Ranking Retrospective: The General Consensus and Ranking Breakdown

These days more and more sites and organizations are releasing their top prospect lists.  It is hard some times to get through all of the data to find what you are looking for.  But prospects are more than a list, and so it is important to find the strengths and weaknesses of each evaluators and grow from them.  But enough about learning and more about looking at arbitrary lists of minor leaguers and determining who is right and who is wrong as well as other random facts and ephemera.

Quick Breakdown of lists:

Lists involved: Baseball America, ESPN, Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com, Minor League Ball, scout.com, DraftInsider.com, Crashburn Alley, Frangraphs, Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, Phuture Phillies reader poll, That Ball’s Outta Here, Phoulballz
Experts: Traditionally trusted lists – ESPN, BA, BP, Minor League Ball, MLB.com
Non-Expert: The rest of us
Phillies Centric: Only those sites that cover just Phillies players/prospects

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was not used for this activity because not everyone ranked him.  Those ranking him had everyone move up one spot.  Also these rankings only reflect ratings when that player was ranked, it skewed things way too much if I assigned arbitrary end points and point values to the end of lists.

Consensus Rankings:

OverallExpertsNon-expertPhillies Centric
Maikel FrancoMaikel FrancoMaikel FrancoMaikel Franco
Jesse BiddleJesse BiddleJesse BiddleJesse Biddle
J.P. CrawfordJ.P. CrawfordJ.P. CrawfordJ.P. Crawford
Roman QuinnRoman QuinnRoman QuinnCarlos Tocci
Carlos TocciCarlos TocciKelly DuganRoman Quinn
Kelly DuganAaron AltherrCarlos TocciKelly Dugan
Aaron AltherrSeverino GonzalezEthan MartinEthan Martin
Ethan MartinEthan MartinAaron AltherrAaron Altherr
Cesar HernandezCesar HernandezCesar HernandezCesar Hernandez
Ken GilesKelly DuganKen GilesKen Giles

Across the 4 groupings we have 11 unique players with Severino Gonzalez placing on the Experts list while everyone else liked Ken Giles.  But overall, it appeared there was a real consensus for who the top group of prospects included.

The Differences:

Here is a breakdown of the overall ranking list and the average ranking and how high a player ranked and how low a player ranked.

PlayerAverage RankHighLow
Maikel Franco1.1512
Jesse Biddle2.3823
J.P. Crawford2.4613
Roman Quinn6.85412
Carlos Tocci7417
Kelly Dugan8416
Aaron Altherr8.08513
Ethan Martin8.36415
Cesar Hernandez8.73418
Ken Giles11.25819

Some interesting facts here:

  • Every list had Franco, Biddle, and Crawford in some order as their top 3, no other player appeared in a top 3
  • No source other than Scout.com (Kiley McDaniel) rated Carlos Tocci lower than 9
  • The low mark on Cesar Hernandez was from me, who rated him the 18th best prospect on my Phuture Phillies list
  • Baseball America was the low man at #19 on Giles, but 6 sources did not rank him, including him not making mlb.com’s Top 20 and not making TBOH’s Top 15
  • There really was a lot of different opinions on the order here

Expanding off of this list to talk about other differences:

  • The highest rated player to not make the top ten was Severino Gonzalez who was #4 on Marc Hulett’s Fangraphs ranking, Severino also had the biggest spread as The Good Phight (Dan Cormican) had him at #24
  • The next biggest spreads were Cord Sandberg (5 and 24), Yoel Mecias (5 and 24), Deivi Grullon (6 and 24), Andrew Knapp (7 and 23), and Jan Hernandez (11 and 27)
  • Players outside the consensus Top 10 that were ranked in a top 10 were: Cord Sandberg, Severino Gonzalez, Yoel Mecias, Adam Morgan, Deivi Grullon, Dylan Cozens, Andrew Knapp, Tomy Joseph, Shane Watson, and Zach Green
  • The biggest difference between experts and Phillies centric was Jake Sweaney who Keith Law rated #12 and most did not rate him at all
  • Of those receiving a good amount of rankings, experts rated Cameron Perkins at an average of 13.5, Phillies centric had him at 22.5
  • On the opposite side Phillies centric had Ken Giles at 11.25 and experts had him at 14.5
  • The smallest differences of opinion between Philly blogs and experts were on Carlos Tocci, Cesar Hernandez, Dylan Cozens, and the Top 3

Lets Talk About Me:

We will use my list from Phuture Phillies (also posted under the rankings above here).

  • As mentioned earlier I was over 9 spots lower than the average on Cesar Hernandez
  • I was significantly lower on Severino Gonzalez, Adam Morgan, Shane Watson, Tommy Joseph, Cameron Perkins, and Cameron Rupp than the overall average.
  • I was higher than average on Deivi Grullon, Yoel Mecias, Kelly Dugan, Carlos Tocci, and Cord Sandberg.
  • I was closest to average on Roman Quinn, Dylan Cozens,Ethan Martin, and the Top 3
  • I was the only one to rank Drew Anderson and Samuel Hiciano

Some Graphs

Top 10

All Prospects

The one thing I really like about these graphs is how you can see distinct tiers start to emerge and then closely knit groups as well.  Also with the Top 10 you can see how wide the variance is on some players and just how different our opinions can be.

What do we make of this:

Absolutely nothing.  You are going to get a better feel for biases by just reading the pieces, but it is always fun to break through numbers.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.