First Pitch

First Pitch: The New Prospect Ranking System in the 2014 Prospect Guide

First Pitch: The New Prospect Ranking System in the 2014 Prospect Guide

I've always made it known that I don't like numerical ranking lists for prospects. They're simple. They're fun. They generate a lot of interest. But they don't tell the entire story. A numerical ranking system will tell you that one player is ranked higher than another player, but it won't tell you exactly how good one player is to another player ranked below him.

There are many cases where one player could be ranked 7th, another could be ranked 16th, and they have the same talent and upside. Numerical ranking systems provide arbitrary and convenient cutoffs to signify how good a player is. Top 10, top 30, and other easy numbers are used to make things simple, and it leads to the belief that there's something significant about that number 7 ranked prospect, as opposed to the number 16 prospect, all because one of them ended up in the top 10. The goal for any prospect ranking system should be to discuss how a group of players rank against each other. A numerical ranking system attemp...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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