Thursday, January 28, 2010

Giants Prospects in Mayo's Top 50

Jonathan Mayo, the MLB's Minors expert, released his Top 50 prospect list for 2010 recently. I like to see what he is thinking because he was the one who turned me on to Tim Lincecum in the draft and got me to believe that he would fall to us in the draft (but nobody's perfect, he thought we would pick some strong-armed big body, Daniel Bard I think; but if I recall right, he nailed the first 8-10 picks in the 2009 draft though). He has Buster Posey as the 4th prospect and Madison Bumgarner as the 10th (which is a drop for MadBum, I think, from last year, but Posey rose from the high teens).

In the article I linked to, he did a team comparison showing how many of the Top 50 prospects that each team had. The Giants were tied with a bunch of teams with 2 of the Top 50 prospects. Texas, Tampa Bay, and Kansas City led with 4 prospects each.

But I was bothered by that comparison because we have 2 of the Top 10 prospects on the list, and only Texas beat us to being the first team to achieve that, and they are the only two teams to achieve that. So I tried a weighted scoring methodology so that a team that has a higher ranked prospect would get more credit for it, instead of just a simple count because that credits a team for a 50th prospect as much as a team with the 1st prospect. I gave the #1 prospect, Jason Heyward (wow, not Stephan Strasburg, though he was 2nd) 50 points, then one less point (49) for the 2nd, and so on until the 50th got 1 point.

Using that scoring system, here is the ranking by team:
  1. Tampa Bay 141
  2. Texas 131
  3. San Francisco 88
  4. Florida 74
  5. Toronto 69
  6. Atlanta 67
  7. Milwaukee 64
  8. Washington 60
  9. Kansas City 55
  10. Boston 53
So, using the article's comparison, the Giants come in tied for 5th with 12 other teams and thus look like just like any other team(plus with 50 slots and 30 teams, there is an average of 1.67 prospects per team). However, using my methodology, which weighs each prospect, the Giants come in a clear third place, far behind the leaders Tampa Bay and Texas but as far ahead of the 4th place team, Florida, as Florida is from the 8th place team Washington.

I think the Giants should still be on the higher side in 2011, close to 10th at least. Posey is probably going to be in the minors long enough that he should not lose his rookie status in 2010 and thus be eligible for ROY in 2011, now that Molina is around. Thus the Giants should have him ranked highly again, and he could move up a spot or two.

I'm not sure about Bumgarner, as it is still unclear to me whether the Giants are serious about starting him or looking for a 5th starter. Obviously, if he's still in the minors, he'll probably stay there a good portion of the season, particularly to avoid Super-2 status, and would still be a rookie for 2011. But obviously, if he starts in the majors, 2010 would be his rookie season and he would not be in the ranking next year.

And, at the moment, there is nobody who clearly will make the Top 50 in 2011 to take Bumgarner's place. Angel Villalona has the best set of skills and performance for making the list, in that he had the cred previously and could regain that cred with a good season in 2011. However, with no visa to even enter the U.S. because of his legal difficulties at home due to the shooting death that involved him, he'll be lucky to play in 2011, let alone bring things up a notch. Thomas Neal had a great 2009 but will have to raise things a notch again in AA in 2010 to have any hope of making the Top 50. Brandon Crawford could improve his chances by hitting in AA like he did in San Jose in 2009, but he too would need to raise things a notch. Roger Kieschnick could also put his name into play by greatly reducing his strikeouts and doing very well in AA, but like the others, unlikely to do enough to reach the Top 50.

The best chance would be if Zach Wheeler busts out of the gates like Bumgarner did in his full pro season. Wheeler could reach the Top prospect ranks if he can pitch like Bumgarner did. But not every young pitcher is going to do well in the minors, no matter how good they looked as an amateur, particularly high school pitchers. Hopefully your scouts did their job, but until he pitches for real, all we have is a hope that his skills will translate into the pro ranks.

I expect Wheeler to start out in Augusta, much like Bumgarner, both because of his strong skill set as well as its closeness to his hometown, which should help with his adjustment to the pro ranks, lessening homesickness, as well as having family and friends being able to make his games.

So it does not look probable that the Giants will keep their top spot, but there are some possibilities, mainly Bumgarner spending the year in the minors and Wheeler dominating in A-ball, that suggest that the Giants could stay up there, and perhaps could go up a spot or two, depending on how many of the other teams' prospects graduate in 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Nice analysis. I see over and over comments that the Giants farm system is top heavy and drops way off after Posey and Bumgarner.

    1. You can say the same for most teams' systems.

    2. That drop off has more to do with how high the top 2 are ranked than how bad the second tier is.

    I have Wheeler, Neal, Rafael Rodriguez, Brandon Crawford and Roger Kieschnick at #3-7 which I think is as strong a second tier as any. Any of those could well be top 50 next year.

    ReplyDelete

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