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Cubs Top Prospects Master List


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#1 T C

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 05:26 PM

With all the recent Cubs' Top Prospects lists being debuted, I decided to jump in on the fun and put together a master list consisting of our prospects' average rankings. I went through 7 different rankings of our organization (Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America, FanGraphs, BleacherNation, Baseball Instinct, and two lists from Bullpen Banter. More will be added as they are released) and chose our top 22 prospects based on their frequency on these lists (Only these 22 received more than one place on a list, with the exception of Austin Kirk, who is here for placing 9th in the FanGraphs rankings).

Cubs Prospect Master List:

1. Brett Jackson (1.29 average rank, 5 1st place ranks)
2. Javier Baez (1.86, 2 1st place ranks)
3. Matt Szczur (3.57)
4. Trey McNutt (4.86)
5. Dillon Maples (6.67)
6. Jeimer Candelario (7.25)
7. Junior Lake (7.33)
8. Ben Wells (7.75)
9. Josh Vitters (8.29)
10. Daniel Vogelbach (8.71)
11. Wellington Castillo (8.83)
12. Austin Kirk (9.00)
13. Chris Carpenter (10.0)
14. Dae-Eun Rhee (11.0)
14. Rafael Dolis (11.0)
16. Jae-Hoon Ha (12.0)
16. Reggie Golden (12.0)
18. Marco Hernandez (12.25)
19. Zeke DeVoss (12.33)
20. DJ Lemahieu (13.00)
21. Tony Zych (13.50)
22. Ryan Flaherty (15.50)

A few notes:

- The differences between average ranks and ranks on this list are due to the opinions of each ranking system being weighted equally. (I might re-do this later with more weight given to BP BA FG and BN, but for now, its staying as is)

-There are some clear groups that scouts/writers have placed our prospects. There is a clear Top 2 in Jackson and Baez, a clear 2nd Tier in Szczur and McNutt, and then several groups below it. (Tier 3 is Maples, Candelario, Lake, and Wells. Tier 4 has Vitters, Vogelbach, Castillo, Kirk and Carpenter.)

-It is interesting to note that Tier 3 consists of 3 players (Maples, Candelario, and Lake) who are seen to have enormous upside, but are all still very young. These players are all capable of rocketing up the rankings in the next year and flying through the system, a la Starlin Castro, who was ranked about 7th pre-2009.

-Also interesting is that Tier 4 is made up of exclusively of players who were ranked all over the damn place.
-Castillo was ranked as high as 3rd by BP, and as low as 14th (FanGraphs)
-Vitters ranges from 4th to 11th
-Vogelbach ranges from 6th to 12th

-If you read the FanGraphs article, you'll notice that their ranking of the Cubs' Prospects is very pitcher-heavy, containing a lot of names that dont often show up elsewhere.

-Only 5 players show up on all 7 lists I looked at: Jackson, Baez, Szczur, Maples, and Vitters.

Hopefully some of you find this interesting/useful! I will be updating this as more and more sites release their rankings

#2 Brett

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:40 PM

Duuuuude. This is awesome. It's amazing how it bears out a lot of the things we "believe" about the Cubs' system - namely, a lack of high-level prospects, a very deep system (reflected in the all-over-the-map of the tier 4 rankings), and some of the best prospects being super young, high upside types.

One question, and I'm probably just missing it - how was the BCS% calculated? I know that it starts with the 25, 24, etc. points, but how do you get to the percentage?

#3 T C

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:40 AM

Duuuuude. This is awesome. It's amazing how it bears out a lot of the things we "believe" about the Cubs' system - namely, a lack of high-level prospects, a very deep system (reflected in the all-over-the-map of the tier 4 rankings), and some of the best prospects being super young, high upside types.

One question, and I'm probably just missing it - how was the BCS% calculated? I know that it starts with the 25, 24, etc. points, but how do you get to the percentage?


Thanks!! and yea, it was really cool to see them fall into groups that made some sort of sense. To be fair, a lot of what we "believe" just gets cycled around and turned into hard facts, but I think the great discrepancies between the BP, BA, and FanGraphs lists were fascinating, and points to a very confusing system that could possibly provide some great talent.

I threw this all together in like 30 minutes this afternoon, so its not very useful at the moment. At the moment, a player isn't being hurt too much by not appearing in some rankings. I want to change that, but I read somewhere today that guys like Jim Callis refuse to rank some really young guys, so it would be unfair to the Candelarios in the system....

As far as the BCS, it goes (total points)/(25*ballots cast). So a unanimous #1 gets a % of 1, and everyone falls into place behind. It's not really useful, but I had College Football Live on in the background while doing this, so somehow I decided it would be a good thing to include...

If you want me to upload the excel file so you can play around with it I'd be more than willing to do so

#4 Fishin Phil

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 06:32 AM

Thanks for doing this TC. Very interesting!
Please don't feed the psychos.

#5 JasonB

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 09:08 PM

So if Jackson and Baez are in the same conference, should they be able to play each other for the National Championship?

#6 SirCub

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 10:31 PM

Great work TC. The average of a group of models tends to outperform each individual model.

#7 Brett

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:04 AM

So if Jackson and Baez are in the same conference, should they be able to play each other for the National Championship?

Circa 2006: NO WAY THAT'S RIDICULOUS!!!!

Circa 2011: Of course. If they're the best two players.

#8 King Jeff

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:40 AM

Chris Rusin, Nick Struck, Aaron Kurcz, and Larry Suarez. I think any of them could be placed on the list anywhere below Trey McNutt. Which is what everyone is saying, in a nutshell, there are a few top level guys, and a bunch of guys below that who could be ranked anywhere form 5-30. It's a deep system, light at the top, heavy at the bottom, full of guys at the lower levels, and not really anyone outside of Jackson who is ready to contribute in the majors.

#9 T C

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 01:44 PM

So if Jackson and Baez are in the same conference, should they be able to play each other for the National Championship?


Personally, if they've played each other already, then I think no. The reason there's no playoff system between these guys is cause all the rich A-ball team owners keep saying that the regular season's the playoffs. I mostly agree with that, and if theyve already played, then there is no reason for them to play again...Alaba- er, Baez has already played LSU, so they've already blown their chance....

Chris Rusin, Nick Struck, Aaron Kurcz, and Larry Suarez. I think any of them could be placed on the list anywhere below Trey McNutt. Which is what everyone is saying, in a nutshell, there are a few top level guys, and a bunch of guys below that who could be ranked anywhere form 5-30. It's a deep system, light at the top, heavy at the bottom, full of guys at the lower levels, and not really anyone outside of Jackson who is ready to contribute in the majors.


Yep, theyre all in that area, but I mostly see them barely ranked at all, whereas there are at least a few other pitchers besides McNutt who are showing up fairly consistently

#10 T C

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:51 PM

edit: whoa pretty sure i just broke something...

#11 T C

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:58 PM

Ok, re-did the BCS% thing, and here's the update:

This was calculated as such, based off of 7 lists:

Players got 25 pts for 1st, 24 for 2nd, etc. for every list. This was totaled, then divided by 175 (25*7). This calculation is a kind of weighted Ranked%, because it takes into account whether or not a player was ranked on every list (not ranked=no points), and gives more points to those who were ranked higher. While this means that players who were ranked lower but appeared on all lists skew towards the higher side, that in itself is a sign that there is more confidence in that prospect

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#12 JasonB

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:45 PM


So if Jackson and Baez are in the same conference, should they be able to play each other for the National Championship?

Circa 2006: NO WAY THAT'S RIDICULOUS!!!!

Circa 2011: Of course. If they're the best two players.


Ouch - almost forgot about that. Has to sting to watch this as a Michigan grad

#13 Cubsin

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 12:48 PM

I still don't understand how Baez, who only played a handful of games at Mesa and Boise, can be first or second on most of these lists while Candelario was omitted entirely from many of them after his monster season in the DSL.

#14 T C

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:24 PM

I still don't understand how Baez, who only played a handful of games at Mesa and Boise, can be first or second on most of these lists while Candelario was omitted entirely from many of them after his monster season in the DSL.


It has to do with scouting, primarily. Baez is purported to have the best bat in the 2011 draft, and he plays a premium position. Although he isn't expected to stick at SS, his bat is good enough that it will still be outstanding for a 3B, and I've even read it would hold up well in RF. Basically, scouts are enamored with him, so he gets ranked highly.

Candelario is very good, but he has a few things hurting him. The main one is, DOSL stats, while nice to look at, really don't mean much at all. He has yet to play rookie ball, and every year many prospects just cannot make that transition. Also, it's not too difficult to find players with very good stats in that league. Most of them wont even play A ball. Other issues include: He's not really well known; some scouts refuse to rank players who havent played in the states yet; he made 17 errors in 58 games, and played some 1B (I'm assuming this indicates some apprehension as to whether he's actually a 3B);

#15 MightyBear

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:07 PM

Are you going to update this for the trades, rule 5? Also, where's Hayden Simpson, our number one pick in 2010? Didn't he make any lists at all or did Hendry and the boys totally whiff at that?




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