Some people love following prospects from the time the players are in high school and college to when they make it to the majors. I am not one of those people. It is important to have some idea of which prospects may have a impact in an upcoming fantasy baseball season. To keep the process simple every year, I create a combined ranking of different prospect rankings and merge them into one composite ranking. This year ranking ended using 7 different lists (I waited until Baseball America released their list to make it complete). Seven minds are better than one, especially if the one mind is mine.
The 7 different top 100 rankings I used to create the composite ranking are:
In total, 160 different players were featured by the 7 sources. To get a composite ranking, I took the average ranking of each player. For the players with no ranking from a prospect list, I set the player’s ranking to 130 (half way point between 101 and 160) for that list. Here is a look at the top 10 players (complete list on Google Docs):
The way I usually use the list is to pick the highest ranked position player that is closest to the majors. I follow this method for these 3 reasons:
1. Pitchers get hurt easier. In 2010, I took Mike Stanton before Strasburg in a draft. I was ridiculed for it. The best pitchers get hurt and lose complete seasons. Hitters don’t get hurt nearly as much.
2. Highly ranked position players historically have better careers than equally ranking pitchers.
3. I like to have the chance that the player will play in the majors that season. With 70% of all prospects flaming out, I would like to know sooner, rather than later, if the player is going to be any good.
I don’t follow the minors enough to know which prospects to draft, so I have had to adapt. I have used this method of ranking prospects for several years and it has been productive. Hopefully others can also find it useful.