Rookies & Prospects – Are They Worth It?
So you want to be one of those "smart" people in fantasy baseball that takes the hot shot rookie for the “upside” play early in the draft OK, maybe you aren't that person, but let's say you are more than willing to scoop up that prospect in the 15th round because of the “boring” options that are available. As I point out all the time, give me a team of Nick Swisher, Torii Hunter, Adam LaRoche and Michael Cuddyer and nine times out of 10 I will crush your team of Jurickson Profar, Domonic Brown, Dylan Bundy and Mike Olt. It's just the way it is. Well, it's the way I tell you it is without actually attempting to quantify that position with facts. Now we have them.
The following discussion comes from the mind of Kyle Elfrink. It's not just his brainchild, in terms of him coming up with the idea, but it's also penned by him. So special thanks to Kyle for the research he did to dig up the facts, and for allowing me to post his words here on the site.
I searched Baseball America's Top 10 prospects (perhaps the most trusted source on minor leaguers) every year, going back to the turn of the century in 2000. (note: I did not include either 2011 or 2012 because it's too early to give close-to-definitive answers on players). Here's what I found.
- 89 different prospects were listed as 'Top 10' over the course of 11 years (many players were repeats from one year to the next).
- 29 of those 89 were ‘hits/fantasy assets’ (32.5%)
- 22 of those 89 were ‘OK fantasy players’ (24.7%)
- 38 of those 89 were ‘misses/busts’ (42.8%)
- If you repeat from one year to the next, your chances are quite good of becoming a serviceable MLB player (Joe Mauer was a 'top 10' prospect for four years!).
- Hitters have a far better success rate than pitchers … 31 of the 52 'hits' and 'ok's' have been hitters.
- Projections have become much better in the past few seasons.
- ’04 and ’05 are the only years since 2000 with more than three hits.
- What has the 'Top-3' done over the years? Well, not including 'repeats', there are 10 hits, eight misses, and 3 OKs ... less than 50% of the top-3 (i.e., guys that most everyone thought would become All-Stars) since 2000 has been a 'hit' ... i.e. a good fantasy player.
- 2013 list - 1. Jurickson Profar 2. Dylan Bundy 3. Oscar Taveras 4. Wil Myers 5. Jose Fernandez 6. Shelby Miller 7. Gerrit Cole 8. Xander Bogaerts 9. Miguel Sano 10. Byron Buxton - History says that three of these will be hits ... two will be hitters ... Profar, Bundy, Myers, and Miller are repeats from previous years, thus helping their odds
2000 – 0 hits, 3 OK, 6 miss, 1 repeat 1. Ankiel (MISS) 2. Burrell (OK) 3. C. Patterson (MISS) 4. V. Wells (OK) 5. N. Johnson (MISS) 6. R. Mateo (MISS) 7. Burroughs 8. Furcal (OK) 9. R. Anderson (MISS) 10. Patterson (MISS)
2001 – 3 hits, 2 OK, 1 miss, 4 repeats 1. Hamilton (HIT) 2. C. Patterson 3. Beckett 4. Rauch (MISS) 5. Sheets (OK) 6. Burroughs 7. Sabathia (HIT) 8. R. Anderson 9. Ichiro (HIT) 10. N. Johnson
2002 – 3 hits, 1 OK, 6 miss 1.Beckett (HIT) 2.Prior (MISS) 3.Blalock (MISS) 4.Burroughs (MISS) 5.Pena (OK) 6.Cruz (MISS) 7.Mauer (HIT) 8.Betemit (MISS) 9.Henson (MISS) 10.Tex (HIT)
2003 – 4 hits, 2 repeat, 4 miss 1.Tex 2.Baldelli (MISS) 3.Reyes (HIT) 4.Mauer 5.Foppert (MISS) 6.Contreras (MISS) 7.Phillips (HIT) 8.Matsui (HIT) 9.Floyd (MISS) 10.K-Rod (HIT)
2004 – 4 hits, 1 repeat, 3 OKs, 2 miss 1.Mauer 2.Upton (HIT) 3.Del. Young (OK) 4.Ed. Jackson (OK) 5.R. Weeks (HIT) 6.Rios (HIT) 7.K. Matsui (MISS) 8.Miller (MISS) 9.Sizemore (OK) 10.P. Fielder (HIT)
2005 – 2 hits, 3 repeats, 5 miss 1.Mauer 2.F. Hernandez (HIT) 3.Del. Young 4.Stewart (MISS) 5.Guzman (MISS) 6.Kotchman (MISS) 7.Kazmir (MISS) 8.R. Weeks 9.Marte (MISS) 10.H. Ramirez (HIT)
2006 – 3 hits, 1 repeat, 2 OK, 4 miss 1.Del. Young 2.J. Upton (HIT) 3.Wood (MISS) 4.Hermida (MISS) 5.S. Drew (MISS) 6.Liriano (OK) 7.Billingsley (OK) 8.Verlander (HIT) 9.Miledge (MISS) 10.Cain (HIT)
2007 – 2 hits, 3 OK, 2 repeat, 3 miss 1.Dice-K (MISS) 2.Al. Gordon (HIT) 3.Del. Young 4.Hughes (OK) 5.Bailey (OK) 6.Maybin (OK) 7.Longoria (HIT) 8.B. Wood (MISS) 9.J. Upton 10.Miller (MISS)
2008 – 3 hits, 4 miss, 3 repeat 1.Bruce (HIT) 2.Longoria 3.Chamberlain (MISS) 4.Buchholz (MISS) 5.Rasmus (MISS) 6.Maybin 7.Kershaw (HIT) 8.F. Morales (MISS) 9.Bailey 10.Price (HIT)
2009 – 2 hit, 3 OK, 3 repeat, 2 miss 1.Wieters (OK) 2.Price 3.Rasmus 4. T. Hanson (OK) 5.Heyward (HIT) 6.Snider (MISS) 7.B. Anderson (MISS) 8. Maybin 9.Bumgarner (HIT) 10.N. Feliz (OK)
2010 – 3 hits, 4 OK, 1 miss, 2 repeat 1.Heyward 2.Strasburg (HIT) 3.Stanton (HIT) 4.J. Montero (OK) 5.Matsuz (MISS) 6.D. Jennings (OK) 7.Posey (HIT) 8.Alvarez (OK) 9.N. Feliz 10.C. Santana (OK)
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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