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Fun with Prospect Rankings


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Poll: Fate of the Cubs top prospects (12 member(s) have cast votes)

How many of the 5 Cubs prospects in mlb.com's top 100 will end up being quality MLB players?

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#1 jkppkj

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 05:33 PM

So, I think it's clear the only thing that it's possible to be excited about for the Cubs this season is the improvement of how the minor league talent is rated.  

 

With that said, it's not hard to come up with a pessimistic statement like:

 

"Great, we've got 5 of the top 100 prospects, so possibly we could be putting players out on the field in 3 years who are as good as Felix Pie, Kevin Orie, Corey Patterson, Hee-Sop Choi, and Brooks Kieshnick"

 

Right now MLB.com has 5 Cubs prospects listed in their top 100, and while I don't think they'll all end up being All-Stars, I can't bring myself to live in a world where they all end up being Kevin Orie or Felix Pie.

 

So, I wondered, what if instead of thinking how bad it could be, what can I find out about what 5 top 100 prospects tend to turn into?

 

I started with the rankings from MLB.com for their top 100 and took a look on baseballcube to see what the group of players ranked at those spots looks like from recent history.  The teams in parentheses are the organization the prospect was with that year.

 

*Sorry the editor was showing a table here that I cut and pasted from word, for now it's a list by ranking following the order shown.

 

 

Ranking

2013 mlb.com

2010

2009

2008

2007

 

#10

Javier Baez

Carlos Santana – C (MIN)

Neftali Feliz – P (TEX)

David Price – P (TB)

Andrew Miller – P (DET)

 

#24

Albert Almora

Casey Kelly – P (BOS)

Eric Homser – 1B (KC)

Nick Adenhart – P (LAA)

Clayton Kershaw – P (LAD)

 

#29

Jorge Soler

Michael Taylor – OF (OAK)

Jarrod Parker – P (ARI)

Adam Miller – P (CLE)

Colby Rasmus – OF (STL)

 

#39

Kris Bryant

Mike Montgomery – P (KC)

Aaron Hicks – OF (MIN)

Reid Brignac – SS (TB)

Adam Lind – 1B (TOR)

 

#61

Mike Olt

Kyle Gibson – P (MIN)

Dayan Viciedo – OF (CWS)

Neil Walker – 2B (PIT)

Erick Aybar – SS (LAA)

 

 

This is, of course, all highly unscientific and proves nothing.  However, I think it provides a better frame of reference for what might be as opposed to memories of Felix Pie.

 

Besides proving that I have way too much time on hands, here are a couple of my observations:

 

2007 -

 

Andrew Miller is an interesting case.  He's been fairly effective out of the pen for Boston the last two seasons (3.04 ERA in 71 IP) who is now on the 60 day DL.  He's not exactly something to build a franchise around but he was however, part of the trade that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit, and that is the value that the Tigers were able to leverage out of him as a prospect.  I certainly wouldn't say that I expect the Cubs to be able to package one or a couple of theses prospects into a trade that will net the best hitter in the game, but having a lot of good prospects allows a team to go out and make those big trades.

 

As a group the guys from 2007 would make for quite a nice core, in terms of bWAR they add up to 12.4 this year (Aybar 1.0, Lind 0.9, Rasmus 3.8, Kershaw 6.2, Miller 0.5) and collectively have already compiled a Cy Young (Kershaw), Gold Glove (Aybar) and Silver Slugger (Lind).

 

2008 -

 

Adam Miller is in the Yankees system at 28 years of age, still waiting for his first cup of coffee.  Brignac is a .221 hitter in 763 ABs across 6 seasons with the Yankees, Rays and Rockies.  And we'll never know what Nick Adenhart could have been.  Price is obviously a perennial Cy Young candidate and Walker is a reliable but not stellar option at second.  I think a yield of one superstar and a solid position player is not bad at all, even with the three "busts"

 

2009 -

 

As a group is interesting, what you have is Feliz trying to come back from a major injury, and 4 young guys getting regular playing time who aren't necessarily disappointing, but none of whom is exactly tearing it up.  As a group they could be a nice young nucleus to try and build from.

 

2010-

 

Now we get to where the jury is definitely still out on guys.  Casey Kelley was traded by the Red Sox to the Padres as part of the Adrian Gonzalez deal and is not pitching this year after Tommy John surgery, Mike Montgomery is pitching for Tampa's AAA affiliate and has numbers that don't look impressive, he was on top 100 prospect lists at the start of '10. '11, and '12 but not this year.   Kyle Gibson has made 8 starts this year for the Twins with a 6.43 ERA.  MIchael Taylor is 27 and has a .135 batting average in 74 MLB at bats, so it might be time to call him a bust.  Finally, we have Carlos Santana who's pretty good hitting catcher.  This may be the least encouraging, but least relevant group to look at as all of the Cubs top prospects are position players and we're talking about 3 pitchers here.

 

Thoughts?

 

Out of the position players I would say more than half of them have "made it" in the bigs.

 

My thinking is that 2-3 of these guys will be solid or impact players for the Cubs, my money would be on Baez and Almora.



#2 Cerambam

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:45 PM

So, I think it's clear the only thing that it's possible to be excited about for the Cubs this season is the improvement of how the minor league talent is rated.  

 

With that said, it's not hard to come up with a pessimistic statement like:

 

"Great, we've got 5 of the top 100 prospects, so possibly we could be putting players out on the field in 3 years who are as good as Felix Pie, Kevin Orie, Corey Patterson, Hee-Sop Choi, and Brooks Kieshnick"

 

Right now MLB.com has 5 Cubs prospects listed in their top 100, and while I don't think they'll all end up being All-Stars, I can't bring myself to live in a world where they all end up being Kevin Orie or Felix Pie.

 

So, I wondered, what if instead of thinking how bad it could be, what can I find out about what 5 top 100 prospects tend to turn into?

 

I started with the rankings from MLB.com for their top 100 and took a look on baseballcube to see what the group of players ranked at those spots looks like from recent history.  The teams in parentheses are the organization the prospect was with that year.

 

*Sorry the editor was showing a table here that I cut and pasted from word, for now it's a list by ranking following the order shown.

 

 

Ranking

2013 mlb.com

2010

2009

2008

2007

 

#10

Javier Baez

Carlos Santana – C (MIN)

Neftali Feliz – P (TEX)

David Price – P (TB)

Andrew Miller – P (DET)

 

#24

Albert Almora

Casey Kelly – P (BOS)

Eric Homser – 1B (KC)

Nick Adenhart – P (LAA)

Clayton Kershaw – P (LAD)

 

#29

Jorge Soler

Michael Taylor – OF (OAK)

Jarrod Parker – P (ARI)

Adam Miller – P (CLE)

Colby Rasmus – OF (STL)

 

#39

Kris Bryant

Mike Montgomery – P (KC)

Aaron Hicks – OF (MIN)

Reid Brignac – SS (TB)

Adam Lind – 1B (TOR)

 

#61

Mike Olt

Kyle Gibson – P (MIN)

Dayan Viciedo – OF (CWS)

Neil Walker – 2B (PIT)

Erick Aybar – SS (LAA)

 

 

This is, of course, all highly unscientific and proves nothing.  However, I think it provides a better frame of reference for what might be as opposed to memories of Felix Pie.

 

Besides proving that I have way too much time on hands, here are a couple of my observations:

 

2007 -

 

Andrew Miller is an interesting case.  He's been fairly effective out of the pen for Boston the last two seasons (3.04 ERA in 71 IP) who is now on the 60 day DL.  He's not exactly something to build a franchise around but he was however, part of the trade that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit, and that is the value that the Tigers were able to leverage out of him as a prospect.  I certainly wouldn't say that I expect the Cubs to be able to package one or a couple of theses prospects into a trade that will net the best hitter in the game, but having a lot of good prospects allows a team to go out and make those big trades.

 

As a group the guys from 2007 would make for quite a nice core, in terms of bWAR they add up to 12.4 this year (Aybar 1.0, Lind 0.9, Rasmus 3.8, Kershaw 6.2, Miller 0.5) and collectively have already compiled a Cy Young (Kershaw), Gold Glove (Aybar) and Silver Slugger (Lind).

 

2008 -

 

Adam Miller is in the Yankees system at 28 years of age, still waiting for his first cup of coffee.  Brignac is a .221 hitter in 763 ABs across 6 seasons with the Yankees, Rays and Rockies.  And we'll never know what Nick Adenhart could have been.  Price is obviously a perennial Cy Young candidate and Walker is a reliable but not stellar option at second.  I think a yield of one superstar and a solid position player is not bad at all, even with the three "busts"

 

2009 -

 

As a group is interesting, what you have is Feliz trying to come back from a major injury, and 4 young guys getting regular playing time who aren't necessarily disappointing, but none of whom is exactly tearing it up.  As a group they could be a nice young nucleus to try and build from.

 

2010-

 

Now we get to where the jury is definitely still out on guys.  Casey Kelley was traded by the Red Sox to the Padres as part of the Adrian Gonzalez deal and is not pitching this year after Tommy John surgery, Mike Montgomery is pitching for Tampa's AAA affiliate and has numbers that don't look impressive, he was on top 100 prospect lists at the start of '10. '11, and '12 but not this year.   Kyle Gibson has made 8 starts this year for the Twins with a 6.43 ERA.  MIchael Taylor is 27 and has a .135 batting average in 74 MLB at bats, so it might be time to call him a bust.  Finally, we have Carlos Santana who's pretty good hitting catcher.  This may be the least encouraging, but least relevant group to look at as all of the Cubs top prospects are position players and we're talking about 3 pitchers here.

 

Thoughts?

 

Out of the position players I would say more than half of them have "made it" in the bigs.

 

My thinking is that 2-3 of these guys will be solid or impact players for the Cubs, my money would be on Baez and Almora.

This was fun to read thanks for that. I'd agree that 2-3 are impact players, but there is no way i could pick one over the other (I'd like to exclude Olt and include Alcantara for this btw). 

 

I think it is completely unfair when people "predict" the most pessimistic side of outcomes. No one remembers these predictions when those people are wrong because everyone is happy, and the predictor gloats whenever he or she is right. It is a win win situation, for the one being pessimistic, that is completely safe and useless. 

 

Now, that is not to say that you can only be optimistic, but my point is that I take all predictions with a grain of salt. Predicting the outcome of 5-6 prospects should only be done by professionals or using historical statistical data. Otherwise, its just people talking.

 

Again, I do this a lot and I enjoy discussing prospects, but I don't ever claim to know what I'm talking about and I certainly try not to make sweeping declarations and get into shouting matches on the internet over something no one can determine or prove right now.(that was a long sentence)



#3 jkppkj

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:53 PM

 

This was fun to read thanks for that. I'd agree that 2-3 are impact players, but there is no way i could pick one over the other (I'd like to exclude Olt and include Alcantara for this btw

 

 

 

 

I'd agree with putting Alcantara in there instead as well.  As far as "putting my money" on Baez and Almora, it's purely my non-expert speculation as well and meant in good fun.

 

As far as Olt and 3rd Base as a whole goes, it's so hard for me to imagine the Cubs not having a good young player at 3rd base in 2015 and beyond. I really want to believe that Mike Olt's eyes are fixed and that, like Rizzo he'll start hitting in his second go round in the bigs, and that may happen.  There's also a chance that Vitters might end up being OK too.  Then there's Kris Bryant and Jeimer Candelario, Christian Villanueva, plus Baez/Castro could necessitate moving one of them to 3rd.  It's just hard to imagine one of those guys won't pan out.



#4 Cerambam

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:18 PM

 
This was fun to read thanks for that. I'd agree that 2-3 are impact players, but there is no way i could pick one over the other (I'd like to exclude Olt and include Alcantara for this btw

 
 
 
I'd agree with putting Alcantara in there instead as well.  As far as "putting my money" on Baez and Almora, it's purely my non-expert speculation as well and meant in good fun.
 
As far as Olt and 3rd Base as a whole goes, it's so hard for me to imagine the Cubs not having a good young player at 3rd base in 2015 and beyond. I really want to believe that Mike Olt's eyes are fixed and that, like Rizzo he'll start hitting in his second go round in the bigs, and that may happen.  There's also a chance that Vitters might end up being OK too.  Then there's Kris Bryant and Jeimer Candelario, Christian Villanueva, plus Baez/Castro could necessitate moving one of them to 3rd.  It's just hard to imagine one of those guys won't pan out.


Yeah, it's actually awesome. Depth like this is the reason you have a good farm system. One of Baez Olt Bryant Villanueva and Candelerio will probably reach their ceiling, which is quite fortunate if you think about it. At very least, we will most likely have one less position to fill long term.

#5 X the cubs fan

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:15 PM

I think out of the MLB top 5 the highest floors in order would be Soler, Almora, Bryant, Olt then Baez. But highest ceiling is Baez, Bryant, Soler, Olt then Almora.



#6 X the cubs fan

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:21 PM

But my prospect rankings would be Soler, Baez, Bryant, Almora, Olt, Alcantra, Edwards, Vogelbach, Johnson and Vizcaino



#7 chirogerg1

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:31 PM

I die a little inside every time I see the name Nick Adenhart



#8 K0ng

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:19 AM

This is such a great thread, from a great post.  I clicked "2" on the survey before reading the thread, and that still feels like the right response based on the thread.  Sure, it's a small sample, but it's still good for setting perspective and expectations.

 

My observation (again, looking just at this small sample) is that the pitchers that are highly regarded as prospects, but don't "make it," are more often derailed by injury than lack of ability, while more position players simply top out on ability.  I'm not a veteran minor league watcher, so I don't know if this is already common knowledge.  I guess it's easier to evaluate prospect pitchers quantitatively on "stuff" with radar guns, pitch-break analysis, etc, than it is evaluate hitters, since their performance is so dependent upon the pitching they're facing.  In other words, you can measure and quantify nasty "stuff" no matter who's hitting, but it's probably harder to evaluate hitting ability independent of the corresponding pitcher.



#9 Rizzo1684

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 11:07 AM

I love this post, great job! I clicked 3 b/c I think Soler,Almora and either Bryant or Baez will stick.  My rankings would be: Soler: I really think he is going to be an everyday player, Almora: Has all the tools and will have enough of a bat to play CF in the majors, Baez: his strikeouts scare me but if he could hit 20 hrs every year from 2B that would a fun player to watch for years, Bryant: Could be #1 on my list next year but I have not seen enough out of him to put him above the others, Alcantara: Is a fun player to watch but I don't see him sticking as an everyday player, Olt: I hope he is given every chance in the world to be a 3B b/c I like his glove but I don't see him being anything special.  Olt reminds me of Vitters, its like these "prospect experts" were all so high on him last year they just can't admit that he probably does not deserve to be in the top 100.



#10 Mike Taylor (no relation)

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 05:44 PM

I said 4/5 because Olt is too hard to project. Don't know what's wrong with him.

 

#1. Soler - has the ability to be a .300+ hitter, who takes walks w/pop, smart base running, and B+ defense in the corner outfield spots. That injury will slow him down on his journey to the MLB.

#2. Almora - is a pure hitter with above average tools in every category.

#3. Baez - will hit his way to the majors. He'll strike out, but his raw power will keep him in the lineup.

#4. Bryant - harder to figure out, obviously crushed it in Boise, should help out Daytona in the playoffs. We'll see how he handles the pitcher-friendly FSL. He's still a bit older than his competition, but if he puts up similar numbers, he'll jump from AA next year to MLB, no doubt.



#11 Cerambam

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 06:40 PM

I said 4/5 because Olt is too hard to project. Don't know what's wrong with him.
 
#1. Soler - has the ability to be a .300+ hitter, who takes walks w/pop, smart base running, and B+ defense in the corner outfield spots. That injury will slow him down on his journey to the MLB.
#2. Almora - is a pure hitter with above average tools in every category.
#3. Baez - will hit his way to the majors. He'll strike out, but his raw power will keep him in the lineup.
#4. Bryant - harder to figure out, obviously crushed it in Boise, should help out Daytona in the playoffs. We'll see how he handles the pitcher-friendly FSL. He's still a bit older than his competition, but if he puts up similar numbers, he'll jump from AA next year to MLB, no doubt.


When do you think Bryant will be in AA if he is supposed to make the jump to MLB from AA next year?

#12 jkppkj

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:10 PM

I said 4/5 because Olt is too hard to project. Don't know what's wrong with him.

 

#1. Soler - has the ability to be a .300+ hitter, who takes walks w/pop, smart base running, and B+ defense in the corner outfield spots. That injury will slow him down on his journey to the MLB.

#2. Almora - is a pure hitter with above average tools in every category.

#3. Baez - will hit his way to the majors. He'll strike out, but his raw power will keep him in the lineup.

#4. Bryant - harder to figure out, obviously crushed it in Boise, should help out Daytona in the playoffs. We'll see how he handles the pitcher-friendly FSL. He's still a bit older than his competition, but if he puts up similar numbers, he'll jump from AA next year to MLB, no doubt.

 

I think Bryant will start at AA next year, if he tears it up and gets moved up early enough for a couple hundred AAA ABs, maybe a september call-up.  Didn't we hear a ton about getting a guy close to a full year at each level from Jed/Theo back when everyone was waiting on Rizzo?



#13 fromthemitten

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 12:47 PM

I voted three: Bryant, Almora, Soler.



#14 chirogerg1

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 01:56 PM

I think that Baez is getting closer to a sure thing every day. Keep in mind that he has struggled to begin each level so far in his career, and strikeout numbers have been trending downward (22% in August so far) and have done so at each level. He's also among the MiLB leaders in homers.

 

His splits are also very interesting. Absolutely mashing AA LHPs (.432/.490/.886) vs .206/.264/.441 against righties. This makes his floor a utility/platoon guy at worst. The more interesting split though is home vs. away. The Southern League is pitcher friendly for the most part with one big exception: Smokies Park, which is very hitter friendly. The sample size may not be significant yet, but Baez line at home is .207/.261/.451 compared to .359/.423/.734 on the road. 

 

Also, last 10 games: .419/.468/.605 with 9Ks and 4BBs in 47 PAs (19%K, 8.5%BB).






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