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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Top 175 MLB Prospects for 2016 - Minor League Ball

Edit: The linked spreadsheet should be useful if you have a minor league draft coming up.

John Sickel’s Top 150. It came out a few days after my simulation league’s minor league draft so it didn’t help me this year. If you haven’t had your draft yet check it out. Also, here’s an Excel sheet of most of my prep work. If you haven’t had your draft yet, I’m positive it can help you.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 08:43 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues, prospects

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   1. Mike Webber Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:51 AM (#5182876)
Thanks for the spreadsheet Jimmy!!
   2. Khrushin it bro Posted: March 28, 2016 at 02:41 PM (#5183170)
Wow Manaea at #15
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2016 at 04:23 PM (#5183320)
Just to keep things in perspective, Jesus Montero was placed on waivers today.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: March 28, 2016 at 05:16 PM (#5183360)
The list looks too top heavy with pitching (9 of top 15). He's much less impressed with Crawford (#21) than most. Not overly impressed with the Cubs, Contreras is all the way down around #150 (with Appel, Refsnyder, Aiken and Alfaro behind him) and Almora is no longer in the top 175. Maybe I'm mis-remembering but I thought Sickels was the one who always saw more in Almora than others.

Red Sox come off very well at #6, 16, 18 ... and given the pitcher-heaviness, that would be 3 of the top 9 position prospects.
   5. eddieot Posted: March 28, 2016 at 06:07 PM (#5183409)
Having spent almost 30 years as an editor I will make the case that lists like this are silly. Once you get past, say the top 50, the rest of the speculation is meaningless.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: March 28, 2016 at 07:46 PM (#5183454)
#5 ... pretty sure Sickels agrees with you. He assigns letter grades and ranks within letter grades are pretty arbitrary. Once you get past the Top 100 especially, you should take a "neighborhood" tier approach rather than "this guy at 129 is clearly better than the guy at 130."

So this year:

A: 1-8
A-: 9-25
B+: 26-77
B: 78-145
B-: 146+

He proceeds to list what must be on the order of 150 players who "can make a valid case for being in the 140-175 range." (really probably the 146-175 range, i.e. they are all B- prospects) That's always been one of his strong points -- he creates what he hopes are distinct categories of potential but doesn't oversell minute differences between any pair of prospects. Now, fair enough, that suggests he shouldn't bother with a top 175 list but people love rankings and I'll guess that draws the eyeballs better than 5 un-ordered lists by grade.

He has also generally focused more on ML-readiness and value than many other prospect lists.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:29 PM (#5183488)

Wow Manaea at #15

I've loved Manaea ever since the Royals drafted him. If he stays healthy, he has pretty high upside. That was a bitter pill to swallow for giving up Zobrist, although obviously I'd do that trade every time. Manaea has had a variety of minor injuries in his career, but nothing major with the shoulder or anything. I love his deceptive delivery and it sounds like he is throwing harder than ever.
   8. Cabbage Posted: March 28, 2016 at 10:29 PM (#5183516)
The list looks too top heavy with pitching (9 of top 15).

But for injuries, there would be a lot more high-quality pitching. Seriously, if pitching prospects only failed at the rate hitters do, I imagine the average ERA would be a lot lower. But arms explode, so things have shaken out the way they have.

There are two ways to deal with prospecting and TANSTASPP: split the rankings between arms and bats, or adjust for the risk within the rankings. Sickles used to do split lists, but everyone hated it so he switched. If you've got one list, you can either ding all the pitchers for being pitchers, or you can just ignore the risk and say "these 10 guys could win Cy Youngs".
   9. Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 06:24 AM (#5183576)
The rankings in the spreadsheet use my own arbitrary breakdown of value of the different top 100+ lists. For my own draft I reordered things using the "Bump" column, basing my adjustment on the 20/80 ratings, other things I've read, and watching some of the prospects. When I used the list for the draft, I often skipped down to draft players because of my expectations on their perceived value by the other people drafting. In later picks of the draft I also went with higher risk, higher reward picks.
   10. TomH Posted: March 29, 2016 at 07:59 AM (#5183587)
Thanks Jim, that sounds much like what I do. But what is the "20/80" you speak of?
   11. Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 02:10 PM (#5183925)
   12. A triple short of the cycle Posted: April 01, 2016 at 06:14 PM (#5186394)
Manaea reminds me a bit of Sid Fernandez. Especially from behind.

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