From Robin To Rickie

March 8, 2006

PECOTA’s take on Brewers prospects

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jamie Herbst @ 1:59 pm

Nate Silver concludes his take on Pecota’s view of the top prospects today at baseballprospectus.com, and your Brewers are very well represented. He’s been giving each prospect a score based on a formula using their PECOTA projected 5-year WARP (5 years into the future) and their 5-year ‘upside’.

In the just pure “prospects” list, Prince Fielder comes in ranked 7th by Pecota, with a score of 409.6. In comparison, the top prospect, Howie Kendrick of the Angels, scores a 512.9. The prospect right ahead of Prince, Andy Marte of the Indians, scores a 426.2. This is a slightly more optimistic ranking than BP’s standard prospect ratings (Prince is 9th there) and Baseball America’s (Prince is 11th).

Corey Hart really opens some eyes, though. PECOTA ranks him as the #16 prospect in all of baseball with a 315.2, while BP’s standard list only has him as an honorable mention and BA doesn’t even rank him.

Ryan Braun cracks the top 100 at #84 with a score of 182.4- pretty high considering PECOTA is slightly biased against guys who don’t have much professional experience. The other two Brewers making the list are Nelson Cruz at #97 (171.9) and Hernan Iribarren at #100 (170.4).

Silver then goes on to rank players and organizations based on other criteria. In a list of all players age 24 and younger (basically those that are not yet arbitration eligible), Miguel Cabrera of the Marlins tops the list with a huge 824.1, which incidentally is the #2 score of any player in baseball at any age (behind only Albert Pujols).

Rickie Weeks comes in at #14 on this list at 449.6, sandwiched between Braves catcher Brian McCann and Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez. He’s ranked below Kendrick and Boston’s Dustin Pedroia among second basemen. I love these kind of lists, because it’s hard to find rankings of players who aren’t still prospects by any criteria other than their fantasy baseball ability. What this basically means is that PECOTA figures Rickie Weeks to be the 14th best player in baseball under 24 right now when projected over the next 5 years. Brewers fans have got to love that.

More good news- Fielder is listed #20 on this list (409.6), ranked between A’s pitcher Rich Harden and Reds outfielder Wily Mo Pena (a BP favorite). He’s ranked only below Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard among first basemen.

J.J. Hardy and Corey Hart also make appearances in the top 50. Hardy ranks 35th (344.0), between Yankees SS Eduardo Nunez and Braves OF Jeff Francoeur. He’s the 8th ranked SS on the list. Hart ranks 45th (315.2), between D-Rays OF Carl Crawford and Florida pitcher Yusmeiro Petit. Hart’s a shocker here, I think. One of the more amazing things I’ve seen transpiring this offseason among the prospect hounds is the sudden boost of Hart in analysts’ eyes. Hopefully the Brewers see things similarly when fielding offers for Carlos Lee this year. There’s more…..

Silver lists PECOTA’s top 50 players over the next 5 years, regardless of age or position- sort of a true-life fantasy ranking. Our own Ben Sheets ranks #28 on this list (472.4), between Pedroia and Yankees SS Derek Jeter- the #6 pitcher on the list. Rickie Weeks comes in at #35, between Mark Prior and Francisco Rodriguez. I guess if there are any players that can be considered cornerstones of this organization for the next 5 years, it’s Sheets and Weeks.

Finally, Silver takes the sum of all 100+ scoring prospects within each organization for a team score, and does likewise for 24 and under players and all players within each organization. Drum roll please….

For prospects, the Brewers are the 5th best farm system, behind the Dodgers, Indians, Angels and Marlins.

For players age 24 and under, the Brewers rank 8th.

For all players in each organization who rank 100+ points or higher, regardless of age, the Brewers rank 10th. Think about that. When looking ahead for the next 5 years, the Brewers project as the 10th best team in all of baseball in terms of talent, behind a “who’s who” of playoff teams over the last decade- Oakland, the Dodgers, the Angels, Cleveland, Minnesota, the Yankees, Atlanta, St. Louis and Boston.

I’ve got to say, the feeling I got when seeing this is similar to the one I had back in 1996 when I saw the Packers at the top of ESPN’s NFL power poll. It just feels like the Brewers have finally arrived, and I can’t wait to see what happens.

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