Thursday, January 31, 2008

Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects

Keith Law has released his Top 100 Prospects list. Yes, I know it's on Insider, but this is really worth it. Unlike most of these sorts of things which typically only list names, Keith shows his work and provides a summary of the plusses and minuses of all 100 players.

Highly recommended.

UPDATE: While I still think his prospects list is great, the fact that he hates, hates, hates Watchmen is something you may want to take into account as you weigh his judgment and credibility.

Hurm.

8 comments:

joshjs said...

Damn you, Shyster. I just let my Insider subscription end and was feeling good about it.

*grumble*

Chris H said...

Right at the moment, you don't need a sub -- when I went to the page, it was marked "FREE PREVIEW."

Wow, four Cubs in the top 100. Four. They'd better win it all this year, because the farm system's looking a lot like a Giants roster.

Jake said...

Quit complaining, Cubs fan. You're tied for fifth...

"The Tampa Bay Rays lead all teams with nine players in the top 100. Texas is second with six, and Boston and the Dodgers each placed five players on the list. No team was shut out and five teams appear just once: Mets, White Sox, Tigers, Royals, and Phillies."

Anonymous said...

Chris: 100 prospects divided by 30 teams means the average team has3.33 in the top 100. Since there are no thirds of people, four in the top 100 is essentially the average rounded up - it's not terrible, that is.

Several teams, I think, have two or one in Law's top 100.

chris h said...

Yeah, but two of our four are already in the majors, so that means there are just two sitting down in the farm system for the future.

Still...wow, poor White Sox. In all seriousness, I do feel bad for WS fans (I'm not a WS hater). It's one thing if you're the Mets and you're in darned fine shape at the MLB level, but...

chris h said...

OK, so I dumped Keith's list into a spreadsheet and played around a bit, because...well, I wanted to see if I could justify my Cubs comments. Plus, I'm looking for ways to avoid working.

Anyway. First, I assigned each prospect a numerical "raw" value, based solely on order in the list. So, Longoria gets 100, Jay Bruce gets 99, and so on. I call this value "ARB1" since, let's be honest, it's pretty arbitrary. Anyway, I just added the ARB1 numbers on an organization-by-organization basis. Using that system, the Rays come out on top (surprise), followed by the Red Sox, Rangers, Yankees, and Reds. Cubs are 7th, so no whining for me. :)

But then I started thinking about this. As a fan, what I am most concerned about is whether the prospects are going to be helping my team anytime soon. That being the case, a AAA player should, all else being equal, have more value than someone in Rookie ball. So I created ARBW ("Arbitrary Weight") which is an arbitrary percentage tied to a player's highest level in 2007. MLB I left at 100%, then AAA at 90%, AA at 75%, high A at 50%, low A at 45%, short season A at 40%, rookie ball at 30%, college at 20% and high school at 10%.

Did I mention this was pretty arbitrary?

Anyway, with that I then created ARB2, which is just ARB1 multiplied by ARBW. The Rays still come out on top, but are then followed by the Reds, Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees. Cubs are now 8th. So, again, my whining was rather misplaced.

At the bottom of the barrel with respect to ARB1 you'll find the White Sox (worst), followed by the Phillies (2nd worst -- you get the idea), Royals, Astros and Tigers. Switching to ARB2 finds the Tigers worst, followed by the White Sox, Royals, Diamondbacks and Phillies.

OK, it's not a sophisticated analysis or anything, but it kept me awake during a couple of meetings this afternoon.

You know, I understand the Tigers; they dumped a lot to get Cabrera. But what's up with the White Sox?

chris h said...

Oh yeah...it occurs to me that Keith, when ranking his prospects, may be taking closeness-to-MLB into consideration, in which case my ARB2 value is even more dopey than it seems at first glance.

I briefly entertained the idea of adding a weight based on positional value, but surely that's already worked into Keith's analysis.

Oh, I'll just shut up now.

Ken Dynamo said...

yeah, realy. i mean who HATES the watchmen? oh well, klaw is still the man.