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FG Top 130 prospects

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I can live with some unreasonably restrictive definition of ace and I understand that FG is using an even dumber mapping of rotation slots to projections, but it remains dumb. Most teams use 5 starters. When you want to say a player is a 1/2/3/4/5 starter, it should map onto his relative rank on some kind of team — maybe a good one, maybe an average one.

Nonetheless, I still think the Kopech projection is a joke on their own terms because for a player with Tommy John and no other injury history, the injury has no import to his ceiling. I see no reason to rule out the reasonable possibility that Kopech becomes one of the best few pitchers around.

And I am fairly confident that your average scout does not take the FG approach of converting scouting values to projected average WARs.

From 2016 to 2018 and 2015 to 2017, no pitcher averaged 7 fWAR. In the 2014 to 2016 window, only one did and barely (Kershaw, the best pitcher of a generation). The last pitcher besides Kershaw to have a 3-year average of 7 fWAR was Roy Halladay from 2009 to 2011. So I think it's fair to say it's not a useful vocabulary when we can simply say that some guys have hall of fame ceilings (pitcher who will average 7 fWAR in a 3-season or longer timespan) and others merely have ace ceilings (let's say something like FG's #2 starter standard, which means top 5-10 pitchers in the game).

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4 hours ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

Floor is mean of the lowest 20% outcomes. 

Expected Outcome is the mean of the middle 80%.

Ceiling is the mean of the top 20% outcomes.

8 WAR is great, but in scout speak a number 1 is a someone who can average 7 WAR over an extended period of time. Having one season over 7 doesn't put you in the class; it's multiple seasons averaging nearly 7 WAR per that is required to be a number one based on their evaluation. 

I don't understand how they can do that. Chris Sale has been a top 5 pitcher in the game over the last 3 seasons, and he hasn't even reached those levels. Neither has Kluber, Scherzer or anyone else for more than one season at a time? Basically, they're saying that a true ace is a unicorn. They don't actually exist. The only player who has even approached that is Kershaw from 13-15. There isn't only one #1 starter in the entirety of baseball at a given moment. This seems like something that needs to be adjusted with the times. Pitchers don't pitch as many innings as they used to (I believe there were fewer than 10 pitchers that topped 200 IP in all of baseball last year, but I'll double check)  and therefore don't accumulate as much WAR as they used to. I think fangraphs, and BP need to adjust their standards on the following to reflect modern baseball: 1. What is a "replacement player" for both position players and pitchers and 2. Adjust the scouting scale for realistic, modern-day expectations for pitchers. 1. Is really important because there were A LOT of 1-2 WAR position players and pitchers taking minor league deals this offseason. 

EDIT: 12 pitchers hit 200 innings last year, and 9 topped 201. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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6 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

I don't understand how they can do that. Chris Sale has been a top 5 pitcher in the game over the last 3 seasons, and he hasn't even reached those levels. Neither has Kluber, Scherzer or anyone else for more than one season at a time? Basically, they're saying that a true ace is a unicorn. They don't actually exist. The only player who has even approached that is Kershaw from 13-15. There isn't only one #1 starter in the entirety of baseball at a given moment. This seems like something that needs to be adjusted with the times. Pitchers don't pitch as many innings as they used to (I believe there were fewer than 10 pitchers that topped 200 IP in all of baseball last year, but I'll double check) and therefore don't accumulate as much WAR as they used to. I think fangraphs, and BP need to adjust their standards on the following to reflect modern baseball: 1. What is a "replacement player" for both position players and pitchers and 2. Adjust the scouting scale for realistic, modern-day expectations for pitchers. 1. Is really important because there were A LOT of 1-2 WAR position players and pitchers taking minor league deals this offseason. 

If you take sales peak 3 seasons and hes pretty much right there. Hes 6.9. Same with scherzer, Kershaw and etc. They are all close enough to be valid.

I didnt make the system I'm merely explaining how scouts evaluate. Think of how rare chris sale is btw. Expecting any prospect to be as good as Chris sale is absurd. So projecting a prospect to be a hall of Famer statistically isnt plausible which is why they error on the side of caution. You predict three guys to be true #1's (hofers) and they all suck and no one is listening to you anymore.

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16 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

I don't understand how they can do that. Chris Sale has been a top 5 pitcher in the game over the last 3 seasons, and he hasn't even reached those levels. Neither has Kluber, Scherzer or anyone else for more than one season at a time? Basically, they're saying that a true ace is a unicorn. They don't actually exist. The only player who has even approached that is Kershaw from 13-15. There isn't only one #1 starter in the entirety of baseball at a given moment. This seems like something that needs to be adjusted with the times. Pitchers don't pitch as many innings as they used to (I believe there were fewer than 10 pitchers that topped 200 IP in all of baseball last year, but I'll double check) and therefore don't accumulate as much WAR as they used to. I think fangraphs, and BP need to adjust their standards on the following to reflect modern baseball: 1. What is a "replacement player" for both position players and pitchers and 2. Adjust the scouting scale for realistic, modern-day expectations for pitchers. 1. Is really important because there were A LOT of 1-2 WAR position players and pitchers taking minor league deals this offseason. 

Because replacement level does not equal mlb caliber. 

1 WAR isnt worth 9 million but 4 WAR may be worth 36 million. Each win is not equal.

24 minutes ago, Jake said:

I can live with some unreasonably restrictive definition of ace and I understand that FG is using an even dumber mapping of rotation slots to projections, but it remains dumb. Most teams use 5 starters. When you want to say a player is a 1/2/3/4/5 starter, it should map onto his relative rank on some kind of team — maybe a good one, maybe an average one.

Nonetheless, I still think the Kopech projection is a joke on their own terms because for a player with Tommy John and no other injury history, the injury has no import to his ceiling. I see no reason to rule out the reasonable possibility that Kopech becomes one of the best few pitchers around.

And I am fairly confident that your average scout does not take the FG approach of converting scouting values to projected average WARs.

From 2016 to 2018 and 2015 to 2017, no pitcher averaged 7 fWAR. In the 2014 to 2016 window, only one did and barely (Kershaw, the best pitcher of a generation). The last pitcher besides Kershaw to have a 3-year average of 7 fWAR was Roy Halladay from 2009 to 2011. So I think it's fair to say it's not a useful vocabulary when we can simply say that some guys have hall of fame ceilings (pitcher who will average 7 fWAR in a 3-season or longer timespan) and others merely have ace ceilings (let's say something like FG's #2 starter standard, which means top 5-10 pitchers in the game).

Youre taking 7 a little too literally. 6.7 over 3 years would qualify on their system with peaks of 7+.

Most scouts will not say this guy is a #1. I agree it seems dumb based on the evidence and the fact that your job is to project a true outcome and by never giving out an 80 grade or #1 ceiling you eliminate any possibility of being 99% efficient.

For example, kopechs fastball is a 70. Then why even have an 80 on the scale? He throws harder than anyone in the game and he has a top tier spin rate on that pitch. If his fastball isnt an 80 then remove 80 from the scale.

Edited by Look at Ray Ray Run

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9 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

If you take sales peak 3 seasons and hes pretty much right there. Hes 6.9. Same with scherzer, Kershaw and etc. They are all close enough to be valid.

I didnt make the system I'm merely explaining how scouts evaluate. Think of how rare chris sale is btw. Expecting any prospect to be as good as Chris sale is absurd. So projecting a prospect to be a hall of Famer statistically isnt plausible which is why they error on the side of caution. You predict three guys to be true #1's (hofers) and they all suck and no one is listening to you anymore.

Out of Kershaw, Kluber, Scherzer and Sale, the only one of those that have put up 3 seasons of 7+ WAR is Kershaw. Kluber has 2 seasons of 7+WAR and Sale/Scherzer have one. I guess according to Fangraphs, Sale and Scherzer are #2 pitchers, and Kluber is a borderline ace. That is ridiculous. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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Just now, Jack Parkman said:

Out of Kershaw, Kluber, Scherzer and Sale, the only one of those that have put up 3 seasons of 7+ WAR is Kershaw. Kluber has 2 seasons of 7+WAR and Sale/Scherzer have one. I guess according to Fangraphs, Sale and Scherzer are #2 pitchers. That is ridiculous. 

No. Sales 3 peak seasons put him at 6.8 which qualifies him as a one with peaks of 7+. Sale would qualify. Max would, as would kluber and kersh. No one else in baseball would qualify. 7 is an arbitrary cutoff point that statistics determined - throughout the history of the game - was where the top 3-4 sit over a large enough sample. 

The fact that innings have come backward a bit and overall SP WAR is down will change the bell curve in which the top 3-4 in baseball fall within. If you are two standard deviations from the mean, you are an ace - that is pretty much how they calculate that.

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3 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

No. Sales 3 peak seasons put him at 6.8 which qualifies him as a one with peaks of 7+. Sale would qualify. Max would, as would kluber and kersh. No one else in baseball would qualify. 7 is an arbitrary cutoff point that statistics determined - throughout the history of the game - was where the top 3-4 sit over a large enough sample. 

The fact that innings have come backward a bit and overall SP WAR is down will change the bell curve in which the top 3-4 in baseball fall within. If you are two standard deviations from the mean, you are an ace - that is pretty much how they calculate that.

6.8 < 7 dude. You can't pretend it is. This is as  black and white as it gets. I guess Aces are unicorns and they don't exist except for generational pitchers like Kershaw. I get the whole 2 SD stuff, but if you look at their scouting criteria, Kershaw is the only one that meets it and checks every box on the list. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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5 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

6.8 < 7 dude. You can't pretend it is. This is as  black and white as it gets. I guess Aces are unicorns and they don't exist except for generational pitchers like Kershaw. I get the whole 2 SD stuff, but if you look at their scouting criteria, Kershaw is the only one that meets it and checks every box on the list. 

Dont get caught up on the 7 number so much. No person who works with statistics, models and projections would ever give some arbitrary hard cut off point if it wasnt for the general public not understand stats. It makes it easier to explain but its not the "official" cut off point. It's the most likely cutoff point based on decades of data.

7 WAR was, roughly, the cut off point of the top 3 pitchers in the game over decades. The game has changed and come back a bit. 

As I said, consider the #1 projection to mean a pitcher that performs two standard deviations better than the mean. In that case, all the pitchers I name fall right of that r.

Edited by Look at Ray Ray Run

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4 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

Dont get caught up on the 7 number so much. No person who works with statistics, models and projections would ever give some arbitrary hard cut off point if it wasnt for the general public not understand stats. It makes it easier to explain but its not the "official" cut off point. It's the most likely cutoff point based on decades of data.

7 WAR was, roughly, the cut off point of the top 3 pitchers in the game over decades. The game has changed and come back a bit. 

As I said, consider the #1 projection to mean a pitcher that performs two standard deviations better than the mean. In that case, all the pitchers I name fall right of that r.

That is my point.

The way I understand replacement player is your quintessential AAAA hitter/pitcher. Someone who is good to great at AAA and can't cut it in the bigs.  Players like Ryan LaMarre, J. B. Schuck, etc. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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4 hours ago, Jack Parkman said:

I don't understand how they can do that. Chris Sale has been a top 5 pitcher in the game over the last 3 seasons, and he hasn't even reached those levels. Neither has Kluber, Scherzer or anyone else for more than one season at a time? Basically, they're saying that a true ace is a unicorn. They don't actually exist. The only player who has even approached that is Kershaw from 13-15. There isn't only one #1 starter in the entirety of baseball at a given moment. This seems like something that needs to be adjusted with the times. Pitchers don't pitch as many innings as they used to (I believe there were fewer than 10 pitchers that topped 200 IP in all of baseball last year, but I'll double check)  and therefore don't accumulate as much WAR as they used to. I think fangraphs, and BP need to adjust their standards on the following to reflect modern baseball: 1. What is a "replacement player" for both position players and pitchers and 2. Adjust the scouting scale for realistic, modern-day expectations for pitchers. 1. Is really important because there were A LOT of 1-2 WAR position players and pitchers taking minor league deals this offseason. 

EDIT: 12 pitchers hit 200 innings last year, and 9 topped 201. 

Problem is the increased bp usage and decreased starter innings. 7 win seasons used to be more common but now it is hard to do. The ace starter who pitches 200+ every year with a low era is indeed becoming a unicorn. The only ones who reliably do that are scherzer, sale, kluber, verlander and Kershaw (might be over).

The staff ace of the future probably will throw 170 with a low era and the 200 ip ace might die completely.

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4 hours ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

Dont get caught up on the 7 number so much. No person who works with statistics, models and projections would ever give some arbitrary hard cut off point if it wasnt for the general public not understand stats. It makes it easier to explain but its not the "official" cut off point. It's the most likely cutoff point based on decades of data.

7 WAR was, roughly, the cut off point of the top 3 pitchers in the game over decades. The game has changed and come back a bit. 

As I said, consider the #1 projection to mean a pitcher that performs two standard deviations better than the mean. In that case, all the pitchers I name fall right of that r.

Yes, a pitcher averaging 6.5 war will be called an ace too it isn't a hard cut off.

Basically it is about being a true talent 7 win guy. 7 win once or twice and you are not a 7 win guy. But if a guy put up 7,7,7, 2, 7 in 5 years he would still be a true talent 7 win guy who had an off year. The average is under 7 but still everyone would call him a 7 win guy.

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5 hours ago, dominik-keul@gmx.de said:

Yes, a pitcher averaging 6.5 war will be called an ace too it isn't a hard cut off.

Basically it is about being a true talent 7 win guy. 7 win once or twice and you are not a 7 win guy. But if a guy put up 7,7,7, 2, 7 in 5 years he would still be a true talent 7 win guy who had an off year. The average is under 7 but still everyone would call him a 7 win guy.

This. Nice post. 

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FG put out an article about potential top 100 guys for 2020 and it included only 1 Sox prospect (Burger), so I asked Longenhagen about Bush making it. Eric says that while his power is legit, he questions his hit tool and he also thinks he's a 1B and won't stick at 3B.

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On 2/14/2019 at 3:40 PM, ChiliIrishHammock24 said:

FG put out an article about potential top 100 guys for 2020 and it included only 1 Sox prospect (Burger), so I asked Longenhagen about Bush making it. Eric says that while his power is legit, he questions his hit tool and he also thinks he's a 1B and won't stick at 3B.

Well, that's not exactly good. I'm guessing most of that would be due to graduations? But then does that mean they expect Madrigal to make his debut this year? I've read about glove concerns with Bush - he really seems like a guy without a position. 

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Are you worried about erics assessment that eloy might be more of a DH/emergency corner OF than a capable outfield defender?

Of course his bat will play at DH too if he hits his projection and becomes a 130-140 wrc+ hitter but if he is a DH or very negative OF he could be more of a 3.5 war rather than a 5 war guy.

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6 hours ago, dominik-keul@gmx.de said:

Are you worried about erics assessment that eloy might be more of a DH/emergency corner OF than a capable outfield defender?

Of course his bat will play at DH too if he hits his projection and becomes a 130-140 wrc+ hitter but if he is a DH or very negative OF he could be more of a 3.5 war rather than a 5 war guy.

So we are worried he'll literally be Bryce Harper?

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12 hours ago, dominik-keul@gmx.de said:

Are you worried about erics assessment that eloy might be more of a DH/emergency corner OF than a capable outfield defender?

Of course his bat will play at DH too if he hits his projection and becomes a 130-140 wrc+ hitter but if he is a DH or very negative OF he could be more of a 3.5 war rather than a 5 war guy.

No, because Eloy IS a stud hitter right now. Bush is so young and just getting started that to be content with him ALREADY having to move to 1B sucks not only because he's so young still, but also because he hasn't proven he's a good enough hitter at high levels that it won't matter much. 

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For the LG-heads

CWS
2:10
With Basabe hurt, who's the Sox' OF prospect to watch after Ely and Robert?
 
Eric A Longenhagen
2:10
Luis Gonzalez

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1 hour ago, bmags said:

For the LG-heads

CWS
2:10
With Basabe hurt, who's the Sox' OF prospect to watch after Ely and Robert?
 
Eric A Longenhagen
2:10
Luis Gonzalez

And if it weren't for Eloy, he would be the safest bet to be a starter of all of them.

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On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 2:30 AM, dominik-keul@gmx.de said:

Problem is the increased bp usage and decreased starter innings. 7 win seasons used to be more common but now it is hard to do. The ace starter who pitches 200+ every year with a low era is indeed becoming a unicorn. The only ones who reliably do that are scherzer, sale, kluber, verlander and Kershaw (might be over).

The staff ace of the future probably will throw 170 with a low era and the 200 ip ace might die completely.

I realize the game changes over time and pitching has changed radically. Every time I see a guy throw 90+ pitches and get yanked for an inferior

pitcher it makes me question these changes. Guys use to pitch more and it seems like they didn't get hurt more. Sure, a lot of guys blew out their arms

but that was before doctors could fix any thing. If a team went back to 7-8 inning starters  and 5 man bullpens, it would speed up the game and more innings

would be pitched by better pitchers. That would give teams a competitive advantage.

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