2012 MLB Farm System Ranking Based on Sickels' Grading System

Hello all!

While looking through John Sickels' top 20 prospect rankings, I was interested in coming up with a simple way to rank farm systems based on his prospect grades. Plus, I just wanted to do something while passing the time. So I thought, "Why not try something similar to the GPA system?" More after the jump.

I devised a grading system for prospects similar to the Canadian GPA system that I'm used to, though you can try other grading methods as well, which goes as follows:

A+: 6.00*

A: 5.00

A-: 4.17

B+: 3.50

B: 3.00

B-: 2.67

C+: 2.33

C: 2.00

So on and so forth.

*John rarely (most likely never) gives out the A+ grade

Edit: One commenter suggested a simple rate down from A+ to B, so I did just that. Between A+ and B, the difference between each grade decreases at a rate of ~0.17 per grade. It is arbitrary, I know, but I think this may address the issue regarding the undervaluing of higher grades in a simple manner. It does not, however, address the differences in value between pitchers and hitters.

From there, I simply gave each prospect a specific GPA. For instance, Jesus Montero was a Grade A prospect according to John, so he gets a 5.00. Borderline prospects (Between grades) were given an average (ie. a B+, borderline A- prospect was given a 3.84). Once all of the prospects within a team's top 20 list is graded, an average of the grades for each team was done. The teams were then ranked based on these averages. These were the results I got so far (this will be updated):

1. Toronto Blue Jays - 2.9850

2. San Diego Padres - 2.9505

3. St. Louis Cardinals - 2.9325

4. Atlanta Braves - 2.8510

5. Texas Rangers - 2.8415

6. Seattle Mariners - 2.8380

7. Tampa Bay Rays - 2.8130

8. Arizona Diamondbacks - 2.8085

9. Kansas City Royals - 2.7500

10. Pittsburgh Pirates - 2.7365

11. Boston Red Sox - 2.7340

12. Colorado Rockies - 2.6835

13. Oakland Athletics - 2.6820

14. Minnesota Twins - 2.6545

15. Baltimore Orioles - 2.6365

16. Los Angeles Dodgers - 2.6205

17. Los Angeles Angels - 2.6000

18. Washington Nationals - 2.5965

19. New York Yankees - 2.5905

20. New York Mets - 2.5825

21. Chicago Cubs - 2.5655

22. Detroit Tigers - 2.5485

23. Cincinnati Reds - 2.4905

24. Philadelphia Phillies - 2.4830

25. Miami Marlins - 2.4830

26. Cleveland Indians - 2.4805

27. San Francisco Giants - 2.4665

28. Milwaukee Brewers - 2.4245

29. Houston Astros - 2.3990

30. Chicago White Sox - 2.2985

One flaw of this grading system includes the way I graded borderline prospects (eg. I graded B+/borderline A- prospects and A-/borderline B+ prospects the same at 3.84). As well, I may have missed some trades that involved the exchange of top 20 prospects. Finally, ties were graded equally, even though John likely have had good reasons to rank one B+ prospect higher than another B+ prospect.

Critiques would be greatly appreciated.

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