You know, I get these emails every year and usually I don't respond to rude readers but I couldn't resist this year because a baseball writer friend of mine sent me a copied thread from another site (to which I won't give a plug here for reasons that will become clear) where there's an ongoing discussion about my latest prospect lists and the readers there, en masse, are mocking the list and making fun of both it and for some reason, me personally. I continue to be amazed at how prospect values seem to have reached the stature of being almost self-evident, so much so that once a player graduates to the ranks of top prospect in a good publication like Baseball America (to which I remain a regular reader and for which I have great respect), that any prospect list that leaves off a so-called top or favorite prospect gets classified as a "joke" or isn't taken seriously. One reader in the thread in question even compared my successful ranking of a particular prospect no one else had on their lists a few years ago as a "blind squirrel finding a nut" and so I've decided to do a different type of response which I think will also benefit readers who do understand what we're trying to accomplish here.
In the near future, I'm going to not only re-publish all the former prospect lists going back as far as 1995 or 1996 but I'm also going to, in all future lists, show the average eventual statistical result for each prospect position. That is, when I rank a player as #1, I'll show you what the average eventual performance was for all former #1's on my list. I'm not afraid to do this because I know that our prospect ranking methods have worked and I think it will give readers a better sense of whether our prospect ranking methods have merit and should be taken seriously - and if I didn't believe in them, I'd stop publishing them as the annual top 100 prospect list is a free and non-guaranteed aspect of the site.
I think we've managed to gather all the lists together except for one, which was included as a supplementary insert in the pre-Internet hard copy newsletter in the December issue of 1997, one of our last before we moved to the Internet in April of 1998. For some reason, my copy is missing the insert so if any reader has a copy of that pre-Internet newsletter with the prospect insert, I'd appreciate that they fax a copy of the insert to us - the fax # is on our contact information at the BaseballNotebook.com web page. While I would normally accept an email, I'd like to see the actual sheet we mailed out and produced and for some reason I don't have my own copy. Also, we published two lists in 2002 and we'll be publishing the one that was confined to rookies only. Our official 2005 list will also have to be modified to have a version that includes rookies only so players like Felix Hernandez don't get unfairly carried over to benefit the results. Our 2004 list will use the consolidated version rather than that which was separated into leagues.
Anyone else think he's talking about us?