Josh Nelson, who writes for South Side Sox here at SB Nation, offers this nifty GoogleDoc summarizing the various Top 2017 MLB prospect lists. He includes Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, Keith Law at ESPN.com, and MLB Pipeline as well as the Minor League Ball Top 200 list.
I thought it would be interesting to look at Josh’s compilation and see which players on my Top 200 list are ranked most differently compared to other lists. Let’s take a look.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies: Ranked 27th on the Minor League Ball list, compared to number four for BP, number five from Keith Law, number six from MLB Pipeline, and number 12 from BA. I suppose I’m a bit less confident in his hitting than everyone else.
Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates: Ranked 20th on the Minor League Ball list, compared to sixth from BA and BP and ninth from MLB.com and ESPN.com. Perhaps I have prospect fatigue with him, in addition to mild concern about his durability.
Victor Robles, OF, Nationals: Ranked 22nd on the Minor League Ball list, compared to seventh by MLB.com and BP, eighth by Keith Law, and 13th by BA. I like Robles a lot but wish to see more from higher levels.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox: Ranked ninth on the Minor League Ball list, compared to 11th by Keith Law, 13th by BP, 17th by MLB.com, and 18th by BA. I’m the optimist on this one, thinking the power will continue to improve and being impressed with his defensive progress.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates: Ranked sixth on the Minor League Ball list, compared to eighth by MLB.com , 14th by BP, 23rd by BA, and 24th by Keith Law. The BA and Law rankings accurately reflect a decline in industry stock for Glasnow, but in this case I think the industry is over-correcting.
Jose De Leon, RHP, Rays: Ranked eighth on the Minor League Ball list, but 29th at BA, 33 at MLB.com, 38th at BP, and just 73 with Keith Law. This is the biggest discrepancy by far between the various lists. As with Glasnow, De Leon’s stock is down among industry sources. Assuming that he stays healthy, I still believe in him.
Robert Gsellman, RHP, Mets: Ranked as Number 59 on the Minor League Ball list. The high guys here are Baseball Prospectus at 17th. Keith Law has him at 76, while MLB.com and BA don’t rank him at all.
Leody Taveras, OF, Rangers: He’s at 156th on my list, way below his rankings at 35th for ESPN, 47th at BA, 55th at MLB.com, and 73 at BP. In this case everyone else is banking on his tools and youth and industry reputation, while I’m being cautious until he gets to higher levels.
There are other discrepancies but those are the major ones. You should study the list and see what stands out to you.
Obviously the differences between lists vary depending on the methods and biases of the analysts in question. My lists tend to emphasize proximity to the majors and proven performance and less on long-term projection and industry reputation.
Sometimes the non-consensus view turns out to be correct. . .and of course sometimes it turns out to be totally wrong. We’ll revisit this throughout the year and see how the outliers stand.