IBI Power Poll: And the Indians' top prospects are...
Help the national writers figure out where they went wrong..
In this week’s power poll, we are going to take a look at the recent look at the national pundits look at the Cleveland Indians’ top prospects. We here at Indians Baseball Insider pride ourselves on all of our Indians’ coverage, but are the pre-eminent source with regards to the minor league system, and have been since Tony Lastoria started the site back in 2007.
It’s always interesting to look at the national rankings for each major league club, since they truly have a disadvantage trying to observe an entire system from the outside looking in. Often, only a few people are doing the background work, utilizing several national sources, such as drafts and standout seasons from highly touted players. They make contact with scouts, catch as many games as possible, and dive into the numbers, the metrics and the YouTube videos that are available.
That all sounds fairly easy, but take each minor league roster, multiply it by each level, and then multiply it by each team. That’s a lot of players, so you never really know what you are going to get with regards to the national rankings.
When you combine that with the true unknown of what a prospect will ultimately do, you have a business that makes the three-out-of-ten standard for batting average in baseball look really, really good.
This week, we are going to take a look at both Jim Shonerd’s look at the Tribe’s top ten for Baseball America that came out on January 8th, and Jason Parks’ top ten for Baseball Prospectus that came out clear back on November 27th of last year.
Here are the rankings from each, with a self-made consensus from both services. I only included the players that were on both rankings systems in the consensus to perhaps help focus the energy of today’s poll on the players that only showed up on one or the other. I created the consensus in the easiest manner necessary, not to create a legit ceiling for the Indians’ prospects, but to show what the combination of the two most visible current systems have at the top.
IBI will, of course, have Tony Lastoria’s rankings later, as well as some of the other IBI writer’s personal rankings as well.
Here are the rankings:
|Baseball Prospectus||Baseball America||Consensus|
|1||Francisco Lindor, ss||Francisco Lindor, ss||Francisco Lindor|
|2||Clint Frazier, of||Clint Frazier, of||Clint Frazier|
|3||Tyler Naquin, of||Trevor Bauer, rhp||Tyler Naquin|
|4||Cody Anderson, rhp||Tyler Naquin, of||Cody Anderson|
|5||Francisco Mejia, c||Cody Anderson, rhp||Dorssys Paulino|
|6||Jose Ramirez, 2b/ss||Dorssys Paulino, ss||Ronny Rodriguez|
|7||Ronny Rodriguez, 2b/ss||Ronny Rodriguez ss/2b||Jose Ramirez|
|8||Dorssys Paulino, ss||C.C. Lee, rhp|
|9||Joe Wendle, 2b||Jose Ramirez 2b/ss|
|10||Dace Kime, rhp||Austin Adams, rhp|
You can see that the consensus top seven are a combination of Francisco Lindor, Clint Frazier, Tyler Naquin, Cody Anderson, Dorssys Paulino, Ronny Rodriguez and Jose Ramirez. Again, I’m not backing those top seven guys by any stretch of the imagination, but for their given reasons, and some very valid, those are the players that showed up in both.
The players that showed up in one poll or the other are Francisco Mejia, Joe Wendle, Dace Kime, Trevor Bauer, C.C. Lee and Austin Adams.
Here is a synopsis on each player from right here at IBI:
- Francisco Lindor, SS
- Clint Frazier, OF
- Tyler Naquin, OF
- Cody Anderson, rhp
- Dorssys Paulino, SS
- Ronny Rodriguez, SS
- Jose Ramirez, 2B
- Francisco Mejia, C
- Joe Wendle, 2B
- Dace Kime, rhp
- Trevor Bauer, RHP
- Chen-Chang Lee, RHP
- Austin Adams, RHP
Now is a chance for you to ponder the Indians top ten prospects and apply your own principles to the equation. What’s the most important facet when considering who the best prospect is? Is it their potential upside? Is it their performance? Is it age? Is it pedigree? Is it improvement? Is it their ability to play in the majors, or their ability to play in the majors and be a star? Is it their RAW tools?
It’s hard to find and measure the balance in finding the best prospects, and everybody has an opinion on what is important. Later in the offseason, we’ll take a look at all the rankings, including those from John Sickels, Keith Law, our very own Tony Lastoria and some others on our staff, and find out who YOUR top ten prospects are.
Today, though, we are going to find out which players you think shouldn’t be in that top seven consensus, and if there is another player or two who should be in the consensus.
Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.
Notice no Danny Salazar. MLB's top prospect lists are utter garbage. That's not to say that Wendle and JRam deserve to be in it, but I don't know that Mayo, who is the root of the rankings, has a clue of a prospect from the hole in his ass.
I'm assuming you're listing Ronny Rod, Jose Ramirez, and Joey Wendle as the 3 2B in our top 10 prospects. I don't think Wendle is widely viewed as a top 10 Tribe farmhand, certainly not by Callis and Mayo. In fact, he's not in the top 20 according to them. Likewise, Mayo and Callis are much, much lower on Jose Ramirez than most outlets, having him outside our top 10 as well. Finally, Ronny Rodriguez is considered a SS, so would not be eligible for their list. Not surprising at all that we don't have one of the top 10 2B on their list.
The Twins, Tigers and Sox all have a player on this list. And of course the Cardinals, Rangers and Red Sox have players at the top of the list. How can those teams keep coming up with these guys???
I'd prefer the authors work under the assumptions that we, the readers, are smart enough to delineate information on our own.
I would infer that since he mentioned Tony Lastoria, John Sickels and Keith Law, as well as others, in a later poll, that this consensus will eventually be altered by more reliable sources.
I personally would have both Bauer and Salazar on the list as consensus.
Like I said, everyone has their own vision of what a "prospect" is. If you think Bauer is a prospect. Great.
If you don't. Great.
People get hung up on all that crud. I don't. I honestly don't care, and don't weigh one idea over another. I have a belief, as do you.
Bauer should be on the list...no doubt about it. But that's only my opinion, and I was trying to stay out of that...which is why I didn't write up about each player, as I normally do.
I'll have a "rankings" of sorts at some point, and Tony's list is the most comprehensive, for sure. I do like Sickels and Law as well. Law didn't have Salazar in his top ten last year, and a lot was made of that, but he was his sleeper, and literally talked about him being a top 100 guy...so he was perhaps more on than the rest of the polls, even though they had him at sixth.
I do think that your "consensus" list is not really a consensus list if it doesn't acknowledge the fact that Bauer does not fit the BP criteria because of his ML time. There's no doubt that he would be on their list otherwise, and as Willie says, almost certainly top 5.
Even though he had a rough year, there's just no question that he is one of the top prospects in the system. So, knowing why BP didn't include Bauer, why wouldn't he be a 'consensus' pick? BA (the only list he qualified for) had him on their list. And why give the impression in the article and poll that there may be some question as to whether he is in our top 10? Seems ridiculous and sloppy to me.
I do enjoy Tony's rankings of Tribe prospects, and I often go back and forth in my own thinking about the Tribe's prospects using two perspectives: 1) overall talent with an emphasis on upside/high ceiling/projection, and 2) proven track record combined with proximity to the majors. So from the perspective of #1 I think a lot of a player like Paulino or Mejia, but from the perspective of #2, I downgrade them and get more excited about someone like Moncrief, or even CC Lee, who by this criteria would be higher. It always helps me to hear from the list-maker where their bias is, relative to #1 or #2 (or if they even think they have one -- and of course, there may be other biases, these are just the two I like)
Lastly, it seems like there are a number of List #1 type guys in the lower minors who need to step up and start producing or else...like Martinez, McClure, McAdams, Lavisky and maybe even Washington. I'll be curious to see where Tony puts these types in his list.
As for my thoughts here: I think Aguilar is on the cusp of the top 10. The system seems to have a mix of 8 guys that could go anywhere from seven to fifteen. If that's good talent, the system is getting in better shape...