FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. EPW gone? I enjoyed that aspect.

    Great stuff though… big fan of Kepler.

    Comment by jaywrong — January 28, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  2. A worse arm than Juan Pierre? Yikes…maybe they should try him at second base.

    Comment by Dave Regan — January 28, 2011 @ 11:11 am

  3. I’m happy to see it’s gone. Predicting a player’s major league WAR while he is still in A ball seemed a little silly to me. I love the other detail put into the Top 10 Prospects lists though. Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Jacob — January 28, 2011 @ 11:16 am

  4. It’s not correct to say the Twins have had no contributions from the Aussies they’ve signed- Grant Balfour appeared in over 50 games for them before they gave up on him, perhaps prematurely.

    I’m not sure that Revere’s weak arm is damaging enough to overcome his plus range in center. Runners will be able to take extra bases at times, but he will probably keep enough guys off the bases that his net defensive contribution will be positive.

    Comment by drivlikejehu — January 28, 2011 @ 11:18 am

  5. Yea. It was horribly misleading.

    Comment by Telo — January 28, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  6. I wonder if my comment on the Mariners top 10 lead to this omission… or if it was accidental.

    In either case, good to see it gone.

    Comment by Lee — January 28, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  7. I have to disagree with ranking Revere above Benson, because from what I’ve heard, it sounds like Benson is a similar player as Revere except he has an arm and power.

    However, I still want to see both roaming the outfield in a couple years, as hopefully the Twins let Cuddyer and Kubel move on and shift Delmon Young to DH.

    Comment by Bryz — January 28, 2011 @ 11:49 am

  8. I understand what you peeps are saying, but you are mistaken if you think it was the only measure myself, or others, were going by. It is my belief that more information is always a positive. It is all about synthesis, especially with prospects.

    And how could misleading could it be? Inaccurate is more likely. Misleading means the provider of the information is intentionally diluting what he/she is presenting. I do not believe that was the case.

    Comment by jaywrong — January 28, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  9. Benson versus Revere is a pretty good argument right now. They’re both CFers at similar levels and ages. Benson’s actually performed better the last couple years and seems to have the higher ceiling, but I think the perception is that Revere’s game translates better to MLB because he doesn’t have the problem with strikeouts and the breaking ball that Benson does.

    Comment by Luke in MN — January 28, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  10. He was a 2B in HS, I believe, and they moved him off of there for a reason….Frankly, I think they should have traded him before last year, when it wasn’t “proven” he couldn’t hit for power, and that he stole bases at too low of a success rate, and still can’t take a walk. Oh well. It’s not like the Twins ever play young guys if they can avoid it anyway (see last year, Cuddy at 3B while Valencia sat in AAA, and signing a bad Royals reliever to join the pen….).

    Comment by mike wants wins — January 28, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

  11. Ah, that’s a good catch with Balfour.

    I disagree about Revere’s defense though. An important thing to keep in mind is that almost every major league center fielder was billed as having plus range, when in the minor leagues. I think there is a tendency to compare players to their peers, so while Revere looks great compared to other Eastern League outfielders, he is much closer to average when compared against top prospects or major leaguer center fielders.

    A look at the Future’s game roster illustrates my point. Eury Perez, Mike Trout, Gorkys Hernandez, and Desmond Jennings all profile as above-average defenders in center. When you compare Revere to those guys, his range is closer to average or slightly above average. When you take slightly above average range and combine it with a well below-average arm, you have a below-average defender.

    Comment by Reed MacPhail — January 28, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  12. The problem is that it’s hard to “synthesize” a number that has no explanation, and I don’t believe we’ve ever been presented with one.

    (And if “Expected Peak WAR” is supposed to be self-explanatory, it clearly fails: either “expected” means something other than 50th percentile outcome or the numbers are ludicrously high…)

    Comment by Chris — January 28, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  13. “Grant Balfour appeared in over 50 games for them before they gave up on him”

    The Twins didn’t really give up on him. He was injured and they took him off the roster. He then chose to go elsewhere.

    If Benson could put up his AA numbers in the major leagues he would have a job, given that he has the tools to play center field. Unfortunately, guys who strike out that much against AA pitchers get eaten alive by major league pitching. Its hard to find a major league player who was successful after putting up those kinds of numbers at AA. Ryan Howard struck out as often at AA, but he also had many more hits, walks and home runs. Its possible Ben can make the big leagues as a fourth outfielder based on his defense.

    Comment by TT — January 28, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  14. I think Revere over Benson right now as well, but I’m hoping Benson turns the tools into production. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I watched Revere play last year, I couldn’t help but seeing just a 4th outfielder..

    That’s not to say he can’t or won’t still be a valuable piece, but I don’t see 3 win player in him.

    Comment by Derek — January 28, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  15. That’s fine, but I saw it for what it was. An idea of what to expect in the player’s peak WAR season. For instance, I saw that Nick Castellanos would have a peak WAR season of 6.0. That doesn’t negate anything for me, but continues to help me understand the player at hand.

    Not to offend, but people complaining about it just seems like useless nitpicking.

    The core of the matter is the support of more information. Not less. It should be up to the reader to determine if it useful or not.

    Comment by jaywrong — January 28, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  16. And Luke Hughes hit a homerun.

    Comment by Ben — January 28, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  17. I think the twins originally signed Peter Moylan, and Brad Thomas came up through their system as well (more Aussies)

    Comment by adam smith — January 28, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

  18. The Twins have a pretty solid system. It’s nice to see some guys with the potential to have high ceilings. It’s also nice to have depth with our system because I could think of a few more players that could possibly picked for the Twins top 10. I hope the Twins keep stock piling their minors because it’s a nice insurance to have a solid system incase anything goes haywire in the big leagues.

    Comment by Dane — January 28, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  19. Glenn Williams is another Aussie (3B, started career with a 10 game hitting streak, hasn’t played in the majors since… so the streak is still intact!).

    Comment by Bryz — January 28, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

  20. His range is much better than any of those guys though. I’m not saying he will be a great defender, which I doubt he will be, but you have to understand this guy is the fastest player in professional baseball.

    Comment by Kevin — January 29, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  21. Opening Day Age: Kepler is born in 93,is not 18 yet !

    Comment by jay — January 29, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

  22. 18.2 is his 2011 Opening Day age.

    Comment by Reed MacPhail — January 29, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

  23. Are all the Top 10′s compiled somewhere?

    Comment by Scott — January 30, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  24. I guess I’m confused as to why Hicks is ranked ahead of Sano. It seems like Hicks is being ranked strictly on tools and defense, and is given the benefit of the doubt offensively based on the league he plays in — though the team’s 2010 park factor suggests it’s slightly more favorable for hitters than pitchers.

    In the meantime, Sano’s ISO is considerably better, he has more tools offensively, he plays a valuable position in the field (likely 3B or RF, as mentioned), and is four-and-a-half years younger. In four-and-a-half years, I’ll eat my hat if Sano hasn’t been promoted a grand total of ONE level while putting up better numbers than Hicks just did at said level.

    Comment by Marver — January 30, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

  25. CF is considered more premier than 3B or RF. Also, the Twins generally move people along at a fairly decent rate, that they can get the most benefit of their cheap service time, a side effect of having a low payroll. When you can only have a star player for six years, why don’t you make sure that they are the 23/24-29/30 years as opposed to the 20-26 years?

    Comment by TFINY — January 30, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

  26. CF is certainly more valuable than 3B or RF, but it isn’t as if those position aren’t invaluable. As someone who is clearly a better offensive prospect and who doesn’t appear to be detrimental on defense, all while putting up more impressive numbers at just one lower level while being four-and-a-half years younger, Sano has ample enough reason to be placed above Hicks.

    From a numbers standpoint, Hicks doesn’t appear that impressive; from that we can draw that the ranking system must be heavily weighing tools/potential. And if the rankings heavily rank tools/potential, it makes even more sense for Sano to be higher than Hicks. It’s just illogical to see Hicks higher; a tools/potential based system would likely choose Sano while a likelihood of fruition system would choose Gibson; and Hicks isn’t a blend of both.

    Comment by Marver — January 30, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

  27. To be picky, Sano is actually two levels below Hicks. Sano played in the GCL. Hicks played in the MWL. In between them is the Appalachian league.

    To your main argument, I disagree with your statement that Hicks isn’t a blend of both projection and, for a better word, probability. As I said in the write-up, even if Hicks never reaches his offensive potential, his defense and on-base skills should be enough to make him a very valuable player. As far as his projection, his ceiling is still considerable. If he begins to hit for the power many think he will, he could be a stud.

    I don’t disagree that Sano has the higher offensive ceiling, but there is a lot more risk with him than there is with Hicks. There are defensive questions, and, you always have some concerns when guys strikeout in almost 30 percent of their at-bats in the GCL.

    Comment by Reed MacPhail — January 31, 2011 @ 1:37 am

  28. Juan Pierre gives guys like me with tears in our rotator cuff hope…

    Comment by Sox27 — January 31, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  29. Aaron Hicks = JD Drew, or at least his skill set.

    Comment by Scott — January 31, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  30. First things first: The Appalachian league is rookie ball. You can argue it’s a tougher league than the GCL, but they’re still on the same “level”: one level below the Midwest league.

    I just find prospect rankings that focus on defense to be anything but incredibly risky. We all know that defensive metrics need a lot of time for evaluation, and the scouts have largely been ineffective in projecting who amongst the top 30 defensive CF prospects is the best defensively. For instance, Andrew McCutcheon was widely considered a great defensive talent; yet he finished second-to-last in CF fielding WAR last season. Meanwhile, one of the better defensive centerfielders, Curtis Granderson, was criticized as a prospect for ‘not covering enough ground’ — from BA 2004 — and John Sickels himself said he was “best suited for left in the long run”.

    My point is that projecting defensive statistics is an incredibly volatile field, and while Hicks certainly has the chance to become a good defensive MLB CF, it is just a crap shoot. Placing a large amount of your prospect ranking on a crap shoot isn’t logical. It has, and always has been, easier to accurately project prospects offensively than defensively.

    It seems like much of your argument is: Hicks could develop power and might be an above-average CF at the MLB level, while Sano strikes out too much and could end up a poor fielder, despite no evidence. It just seems like a particularly optimistic and pessimistic view of both that flies in the face of logic.

    When you have two prospects that are both still considered raw — you cannot consider Hicks as developed defensively since we have no statistics to adequately support the claim mathematically — you will produce more accurate projections by selecting the more offensively-inclined prospect above the other, especially in cases where the more offensively-inclined prospect has never shown the inclination to be a poor fielder.

    Comment by Marver — January 31, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  31. “…see last year, Cuddy at 3B while Valencia sat in AAA…”

    Repeating this line of bullshit in multiple places doesn’t make it any less false, Mike.

    Comment by objectiveobserver — January 31, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  32. Check out Hicks’ platoon splits. He’s a natural RH batter trying to learn to switch hit. This has resulted in a godawful platoon split. He might be ranked higher if he dumps switch hitting.

    Comment by DJL — February 10, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  33. objectiveobserver is right, my recollection of the timing was off. Thanks to him and others, I’ve gone back and checked and realized I was wrong. Too bad he couldn’t be polite about it.

    Comment by mike wants wins — February 21, 2011 @ 10:47 am

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