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  1. You’re missing peak WAR

    Comment by Mike D — February 15, 2011 @ 9:17 am

  2. How many changeups does ranaudo have?

    Comment by Matt — February 15, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  3. Estimated peak WAR, huh, yeah, what is it good for?

    Comment by neuter_your_dogma — February 15, 2011 @ 9:44 am

  4. Yeah, I know I have seen some complaints about that from other posters, but I like to see what Marc thinks their peak WAR will be…hopefully he just forgot and will update it.

    Comment by bcp33bosox — February 15, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  5. This is the 11th best farm system in MLB?

    #1 All glove maybe bat SS.
    #2/3 High upside injured arms with 0 AA IP
    #4 4th OF (how appropriate)
    #5/6 MOR starters/bullpen guys
    #7 Tweener aided by high BABIP
    #8 Lars Anderson
    #9 Utility IF
    #10 Boom/Bust C

    Seems closer to Milwaukee than KC to me.

    Comment by grandbranyan — February 15, 2011 @ 9:59 am

  6. Yeah, adding the peak WAR is the last thing I do with the article and my 6-month-old daughter woke up last night and needed tending to… when I came back, it slipped my mind and went into scheduling. It’s updated now, and the Ranaudo flub is corrected, as well.

    When the series started out, I think Boston was around a Top 5 club (out of 30) but the trade with San Diego cleared out much of the talent that had them rated that high… They remain 11th overall because I am still impressed with the depth that the system has despite the lack of high-level impact talent… the ranking is not just based on the Top 10 prospects.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — February 15, 2011 @ 10:03 am

  7. Not saying they should be in the top 10, but they are a few top 20ish guys I am really excited to see more of…Che-Hsuan Lin, Junichi Tazawa (rehabbing from TJS), and Luis Exposito.

    Also here is hoping to Ryan Westmoreland making it back to playing and reclaiming top 10 prospect status… RSN wishes him all the best!

    Comment by bcp33bosox — February 15, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  8. Wow, though 11th had me thinking, yeah not too shabby…5th to 11th is a pretty big drop (though Casey and Rizzo were certainly top 10 and Fuentes top 15ish as well).

    I am so excited about Gonzo though, so hopefully his shoulder will be fine, news of his contract extension will be released soon after opening day, and he puts up some monster MVP-type numbers at Fenway…Oh and a world series or two during his time in Beantown would be pretty good too.

    Comment by bcp33bosox — February 15, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  9. I have a lot of trouble interpreting the prospect lists. I imagine that Estimated Peak WAR is upside, and that certainty * upside is the ranking. But then I have to derive how much certainty each prospect has. Is there a way to give the players a ranking relative to other players?

    Comment by Paul — February 15, 2011 @ 10:34 am

  10. Is Ryan Kalish really not a top 10 prospect? Or is he considered a major leaguer now?

    Comment by Burt Lavallo, friend to all — February 15, 2011 @ 10:45 am

  11. “a few top 20ish guys I am really excited to see more of”

    Don’t forget Xander Boegerts, Cecchini, and Workman. Marc is absolutely right when he says that the org ranking s/b discussed as a function of overall depth.

    Comment by blackoutyears — February 15, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  12. But these are the mighty prospects of the grittiest city in baseball. Mark Wahlberg approves of their ranking. Those fans have been through too much to be ranked any lower.

    Comment by Big Jgke — February 15, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  13. Last time I checked farm systems have more then 10 prospects in them.

    Comment by Derek — February 15, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  14. Ryan Lavarnway played at A+ and AA in 2010, and not AA and AAA, as described in the article…..

    Comment by Pedro — February 15, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  15. Hey Marc, I like Lavarnway at 10, but you are mistaken that he played at AA and AAA. I was shocked reading that, because it was actually A+ and a month at AA. Presumably he’ll start the season at AA, which for an advanced bat doesn’t make a lot of difference. I’m sure you put him there based on true levels since the profile is correct, but wanted to point out the errors in the note.

    Also, he played full time in the AFL and the offensive profile held up.

    Comment by Not Paul — February 15, 2011 @ 11:05 am

  16. That is what I am thinking. On whos list at this point is Reddick above Kalish?

    Comment by Derek — February 15, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  17. Perhaps I have a dirty mind but the last sentence of the Vitek write-up made me laugh out loud.

    Comment by BWOzar — February 15, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  18. Where did you have Kelly, Rizzo, and Fuentes on this list before they were moved?

    Comment by Brock — February 15, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  19. Read the paragraph about Reddick. Clearly states that Kalish is ahead of Reddick. Therefore, feel free to infer that Kalish and his 180 or so ABs last year mean he no longer qualifies as a minor leaguer.

    Comment by Max — February 15, 2011 @ 11:39 am

  20. Me too. I’m not even quite sure what these mean in a baseball sense, and the sentence is sort of out of place. I’m guessing they refer to his swing?

    Comment by Ian — February 15, 2011 @ 11:40 am

  21. The strength of the system is the plethora of C+/B- type prospects – alluded to in the article in the Lavarnway section. Boston does not have the top level talent (A/B+) but has a ton of C+ level guys who are young and could move up quickly. Being set at the ML level allows the team to be able to wait on their prospects to develop

    Comment by CampBrice — February 15, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  22. +1

    Well done, Marc. Well done.

    Comment by jackweiland — February 15, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

  23. Funny you mention Milwaukee.

    Mark has already done them & just looking at Peak WAR 2-3 Brewers prospects MIGHT slip onto this top 10 if you combined them. That should probably indicate to you which is the stronger farm system.

    That’s not even broaching the subject of Boston’s depth. If we made a combined top 50 list of the two system, I dare say it would probably be >75% Boston prospects.

    Comment by alskor — February 15, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  24. “Seems closer to Milwaukee than KC to me.”

    That could be because you’re a retard.

    Comment by Jim — February 15, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  25. As a Sox fan, this list gives me lots of comfort after some worries with the A-Gon trade. It stung, to see all three of those guys hit the Padres top ten, but looking at this list, as well as hearing all the other names mentioned that would round out the top 20, help me really realize that while we don’t have any superstars in the making, there are a lot of solid players still in the system. I’m hoping to try and nab a ticket to the Futures game this year; it should be a fantastic day. :)

    Comment by Sam — February 15, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

  26. How is Mark Rogers any different than Britton/Ranaudo except he’s actually had success at AA and above?

    You can have all the C+ talents you want as that kind of depth is easy and cheap to acquire at the MLB level, the true mark of a farm system to me is top end talent and all the top end talent in this system either has huge question marks or hasn’t even made it out of A ball or in some cases both.

    Comment by grandbranyan — February 15, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  27. That’s the sound of a joke going over your head.

    Comment by Felix — February 15, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  28. A few things come to mind:
    First- Boston’s best prospects are primarily guys playing in leagues that they are young for. As a result a lot of their stats look underwhelming when compared to others.
    Second- Not that I disagree with you that the preference is to develop top-flight talent, I feel that you are really undervaluing a teams ability to produce good but not great talent. Iglesias is almost a lock to at least an average short-shop solely on the merits or his glove. In this scenario he produces an average of 2 WAR for his 5 cost controlled years, which would be worth 50 million dollars according to fangraphs estimates. If one of Ranudo or Britton become a decent 2 or 3 starter, the sox then get savings of much more.
    Third- Most of the “C+ or B-” guys are at stages in their development where they can make huge leaps, and it so happens that the Sox have about 30 guys who fit that description. One would assume that many of these guys will fall off, but a few will make strides and raise up the rankings. If we just say the sox have a 10% success rate with these kids next year that would be 3 solid B – A Ranked players. You will notice that alot of high ceiling guys we drafted over the last 2 years are still teenagers.
    Fourth- The Red Sox Roster is more or less set for the next 2 years. The fact that we do not have any prospects knocking on the door right this instant is not a big deal. I feel that a part of system ranking has to consider how well the system is meeting the big clubs needs. And with the young core and the recent addition of Gonzalez, I would say the system has been doing just dandy.

    Comment by Diaz — February 15, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

  29. This isn’t the 11th best system in baseball by any means. Agree on Jose Iglesias at the top, but a lot of the Anthony Ranuado-Drake Britton types are projection choices. Lars Anderson probably shouldn’t be in the Top 15 anymore, right?

    Personal Top Ten

    1) Iglesias
    2) Ranaudo
    3) Stolmy Pimentel
    4) Drake Britton
    5 Kolbrin Vitek
    6) Chris Balcolm-Miller (could rise)
    7) Josh Reddick (limited upside though)
    8) Brandon Workman
    9) Oscar Tejada (potential riser)
    10) Will Middlebrooks (could go either way)

    Comment by S.M. Jenkins — February 15, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

  30. For Adrian Gonzalez, all 3 players ceded by the Sox are ultimately replaceable. Don’t fret – expect Boston to flex it’s considerable financial muscle in the upcoming Draft & nab a player or two falling due to financial demands.

    Comment by S.M. Jenkins — February 15, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  31. Ehh I love Balcolm-Miller’s peripherals, but he has always been old for the leagues that he has pitched in and I get the sense that he relies too much on deceiving non-advanced hitting to make up for his under whelming stuff, which will ultimately end with him stalling once he gets to the high minors.

    Comment by Diaz — February 15, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

  32. The Gonzalez trade cost a lot, of course, but the farm system would still be very strong had it not been for Westmoreland’s condition and Tazawa’s injury. The farm system is there to provide trade bait, in large measure – three of the six position players in the top 10 (and probably four) have close to zero chance of ever playing substantial roles for the Sox even at/near the top of their upside. Reddick, despite his poor first half in ’10, could be a pretty good player for somebody, though.

    Comment by Mr Punch — February 15, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  33. Kalish may not technically be a rookie anymore. I’m not sure, but that would be a logical explanation.

    Comment by mattymatty2000 — February 15, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

  34. I’m not sure if Marc would agree with this or not, but the consensus I’ve gleaned from other similar lists is that Kelly was first and Rizzo was either second or third, depending on how high you are on Iglesias’ offensive potential (i.e. is he just a glove or is he a more complete player). I don’t think I’ve seen Fuentes makes the top 10.

    Comment by mattymatty2000 — February 15, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

  35. It’s fun…

    Comment by bcp33bosox — February 15, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

  36. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    Comment by bcp33bosox — February 15, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  37. Oh yeah, that’s my point. This post is a great reminder as to how strong, or at least how deep, Boston’s system still is. And with the plethora of picks they’ve got this year, that’ll continue to be true.

    Comment by Sam — February 15, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  38. The reason its ranked so high is less because of the top ten, but because of Boston’s top 25 or so. It’s a very deep system with a lot of decent prospects, but very few standouts.

    Comment by Sam — February 15, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  39. I am familiar with Cecchini and Workman (Marc also mentions them), but I hadn’t read much on Boegerts, so thanks for the HU. I just read about him on and checked out his fg player page. Pretty small sample size, but he sounds/looks like a pretty exciting projection prospect and is only 18. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the move from the DSL.

    Comment by bcp33bosox — February 15, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  40. I love how Kolbrin Vitek who has played all of 68 games in the low minors after being drafted last year is a “tweener aided by high BABIP”.

    Honestly, you could come up with a similar pessimistic reduction of a list for each team if you wanted. I don’t see the point.

    Comment by mattymatty2000 — February 15, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

  41. No way Balcolm-Miller is ranked higher than Workman. He’s not going to be a back of the pen guy and he’s not a starter, as was stated above he has pitched at levels against younger competition, so very little upside.

    Comment by mattymatty2000 — February 15, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

  42. correct – kalish is not a rookie any longer

    Comment by divakar — February 15, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

  43. Oscar Tejeda: “The second baseman produced a solid triple-A slash line in 2010 at .305/.342/.453 in 508 at-bats.” That was actually a triple slash line at high A.

    Comment by Ben Hall — February 15, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

  44. Rookie qualifications = less than 130 at bats, 50 innings or 30 relief appearances in the bigs

    Comment by CubsFan — February 15, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

  45. Why is San Diego lower than Boston after taking Bostons

    Comment by Padresfan — February 15, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

  46. How come Boston is rated higher than SD after losing there best second and fourth best prospects to them?

    Comment by Padresfan — February 15, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  47. Overall strength of the system. One prospect (or in this case three) do not a system make.

    Comment by mattymatty2000 — February 16, 2011 @ 2:07 am

  48. I always thought Iglesias’s best song was his duet with Willie Nelson – To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.

    Comment by Sam Spade — February 16, 2011 @ 8:27 am

  49. I might be missing something, but has he said where SD would be after the AG trade? He may have just left it alone for now, since he’d already done their top 10.

    Comment by Judy — February 16, 2011 @ 9:08 am

  50. #s 6 and 9 – Felix and Oscar, lol – that’s funny.

    The odd couple (of Red Sox prospects).

    Comment by Rhino — February 16, 2011 @ 9:48 am

  51. what happened to bowden and gibson

    Comment by will — February 16, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  52. @ Diaz:

    “Fourth- The Red Sox Roster is more or less set for the next 2 years. The fact that we do not have any prospects knocking on the door right this instant is not a big deal. I feel that a part of system ranking has to consider how well the system is meeting the big clubs needs.”

    Exactly. The fetishization of organizational prospect ranking lists – while fun and understandable – for the most part totally ignores how the big league club’s needs are addressed by their prospects. Boston’s farm aligns well with the Red Sox’s relatively young (~peak years) core signed for the next 3-4 years, and the apparent policy of aggressive advancement seems to jibe well with preparing prospects for the pressure-cooker of competitive AL East ball. Now all they need to do is figure out how to graft Lavarnway’s bat onto FedEx’s defense…

    Comment by Mike — February 19, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  53. seems to me that you can rate how strong a farm system is all you want. It’s fun, but I was wondering if you should add how well the system fits the team. For example, the Rays need to have a lot of top tier talent because, well, they need it to cycle through to their ML team every year. The Sox/Yanks can afford to not have a lot of top tier prospects, and instead have a boatload of C+/B- guys with possible upside because they have the money to trade 3-5 100K/year minor league players for a 100M dollar contract ML player. Mid market teams need minor league guys that can fill holes and be cheap (like the Cardinals need but won’t get because LaRussa can’t manage young players).

    Comment by Anthony — February 20, 2011 @ 3:32 am

  54. absolutely nothinnnnnnnn

    Comment by jimmyjohn — April 22, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  55. Iglesias is now in the majors.

    Someone gag me. I can’t imagine a more glaring example of failing up than Iglesias getting to the majors before June right now. I think almost anyone could go .253/.278/.253 at Pawtucket, if you blindfolded them and told them to wildly flail.

    Comment by Joe R — May 10, 2011 @ 1:02 am

  56. “say it again….”

    Comment by John Zizis — January 12, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

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