Yup. I’m back on the prospect kick again. This is really something I’ve wondered about for a while. When everyone ranks prospects in the minor leagues, what qualities make the best “prospect?” Is that different than the minor league player of the year?
Is it ceiling? Is it chance of actually reaching the ceiling? Is it chances of helping the big club the most, the soonest?
Does a high school kid tearing up A ball rank higher than a 24-year old doing well in AAA? Or, is it the other way around? Do the rankers get to use the old scout projections of, “if he can only learn to…” when they rank them? “If he develops power, he’ll be a stud.” “If he can cut down on his strikeouts, he’ll be a Hall-of-Famer.” Or, does it have to be based on facts?
What’s the most important?
When teams make trades, which do they look at? Do they want a player who has a very good chance of being very good? Do they want a player with a sure chance of being average? Do they want a player with a slim chance of being spectacular? It probably depends on the team, and its needs. But, there has to be a general thought, right?
If I look at the Sox system, I want to know which players are most likely to be of use to the Red Sox. I’d also prefer they were ready to help soon. So, my top prospects would probably be older kids, ready to help now. Others, I’m sure, would take the opposite view. They would rank the 19-year old kid hitting 16 home runs in low-A ball really high. He might have a higher ceiling. But, as you may have guessed by my constant desire to trade away the farm, I don’t want potential. I want sure things.
What makes your top prospect?