BRASSBALL LEAGUE
THE BEE'S WAX
Bloomington Bees 1997 Brassball Champions

Bee's Wax

We make it your “bee’s wax” to know what’s happening in Bees Baseball.

Vol 7.  Issue 7
August 2001

BRASSball’s Top Prospects

In this issue of Bee's Wax, I provide a ranked listing of who the top prospects are in all of BRASSball.  

The analyses that I have done involves sampling and compiling the collective opinions of several major talent evaluators and interpreting the data in several ways that I hope will be interesting and meaningful to us all.  In the end, I'll be naming my 3rd annual BRASSball Minor League Organization of the Year.   

The 1999 winner was the Ocala Ocelots.  The 2000 winner was the Metropolis Avengers. 

Along the way, I'll provide a look at who the consensus top prospects are in BRASSball (all 185 of them!), and I'll also author an organization-by-organization minor league report listing all the prospects we own who are among the best, by the consensus opinions of these so-called "major talent evaluators." 

So who are these evaluators anyway? 

Well, the names are familiar to most (all?) of us I'm sure, and they are three of the most reliable and accessible sources I regularly consult.   They are excellent sources of information on minor leaguers, and often offer much more than just this information about the national pastime.  I am referring to Baseball America   (the “Minor League Bible” to many), an established baseball publication source called the Spring Training Baseball Yearbook, the minor league system and prospect evaluation found at ESPN.com. The CBS SportsLine.com’s evaluators, those also at STATS, Inc. and a comprehensive baseball web site source called Top Prospect Alert.com. 

Baseball America doesn't need much introduction to most of us.  They've been evaluating minor league talent and covering the minor, major, high school, college and international baseball scene for decades now.  They are well-respected.  I used one qualitative source from these folks (their Top 100 list) and one quantitative source (their franchise-by-franchise Top 15 lists). 

The Top Prospect Alert web site is perhaps familiar to fewer of us.  If you haven't visited, you really owe it to yourself to do so.  It's really quite a site.  As I did with the Baseball America source, I used TPA’s qualitative prospect report (their Top 100 list). Their quantitative report (their franchise-by-franchise Top 10 lists) was not completed this year in time for me to use it however.  There are excellent articles there now on all manner of baseball topics.  You might want to check the site out at:  

http://www.topprospectalert.com/ 

One of the best sources of evaluation minor league talent in the old-fashioned glossy paper magazine format is found in an excellent publication called Spring Training Baseball Yearbook.  If you haven't picked up a copy, you might wish to do so sometime at your local book store.  I get mine each year at Barnes and Noble.  I used their Top 100 Prospects list as another source. 

ESPN’s web site has improved their minor league coverage dramatically over the years and rivals anyone’s coverage of the minors except for perhaps Baseball America, with whom they have now forged a partnership on their web site.  John Sickels authors “Down on the Farm” reports every week or so during the season, where he features two top prospects and updates us on their progress and future.  He also does a full treatment of each team’s minor league system each year and identifies their Top 10 prospects. 

STATS, Inc. is familiar to many of us as well.  These folks do incredible statistical analysis and provide these stats to organizations and publications throughout the baseball world.  They also have writers and evaluators on staff, publishing many books each year, including rankings and ewvaluations of minor league prospects. 

CBS SportLine.com is another rapidly improving source of information on the sports world, including the baseball scene. 

So there's the background information on my work.  Please read on and I hope you enjoy my treatment of the consensus opinions of these eight excellent sources of information about who the top prospects are in the BRASSball League and who owns them! 

BRASSball's Top 185 Prospects

Gulp.  Now that's a rather ambitious undertaking, wouldn't you say?  How would a person even approach the task of determining such a thing? 

Well, if I were a billionaire owner of a MLB franchise, I might spend a few million to round up the best talent evaluators I could find and pay them to provide it for me.  But since I am not burdened with excess millions, and am in fact pretending to own something similar to a MLB franchise with a minor league system through my participation in the BRASSball League (and thank the heavens for it!), I'll need another method.   

The method I chose was to round up the qualitative and quantitative opinions of a variety of established, respected sources which evaluate minor league talent.  As I explained in my introductory piece, I chose to use the Top 100 lists of Baseball America (BA), the Spring Training (ST) magazine, CBS SportsLine.com and the Top Prospect Alert (TPA) web sites; the Top 50 List from STATS, Inc.; as well as BA's Top 15 lists for each MLB franchise, BA’s Top League prospect list, and ESPN.com’s Top5+ lists for each MLB franchise. 

Recognizing that there is in fact no definitive way to even determine such a thing, and that it's all just a matter of opinion, makes it a much easier task.   I wonder if my way and my results would even be markedly different than the results that might be compiled by a group of evaluators purchased for millions of dollars.  You know--in looking at the results, I doubt very much that it would be.  I'm quite certain that MLB execs have access to more and better information than I do -- on balance.  But I doubt very much that the conclusions, on balance, would be markedly different.  Maybe I'm na´ve about that, but I doubt whether I am far off here. 

And who really knows with youngsters anyway?  We're evaluating them as "prospects" not as MLB All-Stars.  They aren't there yet--and most never will be.  It's all to be determined.  Some of the evaluators focus exclusively on players who have not yet played in the bigs, some include all players who still retain Rookie status in MLB, so there is a good mix here.  And most of this evaluation is done prior to what has been revealed to us in the 2001 MLB and Minor League seasons.  No mattter what the results, it's sure was a fun thing to do and I hope you enjoy the article. 

Anyway, let's have a look at my method and at the Top 185 Prospects in the BRASSball League… 

The best way to do prospect rankings is to deal with numerical values so they can be compiled and compared with one another.  I plan on doing this every year, so I have adopted a scale that I expect to hold for years to come.  To make it easy and to use round numbers, I assigned 100 possible points that could be earned by a prospect who was named on any of the six sources I used. 

For the four Top 100 lists, the player listed as the #1 prospect got 100 points, the #2 prospect got 99 points and so forth down to 1 point for the player listed as the #100 prospect on the list.  These Top 100 lists represent four sources of qualitative rankings.  They measure the top quality prospects from all of the minor leagues.  A player has to be among the elite top 100 to earn any points in my BRASSball rankings from these sources. 

For the Top 50 list, the top player got 100 points, the #2 prospect got 99 points, and so on, down to the #50 prospect, who got 50 points.  This STATS, Inc. source represents another qualitative source. 

The BA Top 15 lists were one of the quantitative sources I used.  With 30 MLB teams, this list is less exclusive than the Top 100 lists, offering up what amounts to an identification of something of a Top 450 list (30 teams X 15 prospects per team).  It details a greater quantity of players than the Top 100 lists, containing a good number of prospects that I'm certain will make up a fair portion of next year's Top 100 lists and has a few from last year's Top 100's that have slipped a bit, but still have a chance at big league careers. 

I gave 100 points here also to a BA #1 prospect, and divided it out as follows for the rest of the list: 

BA #1:   100        pts
BA #2:   93.33    pts.
BA #3:   86.67    pts.
BA #4:   80         pts.
BA #5:   73.33    pts.
BA #6:   66.67    pts.
BA #7:   60         pts.
BA #8:   53.33    pts.
BA #9:   46.67    pts.
BA #10: 40          pts.
BA #11: 33.33    pts.
BA #12: 26.67    pts.
BA #13: 20          pts
BA #14: 13.33    pts.
BA #15:   6.67    pts. 

The ESPN reports have a little different format of identifying the top ten prospects from each franchise.  They list the Top 5 in order, then list the next 5 as a group.  I assigned prospect points to the players they identified for each franchise in the following manner: 

ESPN #1:  100 pts.
ESPN #2:    90 pts.
ESPN #3:    80 pts.
ESPN #4:    70 pts.
ESPN #5:    60 pts.
ESPN next 5: 30 pts.

The melding of these qualitative and quantitative measures is a good one I think.  When one compares the BRASSball minor league systems, one ought to compare both the glitter (quality) of the prospects and the overall depth (quantity) of the system.

So on the scale I developed, a perfect score for any given prospect would be 800 points.  In order to score 800 points a prospect would have to be #1 on all four Top 100 lists, #1 on theTop 50 list and also be listed as the #1 prospect for his MLB team on all three of the BA Top 15, the ESPN Top 5+ and the BA Top 10 League Prospects.

In the 1999 rankings, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder J.D. Drew ran the table and scored a perfect score in my prospect rankings.  Last year, his Cardinals teammate Rick Ankiel did the same--he was #1on all six sources!  I don't know which is more amazing: The fact that last year Ankiel was #2 on every single list behind Drew, or that the two players who BOTH ran the table are part of the same MLB organization!   Amazing!

This year’s prospects king was outfielder Corey Patterson of the Chicago Cubs, owned by North Georgia in BRASSball.   Corey did not score a perfect 800, but he was not far off at 791.   He barely beat out Tampa Bay’s young outfielder Josh Hamilton, who had 788 points.  Hamilton is owned by BRASSball’s Metropolis franchise.

Anyway, without any further ado, here is your ranking of the Top 185 Prospects in the BRASSball League, as determined by assigning points vaues for their positions on the five big lists I used.

 

 

Brassball

MLB

 

TOTAL

RANK

NAME

TEAM

TEAM

POS

POINTS

1

Patterson, Corey

NGA

CHC

8

791

2

Hamilton, Josh

MET

TAM

8

788

3

Sheets, Ben

PLA

MIL

1

775

4

Pena, Carlos

MET

TEX

3

773

5

Anderson, Ryan

FLE

SEA

0

768

6

Sabathia, C.C.

BLO

CLE

0

765

7

Rauch, Jon

TOL

CHW

1

759

8

Beckett, Josh

BLO

FLA

1

754

9

Burroughs, Sean

MIN

SD

5

751

10

Escobar, Alex

BLO

NYM

8

736

11

Oswalt, Roy

OCA

HTN

1

716

12

Perez, Antonio

FLE

SEA

6

712.67

13

Wells, Vernon

MET

TOR

8

692

14

House, J.R.

COO

PGH

2

687

15

Bradley, Bobby

STC

PGH

1

677.33

16

Tsao, Chin-Hui

BRO

COL

1

675

17

George, Chris

SB

KC

0

665

17

Ortiz, Jose

MET

OAK

4

665

19

Choi, Hee Seop

IOW

CHC

3

657.67

20

Kearns, Austin

MOR

CIN

8

654

21

Williams, Jerome

MIN

SF

1

651

22

Crede, Joe

BLO

CHW

5

646.67

23

Betemit, Wilson

MET

ATL

6

630

24

Bridges, Donnie

SB

MTL

1

620

25

Mench, Kevin

FLE

TEX

8

592

26

Dunn, Adam

PLA

CIN

8

589.33

27

Soriano, Alfonso

WAU

NYY

6-4

585.33

28

Johnson, Nick

MET

NYY

3

565

29

Pujols, Albert

GLE

STL

5

551.33

30

Huff, Aubrey

STC

TAM

5

539

31

Ainsworth, Kurt

OCA

SF

1

536.33

32

Wilkerson, Brad

GEM

MTL

8

535.67

33

Brown, Dee

WAU

KC

8

535.33

34

Belisle, Matt

GEO

ATL

1

535

35

Cruz, Juan

MET

CHC

1

533.33

36

Hart, Jason

NGA

OAK

3

532.33

37

Smith, Bud

TOL

STL

0

515

38

Lopez, Felipe

BLO

TOR

6

513.33

39

Cust, Jack

MET

ARZ

8

496.33

40

Torres, Joe

WAU

ANA

0

489

41

Christensen, Ben

MET

CHC

1

481

42

Myers, Brett

PLA

PHL

1

477.33

43

Peavy, Jacob

OCA

SD

1

467.33

44

Johnson, Adam

SB

MIN

1

464

45

Colome, Jesus

BLO

TAM

1

459.33

46

Rollins, Jimmy

COL

PHL

6

453

47

Giles, Marcus

FLE

ATL

4

451.67

48

Cedeno, Jovanny

BOX

TEX

1

439.33

49

Ginter, Matt

MET

CHW

1

436

50

Neugebauer, Nick

BOX

MIL

1

435.33

51

Borchard, Joe

IOW

CHW

8

413.33

52

Strange, Pat

NGA

NYM

1

410.33

53

Henson, Drew

FLE

CIN

5

408.67

54

Crawford, Carl

STC

TAM

8

405.67

55

Baez, Danys

IOW

CLE

1

402.33

56

Cuddyer, Michael

LI

MIN

5

395.33

57

Ludwick, Ryan

MIN

OAK

8

391.67

58

Bynum, Mike

RAC

SD

0

391

59

Snelling, Chris

BLO

SEA

8

382.33

60

Reed, Keith

HES

BAL

8

374

61

Torcato, Tony

MOR

SF

5

367.67

62

Cintron, Alex

BRO

ARZ

6

364

63

Suzuki, Ichiro

BLO

SEA

8

360.33

64

Jimenez, D'Angelo

FLE

NYY

6

355.67

65

Blanco, Tony

COO

BOS

5

354.67

66

Rodriguez, Wilfredo

PLA

HTN

0

345.33

67

Munson, Eric

SB

DET

3

339.67

68

Baker, Brad

BOX

BOS

1

337.33

69

Rodriguez, Francisco

BOX

ANA

1

330.33

70

MacDougal, Mike

GLE

KC

1

322.67

71

Serrano, Wascar

MIN

SD

1

316.67

72

McClendon, Matt

RAC

ATL

1

316.33

73

Anderson, Wes

COO

FLA

1

312.33

74

Stenson, Dernell

COL

BOS

3

302

75

Hernandez, Adrian

GLE

NYY

1

296

76

Nunez, Abraham

FLE

FLA

8

289.33

77

Inge, Brandon

COL

DET

2

285

78

Chen, Chin-Feng

SB

LA

8

268.33

79

Prokopec, Luke

GEM

LA

1

267.33

80

Montanez, Luis

WAU

CHC

6

265.67

81

Kinney, Matt

MET

MIN

1

263.67

82

Jennings, Jason

GEM

COL

1

257.67

83

Guerrero, Christian

RAC

MIL

8

255

84

Baisley, Brad

HES

PHL

1

249.67

85

Rivas, Luis

TOL

MIN

4

239

86

Lawrence, Joe

STC

TOR

2

237

87

Restovich, Michael

MET

MIN

8

229.67

88

Niekro, Lance

RAC

SF

5

225

89

Davis, J.J.

BOX

PGH

8

223.67

90

Gonzalez, Adrian

SB

FLA

3

223

91

Marquis, Jason

MET

ATL

1

218.33

92

Dawkins, Travis

SB

CIN

4-6

216.33

93

Nady, Xavier

TOL

SD

5

215

94

Diggins, Ben

OCA

LA

1

210

95

Valent, Eric

WAU

PHL

8

209.33

96

Bloomquist, Willie

PLA

SEA

4

208

97

Standridge, Jason

HES

TAM

1

200.33

98

Feliz, Pedro

SB

SF

5

197.33

99

Wainwright, Adam

NGA

ATL

1

195

100

Smith, Corey

STA

CLE

5

190.67

101

Bradley, Milton

SB

MTL

8

190

101

Garland, Jon

TOL

CHW

1

190

103

Morneau, Justin

COO

MIN

3

188.33

103

Rivera, Luis

IOW

BAL

1

188.33

105

Romano, Jason

GLE

TEX

4

177.67

106

Ozuna, Pablo

TOL

FLA

4

175.67

107

White, Matt

OCA

TAM

1

170

108

Roberts, Grant

OCA

NYM

1

163.33

109

Christianson, Ryan

PLA

SEA

2

158.33

109

Utley, Chase