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03-26

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33

Some Projection Left: Top 50 Draft Prospects [With Aiken Update]
by
Christopher Crawford

03-24

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13

Some Projection Left: Top Hit Tools
by
Christopher Crawford

03-23

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6

League Preview Series
by
Mark Anderson

03-20

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2

Spring Training Notebook: Cactus League
by
BP Prospect Staff

03-19

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2

Spring Training Notebook: Grapefruit League
by
Jeff Moore

03-19

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0

Spring Training Notebook: Grapefruit League
by
Jeff Moore

03-18

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9

Moonshot: Prospect Trajectory as Data
by
Robert Arthur

03-18

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7

Spring Training Notebook: Cactus League
by
BP Prospect Staff

03-18

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13

League Preview Series
by
Christopher Crawford

03-17

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2

Going Yard: Spring Training Series: Part One
by
Ryan Parker

03-13

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13

Prospectus Feature: Scouting With Plate Discipline
by
Jeff Moore and Andrew Koo

03-12

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13

Moonshot: Another Look at Prospect Values
by
Robert Arthur

03-12

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2

Some Projection Left: The Volatility of Youth
by
Christopher Crawford

02-23

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4

2015 Prospects: The Post-Offseason Top 10s: American League
by
Nick J. Faleris and Chris Mellen

02-19

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1

BP Unfiltered: The Special Status of the Last Man on a Prospect List
by
Sam Miller

02-19

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10

2015 Prospects: The Post-Offseason Top 10s: National League
by
Nick J. Faleris and Chris Mellen

02-18

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17

BP Unfiltered: Everybody Played Shortstop
by
Sam Miller

02-17

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2

Draft Ten Pack: February 17, 2015
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

02-17

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25

2015 Prospects: 2015 Organizational Rankings
by
Mark Anderson, Jeff Moore and BP Prospect Staff

02-16

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3

The Top 101 Prospects of 2015
by
Rob McQuown and Mauricio Rubio

02-10

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1

Before They Were Pros
by
Patrick Ebert and David Rawnsley

02-09

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149

2015 Prospects: Top 101 Prospects of 2015
by
Nick J. Faleris, Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

02-06

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14

2015 Prospects: Los Angeles Angels Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

02-04

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18

2015 Prospects: Houston Astros Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

02-02

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7

2015 Prospects: Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects
by
Tucker Blair and BP Prospect Staff

01-30

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12

2015 Prospects: Seattle Mariners Top 10 Prospects
by
Jordan Gorosh and BP Prospect Staff

01-28

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23

2015 Prospects: Texas Rangers Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

01-27

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2

Before They Were Pros
by
Patrick Ebert and David Rawnsley

01-26

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19

2015 Prospects: Kansas City Royals Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

01-21

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43

2015 Prospects: Detroit Tigers Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

01-14

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16

2015 Prospects: Cleveland Indians Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

01-12

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12

2015 Prospects: Chicago White Sox Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

01-09

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32

2015 Prospects: Minnesota Twins Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

01-09

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0

Before They Were Pros
by
David Rawnsley and Patrick Ebert

01-08

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22

2015 Prospects: Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

01-07

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5

Prospect Mechanics
by
Ryan Parker and Doug Thorburn

01-05

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24

2015 Prospects: San Francisco Giants Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

12-24

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34

2015 Prospects: San Diego Padres Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

12-22

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32

2015 Prospects: Colorado Rockies Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

12-15

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6

Rule 5 Draft Recap
by
Jeff Moore

12-12

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21

2015 Prospects: Arizona Diamondbacks Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

12-11

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1

Before They Were Pros
by
Todd Gold, Patrick Ebert and David Rawnsley

12-10

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14

2015 Prospects: Baltimore Orioles Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

12-09

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1

Prospect Mechanics
by
Doug Thorburn and Ryan Parker

12-08

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29

2015 Prospects: New York Yankees Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

12-05

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36

2015 Prospects: Toronto Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

12-03

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18

2015 Prospects: Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

12-01

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33

2015 Prospects: Boston Red Sox Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

11-26

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6

Prospect Mechanics
by
Ryan Parker and Doug Thorburn

11-25

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1

Before They Were Pros
by
Todd Gold, David Rawnsley, Patrick Ebert and Frankie Piliere

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A first look at the top 50 names to keep an eye on for this June's amateur draft.

To put it bluntly, this is not a very strong draft class, at least not on paper. The same problems that have plagued the last few classes—such as the lack of quality collegiate bats and depth up the middle—are here. But compounding the issues is that there isn’t the glut of prep pitching prospects that we’ve had in the previous editions of this decade, and there are a plethora of injury question marks here, particularly with the college arms.

With all of that being said, the barrel isn’t empty, and there is some upper-echelon talent to be found here, particularly in the southern part of the country. Despite the injury concerns college pitching—again—dominates the top of the class, and there are some prep bats here that have a chance to be all-stars if everything breaks right. Even the weakest class will give your team a chance to substantially improve its system, and 2015 isn’t an exception.

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March 24, 2015 6:00 am

Some Projection Left: Top Hit Tools

13

Christopher Crawford

The top 10 hit tools in the minors are examined.

The importance of the hit tool is likely obvious, but it bears repeating as we get closer to the prospecting season. Even the strongest of power hitters and the best defenders at premium positions likely don’t get penciled into the everyday lineup with an average hit tool, and the art of projecting said tool isn’t so simple.

“It’s very important, and it’s a lot harder to project than you might expect,” an AL East scout said. “You’d think there wouldn’t be much subjectivity, but there is. You really have to make an educated guess as to whether or not plate discipline will carry over, or whether or not their ability to recognize pitches will improve. There’s the obvious stuff like swing path and bat speed, but you’re doing a lot more guessing than you would like, and scouts don’t like guessing.”

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March 23, 2015 6:00 am

League Preview Series

6

Mark Anderson

We continue our league preview series with a breakdown of every team in the California League.

Known for the high-octane offensive environment that surrounds the bulk of the league, the California League should have several impact offensive talents moving through the ranks this summer. Highlighted by prospects like David Dahl, Raimel Tapia, and others, offense should not be an issue during the first half of the season. Many of these top-flight offensive talents will be heading to Double-A around the All-Star break, leaving many lineups a little less potent, though new hitters are sure to emerge as the season moves along. While many clubs have begun to keep top pitching prospects away from the challenging pitching conditions in the Cal League, there should still be some intriguing arms toeing the rubber from time to time. Prospects like Edwin Diaz, Michael Feliz, Kyle Freeland, and Keury Mella should all log significant innings for their clubs this summer. All told, the California League is likely to see its fair share of highly ranked prospects throughout the season, but fans should expect the talent to taper off in the second half as the upper echelon of prospects are promoted to Double-A; meaning the goal in the Cal League should be to get to the park early and often to catch the best talent.

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March 20, 2015 6:00 am

Spring Training Notebook: Cactus League

2

BP Prospect Staff

First-hand looks at Nomar Mazara, Robert Stephenson, Yasmany Tomas, and other intriguing prospects in Arizona.

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Eyes on Manuel Margot, Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, and others from the Red Sox and Mets systems.

Throughout March, the BP Prospect Team is invading both Arizona and Florida to get some fresh looks at players as they prepare for their 2015 assignments. Between now and the start of the minor league season, they’ll be providing updates (and videos) on the prospects you know and love—and quite a few that you may not.

Amed Rosario, SS, Mets
Known for his glove, and rightly so, Rosario remains as smooth as ever in the field and more than capable of remaining at shortstop for the duration of his career. His long strides lead to plus range, and a quick easy release and strong arm should make him a plus defender at a premium position. There is plenty of time for his bat to catch up to his glove, given that he’s barely dipped a toe into the full-season waters, but it’s going to take major strides in overhauling his swing. Its current iteration involves far too much movement and a significant weight shift that will give him issues against the better breaking balls he has yet to see. Lastly, at just 19, it’s unsurprising that he’ll need to add weight to ever drive the baseball with any authority, but his frame isn’t one that’s built to support a significant weight gain. He can get stronger, but he’s likely to always be thin.


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March 19, 2015 6:00 am

Spring Training Notebook: Grapefruit League

0

Jeff Moore

Notes on some interesting Mets and Red Sox prospects, including Jhoan Urena and Manuel Margot.

Throughout March, the BP Prospect Team is invading both Arizona and Florida to get some fresh looks at players as they prepare for their 2015 assignments. Between now and the start of the minor league season, they’ll be providing updates (and videos) on the prospects you know and love—and quite a few that you may not.

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March 18, 2015 6:00 am

Moonshot: Prospect Trajectory as Data

9

Robert Arthur

When a prospect's movement tells us more than his ranking alone does.

In 2007, Reid Brignac was a sure thing. Lacking only elite defensive skills, hounds such as BP’s own Kevin Goldstein praised Brignac’s bat with the most effusive verbiage. With an average ranking of 25th on a collection of top prospect lists, the only question regarding Brignac was at which position he’d be posting an All-Star batting line.

As any recent student of baseball will know, this was not to last. The next year, his ranking had fallen to 32nd, then 89th the following year. Brignac’s offense collapsed somehow, and never recovered. A quick perusal of Brignac’s player comments reads like the arc of a cannonball: soaring upward toward stardom, lingering for a moment as a high-end, blue-chip prospect, and then suddenly crashing downward into irrelevance. After having amassed an unimpressive -0.8 WARP in lifetime value, Brignac was last seen signing a minor-league contract with Marlins.

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March 18, 2015 6:00 am

Spring Training Notebook: Cactus League

7

BP Prospect Staff

The prospect team offers thoughts on some players viewed in Arizona.

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March 18, 2015 6:00 am

League Preview Series

13

Christopher Crawford

We kick off the series with a breakdown of every team in the Midwest League.

We’re just a few weeks away from the start of the minor-league season, so we thought now would be a prudent time to start rolling out our minor-league previews for the 2015 season.

Keep in mind that rosters won’t be announced for another few weeks, and these are just educated opinions as to where players will be assigned. Several of these players could end up starting at higher or lower levels—particularly when talking about the Low-A leagues, as teams will not rush teenagers into their first full seasons.

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March 17, 2015 6:00 am

Going Yard: Spring Training Series: Part One

2

Ryan Parker

A preview of the power bats and hit-tool prospects who our resident hitting coach is most looking forward to getting eyes on this spring.

Next week will be my version of Disney World. The wonderful land of unrelenting sun, waves of chain restaurants, and an endless supply of baseball talent awaits. Of course, I’m talking about spring training in Arizona. Unlike the talent on the ball fields, my time in the greater Phoenix area will be limited. During my seven-day stay these are some of the key hitters I plan to study.

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Understanding the relationship between plate discipline in the minors and future big-league success.

Not long ago, in the empty hours that fill scouts’ time between batting practice and the first pitch, I was speaking with (read: listening intently to) to an experienced scouting director. The topic of plate discipline came up. As anyone who closely follows the BP prospect team has figured out, I fall at the “extremely important” end of the spectrum when it comes to using plate discipline to evaluate prospects and predict their future success. Because of that, it didn’t take much prodding to get me to rave about a prospect I had recently seen from this scouting director’s system. The prospect, along with many strong skills, had a fantastic eye.

The scouting director’s response surprised me. He informed me his organization values plate discipline extremely highly, to the point of actually considering it a sixth tool (something we’ve seen the old-school camp dismiss in the past). I love the concept, but was stupefied because the organization in question is not one we typically think of as sabermetrically friendly. I assumed I was at a more extreme end of the spectrum on this topic, but here my views were accepted with arms open wider than I had anticipated.

Plate discipline, of course, is not a new concept in scouting. The way we view player value has brought about the current on-base renaissance within the big-league game, and that has had a trickle-down effect into the scouting world. With a better understanding of the value of on-base ability, we have changed how we evaluate prospects in some regards, at times excusing larger holes in a hit tool, for example, so long as it comes with strong on-base skills. The ability to avoid outs with better plate discipline can make up for some flaws in one’s ability to hit his way on base.

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March 12, 2015 6:00 am

Moonshot: Another Look at Prospect Values

13

Robert Arthur

Mining the prospect lists.

A recurring question this offseason has been about the value of top prospects. We have seen San Diego accomplish a significant rebuild without trading away much of the top of their farm system, soon after Billy Beane was compelled to send BP’s no. 2 rated prospect, Addison Russell, to Chicago for a one-year rental of Jeff Samardzija. Meanwhile, the Cole Hamels saga is ongoing in Philadelphia, with Ruben Amaro, Jr. coyly refusing to ship Hamels for less than a handful of top young talents (or so the reports claim).

These scenarios suggest that the value of prospects is a complex and contentious topic, even within baseball’s front offices. Admittedly, I am not the first and will not be the last to approach this question. But the quandary of prospect valuation is worth reexamination both because of its complexity and importance.

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