With FanGraphs’ somewhat random Top 18 prospects list now up, every major online baseball publication (that I’m aware of) has released their Angels top prospect rankings for 2015. We gave a lot of thought to doing a list of our own, but with a minimal first-hand knowledge of the players and little time to collect the variety of opinions from numerous sources that’s needed to devise a comprehensive ranking, we thought it much easier to coalesce all the information already out there into a single super list. So we did.
Using the varied lists of MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America, ESPN, Minor League Ball, and FanGraphs as our dataset*, we added up the respective ranking of each player on each list, then divided by six to get the average and determine the top 10. Twenty-five different prospects appeared on at least one of the lists, and only five were on all six. For those players who were on some lists and not others, a ranking of 15, 19, or 21 was given, depending on the number of players in the original list.
*There is a lot of great prospect analysis out there from Angels-centric sites, but for the purposes of this exercise I’ve omitted their 2015 rankings. I find that some fan predictions are overly optimistic, and I didn’t want to include some lists and not others, so I went with none.
Things got slightly more complicated when determining the players’ overall grades. Not everyone uses the 20-80 scouting scale in their projections, so we used Kiley McDaniel’s primer as a way to translate letter grades (Minor League Ball) and projected roles (Baseball Prospectus) into a single standardized scale. For instance, a C+ grade became a 50, a no. 2/3 starter ceiling became a 65. Once translated, the scores were averaged and rounded to the nearest five to create each player’s potential overall “Future Value” (FV). Keith Law and Baseball America don’t include overall grades on their rankings, and thus weren’t included in the FV calculation.
Just to be clear: None of this is new information, and is not a scouting report. It’s simply a consolidation of six of the major top prospects lists into one general summary to paint a picture of where the scouting community seems to believe the Angels farm system stands heading into 2015.