Behind the Scenes of the Top 30

Soon after the new year we will be starting the Reader Top 30.  So to get the discussion started here is a quick look behind the scenes at a Twitter conversation between Brad and I about the ranking process and how difficult it is to rank this farm system.  We agree on some players and are way different on others (and no we did not debate Cameron Rupp who Brad has #1 and I didn’t rank).

We both reserve the right to radically change our rankings from now until we release them in 2 months.

Have a Happy and Safe Holidays Everyone

Matt Winkelman‏@Matt_Winkelman

It might be the time to work on various rankings

  1. @Matt_Winkelman I started Phillies prospects 1-75 today. It’s really messy from like 6-15 and again between 16-25. Big groups.

  2. @bxe1234 My list is only 56 deep, after a while it just doesn’t make any difference

  3. @Matt_Winkelman Though the back end of the top 30 isn’t too bad. There is, for me anyway, a good break at like 32.

  4. @bxe1234 30 names have a number, 1-4 are set, 5 I am ok with, and then it is just ugly, I am definitely taking a stand on a few guys

  5. @Matt_Winkelman Yeah. I went 75 last year and really the last 20 or so were just “guys with one maybe tool”.

  6. @Matt_Winkelman You are not counting MAG?

  7. @bxe1234 Right now Grullon is 10, Mecias 12, and Severino 25

  8. @bxe1234 Not counting MAG, I don’t know enough, and he really isn’t a prospect

  9. @bxe1234 I am going to have notes on a ton of guys, but not rankings

  10. @bxe1234 I am not sold on who my #2 is, I have Biddle and Crawford next each other on the Top 100 too

  11. @Matt_Winkelman Yeah, wow. A little lower than I could put Seve. I can’t say he’s not a swingman, but he could very well be a 4, IMO.

  12. @Matt_Winkelman Yeah, I’m not settled on 1-3 completely, but I’m close to it.

  13. @bxe1234 Right now would you rather Seve or Giles? or Rupp, or Pujols? or Encarnacion? I also don’t think he is a starter

  14. @bxe1234 Tocci 4, or you got someone else there?

  15. @bxe1234 Also I only have 9 pitchers in my Top 30 (4 in the Top 20), pitching may be a problem for this team

  16. @bxe1234 Makes sense would be my ranking if I had MAG in there

  17. @Matt_Winkelman If his FB can sit in the 92-94 range with his mix of pitches and control, he can be a starter.

  18. @Matt_Winkelman I have him at 11 right now, but that whole group is in flux.

  19. @Matt_Winkelman Pitching is really not good. Not sure how high to go with Drew Anderson.

  20. @bxe1234 I never got confirmation that 92-94 was where he was as a starter, and heard more 88-90 at end of year

  21. @bxe1234 Also the frame scares me, he is a really slight guy

  22. @bxe1234 I have 26, two above average pitches, one below average pitch, I got Mitch to agree he is a Pettibone starter kit

  23. @Matt_Winkelman Right- so hard to value that when he’s not even been through a full season yet.

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

22 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of the Top 30

  1. I haven’t started putting pen to paper — or should I say fingers to keyboard — on the top 30 yet but we’ll have to assign rules around who can be included and who should be excluded. MAG is a tough one. He comes to the organization like he’s played big league ball before but he will be eligible to win the rookie of the year award like Ichiro and Sasaki did. He’s a hard one to slot because I don’t think he’ll make the starting rotation out of ST. As far as we know, he hasn’t thrown a baseball against live batters in a game situation since Mexico. Someone posted some footage of that and he was having a hard time finding the plate and there weren’t a lot of swing and misses.

    Injuries are another area that will impact the top 30. Quinn is tough for me because his injury could negate his one big tool. Where he’ll end up playing will be in the back of my mind even though he’ll probably stay a SS for at least another year. How will Watson’s injury impact his slot? I can act like it’s no big deal but it feels like a pretty big deal. Mecias is another one. I always reserve my #30 hole for a former high flyer (no, not the orange and black) who’s fallen on hard time or a former top pick who’s fallen from grace. Hewitt held the slot for a while but Larry Greene will be battling it out with him and a few others.

    1. MAG is probably the toughest guy to rank. I talked with Matt about it for a few minutes the other day, but the guy’s got injury issues, so one’s seen him, scouting reports vary widely, the level of competition is Cuba is widely varied between teams that may be AAA quality to teams that are Low-A ball quality by many reports, the guy hasn’t really pitched in months. There are just so many factors that make him tough to rank, but my personal rule is anyone eligible for ROY gets ranked, so I’ll need to figure it out.

      My personal list runs 52 deep (I only publish a top 30 and ranking guys beyond ~50 in this org seems fairly pointless to me as it’s unlikely they make much impact). Like Matt and Brad, I found 1-5 somewhat cut and dry (with a bit of variety in order), then it’s a big ol’ cluster.

  2. My question….how do we prevent the ‘vote stacking’ like what happened last year when someone would go in the wee hours of the night and just keep plugging away for his candidate, and the following day someone has jumped like 10 slots to number one?

    1. I am looking at it, but in the end if someone really wants to stack vote there isn’t much way to stop them. I will be monitoring voting trends as well to see if someone is stacking it

      1. Matt….why not direct emails to you or Bradin DC, with a person’s choice? Unless someone has multiple email accounts that could limit the voting and keep it fair and balanced.

        1. The problem is that we do get a lot of new anonymous traffic during voting season. Part of James’s goal with the site was to make it inclusive to all and so we don’t want limit people’s ability to interact with content

            1. I understand it is a blog site and you want readership input but in the end I think you have to make executive decision as to whether voting was ‘stacked’ or not and assign placements accordingly.

              This Top30 vote (why 30?) is end of the world stuff and the 31st player on the list gets cut, or those not in the top10 have their bonuses revoked. 🙂

              The readership here, I hope, (even me sometimes), should be smart enough to know that just because a player in not ‘on the list’ has no bearing on their actual performance (at least I hope not for their sake) nor their chances to get to ‘The Show’.

              BTW, thanks for much for putting up with all the hassle of the Reader Top30. It is still great fun trying to lobby for votes. Gillies can still be a star 😦

  3. Really off topic but not sure where else to post this. I love this site and also love and have not been able to access it for about two weeks, my computer says they have lost their security clearance. I sure miss that site, as I would miss this one and know that several board members frequent this site [phillychuck, allentown]. I sure would appreciate an email from someone or a response here as to how I can get back on the site…or has it disappeared suddenly?

    Thanks in advance for this and sorry to get off topic. Didn’t know where else to go.

  4. Opps. my mistake…its Just a site about the Phillies and it has been around for many years. Phillychuck and Allentown are two of the excellent moderators and I know they frequent this site. I sure hope it has not gone down permanently but I have tried to get on from 3 different computers and always got the same message…security issues. HELP!!!

    1. You can just ignore the warning about the certificate and go into the site. Chris has been alerted about the certificate issue. I still go to the site and haven’t had any problems, apart from having to tell my computer to ignore the expired security certificate.

  5. I started working on my Top 30 today and thought it might be interesting based on today to throw out random parts of what you are thinking. For instance I have Rupp 10, Cozens 11 and Giles 12.

    I have Biter 24 Sandberg 25 and Lino 26. I have 59 guys in the mix and I usually do a 1-30 and give everyone else a 31. I kind of treat it like a high class night club. I have a set group already in the club and a bunch standing outside hoping to get in.

      1. I actually won’t argue against Sandburg that low. Just for scouting reference, Biter is more of a high effort gamer type who can handle center, but there isn’t any tool with any plus projection. It is a profile that could have things play up but likely isn’t a regular if he reaches the major league level

        1. True but people I know that know him say “Lenny Dystra” is who he reminds them of. Say he very much knows who he is and what he is. Without a doubt a make-up kind of guy so we’ll see how far that gets him with the tools he does have.

          1. Yeah, given this system heard to argue against anyone’s ranking (not that it is bad just the margin of difference is so small that personal preference can make easy 10 spot swings).

            I thought it was a good opportunity to give a quick report on Biter. Personally I like my low minors prospects to have a ton of upside, but if you like Biter he has a good argument to be more likely to be a major leaguer (in 4/5 OF role) than almost anyone else on the GCL roster.

  6. As for MAG I won’t be ranking him in Feb. If June roles around and he isn’t pitching in the MLB roster than I’ll fit him in some where.

    Injuries I guess are up to the individual ranker. I take them on a case by case basis. Morgan slips with Shoulder issues and while speed is a big part of who Quinn is I am not dropping him out of the top 10.

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