Wednesday, December 14, 2016

By Jason Sinner, Staff Reporter - 

So this is sort of a crude comp to the other bottom tier farm systems as ranked by  I didn't feel like taking the time to include BA or BP.  

MLB does a top thirty and frankly, I tend to disagree with their list more than most (they don't even have Hermosillo, Duensing, Chris Rodriguez, or Paredes on the list.  They have Meyer 11th and they still have Baldoquin on there at 22nd.  They also have Jewell 14th, Hinshaw 16th, Julio Garcia at 17th (who?) and Jesus Castillo at 29th.)  Suffice to say, there isn't much depth in the understanding or evaluation of our system.  (BA has a much better list imo - more in line with what AW has with Rodriguez 8th and Middleton 9th.  They actually took some time to look at the players)

Having said that, most die hard fans for any team would disagree with the lists compiled on behalf of their favorite franchise.  

MLB gives each player an overall grade with a max of 80.  Broken down into categories for hitter - hit, power, run, arm, field, overall and pitchers - fastball, curve, change, control, overall. 

ex - Moncada is the #1 prospect in baseball with scores of 60, 55, 60, 50, overall 65 (not sure how that adds up, but whatever).  

Even if we disagree on the top 30, it's hard to say that the halos have been singled out with players disproportionately ranked lower than they should (personally, I would argue that to some degree because we currently have perception working against us but I digress........)

They also, of course, rank the top 100 as well as at top 10 by position.  

The top 12 prospects are 60 grade and above.  Then 13-100 are 55 grades.  

The current bottom tier teams are the Rangers, Giants, Tigers, Royals, Marlins, Dbacks, Orioles, Angels.  

None of the above team have a 60 grade prospect.  

Most of the teams top 30 are 45's and 50's with a couple 40's and 55's

Of note, once you get out of the top 30 players, it's anyone's guess.  

Let's take a look at the top 30 players as ranked by

Last years farm had a raw score of 1330.  About 40 points away from the next closest team.  Right now, we are about 40 point away from being a 2nd tier system.  

A little math - our top ten pick will be a 55 displacing a 40.  Our second round pick will likely be a 50.  Displacing another 40.  Rodriguez and Duensing will make the list in the 50 range and I totally see Thaiss and Jones bumping into the top 100 and becoming a 55.  I could see Marsh and Ward climbing in there as well with a little luck.  So there could be a 40-50 point upswing which would put us mid 2nd tier.  Grabbing a couple of solid international prospects would help and probably most important is having another good draft to infuse more guys in the 45 range throughout the middle of the system. 

Personally, I couldn't give a squat where we're ranked.  This was an attempt to help people understand that we are moving in the right direction.  The key will always be to infuse as much organizational currency into the system as possible so there are that many more options to internally evaluate as potential to help the major league club whether it be in the form of promotions or for trades.  

I agree with our resident prospect expert Scotty Allen that the rest of the league likely sees more in our system than the national publications who tend to gloss over the details and don't have the time or resources to really dive in.  Which means that a characteristically poor system is going to keep that moniker until they get a couple of 60 grade guys or some guys at the lower levels graduate and do well in the upper levels/majors.  

In the end, the litmus is what the farm is doing to help the major league club.  We are getting that on the margins with trades for Maybin and Espinosa but it's still gonna be about 18 months before the major league club realizes a needle moving benefit from an improved farm system.  

So first of all, we're part of the pack again.  We're still hobbling on a wooden leg, but at least we have the guy with the diabetic foot and the other guy with angina to keep us company.  

Second, not many teams have 40 grade prospects in their to 30 and we're one of them.  So a number of other teams could have a few additional 45 grade guys that aren't listed.

While it would be nice to have an elite prospect or two like the white sox or atlanta, that's primarily a consequence of getting a top draft pick, spending internationally, or going through a full rebuild.  Something we haven't been able to do since I can remember.  The latter of which is fine by me.  The truly dangerous systems in my opinion are the ones with lots of talent in the 50-55 range.  

Most of the really good system are teams that likely aren't going anywhere for awhile and those systems are likely to get even better.  Most of the elite prospects are going to graduate to the majors this year which will bring the teams who have them down a considerable amount.  

Steps forward by Thaiss, Jones, and a few others as well as a top 10 pick and some international signings will put us in the 2nd tier by year's end or at least at the top of the 3rd tier. The good news (and bad) is that we really won't be losing anyone of significance to the majors as per these rankings.  
Things are coming around.

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Love to hear what you think!

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