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March 8, 2012 / Nat Anacostia

Nats’ consensus top-ten prospects

I admit it. I’m a stats nerd. I can’t look at three numbers measuring the same thing without feeling that I need to calculate their average. Today I’ll look at rankings of our top prospects.

My rules are pretty simple. I looked for rankings of the Nationals’ prospects that a) covered both pitchers and position players in a single list; and b) included at least ten names after the Gio Gonzalez trade, when the Nats gave up several high-rated prospects.*

*Fortunately, I didn’t lose any rankings because of this restriction. John Sickels and Baseball America revised their Nats’ rankings after the trade, and Fangraphs had listed 15 players, so I was able to fill in the missing spots by going deeper on the list.

The rankings I used were from Baseball America (including the revision after the trade), John Sickels of Minor League Ball, Marc Hulet of Fangraphs,, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, and Dave Gershman of Beyond the Boxscore. (If I missed anyone, please drop me a note in the comments and I’ll do an update.)

Because Baseball America and John Sickels have done this work for decades and built their reputations on it, I decided to give them more weight than the other rankings. So for BA and Sickels, I assigned 20 points for the top-ranked prospect, 18 points for #2, etc. For the other rankings, the points went 10-9-8-… There was a maximum of 80 points.

Here is the composite ranking with the number of points in parentheses:

1. Bryce Harper – OF – (80)

2. Anthony Rendon – 3B – (72)

3. Alex Meyer– RHP – (56)

4. Brian Goodwin – OF – (55)

5. Matt Purke – LHP – (51)

6. Sammy Solis – LHP – (34)  [rankings completed before announcement of Tommy John surgery]

7. Destin Hood – OF – (24)

8. Steve Lombardozzi – 2B – (23)

9. Robbie Ray – LHP – (14)

10. Michael Taylor – OF – (12)

Others receiving votes: Chris Marrero – 1B – (8), Eury Perez – OF – (4), Wirkin Estévez – RHP – (4), Matt Skole – 3B – (2), Kevin Keyes – OF – (1).

The consensus top ten players cluster into five groups: Harper (unanimous #1), Rendon (unanimous #2), Meyer, Goodwin, and Purke; Solis, Hood, and Lombardozzi; then Ray and Taylor. Sickels graded Harper as an “A”, Rendon with an “A–”, Meyer and Goodwin with a “B” (he gave Purke a “B–” pending a look at his arm strength), Solis, Hood,  Lombardozzi, and Ray with a “B–”, and Taylor with a “C+”.  (An “A” represents a potential star, while a “B” represents a potential regular player.)

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