Monday, 13 February 2012

Seek professional help!

Or, ya know, not.

As promised, I've compiled the prospect rankings from several high profile professional baseball observers into a "poll" style ranking. This is somewhat modified in that I have 5 lists which go to at least 15 names and two more that i wish to include which only go 10 deep. I ranked them on a 15 points for #1, 14 for #2 and etc system. which means, of course, that its mildly skewed by the two short lists.

What resulted, however, was a pretty reliable ranking. There's a clear drop off, between #12 and #13. Ten of those top 12 appear on both the short lists, and there's only two places in the ranking where the most generous assumption would change the ranking. Of the top 12, all of them appear on at least four lists and none of the rest do.

Twenty players in all were mentioned among the seven lists and they may comfortably be considered the consensus top 20, but given the short lists I'll give you a Top 12 list, and 8 honorable mentions - the latter not being reliably ranked because they are usually not on the shorter lists.

Afterwards, I'll compare this ranking with my own from early in the off-season.

The "voters" here are John Sickels of Minor League Ball, Nathan Rode of Baseball America, Marc Hulet of Fangraphs, Kevin Goldstien of Baseball Prospectus, Jonathan Mayo of, Keith Law of ESPN, and Patrick Ebert of Perfect Game. Total points appear in parenthesis after the name and position.

1. Travis d'Arnaud / C (104) - Out of a possible 105 points, the highly-touted catcher (who Law, for instance, ranks the 6th best prospect in all of baseball) missed a perfect score by a single point.

2. Jake Marisnick / OF (90) - a top 3 prospect on 6 of 7 lists, he's still the #3 position player even on the 7th list.

3. Anthony Gose / CF (87) - Like Jake, Gose was hurt by a lower ranking on one list out of the seven. He was in the top 4 on the rest, and was the only player besides d'Arnaud to be ranked #1 on any list.

4. Drew Hutchison / RHP (74) - the pitching prospect on this list that you are most likely to see in a Blue Jays uniform this year, Hutch was still ranked behind the higher-ceiling but more distant prospects on some lists.

4. Noah Syndergaard /RHP (74) - the highest total among those young guns went to the big Texas righty who many feel isn't done growing as a man or as a pitcher.

6. Justin Nicolino / LHP (71) - Very close behind the two right handers come two left handers. The four were clustered together all 4 within five slots on 4 of the 7 lists.

6. Daniel Norris / LHP (71) - would have been #4 but for having been left out of Keith Law's Top 10 altogether. He was in the top 5 on 5 of the other 6 lists.

8. Deck McGuire / RHP (55) - fell between 7 and 10 on all seven lists.

9. Aaron Sanchez / RHP (45) - Was in the top 12 on six of the seven lists. He might have been on all seven but he didn't make the top 10 on one of the short lists so who knows?

10. AJ Jiminez / C (31) - In the top 12 on 5 of 7 lists. Including both short lists. The name on this list that surprises me most. I would have guessed the pros would have had him somewhere around 14-15 rather than the top 10.

11. Adonys Cardona / RHP (25) - it's encouraging to see the bonus baby already working his way up to the top of the list.

12. Asher Wojciechowski / RHP (19) - Eight starting pitchers in the Top 12 is most impressive.

Honorable mentions: Dwight Smith, Jr. / OF (10), Carlos Perez / C (9), Chris Hawkins / LF (8), Jake Anderson / RF (8), Adeiny Hechevarria / SS (8), Kevin Comer / RHP (7), Joe Musgrove / RHP (3), Matt Dean / 3B (5)

It's worth noting that 6 of the top 20 came from the 2011 draft, 12 of the top 20 were drafted in the last two years. Here's my list (adjusted due to the trade of Molina), published before any of these was known to me, from November 24, 2011:

1. d'Arnaud
2. Marisnick
3. Gose
4. Hutchison
(4. Molina)
5. Hechavarria
6. Syndergaard
7. Nicolino
8. Norris
9. Sanchez
10. Perez
11. McGuire
12. Crouse
13. Jimenez
14. Knecht
15. Cardona
16. Dean
17. Comer
18. Osuna
19. Jenkins
20. Wojciechewski

In retrospect, if the experts are to be believed, I'm somewhat too high on Hechavarria, Crouse, and Knecht. This is one of the flaws of basing a big chunk of your opinion on statistical results. Crouse (and to a lesser extent Knecht) kept pace well with Marisnick. If numbers were the primary measure one should assume a similar skill level but the scouts must see something different. I also gave too much credit to Jenkins (I really never had top-20 faith in him, I was simply compensating for what i thought was an unsupportably low view on him as a prospect.

Of the four guys I sold short, Hawkins, Anderson, Smith and Musgrove - the first three of those, in order, were the next three on my list after the top 20. At that time, i hadn't heard a ton of praise for Musgrove and figured he was a budget draft but lately I've heard more and obviously the pro-evaluators thing there's something there.

My on-going list has been revised accordingly.

Oh, and just for a little cold shower on your prospect-gasm, read this.
Hot off the wire, Kevin Goldstien has BP's Top 101 Prospects list for your consideration.

Blue Jays on the list:
#16 - Travis d'Arnaud
#28 Jake Marisnick
#54 Daniel Norris
#68 Anthony Gose
#93 Noah Syndergaard.

For comparison, the Rays have two players on the list (Matt Moore is #1 and Hak-Ju Lee is #65), the Yankees and Red Sox have 4 each. Also of note - The Padres' highest player is #38, but they have an incredible 10 prospects on the list. The A;s have 7 (the highest at #39), the Pirates have 6, and the Rangers and Rockies join the Jays with five. On the flip side, six teams have only one.

To illustrate how different guys see things differently, here's the Blue jays who made Keith law's top 100:
#6 - d'Arnaud
#42 - Hutchison
#47 - Marisnick
#59 - Gose
#96 - Sanchez

Most striking, obviously, is that Hutchison didn't make the BP list. The BA list should be coming soon with somewhere between 4 and 7 Blue Jays likely to make the cut.

Coming soon - an overview of what the minor league rosters project to look like as we count down the final few days before pitchers and catchers report.


jgadfly said...

Tammy ... Would it be possible for you to apply some of your research skills at a comparison of Marisnick vs Crouse ? I have a sense that the difference may not be as great as the pundits are projecting .

The Southpaw said...

Sadly, I have no resources but numbers - which tell me they are close - and an occasional scouting comment which suggests they are not so close -

for instance - Sickels has them over
20 spots apart on the list

BA has 20 spots between them as well.

BP and MLB go to 20 names without mentioning him and neither do any of the shorter lists.

One assumes there has to be good reason for that.

(not unlike, by the way, the difference in what we hear from scouts about Snider and Thames)