere near the potential Mejia has.

    Comment by Evan_S — March 13, 2010 @ 1:34 am

  57. I think on talent, yes but his injury history, in my opinion makes him somewhere between 20 and 30. Still damned good.

    Comment by Evan_S — March 13, 2010 @ 1:37 am

  58. You’re missing the point. MARC, not me, and not BA, thinks that the AL has 50 of the top 94 prospects. Given that, we can be almost 99% certain that the NL does not have the NEXT 6 prospects even though Marc says they do. It’s quite demonstrable that his prospects 95-100 are limited to the NL because he arbitrarily said each league should have 50, and that if he hadn’t, at least 1 (and probably 3) more AL prospects would have made the list.

    And I care because I value his opinion, which we’re not actually getting here. I’d like to know who those 3 guys are, that’s all.

    Comment by Eric M. Van — March 13, 2010 @ 9:23 am

  59. This list is a complete epic fail. Cashner who’s potential is to be a serviceable SP is a joke in itself but top 25? And no Donovan Tate who has about the same potential of Jason Heyward? The writer clearly doesn’t know prospects but doesn’t want it to look like he ripped off other sources so he added average players to make it appear different.

    I love when people put guys who’s potential is no better than an average player on these lists because they are either a “favorite” of the guy who made the list or to try and make it look “different” than the rest.

    These lists are supposed to be a combination of potential and chance of reaching that potential. Not to be based on favorites, and not to be full of average players nor go by what the majority of sites use. If your good at grading prospects your list will be full of proven future studs and potential future studs others don’t know about yet. Not a combo of future studs and average prospects no one would list because they don’t belong.

    Cashner might end up reaching his potential but that doesn’t say much because there isn’t much potential to be reached.

    Donovan Tate has the potential of Heyward except he needs to increase his OPS potential and his polish. He’s got the exact same power potential but also has better speed potential and fielding potential.

    And I hate grammar geeks who make everything grammatically correct. No one calls Gordon his full first name. He goes by Dee Gordon. Try and use the name people recognize him by over the name a select few know him by. It took me a second glance to catch on to the fact that it was Dee Gordon you were mentioning.

    Comment by Matt — March 13, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  60. Yes, because it’s easy to get a job with major league baseball team. Just ask the writers here at FanGraphs.

    Comment by Condor — March 13, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

  61. Tate with the same potential as Heyward? What we are seeing with Heyward could be a once a decade talent. A lot of these lists is opinion – everyone has their different thoughts on prospects because everyone looks at them differently. There are a few exceptions however (ex. Heyward, where everyone seems to agree he’ll be a stud).

    You calling this list an “epic fail” is just being a jack***. Go ahead and put out a Top 100 list yourself, and I bet a boatload of people disagree with yours as well.

    And I love your last tantrum that he called Dee Gordon by Devaris instead. At least we can chalk up your post to your day just being really bad, and you taking it out on somebody else.

    Comment by R y a n — March 13, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  62. Keep in mind that Stanton projects to have significantly higher defensive value than Montero (on the assumption that Montero moves off C)

    Comment by Aaron/YYZ — March 13, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  63. Well, supposing that which league the nth best prospect is from is independent from which league the n – 1 previous prospects are from,* we’re looking at 100 straight coin flips. If you flip a coin 100 times, I believe you’d expect at least one streak of six (the odds of a streak of exactly six starting with a given flip are 1/64) and at least one streak of five (the odds of a streak of exactly five starting with a given flip are 1/32). The longest streak before 94-100 is five, 56-60 all from the NL. So it’s not so ridiculous to think that there’d be another streak of six.

    Though honestly, I think it’s more likely that Marc had a little bit of bias in favor of alternating leagues at the beginning and then filled out the list with the remaining NL prospects. But this kind of list is so imprecise, there really isn’t much percentage in thinking about whether someone got jobbed out of spot #99 (or whether Wilson Ramos would’ve been at #42 instead of #43 if Marc hadn’t felt a subconscious urge to go back to the NL after four straight AL picks).

    *Which is not perfectly true — but I’m honestly not sure about which way the correlation should go. On the one hand, if a good prospect is more likely to be a #1 draft pick, when you put someone’s #1 pick on the list, that leaves fewer #1s from that league to fill out the rest of the list. On the other hand, if a team’s scouting is good enough to find one top prospect, it’s good enough to find another. I bet the odds are near enough to make no difference.

    Comment by matt w — March 13, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  64. I can’t wait to pull this post out in 10 years and show Marc his rankings were not entirely accurate! He’s going to be so embarrassed!

    Comment by Nelbowski — March 13, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

  65. “And no Donovan Tate who has about the same potential of Jason Heyward?”

    In the sense that my 5-year-old brother has about the same “potential” as Jason Heyward, perhaps.

    “I love when people put guys who’s potential is no better than an average player on these lists because they are either a “favorite” of the guy who made the list or to try and make it look “different” than the rest.”

    No, they do that because pure “potential” is not the only thing we should be looking at. Floor, and likelihood of reaching that potential should be important considerations as well. Then again, maybe you’re one of the guys think it’s really nifty that Baseball America whiffed horribly on guys like Ian Kinsler & Dustin Pedroia.

    “Cashner might end up reaching his potential but that doesn’t say much because there isn’t much potential to be reached.”

    Got it. You have no interest in guys who might make solid #2 or good #3 starters. You want the entire list to be all-time great or bust guys. I have much interest in seeing your top 100 prospects list. Is Andrew Brackman going to take up 70 or 80 slots by himself?

    “It took me a second glance to catch on to the fact that it was Dee Gordon you were mentioning.”

    Wow. For a guy who shoots his mouth off like he knows everything there is to know about prospects…You had that much trouble figuring out which Dodger shortstop prospect D. Gordon he was talking about?

    Comment by Joe D. — March 13, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

  66. For a site with as many well-informed commenters as fangraphs, this one really threw me for a loop.

    My favorite tidbits:

    “Donovan Tate has the potential of Heyward except he needs to increase his OPS potential”

    “If your good at grading prospects your list will be full of proven future studs and potential future studs others don’t know about yet.”

    Do you think these future studs are hiding out in secret leagues that no one knows about?

    “And I hate grammar geeks who make everything grammatically correct.”

    I’ve heard of people being vehemently opposed to bad grammar, but never having hatred for those with good grammar.

    Comment by Jason F — March 13, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

  67. If I might be super-critical, I’m not sure what the point of having a Top 50 NL, Top 50 AL, AND Top 100 overall list is. The only thing a Top 100 can tell you that Top 50s cannot is something like “the AL has more top shelf talent than the NL because all 50 of the Top 50 AL prospects made the list (plus Nos. 51-53) while only the top 47 NL prospects made the list.” (This might not even be true, perhaps your Top 100 overall is restricted only to ranking the 100 players on both AL & NL lists).

    Of course a cynic might say that prospect lists get tons of page views (and comments) so that just might pay for themselves…

    OK, I don’t mean to be so snarky, but all having three Top whatever prospect lists did was have three comment threads instead of one.

    Comment by Trev — March 14, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

  68. Ruben Rivera, Todd Van Poppel, Roger Salkeld, Jefferey Hammonds, Brian Hunter, Allen Watson, Ben Davis, Matt White, Sean Burroughs, Drew Henson, Wilson Betimit, Jesse Foppert, Greg Miller… all at one time or another regarded as top 10 overall prospects. It’s still a long way from a list to playing regularly in the bigs. There’s no reason to make a fuss over the rankings.

    Comment by longgandhi — March 15, 2010 @ 1:41 am

  69. Oh, I agree with both your points, I just don’t necessarily see it as a problem or a Red Sox bias to have them ranked highly. I was just pointing out there track record to show that in the past they’ve been deserving of those kinds of prospect rankings, so it just might be that they’re deserving of it now, too.

    Comment by B — March 15, 2010 @ 11:53 am

  70. I get what you’re saying, and while you do have a point, you could also think of it another way – we probably don’t know which league actually has the better prospects, and trying to figure out the difference between 94-100 and 101-106 is…..well, it’s just a wild guess basically, so just deciding to go with 50 from each league might seem arbitrary but probably isn’t any more inaccurate than any other method.

    Comment by B — March 15, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  71. Overlooked from this top-100 list: Drew Storen, the Nationals’ young closer. He went up three levels in his first year in the minors last year, winding up at AA.

    Comment by Ed Lyle — March 16, 2010 @ 2:46 am

  72. Only a Yankees fan would complain about Jesus Montero being #8. A fan of any other team would be thrilled with that ranking, but you guys think the “Yankee” aura is supposed to somehow boost him ahead of Mike Stanton. Montero projects as a DH, why would he be higher? Also, I don’t understand why people gotta trash every list, at least he made a list?

    Comment by Brett — March 17, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  73. ““Yankee” aura is supposed to somehow boost him ahead of Mike Stanton”

    No, Yankee fans think Mike Stanton’s 30% K rate should drop him lower. There might be concerns if Jesus can be a C, or 1B or DH; but striking out 30% of the time is a bigger concern in some people’s opinion.

    Comment by Zack — March 17, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

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