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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fangraphs Top 100 Prospects

24. Michael Wacha, RHP, St. Louis: The first real big shock on this list, in part because he’s ranked so high and in part because he’s ranked ahead of the likes of Shelby Miller (albeit one spot) and Trevor Rosenthal. Wacha has dominated in pro ball – both in 2012 and during this spring. Critics will say it’s because of his small sample size, as well as his limited innings due to pitch counts (rarely turning the lineup over). If you watch him pitch, though, it’s not hard to envision him dominating in longer stretches.

1. Profar
2. Taveras
3. Bundy
4. Myers
5. Bogaerts

JJ1986 Posted: March 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: prospects

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   1. salvomania Posted: March 12, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4387010)
Is it pronounced "WAH-kuh", or "WAH-cha"?
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 12, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4387025)
I'm hoping for "wa-CHAAA!"
   3. JJ1986 Posted: March 12, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4387030)
I think it's the former, though I'd spell it as Wocka.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4387034)
When you have a chance to trade a top 30 pitching prospect for the 14th best shortstop prospect in baseball, you have to take it.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 12, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4387038)
48. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado: Make-up and maturity concerns may have helped magnify Arenado’s modest 2012 season. He’ll turn 22 in April, has an impact bat if he realizes his potential and is ready for triple-A.


Arenado is having a strong spring, after having hit four homers in three games last week. He could very well be the Rockies' third baseman this year.
   6. bigboy1234 Posted: March 12, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4387085)
Arenado had a 105 wOBA+ in Double-A last year and has no time in Triple-A. I don't care how good his spring is, if he is your starting 3B, you are in some trouble. That being said he does provide great bat control, but no way is he ready.
   7. TomH Posted: March 12, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4387093)
I have lost track of how many top 100 lists there are.

Baseball America
Sickels
BB Prospectus
MLB.com
the SBNation community project list
fangraphs
rotoworld
bleacher report
???

If I simply merged the top 2 (which I personally judge as industry standards), does anyone think I would lose much insight by NOT incorporating the findings of the rest? Does anyone find speacial insight from any of the others?
   8. Willie Mayspedester Posted: March 12, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4387098)
Is his middle name Wocka Wocka?
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4387104)

Baseball America
Sickels
BB Prospectus
MLB.com
the SBNation community project list
fangraphs
rotoworld
bleacher report
???


Keith Law. BTF needs to come up with one, only it needs to be completely nonsensical.
   10. zonk Posted: March 12, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4387109)

Keith Law. BTF needs to come up with one, only it needs to be completely nonsensical.


So, let's get to it, peeps...

1) Jurickson Profar - Even without the bonus points for his name, everyone says he's awesome
2) Matt Bush - Maturity problems are behind him?
3) Wilmer Flores - Can't fight the BTF met fans voters...
4) Andy Marte - he's DUE!
5) Oscar Taveras - loses points because all the other Taveras' have sucked, gains points because STL's inherent bioengineering technology advantage over all other teams
6) Dan Vogelbach - Because it will be an absolute shame if he doesn't make it
7) Robert Bundy - Wait... he's got a brother?
8) Jerome Brown - We're not selling jeans here... are we?
9) Jacob Turner - Satan should have never allowed Loria to use public financing when he sold his soul
10) Billy Hamilton - We think he'll suck, but come on... SLIDING Billy!
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4387112)
11) Toe Nash
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:05 PM (#4387117)
Arenado had a 105 wOBA+ in Double-A last year and has no time in Triple-A. I don't care how good his spring is, if he is your starting 3B, you are in some trouble.


It's the Rockies, so yeah, they're in trouble.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4387120)
12) Barry Bonds -- some scouts question the defensive range, but there's no doubt he can hit major-league pitching
   14. Tripon Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4387123)
Its a weird day when Fangraphs ranks somebody high based on "Yeah, you just have to watch him."
   15. Walt Davis Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4387124)
13) Grant Desme -- Some think he'll never make it even as far as AA but I think he's got a higher calling ... err, ceiling.
   16. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4387171)
14) to 24) Tommy Lasorda or ten dogs
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4387173)
25) Sidd Finch, Jr. - yeah he had a son
26) that russian kid from Eastbound & Down season 3
   18. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: March 12, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4387188)
27) Wil Nieves. NOW they'll know who he is.
   19. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 12, 2013 at 06:22 PM (#4387210)
Arenado had a 105 wOBA+ in Double-A last year and has no time in Triple-A. I don't care how good his spring is, if he is your starting 3B, you are in some trouble.


If by "in some trouble" you mean "likely to lose 90-plus games," I don't disagree. That's all the more reason to throw some kids out there and see if they can play.
   20. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4387212)
1. Profar
2. Taveras
3. Bundy
4. Myers
5. Bogaerts

Please ell me #6 is a Mariner...
   21. Darren Posted: March 12, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4387213)
28. Elijah Dukes. Once he puts a few minor maturity issues behind him, he's a star.
   22. bigglou115 Posted: March 12, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4387220)
29) Jeff Francoeur. With makeup like this kid has, who needs to hit.
   23. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 12, 2013 at 06:45 PM (#4387233)
14) to 24) Tommy Lasorda or ten dogs

For a site of math geeks, I'm surprised that this egregious error has gone uncorrected for so long. That would have to be TL AND ten dogs or TL himself**, to suck up the ELEVEN places from 14 to 24, inclusive.

** If Lasorda is truly dumber than 10 dogs, then maybe he can use up all 11 places.
   24. Dan Posted: March 12, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4387245)
Pretty cool to see Bogaerts ranked at #5. I think he was in the 10-15 range on most lists.
   25. puck Posted: March 12, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4387247)
It's the Rockies, so yeah, they're in trouble.

Yeah, have you seen the incumbents?

Though since the Rockies will stink again I'd rather start Arenado in AAA and delay his service time clock.
   26. esseff Posted: March 12, 2013 at 08:07 PM (#4387276)
30) And Mike Crudale
   27. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 12, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4387282)
Please tell me #6 is a Mariner...


Actually, #6 is Gerrit Cole. The Mariners' top prospect, Mike Zunino, shows up at #12, with Tajuan Walker one slot behind.

Really, once you get below about 20, you're just throwing darts.

From TFA:

64. Carlos Sanchez, 2B, Chicago (AL): Probably the second most shocking ranking on list, I’m going against the field here with Sanchez — whom I doubt made any other Top 100 lists. The second baseman impresses me with his baseball skills, as well as the way he carries himself on the field. I think he gets a bit of a raw deal because he’s in the White Sox underrated system and because he doesn’t have loud tools. I truly think he’ll exceed expectations when given the opportunity.


The White Sox don't have an underrated system; it's legitimately bad.

Sanchez hasn't demonstrated the ability to drive the ball much at all; he has three homeruns and 54 extra-base hits in 1151 minor league PAs. He's going to have to show that major league pitchers won't knock the bat out of his hands.

-- MWE
   28. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 12, 2013 at 09:09 PM (#4387322)
Nice to see the Mets with three guys on the list, including two in Wheeler and D'Arnaud who rate to make the big club this season.
   29. Honkie Kong Posted: March 12, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4387409)
The top pitching prospect has to be Outman!
His potential is right there in the name
   30. JJ1986 Posted: March 12, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4387415)
The top pitching prospect has to be Outman!
His potential is right there in the name


That makes Grant Balfour the worst.
   31. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:06 AM (#4387423)
It makes Hugh mulcahy the worst
   32. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4387424)
That makes Grant Balfour the worst.
Or Bob Walk
   33. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4387428)
31) Chris Truby
32) Satan
33) Albert Belle is wondering what he has to do with this prospect list.
   34. rr Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4387432)
34) John Mabry
35) Cookie Monster

   35. Transmission Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:54 AM (#4387433)
36) Admiral Ackbar
37) Jeremy Giambi
   36. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:56 AM (#4387434)
Billy Beane got a steal in getting Mabry at 34 for Giambi at 37!
   37. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:58 AM (#4387435)
Now that he's out, Ugueth Urbina has to make this list, no?
   38. madvillain Posted: March 13, 2013 at 01:05 AM (#4387436)
The White Sox don't have an underrated system; it's legitimately bad.

Sanchez hasn't demonstrated the ability to drive the ball much at all; he has three homeruns and 54 extra-base hits in 1151 minor league PAs. He's going to have to show that major league pitchers won't knock the bat out of his hands.


Yea, but on the other hand at 21 years old pretty much everyone agrees his glove is ready now -- above average at 2nd and passable at SS. Yea he lacks power but his hit skill is excellent and as a 20 year old he showed it hitting 322/378/403 across 3 levels, mostly high A and AA. In a tough hitting environment at AA Birmingham he had an 886 OPS, granted it was average driven in a small sample -- but in the non silly ball era middle infielders that can hit 290/340/400 are a valued commodity.

Sanchez seems a favorite of saber and traditional types alike. The biggest knock on him is lack of power and track record. Sickels has him at a "B" FWIW.

I don't pretend to know if he's the 64th best prospect in baseball (and the fangraphs article alludes to such by placing fellow White Sox Courtney Hawkins one better) but Sanchez isn't just some toolsy kid this guy saw play once. Yea it's dart throwing but that's true for more than just Sanchez.
   39. madvillain Posted: March 13, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4387437)
Now that he's out, Ugueth Urbina has to make this list, no?


Whoever would put him that high is a real hack that should set himself on fire.
   40. Barnaby Jones Posted: March 13, 2013 at 01:47 AM (#4387439)
I have lost track of how many top 100 lists there are.

Baseball America
Sickels
BB Prospectus
MLB.com
the SBNation community project list
fangraphs
rotoworld
bleacher report
???

If I simply merged the top 2 (which I personally judge as industry standards), does anyone think I would lose much insight by NOT incorporating the findings of the rest? Does anyone find speacial insight from any of the others?


There are way, way more out there than that. I've seen a few of the "compilation" spreadsheets, and they are legion. The vast majority of these lists are, however, completely worthless. They are just different people on the internet providing no specific insight. The only ones I consider worthwhile:

1a: Baseball America - highly professional, crowd sourced industry scouting info. The gold standard for raw info and in-depth coverage.

1b: Sickels - Single voice rankings, risk-balanced approach, balanced mixture of scouts/stats, reflective on past successes/failures, been putting out prospect books longer than BA even.

3: Law: Single voice rankings, based heavily on in-person scouting; not as reliable or comprehensive as the other two, but gives a useful perspective

The other lists are basically redundant:

BP: At this point, basically just a poor man's BA; the list is crowd sourced among the (mostly) random prospect guys BP has assembled, guys who aren't journalists and don't have the same sources as BA. I thought Goldstein's unique voice and massive contact list added something unique to the discussion, but they haven't given Parks that same control of the top 100 list, and he doesn't have the experience or the same level of industry sources anyway. The team by team write-ups are more useful and this list could be more relevant again in the future.

MLB.com: I think the methodology still comes from some form of scout polling, but that has led to weird lists. Most scouts have specific coverage areas and don't see every prospect, so while they have good individual info, ranking them all isn't exactly within their scope. Again, the methodology isn't 100% clear. Essentially, though, you are getting the crowd sourcing of BA, but put together somewhat oddly by a single editor.

SBNation community list: What random internet people think; wholly derivative, and prone to over exuberance on a number of guys. Better than some other random internet lists due to crowd sourcing.

FanGraphs: Who cares? I have no idea what they claim to be adding to the discussion, or why we should value their opinion on prospect info.

Rotoworld/Rotoanalysis/BaseballHQ/Bleacherreport/BullpenBanter/TopProspectAlert/Scout.com/ScoutingBook/etc.: Mostly just noise. None of these have made a compelling case as to why their opinions should matter.
   41. TomH Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:54 AM (#4387456)
excellent, Barnaby; exactly the analysis I was looking for.
   42. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4387508)
38) Pavement
39) colin farrell
40) Who else? Octavio Dotel.


FanGraphs: Who cares? I have no idea what they claim to be adding to the discussion, or why we should value their opinion on prospect info.


I think its all Marc Hulett, although I could be wrong. He goes out and watches games and videos like I guess Sickels does, but I don't think he's been doing it as long or as well as John.
   43. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4387514)
I do want to speak up for the minor league baseball analyst (put out by baseball hq). Not fans of their player rankings, but a valuable resource.

Also, I think Scout.com recently hired McDaniel, who seems to know what he's talking about.

FanGraphs: I think it's all Hulet as well; wouldn't know.
   44. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4387580)
BP has some pretty good guys, although losing Goldstein hurts. Hulet's also pretty solid for FanGraphs, and Jonathan Mayo drives MLB.com's effort. Yeah, they may be a cut below BA and Sickels, but I'd group them with Law on the next tier. I think there's some value in almost every such list, especially in identifying potential sleepers.

#38: The success rate for players like Sanchez, whose offensive value is almost entirely based on hits and walks, is pretty low. Every so often you get someone like Luis Castillo who can fashion a career out of that skill set, but in this day and age it's pretty rare.

-- MWE
   45. JJ1986 Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4387587)
Sickels list is out now.

I do want to speak up for the minor league baseball analyst (put out by baseball hq). Not fans of their player rankings, but a valuable resource.


This is the one baseball annual that I keep out during the year for reference. Very good at creating a snapshot of a player who I don't know anything about.
   46. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4387598)
41. Free Erubiel Durazo
42. Jackie Rexrode
   47. esseff Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4387599)
24. Michael Wacha, RHP, St. Louis: The first real big shock on this list,


64. Carlos Sanchez, 2B, Chicago (AL): Probably the second most shocking ranking on list,


I suppose there have been times when I've surprised myself, but this seems like an odd way for the author to characterize rankings that he drew up.

I guess he's saying that these players are far higher on his list than on other top-100s.
   48. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4387606)
Also, Sanchez is too high - I'm 90% with Mike here.
   49. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4387626)

I suppose there have been times when I've surprised myself, but this seems like an odd way for the author to characterize rankings that he drew up.

I guess he's saying that these players are far higher on his list than on other top-100s. look at my list, it is different than other lists because look how smart I am.
   50. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4387657)
I think it's all Hulet as well; wouldn't know.


Who takes over during Monsieur Hulet's holiday?
   51. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: March 13, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4387678)
Re: Arenado,
Who are the last two Rockies to play 150+ games at the age of 22?

One is easy, the other "shocking"
   52. Barnaby Jones Posted: March 13, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4387708)
BP has some pretty good guys, although losing Goldstein hurts. Hulet's also pretty solid for FanGraphs, and Jonathan Mayo drives MLB.com's effort. Yeah, they may be a cut below BA and Sickels, but I'd group them with Law on the next tier. I think there's some value in almost every such list, especially in identifying potential sleepers.


I like reading Parks; not only is he a good writer, he has his own perspective, and I find that useful. He's similar to Law in that going and seeing a player plays a big role in his thought process. But the top 100 isn't just his list; it is the consensus opinion of the whole "prospect staff," most of whom have not shown any reason for me to care what they think.

Mayo is a journalist who aggregates scouting info. I've never gotten the sense that he's adding anything unique of his own (not necessarily a bad thing). That's not worthless, but it's redundant if you already have BA. His rankings end up fairly different than other outlets, but different doesn't mean useful. Again, the individual team writeups are more interesting, since it can clue you in on guys that have piqued some scout's imagination somewhere, but we are just talking about the top 100. When it comes to value ranking my prospects in my preposterously deep dynasty league, those top 100 lists don't really add anything beyond BA and Sickels.

Hulet... I've been reading him off and on since his Baseball Analyst days, and I've never found him particularly useful. I mean, his info is fine, I suppose, but it has always struck me as just a watered down version of what you get elsewhere, even in his team writeups. He's like the megablocks of prospect guys. He's fine, I guess, if that's all you have; but if you have legos, there is really no point to him. He's redundant.

I don't find "different" choices to be useful as sleeper pick unless the guy naming them as a sleeper has some cachet. I mean, anybody can just throw some crap at the wall and see what sticks.
   53. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:51 PM (#4388055)
43. Mariano Rivera -- he needs to develop an out pitch but should be a serviceable #4 starter
   54. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:03 AM (#4388061)
44. Marco Rubio -- noted Cuban and South American player rep thinks he has skills. Not sure if he can go right, however.
   55. jyjjy Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4388152)
@53 - If he could have been a serviceable starter they would have made him one by now. A reliever shouldn't even be allowed in the top 50.
   56. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:30 AM (#4388163)

Who are the last two Rockies to play 150+ games at the age of 22?

One is easy, the other "shocking"


Since no one guessed, I'll say Tulo and Neifi Perez.
   57. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 14, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4388231)
I had to look up which BTF whipping boy Perez had greater value, Timo or Neifi.

From BBRef, Timo's 0.8 > Neifi's 0.7, in 1/3 of the games.

In a humorous side-note, King Kauffman sponsors Neifi.

EDIT: Measurement is WAR, in case that isn't obvious.

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