One of the most popular aspects of this year’s Top 10 lists has been The Big Picture, which consists of the Top 10 prospects combined with the top non-prospects who are 25 and under as of Opening Day. For the most part, teams have had 1-3 players worthy of insertion, or in the Rockies case, zero.
The Indians presented a far more challenging set of decisions, with eight legitimate candidates worthy of consideration. Grady Sizemore is the obvious choice for number one, but after there was a quartet of players where ranking became far more complicated.
I struggled to rank Josh Barfield, Andy Marte, Jhonny Peralta, and Jeremy Sowers, so I opened it up to the experts. I queried a number of BP writers, as well as journalists from others organizations, in addition to pro scouts and front office personnel. Thanks to Nate Silver, PECOTA got a vote as well. The question was presented as following:
You are a GM. You can have the following players for the remainder of the career, and money is not an issue, they are yours for free: Barfield, Marte, Peralta, Sowers. Rank them.
12 ballots came in, and using a 4-3-2-1 scoring system, here are the results:
The only player to get consistent rankings is Barfield, who nobody thought was the best, and only one thought was the worst. Marte and Peralta were definitely in the love ‘em or hate ‘em group, while Sowers was all over the board.
I have no conclusion here other than the fact that polling the experts gave us no conclusion, either.