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Monday, February 25, 2013

Baseball Prospectus | Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Top 101 Prospects

Here’s their Top Ten:

1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers
2. Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals
3. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pirates
4. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles
5. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets
6. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Marlins
7. Wil Myers, CF, Rays
8. Byron Buxton, CF, Twins
9. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners
10. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:53 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: prospects

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4375789)
especially when they're pitchers
   2. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4375821)
Wil Myers down to #7 on this list I see. He was still #4 on the one we saw last week. Ooh, they're calling him a CF -- if they believe that, surely he should be higher than #7. Of course with pitchers at 3-6 that moves him up at least two spots. :-)
   3. Danny Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4375822)
Interesting to see the wide divergence on Addison Russell:

ESPN: #10
BP: #22
BA: #48
   4. JJ1986 Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4375828)
Noah Syndergaard has very divergent rankings too. Law had him 97th, BA had him 54th and he's 28th here.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4375833)
Adablerto Mondesi is a bit of a surprise. He didn't make Mayo's, Law's, or BA's Top 100 list. He's #58 here. I like him but he's played all of 50 games of affiliated baseball and he's 17. And yes, he's Raul's kid - confusing because there is also a Raul Mondesi Jr.
   6. Steve N Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4375838)
Is #12, Bogaerts, the guy who played for Hogwarts last year?
   7. Willie Mayspedes Posted: February 25, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4375842)
#3 I liked that his glove had the highest rank out of his tools in the scouting link.

The Tools: 6 potential hit; 6 potential power; 6 arm; 7 glove
   8. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4375856)
Adalberto Mondesi might seem like a guy with helium based on his on-the-field statistics/age. I don’t care about his numbers. Go watch this kid. Those who have seen him in person know what I’m talking about. He has “it,” and you know what that looks like when you see it. It’s part instinct and part tools, but it's full prospect. He’s special. Even if the production slumps in full-season ball, keep him on the radar. He has high-end impact potential. It’s there. Just wait.


That's pretty amusing coming from BP.
   9. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 25, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4375865)
The Phillies have 1, count 'em 1 on the list, and the blurb at the end wonders if Jesse Biddle isn't rated too high at 67. Oh lordy, 2015-2020 are looking mighty grim.
   10. Austin Posted: February 25, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4375866)
That's pretty amusing coming from BP.

The current BP scouting staff bears zero resemblance to the image of BP that most people here seem to have. Calling them anti-stat wouldn't really be wrong.
   11. madvillain Posted: February 25, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4375868)
Don't really agree with their reasons for excluding Courtney Hawkins. It's not like he didn't perform last year. As a 18 year old straight out of high school between rookie ball, low-a and high-a he put up a combined 802 OPS. Yea he's raw but it seems ridiculous to punish a guy by saying "he could get fat". All guys could get fat, Hawkins has an athletic frame he should be able to add a few lbs and carry it well.
   12. JJ1986 Posted: February 25, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4375873)
That's pretty amusing coming from BP.


Not as funny as Keith Law dismissing opinions because they aren't based on scouting.
   13. madvillain Posted: February 25, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4375884)
Not as funny as Keith Law dismissing opinions because they aren't based on scouting.


Law is a great example that to be successful in this media climate it's better to be loud and often wrong then often right but quiet.
   14. Danny Posted: February 25, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4375899)
The current BP scouting staff bears zero resemblance to the image of BP that most people here seem to have. Calling them anti-stat wouldn't really be wrong.

Like Kevin Goldstein last offseason on Tommy Milone: "Milone is 84-88 mph and won't miss bats in the big leagues. His ceiling is a fringy reliever."

   15. PreservedFish Posted: February 25, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4375905)
How do these sorts of people get good at scouting? How do they know that they are good? I've been noticing this in all sorts of Fangraphs articles recently, the author dropping scouting observations as if he knew what he was talking about. I feel like, for a journalist, writing scouting reports is probably similar to reviewing restaurants. No formal training is required, it's almost impossible for the reader to verify conclusions, and ultimately persuasive writing is more important than actual skill in the task at hand.
   16. Dan Posted: February 25, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4375915)
Wil Myers down to #7 on this list I see. He was still #4 on the one we saw last week. Ooh, they're calling him a CF -- if they believe that, surely he should be higher than #7. Of course with pitchers at 3-6 that moves him up at least two spots. :-)


Those were my first thoughts on reading the list: Why is Myers listed as a CF? and Why is Myers below all 4 of those pitchers on the list?

Sometimes you get the feeling that the guys making these lists just want to be contrarian, especially with picks like Mondesi and the description given. If he makes it, the author will point ot his writeup on Mondesi and say "see? I saw it in this guy when BA, Law, etc. saw nothing an ignored him!" And if he washes out, no one will remember the random odd pick as long as the list overall is mostly in agreement with the other prospect lists out there.
   17. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 06:35 PM (#4375926)
How do these sorts of people get good at scouting? How do they know that they are good?

Jason Parks, who wrote the actual comments in the piece, says a bit about his background here, when he was first put in charge of BP's scouting (iirc, he's written a few columns about actually scouting and being on the road and stuff that were pretty interesting), and they present the background of a lot of their new scouting guys (who I assume had input into this piece) here. Quick summary: some of them are people who know a lot of scouts/have a lot of contacts, some of them are people who've done work with scouting/amateur analysis websites or were trained as scouts, and some of them have less serious experience.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2013 at 06:40 PM (#4375928)
How do these sorts of people get good at scouting?

Generally speaking, they don't. Some certainly pick up a lot of knowledge by going to lots of minor-league games, talking with scouts, etc. MWE is pretty reliable and a guy like Harveys (not a prospect hound really) has spent a lifetime watching a ton of baseball and gets to talk to people around the game. Presumably Goldstein, Law and others have been doing that sort of thing for a while now and can at least be considered some sort of "afficionado" if not necessarily an expert. But even so, most of the time people writing such things are, at best, relying on the opinions of real scouts. Which isn't a bad thing necessarily but should be sourced accordingly.

But I don't particularly believe a scout when he says "this kid has IT". If 50 scouts say "this kid has IT" then the kid is probably a pretty good bet. We can pretty much all tell when a kid has a ton of talent if we get to see him, especially for position players -- Griffey, Sosa, Mel Hall, Dunston -- but which ones have that little bit extra talent is hard to pick and is where I need to see consensus (Griffey). And which ones are gonna find the path to maximizing that talent? I don't think anybody is good at that.

But it's standard cooptation behavior too -- and I don't mean this entirely negatively, we all do it. The closer you get to the game, the more you get exposed to consensus viewpoints and the more pushback you'll get about dismissing consensus viewpoints, so you start to compromise. Perfectly good, human behavior and usually the best way to go. Old BPro did this too. For a few years they called the Braves idiots for not playing Marcus Giles and kinda jerking him around. Then they played him and he kinda stunk. So the next saason, their write up on Giles was "OK, we give in, Cox was right, we were idiots for doubting him, Giles will never amount to anything." Cox, showing he really was smarter than BPro, continued to play Giles and he busted out.

Basically, if you let your arrogance overrule your uncertainty, the gods will make sure to embarrass you. Early statheads and early anti-statheads both let their arrogance lead the way and both were embarrassed. Then, as if they'd met around a round table or something, they ended up in the equally embarrassing middle. Now your statheads gotta pretend they have scout cred and probably every top scout is walking around with a tablet.

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