Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tigers Prospect Rankings

Eddie of Tigers Thoughts has posted the Brian Bluhm Memorial Tigers prospect rankings at MotownSports. As many of you know, Mr Bluhm was one of the students killed in the tragic Virginia Tech shootings in 2007. Since Brian was an avid fan of Tigers minor league baseball, Eddie honors his memory by putting together an extensive prospect ranking each off-season. Several fans, who follow the Tigers organization very closely, rank the top 50 prospects and submit their lists to Eddie. Eddie then combines the ballots into an aggregate list. The top ten prospects going into the 2010 season are:

1. Casey Crosby (5 first place votes)
2. Jacob Turner (4)
3. Scott Sizemore
4. Austin Jackson (1)
5. Alex Avila
6. Daniel Schlereth
7. Ryan Strieby
8. Wilkin Ramirez
9. Casper Wells
10. Andy Oliver

The complete top 30 list can be found at Motownsports. Also included this year is a list of the top Tigers players 25 years old and under:

1. Rick Porcello (9)
2. Max Scherzer (1)
3. Casey Crosby
4. Jacob Turner
5. Scott Sizemore
6. Ryan Perry
7. Austin Jackson
8. Alex Avila
9. Daniel Schlereth
10. Ryan Strieby


  1. Hi Lee:

    As always I enjoy reading what you have to say in your blog. My question is this: What do these (or for that matter other) prospect rankings mean?

    When people talk about how good a prospect is are they talking about raw talent or the ability to contribute to their mlb parent club in the near or distant future?

    Are prospects judged on their projected ability and contributions for this year, for five years, their career, or perhaps the time they are under contractual obligation to the parent club?

    Just wondering,

  2. Kevin, Some base their rankings on raw ability giving the players with the most raw potential the highest rankings. Others base their rankings on expectation. For example, there is an expectation that Scott Sizemore will be a pretty good player but his upside is not really high. On the other hand, many believe that a prospect such as Daniel Fields has more raw ability than Sizemore. Fields is just getting started though so you can't really project him to even pretty good yet. Personally, I base my lists more on expectation than upside. others such as Baseball America seem to go more by upside.

    These particular lists were an aggregate of 10 different people with various philosophies. Knowing most of the people on the list, I suspect they are based a little more on expectation than raw ability.

    I think most people base their ranks on what the player will do for his entire career. The exception would be a fantasy baseball site which would probably base their ranks on the upcoming year.

    Prospect lists are fun but they're subjective and should be taken with a grain of salt. I think which players makes the lists is more important than where they are ranked. If I see a player make a lot of lists, then it usually means he is worth watching even if he was not #1 on those lists.


  3. Hi Lee:

    Thanks for all the good input. You addressed exactly what I wondering about: e.g. D Fields (raw talent) vs. S Sizemore (expectation this year).

    I like to read about the various prospect ratings because they make me aware of players I hadn't heard of before - not really the top 10 you listed, but there were a few from the Motown blog you linked to that were new to me. Now they are on my radar! And yes I will take everything said about prospects with a grain of salt. Can't get your expectations too high :)

    Keep up the good work!



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