Baseball Prospects for 2008


I saw that both ESPN Scouts Inc. and Baseball Prospectus put out a list of their Top 100 Prospects January 29th. The list of prospects is all about generating hope for the future with me. In the 80s, it was my lifeline. In the 90s, it was a way to feel certain that things would continue. Now, it is all about getting back to the top.

Like always, I scoured the lists for names of players in the Braves organization. I then got aggressive and decided to put together a combined list and then see which teams had better upper-tier talent. I was hoping to get a feel into which teams had the best talent right now.

For the original lists, visit the original articles linked above.

What did I find out? I found 75 prospects on both lists. Using those 75, I got the average rank of each player. I then gave 100 points for an average of 1 and so forth down the line. The number of prospects, score for each team, and the average rank of the prospects in question are listed.

Rank Team Number Score Avg. Rank
1 Rays 6 494 19
2 Reds 4 320 21
3 Red Sox 5 309 39
4 Yankees 4 291 28
5 Rangers 6 238 61
6 Dodgers 3 237 22
7 Athletics 4 193 53
8 Angels 4 186 55
9 Braves 3 156 49
10 Cubs 2 137 33
11 Mariners 3 134 56
12 Rockies 3 127 59
13 Brewers 2 127 38
14 Diamondbacks 3 117 62
15 Nationals 2 113 45
16 Orioles 2 104 49
17 Padres 2 103 50
18 Marlins 2 103 50
19 Giants 2 99 52
20 Cardinals 1 95 6.5
21 Blue Jays 1 94 7
22 Pirates 2 93 55
23 Tigers 1 85 17
24 Twins 2 73 65
25 Mets 1 71 31
26 Royals 1 68 33
27 Indians 1 61 41
28 Astros 1 44 58
29 Phillies 1 41 61
30 White Sox 1 24 77

Those Rays, aka the Devil Rays, have quite the list of top prospects. They have 6 with an average ranking between them of 19. What is even scarier though, those Red Sox and Yankees. They have the prospects to deal to other organizations for help before the trading deadline.

Now, when taking the combination of both lists, in both number of distinct prospects and the average score per team across the two lists. The scores are higher as each list had 100 different players contributing to the score instead of just 75.

Team Number Score
Rays 9 533
Red Sox 7 333
Reds 4 320
Yankees 6 309
Rangers 8 300
Dodgers 6 287
Athletics 7 242
Braves 8 220
Angels 4 186
Cubs 4 164
Mariners 4 163
Rockies 6 156
Cardinals 5 148
Orioles 4 143
Padres 4 140
Brewers 3 139
Nationals 5 138
Marlins 3 126
Pirates 4 124
Giants 3 120
Diamondbacks 3 117
Blue Jays 2 113
Indians 3 92
Tigers 1 85
Royals 2 83
Twins 4 80
Mets 1 71
Astros 2 62
Phillies 2 43
White Sox 1 24

No major changes. The White Sox are still in dead last. The Braves went up and the Nationals went down. The Rays are still the heavy hitters.

The last thing I wanted to look at was at the players that weren’t in both lists. These players basically make-up the upper range of the middle tier. These guys are the wild cards. Some people like them, some don’t. Some will be right and some won’t.

I’ve ranked them by “Wild Card Score (WCS)”. This basically is my perceived value for the players on only one list that could potentially be added to each score on the first table. A higher Wild Card Score means that there are more, and potentially better, wild card players in the organization. I also list the total number of prospects and the wild care players that were only on one of the two lists.

Team Total Unique WCS
Rangers 7 2 49
Braves 8 5 45
Dodgers 6 3 41
Athletics 7 3 39
Rays 9 3 36
Cardinals 5 4 34
Orioles 4 2 28
Padres 4 2 27
Rockies 6 3 24
Mariners 4 1 24
Pirates 4 2 23
Cubs 4 2 23
Red Sox 7 2 22
Nationals 5 3 20
Indians 3 2 20
Marlins 3 1 19
Yankees 6 2 17
Giants 3 1 17
Blue Jays 2 1 16
Astros 2 1 13
Royals 2 1 12
Brewers 3 1 11
Twins 4 2 6
Phillies 2 1 2
Reds 4 0 0
Angels 4 0 0
Diamondbacks 3 0 0
Tigers 1 0 0
Mets 1 0 0
White Sox 1 0 0

Still no love for those White Sox and as for those Rays? They come in at 5th.

My Braves and the Local Nationals

Looking at the numbers, I see that there isn’t much to look forward to for the Nationals. There may be someone exciting that develops, but nothing to get too worked up about. Considering the years of neglect under the ownership of MLB, a number 15 rating is actually quite a nice ranking.

As for my Braves, I’m a little disappointed at the 9 ranking. However, they did give a lot of prospects up for Mark Teixeira, which is one of the reasons to have prospects. The Braves are also number 2 in the Wild-Card rankings. So they have a lot of talent that may show-up and surprise people. They have 5 players that were only on one list, the most of any ball club. So there is hope for a return in the near future.

More importantly, it seems unlikely that the Braves are in a position to slide all the way down to the performance of the 80s. However, more young pitching would make this feel like the 90s again.

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