Nats Top Prospects Comparison
FanGraphs published their Nationals edition of the “Evaluating the 2016 Prospects” series last Wednesday, the last of the major prospect ranking publications to do so. Dan Farnsworth caught a little flak for going off the board with a few of his rankings (most notably Taylor Hearn #9 and Koda Glover #10), which led me to compare each publisher’s prospect lists.
I wanted to throw out a major hat tip to Todd Boss of Nationals Arm Race. Todd has created dozens of extremely useful documents that are available on his website, including historical top prospect and minor league system rankings, stats for draft classes, option status, payroll, etc. I highly recommend checking them all out.
Here are links to the different top prospect lists (listed by most recent publication date):
- FanGraphs (23 prospects ranked, published 4/20/16 by Dan Farnsworth)
- Citizens of Natstown 1-30 / 31-100 (published 3/16 by Sean Hogan)
- NatsGM 1-10 / 11-20 / 21-30 / Breakout Prospects (published 2/16 by Ryan Sullivan)
- Minor League Ball (20 prospects ranked, published 2/23/16 by John Sickels)
- ESPN (15 prospects ranked, published 2/15/16 by Keith Law)
- Baseball Prospectus (10 prospects ranked, published 2/4/16 by Ezra Wise)
- Baseball America (10 prospects ranked, published 11/4/15 by Teddy Cahill)
- MLB Pipeline (30 prospects ranked, no official publication date or writer)
Here’s a spreadsheet with all of the rankings dumped in.
CONSENSUS TOP TIER
To nobody’s surprise, the elite tier of Lucas Giolito, Trea Turner, and Victor Robles were ranked 1/2/3 on every list.
1. RHP Lucas Giolito (average ranking: 1.00, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 1, lowest ranking: 1)
2. SS Trea Turner (average ranking: 2.00, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 2, lowest ranking: 2)
3. OF Victor Robles (average ranking: 3.00, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 3, lowest ranking: 3)
CONSENSUS SECOND TIER
The second tier of Reynaldo Lopez, Erick Fedde, Wilmer Difo, and A.J. Cole were all ranked in the 4-8 range in every publication.
4. RHP Reynaldo Lopez (average ranking: 4.50, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 4, lowest ranking: 5)
Lopez was ranked #4 or #5 in the system on every list.
5. RHP Erick Fedde (average ranking: 5.25, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 4, lowest ranking: 7)
Fedde was ranked #4 three times, #5 once, #6 three times, and #7 once. The higher ranks (myself, MLB Pipeline, BA) believe that he’ll develop a solid third pitch. The lower ranks (namely ESPN) likely do not.
6. 2B Wilmer Difo (average ranking: 5.75, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 4, lowest ranking: 7)
Difo placed #4 once, #5 twice, #6 three times, and #7 twice, with NatsGM being highest on him and FG/Sickels being lowest.
7. RHP A.J. Cole (average ranking: 6.88, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 5, lowest ranking: 8)
Cole clinged to the second tier, being ranked surprisingly high by Sickels (#5) and Law (#6) but #7 or #8 on everyother list.
CONSENSUS(ISH) THIRD TIER.
This is where it starts getting fun. Outside of the top two tiers, Austin Voth, Anderson Franco, and Pedro Severino are the only remaining prospects ranked on all eight lists. Osvaldo Abreu and Rafael Bautista were ranked by seven lists each, while a glut of others led by Andrew Stevenson were only ranked by six.
8. RHP Austin Voth (average ranking: 9.63, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 8, lowest ranking: 12)
Voth was ranked either #8 or #9 by all but FG and ESPN, who both ranked him #12.
9. 3B Anderson Franco (average ranking: 10.38, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 7, lowest ranking: 15)
Unsurprisingly, there was a wide array of opinions on the 18 year old slugger because he’s so far from the majors. Franco was ranked as high as #8 by myself and Sickels, and as low as #15 by FG.
10. OF Andrew Stevenson (average ranking: 8.83, # of lists: 6, highest ranking: 6, lowest ranking: NR)
To no surprise, Keith Law has the biggest dissenting opinion on Stevenson, not ranking him in his top 15. FG is highest on the 2015 draft pick (#6), and MLB Pipeline and BA both have him at #8. I put Stevenson ahead of Severino on this list, though, because Stevenson was ranked higher than Severino on 6 of the 8 lists.
11. C Pedro Severino (average ranking: 12.63, # of lists: 8, highest ranking: 10, lowest ranking: 21)
I thought I was being conservative when I ranked Severino #13, simply because he was close to the big leagues. FG is the obvious outlier here, as they ranked him #21, with MLB Pipeline, BP, and ESPN all putting Pedro at #10.
12. SS Osvaldo Abreu (average ranking: 13.57, # of lists: 7, highest ranking: 9, lowest ranking: 21)
I wrote “I honestly am pumped about (Abreu)” and somehow listed him 7 slots below the next-worst ranking. Keith Law is high on him (#9), whereas everyone else has him in the 11-15 range (kinda including BP, who has him as an Honorable Mention guy, likely putting him in their 11-15 range).
13. OF Rafael Bautista (average ranking: 14.14, # of lists: 7, highest ranking: 12, lowest ranking: 18)
Bautista’s range of rankings is weirdly low, with myself and Sickels putting him at #12 and FG rounding out the bottom at #18 (BP did not rank Bautista).
14. C Jakson Reetz (average ranking: 14.33, # of lists: 6, highest ranking: 8, lowest ranking: NR)
On the other side of the spectrum is Reetz, who had an extremely wide range of rankings, as high as #8 by Law and #10 by Nats GM and as low as #20 by myself, HM (likely 11-15) by BP and not ranked by Sickels. I honestly had him 3-5 spots lower in my initial rankings too.
15. OF Blake Perkins (average ranking: 14.5, # of lists: 6, highest ranking: 11, lowest ranking: NR)
Rounding out the third tier is 2015 draft pick Blake Perkins, who was ranked as high as #11 (MLB Pipeline) and was in the top 18 on seven of the eight lists (if you consider BP’s HM to be their #’s 11-15). The only to not rank Perkins was Sickels, and he put him in the “C” range, likely in the low 20s.
EVERYBODY ELSE, PART 1
From here on out, only Koda Glover, Rhett Wiseman, Chris Bostick, and Raudy Read were ranked on 5 or more lists. I did my best to try and sort out the average rankings for the following twelve players who were on 4 or more lists:
16. RHP Koda Glover (average ranking: 20.0, # of lists: 6, highest ranking: 10, lowest ranking: NR)
As I mentioned before, Glover being ranked #10 by FG was a huge surprise. That being said, he was ranked on 6 of the 8 lists, and the two that didn’t rank him (BP and ESPN) only put out 15 names each. Glover was in the top 20 for FG, myself, MLB Pipeline and Minor League Ball.
17. 1B/3B Drew Ward (average ranking: 18.5, # of lists: 4, highest ranking: 14, lowest ranking: NR)
Ward was only ranked on four lists (MLB Pipeline, BA, NatsGM, and myself), but received HM on all other lists other than ESPN. The four that ranked Ward all had him in the 14-22 range.
18. 2B Chris Bostick (average ranking: 19.60, # of lists: 5, highest ranking: 11, lowest ranking: NR)
I had Bostick ranked the highest (#11) because I like his versatility and all-around solid game. Bostick was ranked in the top 20 by myself, Sickels, and NatsGM, but in the 20-30 range by BA and MLB Pipeline and not at all by ESPN and BP.
19. OF Rhett Wiseman (average ranking: 20.33, # of lists: 6, highest ranking: 15, lowest ranking: NR)
Nobody is particularly excited about Wiseman (only two lists had him in the top 10: NatsGM and Sickels), but he was ranked by everyone who put a list that went longer than 15 names.
20. C Spencer Kieboom (average ranking: 20.50, # of lists: 4, highest ranking: 11, lowest ranking: NR)
It comes as little surprise to me that there is a huge divide on Kieboom’s prospect status, with Law (#11), NatsGM (#20), and MLB Pipeline (#21) ranking him relatively high and myself (#30), FG/Sickels (HM) and BP/BA (NR) ranking him low or not at all. Law praises Kieboom’s game-calling and defensive skills, but to me, he’s still a 25 year old who has only 14 games of experience above A+ ball.
21. OF Juan Soto (average ranking: 19.75, # of lists: 4, highest ranking: 15, lowest ranking: NR)
With a decent season, Soto could end up as high as Anderson Franco next season. MLB Pipeline (#15) and myself (#19) have him in the top 20, and he was ranked in the top 30 or HM by everyone who put a list that went longer than 15 names.
22. RHP Austen Williams (average ranking: 19.75, # of lists: 4, highest ranking: 17, lowest ranking: NR)
Williams’ placement on this list is hurt by the fact that he was not ranked at all on three lists (FG, BP, ESPN), and was only HM on another (Sickels). Nobody is particularly high on him (NatsGM has him highest at #17), and he seems like the type of guy who will float in the lower half of the top 30 as he climbs the organizational ladder, a la Taylor Hill.
23. LHP Taylor Hearn (average ranking: 22.25, # of lists: 5, highest ranking: 9, lowest ranking: NR)
Only FG (#9) had Hearn in the top 20, but he was in the 20-30 range on my list, MLB Pipeline, and BA (and Sickels singled him out in his HM section, so he’d probably be in the #21-25 range there). The fact that somebody likes him a lot bumped him ahead of Read on this list.
24. C Raudy Read (average ranking: 24.60, # of lists: 5, highest ranking: 17, lowest ranking: NR)
Similar to Glover and Soto, Read was at least rated as HM by every list that had more than 15 names on it. Only Sickels (#17) had him in the top 20, but he was a stalwart in the 23-32 range.
25. RHP Abel De Los Santos (average ranking: 19, # of lists: 4, highest ranking: 16, lowest ranking: NR)
I was surprised not to see De Los Santos higher on other lists (as evidenced by me having the highest ranking at #16). He just turned 23 in November, reached the big leagues last year, and has solid minor league numbers. I suppose the fact that he’s a reliever might hurt him, but I’d rather have a probable ML reliever in De Los Santos than a maybe-#5 starter like Williams.
26. 2B Max Schrock (average ranking: 22.75, # of lists: 4, highest ranking: 15, lowest ranking: NR)
Like with Abreu, I thought I was putting a nice “sleeper” stamp on Schrock by putting him in my top 30, but both FG and Sickels put him in their top 20. Can’t win ‘em all.
27. SS Edwin Lora (average ranking: 23.25, # of lists: 4, highest ranking: 16, lowest ranking: NR)
Lora is a favorite of NatsGM (#16), made the top 30 on the MLB Pipeline and BA lists (and was #31 on mine), and was an HM by FG and Sickels. Pretty solid showing for the young SS.
EVERYBODY ELSE, PART 2
I’m not even going to bother ranking these guys, as they were all ranked by 3 or fewer of the 8 lists.
RHP Jefry Rodriguez
Ranked #18 by me, #22 by FG, #27 by NatsGM, and HM by Sickels
OF Telmito Agustin
Ranked #13 by FG, #14 by me, and HM by Sickels
LHP Nick Lee
Ranked #26 by me, #27 by BA, #28 by MLB Pipeline, and HM by FG, Sickels, and NatsGM
3B Kelvin Gutierrez
Ranked #11 by FG, #26 by MLB Pipeline, #43 by me, and HM by Sickels
RHP Andrew Lee
Ranked #20 by FG and Sickels and #28 by me
RHP Joan Baez
Ranked #18 by MLB Pipeline and BA, #33 by me, and HM by NatsGM
OF Brian Goodwin
Ranked #25 by me, #26 by NatsGM, #31 by BA, and HM by FG and Sickels
RHP Mariano Rivera, Jr.
Ranked #29 by BA, #34 by me, and HM by NatsGM
1B Matt Skole
Ranked #29 by MLB Pipeline, #35 by me, and HM by FG and Sickels
LHP Tyler Watson
Ranked #29 by NatsGM, #36 by me, and HM by FG and Sickels
RHP Tyler Mapes
Ranked #30 by NatsGM and #39 by me
RHP John Simms
Ranked #23 by NatsGM and #46 by me
RHP Phillips Valdez
Ranked #26 by BA and #45 by me.