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Building a Farm: National League East

Posted By Mark Smith On April 3, 2013 @ 10:00 am In Daily Graphings | 17 Comments

Prospect lists are one of the best parts of the off-season. Marc Hulet published his top 100 yesterday as the culmination of several months of work, and Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, Keith Law, John Sickels and a plethora of websites have published others. Each group puts myriad hours into analyzing, calling, writing, editing, re-analyzing and finally publishing their work. But even after all that, they usually come to several different conclusions. I decided — instead of focusing on a specific list — to generate a list that combined each of these lists into one.

The idea of community or consensus lists isn’t new. Sites have done it before, but I’ve added some wrinkles:

  • I included team lists from Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, John Sickels, Keith Law, Jonathan Mayo, Bullpen Banter and our own Marc Hulet. There are more lists out there, but I needed to cut it off at some point. These were the lists that an unscientific Twitter crowd-source noted, and they are also sites I visit often. If you use another site, please leave it in the comments, and I might use it in future research.
  • I also included team-centric blogs for each team to add a local flavor to the mix. They may be higher/lower on certain prospects, but they add a voice from those who follow the team closely. Suggestions for teams in the remaining divisions are welcome.
  • Overall grades and risks are added, as well. Prospect lists for each team only allow comparison within each system, but adding overall 20-80 grades and risks give us the ability to cross-examine lists more objectively. Unfortunately, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus are currently the only ones that include a specific final grade of these characteristics, with Sickels adding a letter grade that combines the two. The grades and risk, however, help us examine prospects across systems and over various years.

The last five columns for each team are averaged scores.

  • AVG – This is the average ranking for each prospect. I didn’t use a points system because the lists do not cover a standard number of players. Averaging the numbers by only including the lists each was ranked will help someone who has only been named in one or two lists, but it will also highlight where some controversial prospects might be.
  • RANK – This is the numbered order based on the average scores. I hope this score will highlight where gaps can be when looking at the differences between prospects.
  • GRADE – This is the average grades for players listed in Baseball America and in Baseball Prospectus.
  • RISK – This is the averaged “Risk Rating” for each prospect based on the determinations by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. The point system is unscientific and is subject to change in the future with more research. It is currently:
    • Safe – 0 points
    • Low – 1 point
    • Medium/Moderate – 2 points
    • High – 3 points
    • Extreme – 4 points
  • RISK – the qualitative risk based off the “Risk Rating”. Currently:
    • Safe – less than 1
    • Low – greater than or equal to 1 or less than 2
    • Medium – greater than or equal to 2 or less than 3
    • High – greater than or equal to 3 or less than 4
    • Extreme – equal to 4

Below the prospect lists, I calculated the average grade and risk for the entire system: the prospects with grades of 50-or-better and the prospects with grades of 60-or-better. When we get through all of the lists, I’ll put up the overall scores along with the major outlets’ farm rankings.

(The Google Doc with the individual lists and the team-specific blogs for this division can be found here)

Atlanta Braves

Player Pos AVG RANK GRADE RISK RISK
Julio Teheran RHP 1.00 1 60.0 2.0 Medium
JR Graham RHP 2.50 2 55.0 2.0 Medium
Luke Sims RHP 3.25 3 57.5 3.0 High
Sean Gilmartin LHP 5.13 4 50.0 1.5 Low
Christian Bethancourt C 5.25 5 57.5 3.5 High
Mauricio Cabrera RHP 5.75 6 57.5 3.5 High
Alex Wood LHP 6.25 7 52.5 2.0 Medium
Jose Peraza SS 9.38 8 57.5 4.0 Extreme
Evan Gattis C/OF 11.00 9 50.0 3.0 High
Todd Cunningham OF 11.50 10 45.0 2.0 Medium
Tommy La Stella 2B 11.75 11 50.0 2.0 Medium
Matt Lipka OF 12.00 12 50.0 3.0 High
Edward Salcedo 3B 13.20 13 50.0 3.0 High
Cody Martin RHP 13.50 14 50.0 3.0 High
David Peterson RHP 14.00 15 - - -
Luis Merejo LHP 14.50 16 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Navery Moore RHP 15.75 17 50.0 3.0 High
Joe Terdoslavich 1B/OF 15.75 18 50.0 3.0 High
David Hale RHP 16.00 19 45.0 3.0 High
Aaron Northcraft RHP 16.75 20 45.0 3.0 High
Juan Jaime RHP 17.33 21 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Bryan De La Rosa C 18.00 22 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Josh Elander C 18.75 23 50.0 3.0 High
Luis Avilan LHP 19.00 24 - - -
Carlos Franco 3B 20.67 25 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Kyle Kubitza 3B 21.00 26 45.0 3.0 High
William Beckwith 1B 22.00 27 - - -
Billy Bullock RHP 22.00 28 45.0 3.0 High
Cory Gearrin RHP 23.00 29 - - -
Nathan Hyatt RHP 24.00 30 45.0 3.0 High
Carlos Perez LHP 25.00 31 45.0 3.0 High
Robby Hefflinger OF 26.00 32 45.0 3.0 High
Fernelys Sanchez OF 27.00 33 - - -
Daniel Rodriguez LHP 28.00 34 - - -
Justin Black OF 29.00 35 - - -
System Grade System Risk 50+ 50+ Grade 50+ Risk 60+ 60+ Grade 60+ Risk
50.268 2.982 20 52.375 3.025 1 60.000 2.000

Trading away several prospects to get a potential superstar isn’t going to help your farm system, but A) trading them got you a superstar and B) the system wasn’t terribly strong before that. Recent promotions have left Julio Teheran as the top prospect with some interesting arms behind him. Jose Peraza, a notable shortstop prospect, saw wide variations in rankings.

Miami Marlins

Player Pos AVG RANK GRADE RISK RISK
Jose Fernandez RHP 1.13 1 70.0 2.0 Medium
Christian Yelich OF 1.88 2 62.5 2.0 Medium
Justin Nicolino LHP 4.13 3 57.5 2.0 Medium
Jake Marisnick OF 4.13 4 60.0 3.0 High
Andrew Heaney LHP 4.25 5 60.0 2.0 Medium
Marcell Ozuna OF 6.38 6 55.0 3.0 High
Adeiny Hechavarria SS 7.43 7 50.0 2.0 Medium
Rob Brantly C 8.86 8 47.5 1.5 Low
Adam Conley LHP 9.29 9 50.0 3.0 High
JT Realmuto C 9.75 10 50.0 3.0 High
Jose Urena RHP 10.00 11 55.0 3.0 High
Derek Dietrich SS/2B 10.83 12 50.0 3.0 High
Mason Hope RHP 13.00 13 - - -
Zack Cox 3B 13.33 14 50.0 3.0 High
Avery Romero SS 13.71 15 50.0 3.0 High
AJ Ramos RHP 14.00 16 45.0 2.0 Medium
Austin Brice RHP 14.67 17 55.0 3.0 High
Noah Perio 2B 15.00 18 - - -
Alfredo Silverio OF 15.67 19 55.0 4.0 Extreme
Kolby Copeland OF 16.40 20 50.0 3.0 High
Jesus Solorzano OF 16.75 21 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Charlie Lowell LHP 17.00 22 - - -
Tom Koehler RHP 19.00 23 - - -
Austin Dean OF 19.00 24 50.0 3.0 High
Arquimedes Caminero RHP 19.00 25 - - -
Chris Hatcher RHP 21.00 26 45.0 2.0 Medium
Grant Dayton LHP 21.50 27 45.0 2.0 Medium
Chad James LHP 22.00 28 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Austin Barnes 2B 22.00 29 45.0 3.0 High
Brian Flynn LHP 22.00 30 45.0 2.0 Medium
Raudel Lazo LHP 22.00 31 45.0 2.0 Medium
Jake Esch RHP 23.00 32 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Jose Ceda RHP 27.00 33 45.0 3.0 High
Danny Black SS 28.00 34 45.0 3.0 High
Brent Keys OF 30.00 35 45.0 3.0 High
System Grade System Risk 50+ 50+ Grade 50+ Risk 60+ 60+ Grade 60+ Risk
51.083 2.750 20 54.000 2.950 4 63.125 2.250

The massive trade with Toronto crippled the major-league team, but the Marlins did grab some farm talent in the deal. The very top prospects have fairly low risks, and we’ll get to see top prospect, Jose Fernandez, surprisingly start the season in Miami. Avery Romero and Austin Brice both received a few top 10 mentions while also being late in top 20s.

New York Mets

Player Pos AVG RANK GRADE RISK RISK
Zack Wheeler RHP 1.25 1 67.5 2.0 Medium
Travis d’Arnaud C 1.75 2 60.0 1.5 Low
Noah Syndergaard RHP 3.00 3 65.0 3.0 High
Wilmer Flores 3B 5.88 4 50.0 3.0 High
Michael Fulmer RHP 6.43 5 55.0 3.0 High
Brandon Nimmo OF 6.75 6 52.5 3.5 High
Gavin Cecchini SS 7.25 7 52.5 3.0 High
Rafael Montero RHP 7.38 8 52.5 3.0 High
Jeurys Familia RHP 8.00 9 50.0 2.0 Medium
Luis Mateo RHP 8.50 10 50.0 3.0 High
Domingo Tapia RHP 8.63 11 52.5 3.0 High
Jake DeGrom RHP 12.00 12 50.0 3.0 High
Rainy Lara RHP 13.00 13 - - -
Cory Mazzoni RHP 14.00 14 50.0 3.0 High
Hansel Robles RHP 14.67 15 50.0 3.0 High
Matt Den Dekker OF 15.33 16 45.0 2.0 Medium
Wilfredo Tovar SS 15.67 17 50.0 3.0 High
Kevin Plawecki C 15.83 18 50.0 3.0 High
Cesar Puello OF 17.00 19 50.0 3.0 High
Philip Evans SS 18.00 20 50.0 3.0 High
Matthew Reynolds 3B 18.00 21 - - -
Aderlin Rodriguez 3B 18.00 22 50.0 3.0 High
Gabriel Ynoa RHP 18.33 23 50.0 3.0 High
Cory Vaughn OF 19.00 24 50.0 3.0 High
Danny Muno INF 19.00 25 - - -
Robert Carson LHP 19.00 26 45.0 2.0 Medium
German Rosario SS 20.00 27 - - -
Jack Leathersich LHP 20.25 28 45.0 2.0 Medium
Collin McHugh RHP 21.50 29 45.0 2.0 Medium
Steve Matz LHP 22.33 30 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Logan Verrett RHP 24.33 31 45.0 2.0 Medium
Matt Reynolds SS 25.00 32 50.0 3.0 High
Juan Lagares OF 26.00 33 - - -
Amed Rosario SS 26.00 34 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Wuilmer Becerra OF 26.00 35 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Tyler Pill RHP 27.00 36 45.0 2.0 Medium
Vicente Lupo OF 27.00 37 - - -
Darrell Ceciliani OF 29.00 38 45.0 2.0 Medium
Cam Maron C 32.00 39 45.0 3.0 High
System Grade System Risk 50+ 50+ Grade 50+ Risk 60+ 60+ Grade 60+ Risk
50.530 2.788 25 52.300 3.000 3 64.167 2.167

The Toronto Blue Jays continued to add to NL East farm systems, this time in New York in the process of acquiring R.A. Dickey. Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard combine with Zack Wheeler to give the Mets a strong top of the system. Following them are several high-risk/high-reward players to keep an eye on.

Philadelphia Phillies

Player Pos AVG RANK GRADE RISK RISK
Jesse Biddle LHP 1.38 1 57.5 2.5 Medium
Adam Morgan LHP 3.13 2 57.5 2.5 Medium
Roman Quinn SS 3.25 3 60.0 3.5 High
Tommy Joseph C 4.38 4 52.5 2.0 Medium
Jonathan Pettibone RHP 5.25 5 50.0 2.0 Medium
Maikel Franco 3B 6.38 6 57.5 3.0 High
Ethan Martin RHP 6.50 7 57.5 2.5 Medium
Cody Asche 3B 7.29 8 50.0 2.0 Medium
Shane Watson RHP 10.00 9 55.0 3.0 High
Carlos Tocci OF 10.17 10 57.5 4.0 Extreme
Darin Ruf OF 10.20 11 45.0 1.0 Low
Larry Greene OF 10.25 12 55.0 4.0 Extreme
Sebastian Valle C 12.20 13 50.0 3.0 High
Phillippe Aumont RHP 12.20 14 50.0 3.0 High
Kenny Giles RHP 13.50 15 50.0 3.0 High
Austin Wright LHP 14.00 16 50.0 3.0 High
Gabriel Lino C 14.00 17 - - -
Cesar Hernandez 2B 15.00 18 45.0 2.0 Medium
Mitch Gueller RHP 15.25 19 50.0 3.0 High
Kevin Btady RHP 16.00 20 - - -
Justin DeFratus RHP 17.00 21 45.0 2.0 Medium
Kelly Dugan OF 18.00 22 - - -
Mitch Walding 3B 18.00 23 50.0 3.0 High
Hoby Milner LHP 20.00 24 - - -
Brody Colvin RHP 20.00 25 45.0 3.0 High
Tyler Cloyd RHP 21.00 26 40.0 1.0 Low
Cameron Rupp C 22.00 27 45.0 2.0 Medium
Andrew Pullin OF 23.50 28 45.0 3.0 High
Zach Collier OF 24.00 29 45.0 3.0 High
Kyle Simon RHP 24.50 30 45.0 3.0 High
Aaron Altherr OF 25.00 31 45.0 3.0 High
Tyson Gillies OF 26.00 32 45.0 3.0 High
Dylan Cozens 1B 27.00 33 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Kyrell Hudson OF 29.00 34 50.0 4.0 Extreme
System Grade System Risk 50+ 50+ Grade 50+ Risk 60+ 60+ Grade 60+ Risk
50.000 2.767 19 53.158 3.000 1 60.000 3.500

The Phillies don’t have a ton of upper-echelon prospects, but they do have some lower risk prospects at the top. Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, and John Pettibone give the Phillies potential rotation options, and high volatility prospects Roman Quinn and Maikel Franco give the system a little upside.

Washington Nationals

Player Pos AVG RANK GRADE RISK RISK
Anthony Rendon 3B 1.13 1 65.0 3.0 High
Brian Goodwin OF 2.25 2 60.0 3.0 High
Lucas Giolito RHP 2.75 3 70.0 4.0 Extreme
AJ Cole RHP 3.83 4 57.5 3.0 High
Matt Skole 3B 6.00 5 50.0 2.0 Medium
Nathan Karns RHP 6.71 6 52.5 2.5 Medium
Daniel Rosenbaum LHP 7.00 7 - - -
Eury Perez OF 8.00 8 50.0 1.5 Low
Christian Garcia RHP 8.40 9 50.0 1.5 Low
Matt Purke LHP 8.43 10 55.0 4.0 Extreme
Sammy Solis LHP 8.80 11 50.0 3.0 High
Michael Taylor OF 11.00 12 55.0 4.0 Extreme
Stephen Perez SS 11.00 13 - - -
Destin Hood OF 11.60 14 50.0 3.0 High
Tony Renda 2B 12.00 15 50.0 3.0 High
Zach Walters SS 12.40 16 45.0 2.0 Medium
Robbie Ray LHP 13.00 17 50.0 3.0 High
Brett Mooneyham LHP 13.80 18 50.0 3.0 High
Cutter Dykstra 2B/3B 14.00 19 - - -
Sandy Leon C 14.67 20 45.0 2.0 Medium
Chris Marrero 1B 15.67 21 45.0 2.0 Medium
Carlos Rivero 3B 16.67 22 45.0 2.0 Medium
Taylor Jordan RHP 16.67 23 50.0 3.0 High
Jason Martinson SS 16.75 24 50.0 3.0 High
Rick Hauge SS 17.00 25 50.0 3.0 High
Brandon Miller OF 17.25 26 50.0 3.0 High
Estarlin Martinez OF 19.00 27 50.0 3.0 High
Steven Souza OF 20.00 28 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Aaron Barrett RHP 20.00 29 - - -
Corey Brown OF 21.00 30 45.0 2.0 Medium
Billy Burns OF 21.00 31 45.0 3.0 High
Ivan Pineyro RHP 28.00 32 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Paul Demny RHP 29.00 33 45.0 3.0 High
Wirkin Estevez RHP 30.00 34 50.0 4.0 Extreme
Jhonatan Solano C 31.00 35 40.0 1.0 Low
System Grade System Risk 50+ 50+ Grade 50+ Risk 60+ 60+ Grade 60+ Risk
50.645 2.823 23 52.826 3.065 3 65.000 3.333

The Nationals farm system has weakened in the past few seasons, but that’s mainly because of graduations and trades. Anthony Rendon, Brian Goodwin, and Lucas Giolito, however, give the Nationals an enviable trio at the top. Michael Taylor (no, not that one) is another guy who could add some star-power to the list, but everyone’s not sold on him yet.


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