Comparing farm systems via Prospect Points

At the start of the week, I posted something here that went into more detail about the Prospect Points standings that appeared with the story breaking down the new Top 100 list on Prospect Watch. Someone asked me (thank you  Jayne from the Astros blog, What the Heck, Bobby?  and on Twitter at @whattheheck57, not to mention a contributor to the MLBlog, The Futurists) how these end-of-season standings compared to what they looked like when the 2012 season began.

A fine question indeed. Obviously, Jayne wanted to see how the Astros had fared following all their wheelings and dealings. Fans of other teams might be interested for the same reason, as well as to see how graduations and, of course, performance in 2012, changed their standing. The Prospect Points, remember, don’t measure overall organizational strength, but rather how a team is doing in terms of elite, impact type prospects in their system by using a weighted scoring (100 points for the No. 1 prospect in the Top 100 and on down.)

Here’s the comparison:

2012 Preseason 2012 Re-ranked
Rank Team # Points Rank Team # Points
5 ARI 3 253 3 ARI 4 321
4 ATL 5 267 15 ATL 3 183
12 BAL 2 186 8 BAL 3 234
21 BOS 4 115 9 BOS 5 225
15 CHC 3 171 13 CHC 5 202
19 CIN 2 154 16 CIN 4 182
27 CLE 1 69 23 CLE 1 87
8 COL 4 229 22 COL 2 87
30 CWS 1 1 30 CWS 0 0
18 DET 3 155 21 DET 1 90
22 HOU 3 114 12 HOU 5 216
2 KC 4 290 6 KC 4 277
14 LAA 3 178 27 LAA 1 48
23 LAD 3 109 25 LAD 1 52
26 MIA 2 80 10 MIA 3 222
28 MIL 2 56 26 MIL 2 51
24 MIN 2 107 14 MIN 4 198
20 NYM 3 147 17 NYM 2 170
9 NYY 4 225 18 NYY 4 152
13 OAK 6 179 24 OAK 4 56
25 PHI 3 91 29 PHI 1 18
3 PIT 4 276 2 PIT 6 326
6 SD 6 237 11 SD 6 221
1 SEA 5 329 1 SEA 5 327
29 SF 2 56 28 SF 2 22
17 STL 2 167 4 STL 5 320
11 TB 6 198 20 TB 3 108
7 TEX 4 236 7 TEX 4 240
16 TOR 4 169 5 TOR 7 281
10 WAS 4 206 19 WAS 3 134

And here’s the breakdown of the differential, in alphabetical order:

Team Diff.
ARI 68
ATL -84
BAL 48
BOS 110
CHC 31
CIN 28
CLE 18
COL -142
CWS -1
DET -65
HOU 102
KC -13
LAA -130
LAD -57
MIA 142
MIL -5
MIN 91
NYM 23
NYY -73
OAK -123
PHI -73
PIT 50
SD -16
SEA -2
SF -34
STL 153
TB -90
TEX 4
TOR 112
WAS -72

 

 

1 Comment

This is an interesting analysis. I wonder if this is more useful to the front-office as a collective assessment of player development and/or scouting *staffers*, rather than providing fans with a value of their favorite organization. Or if might be useful for minor league affiliates who want to know what sort of roster they can expect to get. (It’s affiliation renewal time!) At the very least, I would think you need to take several more samples than a pre-season and post-season snapshot.

In order to draw a meaningful conclusion about what these weighted scores and rankings mean, it seems to me you also have to take into account whether an organization relies on in-house developed talent (long-term investment cycle), or trades and free-agent acquisitions (short-term investment cycle) to achieve a winning season.

For example, if the parent club has a tradition of buying finished talent at the big league level, then individual prospect values would seem to be more important because each trade negotiation is based on a specific list of “needs.” If the parent club has the philosophy of developing talent in-house, then tracking the farm system’s collective value could be key to success for the parent club down the road.

At any rate, those were my first thoughts. . .AYT

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