Archive for 2012 Organizational Rankings

2012 Organizational Rankings: #22 — Kansas City

Read the methodology behind the ratings here. Remember that the grading scale is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

2012 Organizational Rankings

#30 – Baltimore
#29 – Houston
#28 – Oakland
#27 – Pittsburgh
#26 – San Diego
#25 – Minnesota
#24 – Chicago White Sox
#23 – Seattle

Kansas City’s 2011 Ranking: 25th

2012 Outlook: 45 (20th)

For the first time in a while, the Royals’ hitting pre-season hitting projects to be pretty good. The offense was quietly above average in 2011 (102 wRC+), and while regression is to be expected from player like Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur, one can also expect improvement from exciting young players like Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.

The loss of Salvador Perez for a large chunk of the season will probably hurt defensively as well as offensively, but if Hosmer can start living up to his reputation in the field to go along with the strong defensive work expected from Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain, the fielding should also good on balance.

So is Kansas City ready to take a shot at Detroit in 2012?

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2012 Organizational Rankings: #23 – Seattle

Dave Cameron laid out the methodology behind the rankings last Friday. Remember that the grading scale for each category is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

2012 Organizational Rankings

#30 – Baltimore
#29 – Houston
#28 – Oakland
#27 – Pittsburgh
#26 – San Diego
#25 – Minnesota
#24 – Chicago White Sox

Seattle’s 2011 Ranking: #17

2012 Outlook: 36 (26th)

You don’t have to crunch too many numbers to figure out that this year’s Mariners are an extreme longshot to make the playoffs. They haven’t scored 600 runs in a season since 2009, and the team is breaking in a host of young, inexperienced players, many of whom have significant question marks surrounding their 2012 production levels. The team is basically betting on regression to the mean for previously useful position players (Chone Figgins, Ichiro Suzuki, and Franklin Gutierrez) to bolster the offense, but they’re still likely to be among the lowest scoring teams in the league.

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2012 Organizational Rankings: #24 — Chicago White Sox

Dave Cameron laid out the methodology behind the rankings last Friday. Remember that the grading scale for each category is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

2012 Organizational Rankings

#30 – Baltimore
#29 – Houston
#28 – Oakland
#27 – Pittsburgh
#26 – San Diego
#25 – Minnesota

Chicago’s 2011 Ranking: #14

2012 Outlook: 43 (21st)

Boy, things looked a lot better last season. Armed with the highest payroll in team history and fresh off of signing Adam Dunn, the White Sox were the pre-season favorite to win the AL Central. Dunn responded to his new team with a historically bad .159/.292/.277 slash line. Dunn’s failure at the plate was far from the only issue. All of the White Sox high profile acquisitions cratered last season. Alex Rios looked completely lost at the plate — hitting .227/.265/.348 — and Jake Peavy pitched 111.2 innings with a 4.92 ERA. On top of those issues, Gordon Beckham once again failed to live up to his promising rookie season, and Juan Pierre received 711 underwhelming plate appearances. Thankfully, Paul Konerko continued to defy Father Time — posting the fourth best season of his career at 35-years-old.

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2012 Organizational Rankings: #25 — Minnesota

Dave Cameron laid out the methodology behind the rankings last Friday. Remember that the grading scale for each category is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

2012 Organizational Rankings

#30 – Baltimore
#29 – Houston
#28 – Oakland
#27 – Pittsburgh
#26 – San Diego Read the rest of this entry »


2012 Organizational Rankings: #26 – San Diego

Read the methodology behind the ratings here. Remember that the grading scale is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

2012 Organizational Rankings

#30 – Baltimore
#29 – Houston
#28 – Oakland
#27 – Pittsburgh

San Diego’s 2011 Ranking: #20
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2012 Organizational Rankings: #27 — Pittsburgh

Read the methodology behind the ratings here. Remember that the grading scale is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

2012 Organizational Rankings

#30 – Baltimore
#29 – Houston
#28 – Oakland

Pittsburgh’s 2011 Ranking: 28th

2012 Outlook — 37 (25th)

How can a 72-win season possibly represent progress? It helps for the franchise in question to be coming off a coming off a 57-win debacle the season before. And it helps for the franchise in question to be coming off four straight last-place finishes. And it helps for the franchise in question to entering its 19th consecutive season without a playoff appearance.

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2012 Organizational Rankings: #28 – Oakland

Dave Cameron laid out the methodology behind the rankings last Friday. Remember that the grading scale for each category is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

2012 Organizational Rankings

#30 – Baltimore
#29 – Houston

Oakland’s 2011 Ranking: #18

2012 Outlook: 38 (25th)

Oakland’s neither here nor there right now, but there might not be a better team to help us through the new methodology. After all, they dropped ten rungs, and in some ways it’s business as usual in the bay.

We know going into these rankings, for example, that the current team isn’t (and hasn’t been) very good. Last year, they allowed 24 more runs than they scored, and then they spent the offseason trading away three of their top five starters, their All-Star closer, and their fourth outfielder and best left-handed reliever. Some projections have them only allowing 50 more runs than they score this season — seems almost generous after all that — but no matter what, those moves don’t really put them in a position to win more games than they won last year, right?

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2012 Organizational Rankings: #29 – Houston

Read the methodology behind the ratings here. Remember that the grading scale is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

2012 Organizational Rankings

#30 – Baltimore

Houston’s 2011 Ranking: #30

2012 Outlook: 26 (30th)

Five position players recorded a WAR above 2.0 (i.e. league average) last season for the Astros, and three of those five (Clint Barmes, Michael Bourn, and Hunter Pence) don’t play for the club anymore. Another (El Caballo himself, Mr. Carlos Lee) benefited greatly from a defensive rating (11.2 UZR) which is almost certainly not representative of his true talent. And the fifth, Brian Bogusevic, benefited not only from defensive runs (12.1 UZR in just 324.0 innings in the corner outfield) but also a .355 BABIP. All of which is a roundabout way of saying that the Astros’ present is dim. On the brightish side, J.D. Martinez appears poised to provide value on both sides of the ball, and offseason acquisition Chris Snyder (in tandem with now-less-injured Jason Castro) has a good chance of improving upon the -0.3 WAR for which Houston catchers combined in 2011. But in reality, the 2012 Astros are, on paper, perhaps the worst team in recent baseball history. They might not match the 119 loss season that the 2003 Detroit Tigers put up, but they’re a mortal lock for 90 losses and a pretty good bet for 100. This is just a roster that is not set up to compete against Major League teams.

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2012 Organizational Rankings: #30 – Baltimore

Read the methodology behind the ratings here. Remember that the grading scale is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

Baltimore’s 2011 Ranking: #16

2012 Outlook: – 31 (29th)

The Orioles would be a long shot to be a contender in any division in baseball, as their young pitching hasn’t emerged as they had hoped and they’ve struggled to find good complementary offensive pieces to surround their best young players. As such, this a team that is going to give up a lot of runs and not score enough to compensate. When you add in the level of competition they face in the American League East, it would take something close to the largest miracle in sports history for the Orioles to win their division this season. The addition of a second wild card spot does make it more possible for the Orioles to hope they can play in October again at some point, but that point is not this year. The talent level just isn’t in place to compete with good Major League teams, and in a division with three of the seven best teams in baseball ahead of them, they should consider a 75 win season a success.

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2012 Organizational Rankings: Your Turn!

Before we start rolling out our list on Monday, we figured it’d be fun to give you guys a chance to weigh in. I’ve taken the spreadsheet that we gave to our authors and put it in a viewable Google Doc, so you can simply export it to Excel and fill in the grades for each team yourself, and see what your personal organizational rankings would look like.

The document can be found here. Our methodology is explained here, and as I noted in that post, we’re using the 20-80 scale for grading. Keep in mind that you want your average grade for each category to come out to 50 (or something very close to it), and each 10 point increment represents one standard deviation from the mean. 60 is above average, 70 is excellent, and 80 is historically great. Grades above 70 and below 30 are pretty special, and shouldn’t just be handed out easily.

If you’d like to share your rankings with the world, feel free to do so in the comments section.

Update: Sky Kalkman has agreed to act as the compiler of ballots, so if you’d like your ballot counted in a composite ranking, simply use this link and submit your ballot there. You’re still welcome to post them in the comments here for pride and glory as well.


2012 Organizational Rankings: Methodology

On Monday, we’ll roll out the beginning of our annual Organizational Rankings series – the plan is to do three teams a day for 10 days, concluding with the top three teams on April 4th. Before we begin discussing each franchise, however, I thought it’d be helpful to explain some of the changes we’ve made to the system this year.

Last year, we made one key change that we’re carrying over, and will likely remain in place going forward: our authors were asked to grade individual inputs rather than overall organizational strength. Grading by components adds a layer of transparency that is important, as you can see exactly why a team ended up placing in the specific spot they land.

However, we’re upgrading the implementation of that grading scale this year. Last year, I asked all of our authors to assign letter grades to each organization in three categories: Present Talent, Financial Resources, and Baseball Operations, and then had the three guys on staff who specialized in prospect analysis grade them out in terms of Future Talent as well. We then converted the letter grades for those four variables into scores, assigned weights to the individual categories, and used the weighted averages to create a total score.

There were a few problems that arose by doing things that way, however, and we’re doing our best to fix those issues this year. Here’s how:

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