Prospect Ranking season is in full force. We produced a top 100 list and a top 50 consolidated list here at Fantasy Assembly. How many of these prospects will succeed and become fantasy top producers? Scott McKinney gave an excellent breakdown and came up with some interesting conclusions, chief among them that 70% of Top 100 Prospects fail. While this was a breakdown of Baseball America lists, surely the same can be said about fantasy lists.
What is the value then of all of these Top 100 Prospect Lists? For me, the value is in the knowledge. While your league mates are looking at the same lists as you, you want a better than 30% success rate from your minor league system. The more knowledge you can gain from as many good sources as you can, the better your odds will be.
My list was a labor of love. I am not a professional scout and am not near any minor league parks. I have seen Xander Bogaerts live but none of the others. Prospects, however, are what makes fantasy baseball great to me. I love following the draft, I love reading scouting reports and watching videos. More than half of my fantasy baseball time and effort is spent looking at and learning about prospects. For those that know me in my leagues, that is quite a substantial amount of time! I have a crazy passion for young prospects that I don’t have for the Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre type star players in baseball. I don’t believe that “Flags Fly Forever”, because I’d rather come in second and have Miguel Sano in my minors’ system then come in first without him. It’s a passion that drives me to learn more and more about as many prospects as I can.
This was my first published Top 100 list, but not my first list. I’ve been doing this for a few years, but for my own benefit only. So what of other fantasy top 100 lists? There are many out there that are fantastic. While I enjoy tremendously the lists the Keith Law, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America and MLB.com come out with, it is their scouting reports and insight that provide the most beneficial information. They’ve got the teams of scouts that gather and share such great information, and they are the best at what they do. For fantasy purposes though, often the best lists come from the best fantasy sites. Jeff Quinton did an excellent piece looking at the differences between the two types of lists. If you missed it check it out here. I’ve taken 3 other lists that I respect greatly and compiled them with mine to give a consolidated Top 100 List. These lists, like mine, are not done in a few hours but rather are a net sum of 100s of hours of research.
Those sites are Fantasy Squads, RotoAnalysis and Top Prospect Alert. The point of this exercise is NOT to give you a new Top 100 to look at (although it is really cool). The point is to identify those players that are ranked uniquely and to get a better understanding of them. I’ve often done this exercise over the years on my own; fortunately this year Matt Cott of RotoAnalysis and David Kerr of FantasySquads have agreed to share some of their reasons. Thanks gentlemen!
Here’s the top 50. The second half will be on page 2 along with a look at lone inclusions and players left off lone lists.
There are some differences here, but everyone ranked in the Top 20 overall were ranked by each site in their top 30. Between 21-50, each player was ranked in every sites Top 70 with the exception of Joc Pederson, Billy Hamilton, Julio Urias and Garin Cecchini. I’ll hit on Pederson later and Matt discussed Hamilton here.