No one really has a beat on prospects, not even gms, who are paid to draft them. 56% of guys drafted in the 1st round, never played 1 game, or played more then 1 year in the bigs. So basically, 4 out of 10 1st rounders, even make it to year 2 in bigs. Just go look at the history of 1st rounds. BA sure is taking a pounding. I think they do as well as anyone.
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If someone put out a prospect list that was 100% accurate based on the actual career of all players involved it would be a terrible list. That sounds very counterintuitive but it is true. A prospect list has to take potential into consideration and the majority of players do not reach their potential. People need to seriously cut these guys some slack.
I have been doing prospect lists since 1996. You know something? No matter how hard you try, how much you study, or how much effort you put into it, you will ALWAYS be wrong sometimes. Every analyst is a human being, writing about other human beings.
Baseball America, Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein, Deric McKamey, and everyone else who does a prospect list, we all face the same challenge: predicting the future of other humans. All of us have different backgrounds, different emphasis, different ways of looking at things. Sometimes we are right, sometimes we are wrong. We all have good years and bad years. I just wrote a book with 1,074 players in it, and I’ve already found another 10 guys I should have written about. I’m human, Keith is human, Kevin is human, Deric is human, and everyone at Baseball America is human, too.
Does Keith overrate Mitch Boggs? Maybe. Do I overrate Jed Lowrie? Maybe. But that’s what makes it valuable to have different opinions about things: insight doesn’t come from conformity. It’s the outlier opinions that are most fascinating to me.
And that’s what makes this whole thing interesting, to me at least. If everyone produced nearly identical lists, where would be the fun in that?