Minor League Rankings

Monday, March 06 2006 @ 09:00 AM EST

Contributed by: Pistol

John Sickels has been posting his 'Top 20' prospect lists for each team over at his website. He finished up the final teams this weekend so I decided it'd be interesting to try to quantify his rankings.

The natural thing to do with Sickels' letter grades is to take those and figure out the GPA like you would in the academic world. However, when you use a scale like that youíre assuming that an A and a C is equal to two Bs. I think itís highly unlikely that a GM would trade one of his A prospects for two B prospects, let alone throw in a C prospect. So I tried to come up with a scale that was more realistic that gave more credit to teams with top prospects. Hereís what I ended up with:

A	12
A-	9
B+	6
B	4
B-	3
C+	2

Using this scale it takes three players to equal one player a full letter grade higher. For example, three B- players are equal to one A- player. Similarly, three B players equal one A player. I think itís a fair representation of the return that teams get from players. Would something like this happen in the baseball world? Probably not, but prospects are very rarely traded for each other anyway.

The other thing that I did with Sickelsí top 20 lists was to give no credit for C prospects. One reason is that these players are all long shots, but the other reason is that with a cutoff of the top 20 players youíre not going to get a good comparison from one organization to another. One organization might go 30 deep with C or better and another might only go 22 deep. For instance, the Diamondbacks had 18 players that were a C+ or better and 2 C players in their top 20. On the other hand the Mets only had 9 players with a C+ or better, with 11 players getting Cs. Itís not likely that the Mets had too many more C prospects, but itís likely that the Diamondbacks did and they would not get credit for that going just on the top 20. (Note Ė there were 7 teams that had at least 20 C+ or higher ranked players so if they had C+ players beyond the top 20 theyíd be getting shortchanged a bit. The teams are Giants, Braves, Twins, Brewers, Dodgers, Indians, and Marlins.)

Onto the rankings!

Team	         Total
Diamondbacks	89
Dodgers	        86
Marlins		83
Angels		76
Twins		76
Indians		76

Giants		70
Braves		67
Brewers	        67
Devil Rays	67
Athletics	62
Orioles		59

Red Sox	        59
Astros		58
Rockies	        58
Rangers	        54
Cubs		53
Cardinals	53

Royals		52
Blue Jays	51
Tigers		49
Yankees	        48
Mariners	47
Pirates		47

Padres		47
Phillies	43
White Sox	42
Nationals	40
Reds		38
Mets		32

One thing to consider with these rankings is trading. The Marlins would have been in the middle of the pack if they didnít have their fire sale this offseason. So while theyíre in the top tier of prospects their major league team is going to be awful this year. The Phillies ranked low, but would have been even lower if they didnít make the Thome trade where they picked up a couple pitching prospects from the White Sox.

On the other side of things several teams weakened their minor league system to acquire players to help them now. The Mets are a prime example, trading just about everyone they could with the exception of Milledge to get Delgado and LoDuca. As mentioned already, the White Sox weakened their farm system to acquire Jim Thome and Javier Vazquez, the Red Sox traded a few prospects to the Marlins for Josh Beckett, and the Braves parted with Andy Marte to get Edgar Renteria. To a lesser degree the Jays weakened their system when they traded away Zach Jackson. If they had held onto him they would have ranked 16th, but wouldnít have Lyle Overbay.