It's that time of year again folks. Our Annual Mack's Mets official Top Prospect Listing! As per every update I like to fully explain how our Prospect Listing works before we start publishing, that way you are prepared for the reasons why certain prospects are ranked in certain places. So here go...
A) This is a Rolling Prospect Listing
- We DO NOT start from scratch every update. Each time we reevaluate the list, we take the old one first and evaluate who's stock is up, who's stock is down, who falls off the list and who graduates from it. This generally prevents large ranking swings between updates and prevents ourselves from over-ranking guys who are still in the earliest stages of their minor league career. For example, "1B Chris Soto" could have a monster 1.000+ OPS season in Kingsport. Some listings could shoot him all the way up to the top 10, not ours though. Instead, we will debut him in the 21-25 range and gradually progress him up the ranking if he continues his monster performances in Brooklyn, then Savannah, and St. Lucie. If he tanks, well then he drops off the list, no harm no foul, and someone takes his place. We would rather be the last to place him towards the top rather than look foolish putting a player there too early.
B) Our Prospect Listing is Based on the relationship between the Ceiling and Floor.
- Without fail, every season a new prospect has a monster season and begins to be super hyped. It's blogging nature. "Kingsport SP Chris Soto posted a 0.77 ERA last season, hits 96 mph with a wipe-out slider and a devastating change-up...If he can harness his control he has the ability to be a MLB Ace in the future!." How many times have we heard that and the guy just disappears the next season? Yes, the ceiling warrants placement into the Top 10 but we also take into account the guy's floor. What if he doesn't harness his control? Well the best thing that's gonna happen is that he's a bullpen guy....or worse...his career ends when he can't get past the dreaded prospect wall that in AA. If Chris Soto has Ace potential but a AA failure floor and Mack Ade has MLB #2 SP potential and a MLB #4 SP floor.....guess what? Mack Ade is the surer bet to become an MLB contributor and thus deserves to be higher on the list.....For Now.
C) Proximity to the MLB matters.
- Lots of things can happen to a prospect year over year. Injuries can occur, new pitches can be added, muscle weight can be gained turning into power, speed can be lost, etc. That's why the closer you are to the MLB the better your chances are to develop into an MLB contributor. This DOES NOT mean that all AAA guys will be ranked ahead of AA guys. No, this fact is just stating that, If Chris Soto and Mack Ade both have ceilings of a #2 SP and floors of #4 SP, but Mack is in AAA and Chris is in A+.....then Mack Ade will be higher on the prospect list. Naturally as you succeed at each minor league level, your prospect floor increases as you better define yourself from raw project to finished product so eventually Chris could overtake Mack on the list in the future.