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May 8, 2015 6:00 am

Prospect Debate: Lewis Brinson

2

Christopher Crawford, Craig Goldstein and Mauricio Rubio

Will the Rangers toolsy outfielder be limited by his hit tool, or will thing click for Lewis Brinson?

Our next player in the Prospect Debate series is Texas Rangers outfielder Lewis Brinson, the no. 9 rated prospect in the Baseball Prospectus system this winter. Brinson was taken with the 29th pick of the 2012 draft, and while he’s posted decent numbers in his three-plus years in the system, he has frustrated scouts along the way, and has received as many mixed reviews as any outfield prospect I’ve discussed with talent evaluators.

To help understand why he’s such a frustrating prospect, I enlisted the help of Prospect Team members Craig Goldstein and Mauricio Rubio to discuss what makes him one of the most talented members of the deep Rangers system, but also why there’s still an uphill battle for him to become a big-league contributor.

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Jeff Moore and Tucker Blair debate the merits of Greg Bird's plate approach and how far it will take him in the big leagues.

One of the great things about the Prospect Team—and scouting in general—is that there are so many talented evaluators out there who see the game in different ways. What we’re going to do here is highlight a player who draws differing opinions, and have an open discussion as to how and why we come to our various conclusions.

Ever since Yankees first baseman Greg Bird was given seven figures as a catcher out of Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado, the left-handed hitter has drawn conflicting reviews as to just what kind of player he’ll be at the big-league level.

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September 5, 2014 6:00 am

Prospect Debate: Steven Moya's Feast or Famine

5

Jeff Moore, Mark Anderson and Tucker Blair

In Steven Moya's first big test, he showed massive raw power and a terrifying K:BB ratio. Which indicator will win out?

Some prospects inspire a strong consensus among scouts. The tools and projection are easy to see; we know a player is going to be good, so it’s only a matter of how good. With other prospects, however, there can be a much wider range of opinions. Two scouts can see the same thing from the same player and come up with two totally different sets of opinions. It happens in the seats behind the plate, in meeting rooms before the draft, and in many of the discussions behind the scenes here at BP. To me, this is one of the best parts about scouting. Sometimes there are no right or wrong answers, or at least not ones we’ll know for a few years.

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December 9, 2013 6:00 am

Prospect Debate: Stroman vs. Sanchez

15

Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff

The prospect team debates the no. 1 young pitcher in the Blue Jays system.

The subjective nature of prospect prognostication is equal parts fascination and frustration, as the prejudices and partialities of the evaluation process can limit what we see and how we go about compartmentalizing that information. I’m a registered bullpen box offender; a recidivist when it comes to placing radically short arms, radically tall arms, slim and slender arms, and most arms of Dominican provenance into a future bullpen role before the developmental process has played out. I recognize that this particular bias is often incongruent to the nature of the process itself, and it paints me as a hypocrite when I preach against binary logic and then participate in such black and white developmental tropes. I’m working on it.

Perhaps my newfound developmental liberalism pushed me toward Marcus Stroman as the top prospect in the Jays system, or perhaps he’s just the best candidate for the spot, regardless of his ultimate role. Outside of a few arms, the historical record isn’t littered with sub 5’10’’ righty starters that found sustainable success at the major-league level, and that fact alone could give even the most strident supporters a valid reason to question Stroman’s long-term future in a rotation. But I was eventually persuaded to believe the diminutive arm was not only a starter but a superior prospect, one with an upside similar to Aaron Sanchez, with a more mature arsenal, better all-around feel, and a low risk/high floor if the rotation projection failed to actualize. I feel confident in the outcome of the list, but it took a healthy debate and opinions from all sides to carve out the conclusion. This is how the sausage is made.

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November 19, 2013 6:00 am

Prospect Debate: Meyer vs. Stewart

9

Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff

The prospect team pushes and shoves over which excellent Twins pitching prospect gets the no. 3 spot.

When putting together the Twins’ top prospect list, the first two names required little-to-no thought or debate, as Buxton is a superhero and Sano’s raw power turns scouts into teenaged girls screaming at the Beatles, c. 1964. On my initial list, I ranked Meyer third and recent first-round pick Kohl Stewart fourth, which in turn sparked the following debate about their prospect value and risk factors. Even though Meyer won the spot without much of a fight, the email exchanges did provide plenty of interesting scouting commentary about the two players, and made the reports more comprehensive as a result. This is how the sausage is made.

Ron Shah: Early thought: Stewart over Meyer.

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November 5, 2013 6:00 am

Prospect Debate: Correa vs. Springer

25

Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff

Which of the Astros elite prospects is elitest? The prospect team tries to settle it.

When we started the Astros farm system discussion, I thought I’d kick off the process by asking a basic yet profound question: Can we make a case that George Springer is a better prospect than Carlos Correa? Regardless of my personal lean, I wanted to craft a convincing argument for both sides, and encourage a deeper debate on the merits of the two players in question. The following is part of our email exchange on the subject, including quotes from scouts and front office members, whose names and affiliations have been redacted for their protection. This is how the sausage is made.

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November 16, 2012 5:00 am

Prospect Debate: Buxton or Sano for Twins Top Prospect?

24

BP Prospect Staff

The BP prospect team has its say about the leading candidates for the top spot in the Minnesota system.

As Jason Parks noted in his prospect rankings primer, this year’s rankings are the product of a collaborative process. Before each system’s prospect list is finalized, members of the BP prospect team trade emails about the players involved, enriching the rankings with their own opinions and perspectives. We’ll be publishing excerpts from the best of those discussions throughout the offseason, generally the day after the prospect lists in question appear. Some exchanges have been edited for language or trimmed to stay on topic.

Link to Minnesota Twins prospect rankings

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The BP prospect staff debates Trevor Story vs. David Dahl and Will Swanner vs. a trio of competitive prospects.

As Jason Parks noted in his prospect rankings primer, this year’s rankings are the product of a collaborative process. Before each system’s prospect list is finalized, members of the BP prospect team trade emails about the players involved, enriching the rankings with their own opinions and perspectives. We’ll be publishing excerpts from the best of those discussions throughout the offseason, generally the day after the prospect lists in question appear. Some exchanges have been edited for language or trimmed to stay on topic.

Link to Colorado Rockies prospect rankings

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Albert Almora earned the top spot on the Cubs' Top 10, but not before the prospect team discussed some other options.

As Jason Parks noted in his prospect rankings primer, this year’s rankings are the product of a collaborative process. Before each system’s prospect list is finalized, members of the BP prospect team trade emails about the players involved, enriching the rankings with their own opinions and perspectives. We’ll be publishing excerpts from the best of those discussions throughout the offseason, generally the day after the prospect lists in question appear. Some exchanges have been edited for language or trimmed to stay on topic.

Link to Chicago Cubs prospect rankings

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