Future Forty 2.0

Dave · March 22, 2005 at 8:40 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

If you look over in the left nav bar, you’ll see that I’ve updated the Future Forty. However, I wouldn’t really characterize this as an update. More like an overhaul.

Basically, I’ve never been very happy with the concept of prospect lists. Everyone does them because, well, everyone else does them. Baseball America has been doing their Top 100 since the fall of Rome, seemingly. So, everyone else who wants to come across as a legitimate authority on prospect analysis makes something that they can compare to BA; mainly, a list. So, analyst after anlayst contribute their thoughts, and we get hundreds of prospect lists. And they tell us… nothing.

Seriously, a numerical list is probably the worst way to communicate information. What does it really tell us? That the #13 prospect is any more likely to contribute than the #14 prospect? Not in the slightest. For the most part, we mentally just organize the rankings into tiers. The top ten in the game are elite prospects, the next ten to twenty are good prospects with some flaws, and so on and so forth. Unless we really just want to argue, we don’t really spend any time trying to discern the miniscule differences between guys ranked next to each other. So what’s the point?

Of course, it’s pretty hypocritcal for me to sit here and bash prospect lists when I put one out every month, isn’t it? So, I’ve torn the Future Forty down and rebuilt it from scratch. What you see now is only barely similar to what you used to see. Here’s a rundown of the changes and an overview of what the new and improved Future Forty should mean to you:

Gone are the numerical rankings. There is no #1 prospect, nor #40 prospect. There are still 40 players, but the numbers next to their names are no more. The Future Forty is now a tier based system. It is made up of eight levels, so to speak, of different kinds of prospects: elite, good, solid, future, marginal, projects, suspects, and injured. I’ve included a short definition of each level in the Future Forty itself, and hopefully they are fairly understandable.

The goal, really, was to provide more information to the reader. A lot of the questions used to revolve around things like “why is Justin Leone ranked ahead of Matt Tuiasasopo”, because there wasn’t an explanation attached. Now, instead of saying one is better than the other, I’ve grouped them into seperate categories to help explain the vast differences between the two. Leone is a marginal prospect, close to the majors, while Tuiasasopo is a future prospect who needs several years of development. If you happen to like long term projects, than you’ll probably prefer Tui. If you want someone who can contribute right now, Leone’s your guy. The list wouldn’t give you any information other than “Dave isn’t as high on Tui as everyone else”. Now, rather than giving you my opinion, I’m showing my work, and letting you decide what type of prospects you prefer.

Also gone are the comments, which rarely provided a lot of insight, and were honestly a pain in the butt to write. They’ve been replaced by four categories: reward, risk, stock, and ETA. The reward category measures a players potential, while risk simply measures the chance that the player will not live up to that potential. Stock measures whether a player is improving, declining, or staying neutral in my eyes. ETA is the year that I estimate the player will arrive in the majors if he develops as expected. Obviously, not everyone will, and attrition will knock a lot of these guys off the organizational ladder before they reach the show. ETA is not a prediction of when I think they will make the Mariners 25 man roster, but rather a guage to show how many more years I think they need in the minors before they’ll be ready.

So, there’s the basic guide. Rather than looking at Asdrubal Cabrera as “the #8 prospect”, the Future Forty now tells you that he’s a Future Prospect, needs several years to develop, but has comparable potential to guys like Jeremy Reed and Shin-Soo Choo (the top position players in the system), but is also one of the highest risk prospects in the organization. Based on his expected evelopment, I wouldn’t expect him in Seattle before 2007.

You still get my opinion of the players, only now its broken down into parts rather than a whole. This should make it significantly better for the readers to ascertain what kind of player a prospect is and why he’s in the tier that he is. Obviously, as time goes on, players will move from tier to tier, though I expect movement to be minimal and slow. I’m not going to be moving Adam Jones or Oswaldo Navarro up to Good Prospect status if they start off 20 for 50 in April.

Also, you’ll note that the players are sorted within each tier first by Reward ranking, than by Risk. High Risk, High Reward players will rank ahead of Low Risk, Low Reward players in the same tier, because I believe that potential is more important than attrition in valuing prospects, though both are obviously crucial.

I hope you guys find the Future Forty 2.0 to be a huge improvement over the list style, and for the prospect mavens out there, I’d encourage you to take a look at revamping the way we present information going forward. Just because everyone else presents their data in a list doesn’t mean we have to. After all, everyone else use to evaluate players by batting average too.

Comments

51 Responses to “Future Forty 2.0”

  1. Avery on March 22nd, 2005 8:53 pm

    Looks good. Did you mean to put Jorge Campillo & Yuniesky Betancourt as leaving the Future 40 and Mark Lowe & Brent Johnson as Entering?

  2. Dave on March 22nd, 2005 8:56 pm

    All fixed. Thanks.

  3. Terrence on March 22nd, 2005 9:04 pm

    Awesome Upgrade guys

  4. Econ guy on March 22nd, 2005 9:07 pm

    Dave,

    I think that it looks really good.

    If you are not having a list is there any reason that you limit the number of players to 40? I would really like to see more of minor league players rated.

    Good work!

  5. chris w on March 22nd, 2005 9:17 pm

    Awesome. In 30 seconds of perusing FF40v2.0, I gleaned more information than I ever could have from the v1.0 list.

  6. Chris Begley on March 22nd, 2005 9:21 pm

    So I note that Felix is listed as Tacoma. In Peter Gammons column today, he stated that Mariner’s officials weren’t sure if Felix would start at Tacoma or San Antonio. I am going to believe Dave over Peter (especially after reading him honestly seem to endorse the idea that Pedro Feliz can somehow compensate for Barry Bonds’ absence)

    Bobby Livingston’s spot intrigues me the most. I really liked his numbers last year, and am hoping that he is able to move up the system!

  7. Dash on March 22nd, 2005 9:34 pm

    Gammons also reports that the M’s are willing to trade Pokey. (Hint: They can’t til June) So we know what Gammons’ opinion is worth.

  8. jc on March 22nd, 2005 9:36 pm

    The rumur is they want felix to pitch in the warm weather the 1st month this would mean san antonio.It doesnt matter where he starts its where he finishes.I personally think this is a smart idea.I still want to know what position tui will end up at?Im saying LF…..

  9. elsid on March 22nd, 2005 10:01 pm

    I have heard that they couldn’t trade Pokey until June, as well, however the Nats have inquired about him. I wonder if that will be a, “you cut him, so we can sign him, and we will cut someone that you want” kind of deal? Not sure, no telling really.

    Also, USSM guys, what happened to my bro? I know he has been off for a little while, but was not sure as to why, or if you guys considered him “there” as in the bigs.

  10. Shigetoshi Hasegawa on March 22nd, 2005 10:31 pm

    Congratulations Dave, you are now officially a fuggin’ genious.

    Well, not quite…Great idea though, This setup is much easier to navigate and a lot more informative than it’s predecessor.

    Keep up the good work fellas!

  11. Jesse on March 22nd, 2005 10:41 pm

    Dave, others who feel like chiming in, I don’t know if this is an ok place to ask this question (my apologies if it’s not), but I was wondering how you see the process of prospects moving up through the system. I assume there will be changes to the big board once the final rosters are actually announced, no point in wasting time before then of course. Until then, I’ve been wondering how it will work for Cabrera, especially, since I’m basically willing to take your word and place my guarded hope in him for to be the next big exciting thing in the minors after Felix and Lopez are in the majors.

    Assuming that Lopez doesn’t beat out Pokey for a job, he’ll start the season at 2nd in AAA, right? Or has ST helped his stock to potentially stick at SS even if now isn’t when he makes the club and his D isn’t as good as some other SS in the system? Assuming, though, that he’s still being moved to 2nd, are they likely to try to move a more promising player into Morse’s spot to see how they do after a while? Betancourt? What happens to Morse if they want to see how Betancourt does as a AAA shorstop? Also, interested in Cabrera being put at 2nd in high A. How far away from AA do you think he is? A full year or more? If High-A is the best place for both him and Jones, do they both play both SS and another position to get the requisite work at SS in? Or will they try to move one of them up?

    Anyway, I like the new format; we’re all very appreciative of what you do here.

  12. Steve on March 22nd, 2005 10:44 pm

    Dave – nice work. Much more useful.

    A few questions.

    1. There (logically) seems to be some correlation between reward and your assessment of potential, but I would expect it to be stronger. For example, what is the difference between Betancourt (Potential Contributor) and Campillo (Role Player), both with a “6″ reward. If there’s a reason to segregate them into different groups, wouldn’t that same rationale suggest the reward should be different for them as well?

    2. I gather in your risk scale, 10 is high “risk” and 1 is low risk. Is that correct?

    3. I would expect that the lowest reward levels would be associated with the largest number of players, and that as the reward level increased, the number of players with that potential would become fewer. The Future Forty, though, seems to have the most players congregated at 5 and 6.

  13. J on March 22nd, 2005 10:48 pm

    I like it… it’s an interesting concept and it gets around the issue of potential vs immediate contribution. Besides, the whole number ranking thing seems a bit arbitrary, particularly with longer lists. I’d rather talk about which prospects are interesting [to me, at least] and why rather than stack players up against each other.

    Not that I won’t track down the next list of prospects and post it somewhere as soon as I find it…

  14. dc on March 22nd, 2005 10:50 pm

    Was Clint Nageotte purposely left off the list?

  15. Paul Covert on March 22nd, 2005 11:03 pm

    Thanks, Dave– I really like it. I have a few questions, of course; I’ll start with: “How are you defining ‘contributor,’ if it’s less than a regular but more than a role player?”

    (P.S. to DC: Nageotte spent enough days on the 25-man roster last year that he’s technically rookie-ineligible. BA lists him because they use only the playing-time standard of 50 IP/130 AB, not the service-time standard of 45 days.)

  16. Jim Osmer on March 22nd, 2005 11:29 pm

    I think this format works well. I would of thought that Dobbs might be bunched in with Leone and Strong.
    Surprised that Dorman and Oldham did not get a look in A games this spring training.
    Any idea if Betancourt could play SS in the majors? Seems like Cabrera is the only one who does not seem to be destined for another position (i.e. Lopez, Jones, Tui,Morse).

  17. AK1984 on March 22nd, 2005 11:44 pm

    How is Matt Thornton on the list with guys who are several years away? While he is seemingly an awful pitcher, he is nevertheless close to being in the big leauges…either that or released.

  18. The Cheat on March 22nd, 2005 11:49 pm

    NICE… I’ve been putting together a “Big Board” for the White Sox for my blog. There’s so much uncertainty in spring training though, I just decided to hold off until all rosters are set.

    Very inovative way of looking at the prospects. Surprised that nobody has broken it down so simply before. Great work.

  19. Paul Covert on March 22nd, 2005 11:53 pm

    Further on the reward category: Would it be reasonably accurate to interpret it as, “If all goes well, he could be another…”

    10: Junior, A-Rod, Randy
    9: Edgar, Ichiro
    8: Jay Buhner, Jamie Moyer
    7: Mike Cameron, Joel Pineiro
    6: Joey Cora, Mike Timlin
    5: Dan Wilson, Ryan Franklin
    4: Russ Davis, John Halama
    3: Rich Amaral, Bob Wells
    2: Charles Gipson, Bob Wolcott

    …or something like that? (Sure, the examples can be argued, but you get the general idea.)

    The “risk” category would be something like “the number of percent in the chance that he falls more than one level short of this, divided by ten.”

    (Okay, yeah, that probably reads into it more definiteness than you intended; but hopefully it’s at least a little bit helpful somehow….)

  20. TGF on March 23rd, 2005 12:04 am

    Great improvement, especially the rating of risk and reward.

    I’m curious about why Castro and Navarro are listed as rising. Especially Castro who has been injured for most of last year — is he lighting up minor league games or something?

  21. Sneekes on March 23rd, 2005 12:45 am

    Woah, Russ Davis! I’d forgotten all about him.

    REALLY like this new Future Forty. Thanks very much Dave

  22. AK1984 on March 23rd, 2005 2:43 am

    Off-Topic: http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/8314244

    The above article relates to the ongoing debate that is brewin’ between the “ol’-school” and the “new-school” ways of thinkin’. Personally, I am uneducated as it concerns either — as it is, my speciality is the NBA’s CBA (with the salary cap being my main focus) — but I am wholly aware of jus’ how hotly contested the two ideologies are by the people who follow ‘em. Well, I guess my main point is that there ought to be a thread based on the topic that the above article is ’bout, ’cause it would be both informative and entertainin’.

  23. DMZ on March 23rd, 2005 4:03 am

    Mmmmmaybe.

  24. ray on March 23rd, 2005 4:22 am

    Love the new look. The layout looks really professional and well thought out. The only question I have is about the word “several”. You put “several years away”. Does that mean about 7 years? That is what I think when I hear “several”. If so, wouldn’t that make some, or even many, of the prospect useless? Thanks.

    P.S. Where’s Bucky?

  25. rich on March 23rd, 2005 4:55 am

    HURRAY!

    Let this be an end to the prospect lists that litter the internet today! Read Sickels, BA, BP, borrow ideas about what’s important and why, and bingo, you’re a minor league analyst!

    Dave has frequently implored “performance” people to take more notice of scouts’ views, and this seems to be creaping more and more into the mainstream thinking. Let’s hope his approach to prospect listing catches on, it’s far more satisfactory to this reader’s tastes.

    Thank you, Dave. Great work.

  26. Dave M on March 23rd, 2005 5:02 am

    great work, though I do miss the tag-lines that provided a bit more info…..as in “developing plate discipline but an ill fit for his position” or something like that.

  27. Dave on March 23rd, 2005 5:55 am

    Okay, here goes. If I miss one, just ask again. I’ll try to answer all pertinent questions.

    If you are not having a list is there any reason that you limit the number of players to 40? I would really like to see more of minor league players rated.

    I’ll consider expanding it in the future, though, for the most part, if you’re not good enough to make an organizational top forty, there probably isn’t a whole lot worth getting excited about.

    So I note that Felix is listed as Tacoma…

    Felix is going to be optioned to Tacoma after his appearance tonight. There’s about a 0.01% chance he breaks camp with the big club.

    Also, USSM guys, what happened to my bro?

    Sherrill’s over the service time requirement for rookie eligibility.

    Assuming that Lopez doesn’t beat out Pokey for a job, he’ll start the season at 2nd in AAA, right? Or has ST helped his stock to potentially stick at SS even if now isn’t when he makes the club and his D isn’t as good as some other SS in the system? Assuming, though, that he’s still being moved to 2nd, are they likely to try to move a more promising player into Morse’s spot to see how they do after a while? Betancourt? What happens to Morse if they want to see how Betancourt does as a AAA shorstop? Also, interested in Cabrera being put at 2nd in high A. How far away from AA do you think he is? A full year or more? If High-A is the best place for both him and Jones, do they both play both SS and another position to get the requisite work at SS in? Or will they try to move one of them up?

    If Lopez doesn’t make the team, he’s going to play mostly second at Tacoma, but he’ll still play shortstop occassionally. While the org. sees him as a 2B long term, they also realize he’s probably their best option at shortstop if (when) Pokey gets hurt, so he’ll still get reps there.

    The organization hasn’t given up on Morse yet. He’s penciled in as the regular SS at Tacoma, probably playing some third when Lopez slides over to short. They’ll probably tire of his defensive “prowess” at some point this year, and I’d expect him to be moved to the outfield next year.

    Betancourt is going to play regularly at San Antonio. There are some pretty serious questions about his stick, so I don’t expect him to see Triple-A this year.

    Cabrera and Jones will probably share the SS job at IE. There’s still talk floating around that Jones may end up in CF, and if the team just can’t find room for him on the infield at San Bernardino, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got some time out there this summer. I don’t expect either one to end up in Double-A this year.

    There (logically) seems to be some correlation between reward and your assessment of potential, but I would expect it to be stronger. For example, what is the difference between Betancourt (Potential Contributor) and Campillo (Role Player), both with a “6″ reward. If there’s a reason to segregate them into different groups, wouldn’t that same rationale suggest the reward should be different for them as well?

    You’ll probably notice that the reward marks for pichers are a litle higher than for position players of similar reputation. That’s probably my hedging a bit because we’re just not very good at projecting pitchers yet. Guys we label as backend starts win 100+ games in the majors (Kirk Rueter), and guys with golden arms suck for long periods of time (Scott Elarton). So, I guess I’m less willing to put a ceiling on a pitcher than I am a hitter, because I’m more confident in our ability to evaluate hitters. Also, remember that there’s some wiggle room in the numbers; a 6 may be closer to a 7 than a 5, so not all 6s are created equally. I know its not a perfectly objective system, but I think it works pretty well.

    I gather in your risk scale, 10 is high “risk” and 1 is low risk. Is that correct?

    Yep.

    I would expect that the lowest reward levels would be associated with the largest number of players, and that as the reward level increased, the number of players with that potential would become fewer. The Future Forty, though, seems to have the most players congregated at 5 and 6.

    You have to remember, however, that the Future Forty theoretically contains the Top 40 players in the system. The other 210 minor leaguers who aren’t listed here would mostly be ones and twos, and then you’d see the distribution you’re looking for.

    How are you defining ‘contributor,’ if it’s less than a regular but more than a role player?

    Originally, contributor was “everyday player”, but I realized that could cause confusion when sticking pitchers in that category, so I changed it to contributor. Basically, I look at a contributor as a key part of a team; a starting position player who doesn’t suck, a starting pitcher (probably one of the top four), or a relief ace.

    I would of thought that Dobbs might be bunched in with Leone and Strong. Surprised that Dorman and Oldham did not get a look in A games this spring training. Any idea if Betancourt could play SS in the majors? Seems like Cabrera is the only one who does not seem to be destined for another position (i.e. Lopez, Jones, Tui,Morse).

    The M’s would have Dobbs ahead of Leone and Strong. I think he sucks.

    Supposedly, Betancourt’s defense will be acceptable at either short or second; his bat is the question. And yes, of the organizations best shortstop prospects, only Cabrera and Navarro aren’t expected to have to change positions.

    How is Matt Thornton on the list with guys who are several years away? While he is seemingly an awful pitcher, he is nevertheless close to being in the big leauges…either that or released.

    Matt Thornton isn’t close to being ready to contribute to the majors. He needs probably another year, maybe more, in the minors. He doesn’t fit perfectly into any category, but he’s closer to being “several years away” than “ready for the majors”. And he’s not going to be released; he might be lost on waivers, but the club loves his arm and will do what it can to keep him.

    I’m curious about why Castro and Navarro are listed as rising. Especially Castro who has been injured for most of last year — is he lighting up minor league games or something?

    I’ve gotten really good reports on both Castro and Navarro this spring. Castro’s apparently going to be ready to break camp with a full season team (probably IE, maybe SA), and Navarro is looking much improved at the plate.

    You put “several years away”. Does that mean about 7 years? That is what I think when I hear “several”. If so, wouldn’t that make some, or even many, of the prospect useless?

    To me, several is two to three years away. I guess webster’s disagrees with me, and would prefer I call it “a few”, but I don’t like the sound of “a few years away”. I might change it if there’s an outcry of support for “a few”, though.

    Let this be an end to the prospect lists that litter the internet today! Read Sickels, BA, BP, borrow ideas about what’s important and why, and bingo, you’re a minor league analyst!

    Not a question, but just so true. It’s amazingly easy to hide behind a list; it gives you an apparently valid opinion without actually having to make any kind of qualifications about your knowledge of the player. It creates a medium where we really don’t know what the person actually knows about the prospect, and without knowing how they came to their conclusion, we don’t have any idea if its valid.

    Also, I probably should have put this in the above post, but one of the other main keys to this system is that, unlike numerical rankings, they aren’t set in stone. Every team has to have a #1 prospect, by default, regardless of how good that player is. So, we see things like Dioner Navarro being ranked as a “top prospect” because he happened to be the best Yankee they could find to hype. In a tier based system, if a system doesn’t have any elite prospects, they don’t get any. We’re not going to artificially manufacture one just because someone has to be on top of the list.

    I think this format really helps explain what I’ve been trying to say about the farm system for the past year or so; its very deep in potential role players, guys who might be useful but replaceable, but lacks depth at the upper end. There’s only three good or better prospects in the whole system. If I broke down Anaheim’s system this way, they’d probably have seven or eight guys in the top two tiers. I think the tier system can really help us evaluate entire systems a lot better than a simple 1-40 ranking. I’d love to see other team specific sites abandon their top prospect lists and have a tier based system.

  28. 51 Rules! on March 23rd, 2005 6:05 am

    This is very good. It is more informative, and now that I have seen this format, I totally agree that it is a better presentation than a ranking list.

    #19: C’mon, Ichiro not a 10? Sheesh. He’s going to be in Cooperstown one day, mark my words. 10= potential future Hall-of-Famer I would say.

  29. Andy Stallings on March 23rd, 2005 6:26 am

    Not much to offer in terms of the discussion, but Dave, this is the most interesting new development on this site that I’ve seen in quite some time. You guys are slowly becoming more interesting to me than even Baseball Prospectus, and this is why.

    A bold move, and a big success. Your work is very much appreciated.

  30. Nadingo on March 23rd, 2005 7:30 am

    Thanks, Dave! It’s so great to see a prospect ranking system with groupings that actually mean something. Sickels’ A,B,C, etc. system approaches this by using a tier-based ranking, but it doesn’t say anything about risk/reward or time until contribution. Thanks for this great leap forward — here’s hoping it catches on elsewhere!

  31. Adam S on March 23rd, 2005 8:21 am

    One suugestion — every time the future 40 is updated there are four “where’s player X” and the answer is he isn’t a rookie. You might consider adding an explanation note of who is/isn’t eligible for the list and perhaps name the top non-rookies (Lopez, Sherril, Jacobsen).

    Could you expand on Leone? USSM and several commenters have been very high on him and were disappointed that he was cut, and I seem to recall him being near the top 10 in the old list. He hit 20 HR in half a season at Tacoma and has a high number of BB (I think near 100 in 2003). But now he’s at the bottom of the marginal prospects list and his reward is the same as Dobbs, who is a good skills, can’t hit, average field player. Is it simply that Leone is 28 and still in the minors?

  32. chico ruiz on March 23rd, 2005 9:01 am

    This is graet. A big improvement. With the new format, one thing that really leaps out at me is that the organization has no real prospects at catcher. Aren’t they worried about that?

  33. Evan on March 23rd, 2005 9:21 am

    In many respects, the comments have been replaced by the category names. Telling me that someone is a a role-player close to the majors is very informative. You’ve just applied the comments to groups rather than individuals.

    WTG, Dave.

  34. paul mocker on March 23rd, 2005 10:17 am

    I’m happy.

    This is much more informative.

    Lists are a trap. Thanks for breaking the spell, Dave.

  35. paul mocker on March 23rd, 2005 10:34 am

    Sorry for the formatting of this link. I don’t know how to format a hyperlink.

    http://p086.ezboard.com/fsonsofsamhornbostonredsox.showMessage?topicID=15080.topic

    The link is to an interesting article about prospect lists which appeared on BTF on March 11.

  36. KW on March 23rd, 2005 11:14 am

    Okay, I’ve got to be missing something, but where’s Felix?

  37. KW on March 23rd, 2005 11:15 am

    Oh, nevermind. He just showed up. Quidquid.

  38. paul mocker on March 23rd, 2005 11:16 am

    at the top.

  39. paul mocker on March 23rd, 2005 11:17 am

    Under the category: “Elite Prospects – Potential Stars”

  40. Benjamin Ramm on March 23rd, 2005 11:17 am

    Dave, three years ago, I told you that you could organize your lists into separate bits of analysis for risk and reward because numerical lists provided very little useful information. You blasted me pretty good for my impractical suggestion. Numerical lists were good enough.

    This current iteration is much better than what I had in mind back then.

    Because I’m compulsive, one improvement: use some color other than blue for falling. The color should contrast against the color of the links. Green could work. But then green should be for rising (go) and red for falling (stop). Feel free to ignore this suggestion as insane.

  41. paul mocker on March 23rd, 2005 11:21 am

    He has made baseless accusations against me in the past Benjamin. So please don’t take it personally.

  42. Paul Covert on March 23rd, 2005 11:48 am

    I’d like to second Adam’s idea from #31. While it’s interesting to get your thoughts on guys like Daniel Santin and Cesar Jimenez, given the choice I’d rather read about guys who, while they may have used up their rookie eligibility, are still finding out how good they’re going to be in the majors.

    Part of the advantage of your new system over the traditional listing method, I think, is that it allows you more freedom as to whom you include. If you’re doing rankings, you have to keep strictly-defined standards as to who is and isn’t eligible. But since your purpose now is just to give information relevant to the team’s future, you can afford to be more informal about who does and doesn’t get listed. And certainly the continued development (or not) of Lopez and Nageotte, and to a lesser extent Bucky and Sherrill, will have a good deal to say about how well the team does from here on out.

    (No, I don’t think I’d include Olivo; if someone wanted to take the above line of reasoning far enough they could probably justify it, but one has to draw the line somewhere, and “established major leaguer” seems like the reasonable place to draw it.)

  43. DMZ on March 23rd, 2005 11:50 am

    Can we please save the airing of grievances for Festivus?

  44. dayvi on March 23rd, 2005 12:05 pm

    Another very happy customer here. Great improvement!

    Some follow on suggestions:

    1. Since you’ve attached a number to every player in terms of risk/reward, you could devise a formula to give an overall score for the club’s farm. This number would be interesting to compare against previous months’ (and eventually years’) tallies to see which direction the farm system is going. Also, should other teams’ chroniclers adopt your system, we could compare our farm to theirs.

    2. Month-to-month historical trend data in tabular or graphical form. In addition to the uber-tally suggested above, you could also show the numbers of players in each teir.

    3. Where are they now. It would be cool to have a page listing players according to their highest ever achieved teir with a brief comment and a link to their baseball-reference.com page. I would suggest doing this only for the highest two or three teirs of course.

    Anyway, improvement always breeds more demands. Just keeping up v2.0 is enough to earn your keep! :)

  45. Pilots fan on March 23rd, 2005 12:18 pm

    What is the status of Ryan Anderson? He seems to have fallen off of the media’s radar screen, but I did see an article sometime over the winter where he was healthy again (at least on that particular day). Has he fallen that much out of favor that he isn’t in the top 40? If he can ever get healthy (I know, I know) it seems reasonable to think he would be at least categorized as a Role Player (power LHP out of the pen), probably with high risk but high reward. Thoughts?

    My apologies if this has been covered on this site previously.

  46. Basebliman on March 23rd, 2005 12:20 pm

    I’m just wondering why Morse is listed as “falling” in his status. Is it based on defense? I would think “holding” would be a more appropriate label.

  47. Ralph Malph on March 23rd, 2005 12:54 pm

    I read somewhere that Ryan Anderson threw 30 pitches off a mound in late February but he is now having back problems. *sigh*

    I would not think there is any reason to put him on the top 40 unless he actually pitches in a game at some point. And I’ll believe that when I see it.

    I suspect Ryan Anderson actually died years ago, like one of those Soviet premiers with a bad cold.

  48. Pilots fan on March 23rd, 2005 1:34 pm

    Dave,
    Based on your answers in #27, I am guessing that when there is a disconnect between “Several Years Away” and “ETA” (see Rett Johnson, Ryan Christianson, etc.) it represents the difference between what you see in the player and what you think the M’s see in him and/or when they will actually promote him to Seattle? Thanks and I’ll add my kudos …

  49. hans on March 23rd, 2005 2:03 pm

    Dave–Excellent! This is really an incredible resource. I am going to miss the snappy comments though.

    I have to agree with Super Reader Paul Covert. I’d love to see how Lopez, Nageotte, Sherrill and Jacobsen stack up against these guys… especially considering that they all have a better chance of spending time this year in the minors that Jeremy Reed.

    By the way, Paul Covert,

    Dude, you are harsh. Rich Amaral? Then you resurrect the names of Charles Gipson and Bob Walcott? Ouch. As a prospect, I’d hate to have my ceiling placed there.

    Also, did you intend such a great dropoff from 7 to 6? Might pre-2004 Carlos Guillen be a good fit for 6?

  50. Saint Jimmy on March 23rd, 2005 3:05 pm

    Something I’d like to see in future FF2.0′s is some way to track players on the list as they move up (or down), whether by moving from tier to tier or changes in risk/reward status. It’d be the equivalent of the “previous” ranking in FF1.0, and would be a lot easier to see thoughts on how prospects are evolving within the year, rather than posts of “I seem to remember player X as…” every time FF2.0 is updated.

  51. ray on March 23rd, 2005 4:27 pm

    Thanks for the reply to “several”. Thank goodness. Waiting a few years is much better than several — actually I think I would become disinterested (and lose excitement) in a prospect if he spent so much time in the system. I think other people, too. Look what’s happened to Ryan.
    Anyway, as a regular user of the Furure Forty, I can say that it works. I don’t know why more doctors don’t reccommend it.