This time I tried something different. I wanted to calculate my top prospect list in a way which diminishes (at least a bit) the influence of my own gut feelings and which is more objective. Therefore I chose and weighted 4 criterias which should evaluate a players' prospect status. I'd like to make them transparent here in order to get some input from you guys. Before posting them I wanted to say that especially the weights of the criterias is a preliminary one and that I'll keep monitoring and adjusting them. A player can achieve a grade between 0 and 10 in each criterion. I've analysed 94 current Rays prospects with this method:
- Stats (weight: 0.25) ... This criterion represents the players' stats of the last years (weighing '11 more than '10, ...). I tried to relativate the stats a bit towards league averages and ballpark factors. Small sample sizes are considered as well (score is then nearer to a 5) [Best score: Matt Moore and Oscar Hernandez with 9.5; worst score: Cesar Perez with 0.5]
- Level of play in '12 (weight: 0.125) ... This criterion ranges from "MLB ready/on verge of playing in the majors" in '12 (10 points) to "will play in foreign rookie ball in '12" (0 points). It accounts for a players' development stage, for a players' readiness for and way to the majors as well as also a bit for the probability a certain player has of reaching the majors. [Best score: Moore, Guyer, Canzler, Torres, Lobaton, Chirinos with 10; worst score: Hernandez, De la Cruz a d Araujo with 1]
- Relative age in '11 (weight: 0.075) ... In order to relativize the stats-criterion I've also included a criterion which looks at the relative age of a player compared to his level of play in '11 and before. Young players for their level of play get a higher score than older ones. It's important to note that I haven't compared a players' age to the league average age but to the average age of the prospects in this league. By that I tried to eliminate taking life-long minor leaguers into account here. [Best score: Beckham, Lee, Hager, Faria, Martin, Harris Jr. with 9; worst score: Josh Satow with 0]
- Talent (weight: 0.55) ... Now it becomes very, very subjective. Within this criterion a players' ceiling is very important. His floor or the probability of reaching his ceiling (as both are included in criterias 1 and 2) have less weight. Nevertheless, the "talent" criterion can't be interpreted as "ceiling" alone as the probabilities of reaching it (based on shown stuff/stats, injury history, level of play, development stage, ...) play a role in it as well. [Best score: Matt Moore with 10; worst score: Josh Satow with 1]
Okay then ... that's the "method" and here are the results (if anybody wants the .xlsx-Sheet, just mail me):
Some tidbits to the ranking:
- For those of you who are curious, the next 15 (in that order) are: Lobaton, Chirinos, Guevara, Thompson, Hahn, Bortnick, Riefenhauser, Shuman, Cruz, Glaesmann, Vogt, W. Rodriguez, Kang, Bush and Fleming.
- I'm very surprised of the following rankings (but after checking the "method", I'm okay with it for now and thus these players stay where they are for now): Russ Canzler at 17 and Oscar Hernandez (14) are higher ranked than anticipated while Tyler Bortnick at 36, Wilking Rodriguez (42), Justin O'Conner (50 ... despite a 7.5 score for talent), Taylor Motter (56) are way lower than I thought ... but, I've checked all the scores and I'm okay with them. And you have to know that I really like Bortnick, O'Conner and Motter as prospects, so no (negative) bias I can think of here.
- While 4 of the top 5 prospects are pitchers, there only are 12 pitchers in the top 30 (18 in top 40; 22 in top 50). This means that pitching is top heavy while the hitting has very, very much depth but no "elite" prospects (yet).
- Nine 2011 draftees are in the top 30.
- The rankings are extremely volatile. A change of the talent level for just a tiny little bit means a ranking-change of up to 5-8 places (especially in the lower parts of the rankings). That's a good indicator for the description of the Rays system: Lots and lots of depth with less "elite" prospects than usual but incredible depth.