Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Prospects: Revision and Consensus

So, seven weeks since I published my personal idea of what a Blue Jays prospect list would look like, and a lot has been written about the crop since then and as my list is (by virtue of the fact that I'm not a scout obviously) reflective of what others are saying, it's only fair as camps are on the verge of opening that I revise that list a bit. For reference, the original post from December is here. After that I'll get to my main purpose, which is to discuss what the consensus of the prominent available lists look like.

Point 1: I've considered 16 sources for this post, eight of them professional and eight blogger-type lists. Each group has one potential contributor still outstanding (more on that later) and of the remaining list, only two ranked Sanchez over Norris at #1. I listed them essentially tied with Sanchez only the nominal 1a because of the major league success. While the growing whisper traffic leans towards the jays giving serious consideration to giving him a chance to win the closing job reinforces that, I have still decided to call it a full flat-footed tie.

Point 2: while every list has idiosyncrasies, there wasn't that much info to convince me to drastically revise the  top 20-25 area of the list. Informally I'll acknowledge that I probably have Matt Dean (16) a little too high, and Alberto Tirado too low (21) so I'll make it simple and swap them.

Point 3: Here's my revised 31-40:
31. Jake Brentz; 32. Tom Robson, 33. Andy Burns; 34. Dan Jansen (arguably could have moved into the top 30); 35. Angel Perdomo (a couple of source were pretty high on him); 36. Yeltsin Gudino (like Perdomo, might leap into top 25 soon); 37. Juan Meza; 38. Adonys Cardona; 39. Evan Smith; 40. Daniel Lietz
Just missed: Rob Rasmussen; Chase Mallard; Christian Lopes; Jon Berti; Freddy Rodruigez. My spreadsheet has another 20+ names beyond that but I won't bore you further.

Now, with those on the record, let's get to the meat of this post. As mentioned, I considered eight sources that are either scouting related or may be presumed to be consulting scouting sources, all of which you'd instantly recognize. Of those, Fangraphs still hasn't published and I shall have to revise this post when they do (apparently the will include 8 Blue Jays in the Top 200 when Kiley McDaniel's Top 200 goes live. I'll revise based on that and then, again (if necessary) when the team specific list is published. This is done in traditional poll style with points awarded in reverse order. Of the seven lists factored in, five only go to 10 names (that I can access without subscription) so I can only do a consensus Top 10 here.

1. Norris - 68
2. Sanchez - 64
3. Pompey - 56
4. Hoffman - 46
5. Pentecost - 36
6. Travis - 26
7. Osuna - 24
8. Castro - 21
9. Urena - 9
10. Nay - 8
also receiving points: Labourt (7), Davis (7), Reid-Foley (6), Smith, Jr. (3), Tirado (3), and Smoral (1)

One further caveat - I'm pretty sure MLB hasn't revised the Jays list since the tweeked it after the Donaldson trade so that, too, might change the math here when they do.

Now to compare and contrast, the following list represents seven of 8 lists considered which originate from what I assume to be unpaid/blog sources. The one that's missing might be an exception, but my understanding is that yourvancs.com is Charlie Caskey's private blog and not a paid extension of his newspaper work. This post is so late because I really wanted to include his list but I'm going to have to resign myself to future revision.

Because six of these seven lists go at least 20 names deep, there's a point total difference once  the short list drops out. Hopefully this doesn't unnecessarily skew the totals.

1. Norris 139.5
2. Sanchez 129.5
3. Pompey 129
4. Hoffman 116
5. Osuna 103
6. Pentecost 91
7. Castro 86
8. Smith 86 (Castro did not appear on the short list, seems reasonable to assume he was at least top 20 for that blogger)
9. Urena 73
10. Travis 61* (one of my source lists was made before the trade, if he would have been at least #13 on that list then he fits here)
11. Reid-Foley 69
12. Nay 65
13. Lugo 44
14. Labourt 34
14t. Smoral 34
16. Davis 32
17. Alford 30
18. Tirado 25
19. Tellez 24
20t. Jeminez11
20t. Borucki 11

also receiving points: Jansen (10); Thomas (7); DeJong (6); Dean (6); Boyd (5); Burns (4); Cole (3); Stilson (3)

Caveat: One contributing source, CapitalJays, used a point system which required an actual  reasonable sample of playing time to be ranked. Thus, Hoffman was unrankable and Alford took a massive hit. I have arbitrarily assigned Hoffman the 4th position on that list. This doesn't impact the order since it would be impossible for him to crack the top 3 and he'd have had to be 19th or lower (unreasonable) to have fallen on the master list.

There's considerable consensus between the two lists, with the pros generally ranking Travis higher. The one difference other than order is that one blogger had Smith Jr at #5 giving him the boost necessary to push Nay out of the top 10. Beyond that, as you can see, there are another 18 names mentioned.

So there works out to three tiers - Norris/Sanchez/Pompey/Hoffman in the first (guess who has the inside edge on #1 next year), Osuna/Castro/Pentacost/Urena/Travis in the next, and 21 others in the third tier. And of course you could make a fourth out of others who got mention outside the counted rankings.  However, in the two pro lists which go to 20 names, there is only one name not mentioned above. Likewise, the vast majority of the other names mentioned by the bloggers have already been mentioned in this post so there's a pretty clear separation.

A final thought, as a VERY long view ahead to next year, one might of the first two tiers, 4 will lose their eligibility, leaving 5 to carry over to next year's Top 10. I'll go ahead and pencil in VGJ and ask the question: who are the best candidates to fill the other four spots?

For my money - Labourt, Smoral, Ried-Foley, Alford (already in mine of course), Nay,  Tirado, Smith, Jr, DeJong and Tellez are a pretty obvious group, and I'll offer a wild card: Thomas. That said, as we know prospects don't progress leinerally so  there will surely be surprises.

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