Yesterday, I announced a new prospect rating system that I wanted to use to rank Yankee prospects. There are significant changes from my list half a year ago, mostly because the rating system forced me to more logically think out the rankings, but also because some offseason news changed my opinions slightly.
To refresh: the numerical rating is called the Talent Rating, and it stands for a player’s reasonable ceiling. The letter rating is called the Risk Rating, and it stands for how likely they are to become MLB regulars at that Talent Rating. Full details are at the link above.
I would like to reiterate: I received a lot of questions about what the rating system represents on twitter yesterday. They are entirely qualitative – that is, they represent my opinion about the prospects. I tried to be consistent – for example, all young pitchers without a full season of pitching were rated High risk of injury, and the distance ratings roughly correspond with minor league level – but some of my own bias did turn up. I’ve been doing this prospect blogging thing for five years now, so my gut and hunches absolutely play a role. What the system is intended to do is to more clearly define what my opinion about a prospect is. Matt and Sean and others here have internally discussed ways to systematize it, but that involves a lot of math which I’m not particularly good at.
Here’s the list:
Remember that with any list, a lot of prospects are interchangeable. Graham Stoneburner is sitting at #14 with a 7.0D, and JR Murphy is at #21 with the exact same score. That should be a signal that everyone in between is relatively equal in terms of value. The rough tiers are 1-5, 6-13, 14-22, and 23-30. Jeremy Bleich just missed at 31, along with roughly 15 honorable mentions that I ranked. When it comes time to preview individual minor league clubs, those players will show up.
I don’t want to speak too much about individual players, though I’d be happy to answer questions in the comments section.
Thoughts? Is the system worth keeping?
Update - A lot of people have asked about how I rate injury risk. like anything else qualitative, the end result is just my opinion about how likely the player is to suffer a career-threatening injury. However, I tried to be very consistent with the criteria I used. For example, I rated all the young pitchers who have yet to pitch a full season as High, but all the young position players in similar spots as Moderate. That’s a preference, but I think it holds up to history.
I rated guys like Brett Marshall and David Adams as High risk, because they have both recently suffered very severe injuries, and I want to see them play significant time without hitting the disabled list.
The low risk ratings went to older guys who had either held up after multiple full seasons, or had pitched quite a few innings in the past two seasons.
I hope that clears things up.
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