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February 8, 2005

Method Behind The Madness
by Fabian

My next post will introduce you to the prospect whom I feel is the 25th best in the Yankee organization. Before I begin posting that I would like to let you know about some of the things that went into the thought process.

When I talk about the "tools" aspects of the players, this information is generated by taking into account everything I have heard/read from sources such as Baseball America, Pinstripes Plus, scouts/players/analysts who I am in contact with, and the handful of occasions I've actually seen some of these guys play. On occasions where there were conflicting reports I attempted to go with whatever information was most common across my sources.

Tools are, in most cases, only a small part of how I view the prospect picture. Unless a player has tools that are just off the charts I will weigh their performance more heavily than I will their tools. In addition, in a case where a player has purportedly horrible tools but great production, I will side more towards the production.

The numbers that I look towards the most for pitchers are strikeouts, walks, and home runs allowed. I ideally would like to see a high strikeout rate, low walk rate and low home run rate. In addition I try and make an assessment of their numbers in the context of their league and home ballpark environment. Keeping hits allowed to a minimum is also a consideration, but I do not weigh that as heavily as the other 3 peripheral factors. For hitters the numbers I look towards are Isolated Power (IsoP= SLG-AVG), XBH%, BB rate, and K rate. AVG is also a consideration when it is at extremes, but for the most part, the other stats take precedence. SB/CS totals are also factored in. Like the pitching stats, the hitter numbers are also assessed in the context of league and home ballpark factors.

Lastly, another consideration that I put a lot of emphasis on is age of the prospect. In general, my ideal prospect age is 19 for Low A, 20 for High A, 21 for AA, and 22 for AAA. I give more leeway as far as age for new players in the system playing for the R and SS-A teams unless it is an extreme in either direction.

I put a ton of work (and am actually still fine tuning some of it) into the research for this list and would appreciate any and all feedback. I use a lot of abbreviations so if there are any questions about those just put it in the Comments section to the corresponding post. The first post should be up sometime soon after this, I hope you enjoy it. I will be linking to all previous posts in the series in each post of the list.