I decided to create a process for Top 100 prospect list peer review last year. The concept is simple: 1) carry out a mock draft using Top 100 lists and 2) calculate the value of each publication's draft.
Fangraph's dollar values, which are explained here, were my metric of choice for valuing each list. If you'd like to know more about my methods, the article I wrote on this topic last year should help.
I've made one significant change this year. When a player appeared on only one top 100 list -- renegade pick -- I multiplied his value by 1.5. Players who received this bonus have their dollar values shown in blue in the chart below.
Also keep in mind that I subtract the career value of players who were ranked on all lists but one from the one that didn't rank them -- loner instance. I'd be happy to post a list of each publication's 2007 loner instances in our forums. Just let me know if you want it.
Before we get to the updated results, here are the 10 most valuable prospects to date who were ranked in 2007 (career values are in millions):
1. Tim Lincecum, $99.4
2. Evan Longoria, $79.9
3. Dustin Pedroia, $78.4
4. Ubaldo Jimenez, $70.7
5. Troy Tulowitzki, $66.9
6. Ryan Braun, $64.2
7. Joey Votto, $63.9
8. Hunter Pence $58.1
9. Jordan Danks, $54.9
10. Matt Garza, $45.8
Now that you have the foundation of my methodology and what the 2007 prospect class had to offer, let's look at the results to date:
1. Baseball America, $574.6
2. Project Prospect, $569.4
3. Baseball Prospectus, $514.9
|Rd.||Project Prospect||$||Baseball America||$||Baseball Prospectus||$|
|1||Delmon Young||$1.3||Daisuke Matsuzaka||$42.2||Alex Gordon||$18.1|
|2||Phil Hughes||$25.3||Homer Bailey||$11.7||Brandon Wood||-$9.7|
|3||Jay Bruce||$24.8||Cameron Maybin||$6.9||Tim Lincecum||$99.4|
|4||Billy Butler||$24.3||Evan Longoria||$79.9||Chris Young||$33.5|
|5||Mike Pelfrey||$33.1||Justin Upton||$33.0||Reid Brignac||$2.5|
|6||Troy Tulowitzki||$66.9||Andrew Miller||$12.9||Ryan Braun||$64.2|
|7||Andrew McCutchen||$24.2||Yovani Gallardo||$39.5||Matt Garza||$45.8|
|8||Scott Elbert||-$1.4||Carlos Gonzalez||$32.8||Clayton Kershaw||$40.5|
|9||Andy LaRoche||$5.2||Fernando Martinez||-$2.9||Adam Miller||AAA|
|10||Jose Tabata||$8.0||Adam Jones||$20.4||Luke Hochevar||$21.2|
|11||Nick Adenhart||$0.9||Colby Rasmus||$20.8||Jeff Niemann||$18.7|
|12||Joey Votto||$63.9||Franklin Morales||$4.5||Philip Humber||$0.8|
|13||James Loney||$27.4||Jacoby Ellsbury||$34.5||Brandon Erbe||AAA|
|14||Adam Lind||$16.7||Jarrod Saltalmacchia||$3.5||Carlos Gomez||$16.4|
|15||Jason Hirsh||$1.1||Jake McGee||AAA||Chuck Lofgren||AAA|
|16||Hunter Pence||$58.1||Chris Volstad||$12.4||Donald Veal||-$1.2|
|17||Will Inman||AAA||Carlos Carrasco||-$1.5||Eric Hurley||$0.0|
|18||Josh Fields||-$0.8||Ian Stewart||$19.2||Dexter Fowler||$5.4|
|19||Felix Pie||$7.5||Billy Rowell||A+||Travis Snider||$4.4|
|20||Elijah Dukes||$10.8||Travis Buck||$10.4||Clay Buchholz||$25.3|
|21||Daric Barton||$25.8||Ryan Sweeney||$27.5||Chris Iannetta||$30.5|
|22||Jeff Clement||-$0.4||John Danks||$54.9||Kevin Kouzmanoff||$44.2|
|23||Kevin Slowey||$27.6||Humberto Sanchez||$0.0||Joba Chamberlain||$29.5|
|24||Elvis Andrus||$21.1||Troy Patton||-$0.5||Trevor Crowe||-$4.0|
|25||Brad Lincoln||-$0.9||Jonathan Sanchez||$32.1||Edinson Volquez||$21.2|
|26||Erick Aybar||$23.2||Miguel Montero||$22.9||Sean West||$4.1|
|27||Neil Walker||$5.3||Glen Perkins||$9.2||Angel Villalona||A+|
|28||Sean Gallagher||$2.6||Jaime Garcia||$15.8||Ubaldo Jimenez||$70.7|
|29||Dustin Pedroia||$117.6||Gio Gonzalez||$15.4||Ryan Tucker||-$1.9|
|30||Michael Bowden||$1.0||Greg Reynolds||-$3.6||Brandon Morrow||$20.0|
|31||Matt Walker||A+||Brett Sinbeil||AAA||Wade Davis||$6.5|
|32||Alberto Callaspo||$21.0||Jeff Samardzija||$0.0||Matt Harrison||$6.8|
|33||Daniel Bard||$9.5||Matt Albers||$5.7||Brent Lillibridge||-$4.8|
|34||Jeremy Jeffress||$0.0||Brian Barton||$6.9||Sean Rodriguez||$8.1|
|35||Jeremy Hellickson||$4.8||Drew Stubbs||$19.4||Hank Conger||AAA|
|36||Deolis Guerra||AAA||Kurt Suzuki||$35.2||Cesar Carrillo||-$4.5|
|37||Dellin Betances||AA||Chris Parmelee||AA||Chris Marrero||AA|
|38||Anthony Swarzak||$0.2||Collin Balester||-$1.8||Cedric Hunter||AAA|
|39||Joe Koshansky||-$0.3||Micah Owings||$10.3||Pedro Beato||AA|
|adj||Ubaldo Jimenez||-$86.0||Kevin Kouzmanoff||-$54.9||Kurt Suzuki||-$96.8|
|Not reached MLB||4||Not reached MLB||4||Not reached MLB||8|
|* Blue text indicates that the player was only ranked as a Top 100 prospect by one publication|
In the two years prior to the formation of these lists, Ubaldo Jimenez had walked 12.5% of the combined High-A, Double-A and Triple-A batters he had faced. His strikeout rate also dropped by 10% from Double-A to Triple-A in 2006. But he was a young pitcher who had found success in the upper minors. And while neither BA nor BP had him in the top half of its top 100, we were still the ones who missed him, which will likely be a $100+ million mistake. Our lack of scouting resources in 2006 hurt us here.
We have, however, been able to compensate for this mistake by ranking Dustin Pedroia in our top 100 that year -- way down at No. 74 -- his final year as a prospect.
I can't find a link right now, but I believe PECOTA, the system BP used for prospect rankings before Kevin Goldstein was brought on, ranked Pedroia as the best prospect in baseball entering 2007. Pedroia was a poster boy for quantitative prospect analysis that year.
Baseball America had ranked Pedroia in its 2006 Top 100, but left him off its Top 100 in 2007 -- though one BA intern tried to make a case for his inclusion. Pedroia was fresh off putting up a .355 wOBA and 5.5% K rate as a 22-year-old in Triple-A.
Two-thousand and seven has also offered a strong reminder of how the popular, can't-miss prospects rarely go on to become the best big leaguers.
At this point last year, Baseball Prospectus' 2007 Top 100 was leading the pack -- BP $454.3 M, BA $438.6 M and PP $367.5 M. This turn-around tells us two things:
1. It's still far too early to declare a winner in the Battle of the 2007 Top 100s.
2. The most destructive characteristic of a Top 100 prospect list is lack of big leaguers.