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Baseball Prospectus Top 101: Bundy #4, Gausman #13, Schoop #80


skanar

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So far as I'm aware, Bundy has not been named the no. 1 prospect on any major list, despite the presumptions of many around here that he'd be the consensus no. 1 this year. That said, this is the first major list I've seen that didn't have Bundy as the top pitcher, and most other lists (BA, MLB.com, Keith Law) have Cole several spots down from Bundy in the overall rankings. But, that's what makes this stuff fun to debate.

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I can understand Profar and Tavares as they are both everyday players with high upsides and good productivity in the minors. But Cole, an older player, with stats that don't make you say forget that Bundy guy...? I guess we'll see how that plays out.

On the other hand, Gausman and Schoop seem to come out well in this ranking, in comparison to some others.

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I can understand Profar and Tavares as they are both everyday players with high upsides and good productivity in the minors. But Cole, an older player, with stats that don't make you say forget that Bundy guy...? I guess we'll see how that plays out.

On the other hand, Gausman and Schoop seem to come out well in this ranking, in comparison to some others.

I think it's because Cole is still felt to have more projection, whereas Bundy is at the peak of his physical progression and is just refining and learning before coming up.

Doesn't Stotle work for BP? I know he's really high on Gausman.

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Nice to see Schoop receive the recognition. It is disappointing he did not make the BA list given the high praise we've generally seen for him.

In another thread, a mini-discussion evolved around a Schoop-Castellanos comparison as one where the 2012 AA stats for the two players favor Schoop and the BB, K ratios dramatically favor Schoop. Then, and I know it is a small sample size, but the two batted in the same lineup in the AFL and Schoop crushed Castellanos stat-wise including a BB/K ratio near 1:1 for Schoop and 1:3 for Castellanos. Last year was the age 20 season for both though Schoop is five months older though Schoop appears to have more defensive versatility with the potential to play 2B or SS besides 3B. The comps at AA are interesting, but Detroit let Castellanos dominate High A ball for a good portion of the season which may reflect part of the perceived difference between the two.

I did send this email to a BA editor who has usually been very responsive in the past. Perhaps he was too responsive and had too many emails, because that email was shut-down. I sent my question into the AskBA feature and we'll see if it is used.

I personally respect the scouts' opinions over the stats, but it is difficult to look at the stats between these two prospects and believe the scouts have opinions that offset 180 degrees the better statistical performance of Schoop.

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So far as I'm aware, Bundy has not been named the no. 1 prospect on any major list, despite the presumptions of many around here that he'd be the consensus no. 1 this year. That said, this is the first major list I've seen that didn't have Bundy as the top pitcher, and most other lists (BA, MLB.com, Keith Law) have Cole several spots down from Bundy in the overall rankings. But, that's what makes this stuff fun to debate.

Profar and Taveras are both complete blue-chippers, and they have the important advantage of being position players. When you're comparing three guys who have all dominated their respective minor leagues, it's not unreasonable to rank the two guys with less random injury chance ahead of the pitcher.

Actually, given the current understanding of risk, I'm not sure any pitching prospect ever would rank ahead of Profar.

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Here's an interesting tidbit about Parker Bridwell from the comments section. The first quote is from BP's Jason Parks. The second is from Kevin Ebert, who I believe is an OH'er.

In all honesty, I wanted Bridwell to make it. When he failed to crack the Top 10, I assumed I could squeeze him in the "On the Rise" section. The problem was that my sources for the article just weren't very high on him. I've put eyes on him a few times, and in one of those appearances he was working in the low-90s and dropping a promising CB. I was impressed and thought he was going to keep getting better. Unfortunately, he just hasn't taken that step forward yet, and the majority of the sources didn't think it was going to happen in 2013 either. He still has a good arm, and with a little extra patience, he might develop into a major league caliber talent. But even in a lower tier system, the case for Bridwell just wasn't strong enough.
Understandable. I have a feeling the stuff may tick forward this year. Bridwell worked out with the Bundy's in Oklahoma this offseason, and apparently added around 25 pounds to his frame. Hopefully, that helps his stuff and stamina to the point where he's in the middle of this list next year.
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Nice to see Schoop receive the recognition. It is disappointing he did not make the BA list given the high praise we've generally seen for him.

In another thread, a mini-discussion evolved around a Schoop-Castellanos comparison as one where the 2012 AA stats for the two players favor Schoop and the BB, K ratios dramatically favor Schoop. Then, and I know it is a small sample size, but the two batted in the same lineup in the AFL and Schoop crushed Castellanos stat-wise including a BB/K ratio near 1:1 for Schoop and 1:3 for Castellanos. Last year was the age 20 season for both though Schoop is five months older though Schoop appears to have more defensive versatility with the potential to play 2B or SS besides 3B. The comps at AA are interesting, but Detroit let Castellanos dominate High A ball for a good portion of the season which may reflect part of the perceived difference between the two.

I did send this email to a BA editor who has usually been very responsive in the past. Perhaps he was too responsive and had too many emails, because that email was shut-down. I sent my question into the AskBA feature and we'll see if it is used.

I personally respect the scouts' opinions over the stats, but it is difficult to look at the stats between these two prospects and believe the scouts have opinions that offset 180 degrees the better statistical performance of Schoop.

It has been answered:

I see in the new Top 100 Prospects list that BA ranks Tigers third baseman/outfielder Nick Castellanos at No. 21 while Orioles second baseman/shortstop Jonathan Schoop is unranked. Both were 20 years old last season, with Schoop being five months older. Schoop put up better numbers in Double-A and in the Arizona Fall League, and he may also be able to play the middle infield in the majors. Can you please comment on why BA ranked the lesser performer so much higher?

Adam Forster

Millburn, N.J.

While Schoop did put up better numbers in Double-A and the AFL, I wouldn't call Castellanos a lesser performer. Castellanos has hit .316/.367/.443 as a pro, compared to .266/.336/.396 for Schoop. Though Schoop has a better K-BB ratio (243-136 vs. 253-85), Castellanos still has posted a significantly higher batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Castellanos is one of the best pure hitters in the minors, and his pitch-recognition skills and ability to handle premium fastballs are significantly better than Schoop's. There's no doubt that Castellanos could use more patience and that Schoop has promise—their raw power is comparable—but I don't think they're in the same class offensively.

The gap in their defensive value may not be as great as it may seem, either. While Schoop is currently a middle infielder, his below-average speed could eventually move him to third base or an outfield corner. He has soft hands and a strong arm, but he's not a big league shortstop and his range and quickness may not be enough for second base in the long run.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2013/2614782.html

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It has been answered:

I see in the new Top 100 Prospects list that BA ranks Tigers third baseman/outfielder Nick Castellanos at No. 21 while Orioles second baseman/shortstop Jonathan Schoop is unranked. Both were 20 years old last season, with Schoop being five months older. Schoop put up better numbers in Double-A and in the Arizona Fall League, and he may also be able to play the middle infield in the majors. Can you please comment on why BA ranked the lesser performer so much higher?

Adam Forster

Millburn, N.J.

While Schoop did put up better numbers in Double-A and the AFL, I wouldn't call Castellanos a lesser performer. Castellanos has hit .316/.367/.443 as a pro, compared to .266/.336/.396 for Schoop. Though Schoop has a better K-BB ratio (243-136 vs. 253-85), Castellanos still has posted a significantly higher batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Castellanos is one of the best pure hitters in the minors, and his pitch-recognition skills and ability to handle premium fastballs are significantly better than Schoop's. There's no doubt that Castellanos could use more patience and that Schoop has promise—their raw power is comparable—but I don't think they're in the same class offensively.

The gap in their defensive value may not be as great as it may seem, either. While Schoop is currently a middle infielder, his below-average speed could eventually move him to third base or an outfield corner. He has soft hands and a strong arm, but he's not a big league shortstop and his range and quickness may not be enough for second base in the long run.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2013/2614782.html

I get the 80 odd point swing in career OPS but the above does not sound like a solid case for #12 vs NR. I am also not sure why Castellanos has such a crappy K/BB ratio if his pitch recognition skills are so good.

Upon further review Schoop didn't even make everyone's top 150 list:

Eight players made all seven Top 150s but fell short of the overall Top 100: Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams, Pirates outfielder Josh Bell, Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt, Mets shortstop Gavin Cecchini, Rays righthander Alex Colome, Cubs outfielder Brett Jackson, Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart and Brewers righty Tyler Thornburg.

Schoop was on 6 lists and had a peak ranking of 101.

I don't see how you can justify Castellanos at 21 when they are so down on Schoop.

Also pretty shocking that Josh Bell isn't ranked higher after all the hype.

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I can understand Profar and Tavares as they are both everyday players with high upsides and good productivity in the minors. But Cole, an older player, with stats that don't make you say forget that Bundy guy...? I guess we'll see how that plays out.

On the other hand, Gausman and Schoop seem to come out well in this ranking, in comparison to some others.

Stats are not the appropriate measure for Cole at this point. It might be they tell us something eventually, but the body, attitude, arm and pure stuff warrants his placement. 8 FB, 7 SL (w/cutter variation), and 6+/7 CH. Certainly on par, if not better, than Bundy's raw grade out, and Cole creates slightly better angles and, on the surface, "looks more the part". Both are very, very good prospects. Cole had the slight edge for BP prospect team (though that was far from unanimous -- several Bundy proponents and several Cole proponents).

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I get the 80 odd point swing in career OPS but the above does not sound like a solid case for #12 vs NR. I am also not sure why Castellanos has such a crappy K/BB ratio if his pitch recognition skills are so good.

Upon further review Schoop didn't even make everyone's top 150 list:

Schoop was on 6 lists and had a peak ranking of 101.

I don't see how you can justify Castellanos at 21 when they are so down on Schoop.

Also pretty shocking that Josh Bell isn't ranked higher after all the hype.

If you watch them play, Castellanos is cleaner and a little more natural. The pop isn't forced and the swing is clean. There are larger red flags as to Schoop's potential to hit a wall.

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If you watch them play, Castellanos is cleaner and a little more natural. The pop isn't forced and the swing is clean. There are larger red flags as to Schoop's potential to hit a wall.

I believe that Castellanos is the superior prospect. I just find the gap in rankings overly large given their explanation.

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Looking at raw career MiL OPS is silly. Schoop outhit Castellanos by a significant amount when both were in A at age 19, and Schoop also had a full year in AA at age 20 where he did better than Castellanos did at the same age and level. Looking at raw OPS overweights Castellanos' domination of A+ at the start of his age 20 year vs. Schoop's less-impressive performance at the end of his age 19 year.

Now, I don't doubt that the scouts favor Castellanos, and I think that's entirely reasonable, but there's no way you can make a statistically based argument for Castellanos without some glaring holes. If they'd just said "their power is comparable and Schoop has the edge on discipline, but Castellanos has significantly better contact ability, which is one of the most important tools for success in the majors" then that would have been completely fine.

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Just saw that.

I am a little disappointed that Callis twisted my question around a bit. My question harped on the comparative stats at AA while Callis noted that Castellanos has out-hit Schoop in the minors overall. The primary function of this career in minors to date difference is that Schoop has more at-bats at higher levels. In 2011, both started in Low A ball, with Schoop being promoted after hitting .890 OPS after 200+ PAs while Castellanos hit .803 over 500+ PAs - both as 19 year olds. Schoop did not perform as well at Frederick with his mid-season promotion.

Both players put up similar stats with an edge to Castellanos in very limited at-bats as 18 year olds in the GCL, but since then when the two have been at the same level at the same age, Schoop has performed better. While Callis notes that Schoop has better K/BB ratios, which was in my question, Schoop's advantage in the actual stats does not take into account the greater number of at-bats Schoop has had at higher leagues. Schoop did better in Low A, AA and in the AFL at the same age.

Anyway, Callis notes that scouts believe that Castellanos is among the best pure hitters in the minors with strong pitch recognition skills (despite the difference in BB/K??). I am a big fan of Callis as he has been very responsive to questions I've sent to his personal email and because I know he does his homework.

It's a bit disappointing that my question was altered a good bit, but it was answered just fine.

I will be interested to re-visit the two players in a couple of years.

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I believe that Castellanos is the superior prospect. I just find the gap in rankings overly large given their explanation.

Shrug. 43 spots (37-80) isn't all that great, all things considered. Castellanos' numbers are dinged-up some due to a terrible August that included a very low BABIP (like, close to .200 I think). He tired some, was a little unlucky, etc. Not excusing numbers, but adding some further context.

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