Sunday, January 13, 2013

AB4AR Top 30 Introduction: The Method To My Madness

The beauty and the fun of prospect ranking is that everybody has their own system.  There's a standard set of criteria that everybody has to consider when evaluating players and deciding where to rank them, but how they consider them and what criteria they put more weight on is what ultimately determines the differences between one person's top prospect list and another, and what sparks the conversation and debate that we all love to have about prospects.

Before we dive into the 2012-2013 edition of the AB4AR Top 30, I thought it would be a good idea to give some explanation on the system I use and why I use it.  It's mainly so you the readers know why I ranked guys the way I did, but it's also partially for me.  I thought I knew what I was doing last year when I took my first stab at a top 30, and it turned out that I didn't know as much as I thought I did about some players.  This year, I wanted to be more thorough in my evaluation of each player, and more consistent in the way I followed my system.  I spent the entire season working on these rankings, and revised them often as the season progressed based on how each player performed against my set of criteria.

I think the list I've come up with this year is much better than the first edition, and much more representative of my ranking system and the criteria I put more weight on when evaluating guys.  So to give everybody an idea of my thought process and what's most important to me when ranking prospects, here's a quick explanation of my personal ranking system.

Not Javy Vazquez Again. Please

(No, no, a billion times no)

I wanted to let this one sit as a post on the Facebook Page, but after all the pain he's caused me I just can't.  Nick Cafardo reported yesterday that the Yankees were among a group of teams who have been following Javy Vazquez's work in a Puerto Rican winter league.  That's right, the same Javy Vazquez who posted these 2 lines in his previous 2 tours with the Yanks:

2004- 198.0 IP, 4.91/4.58/4.71, 17.7% K rate, 33 HR
2010- 157.1 IP, 5.32/5.56/4.69, 17.7% K rate, 32 HR

There's that old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."  Well the Yankees have already been fooled twice by Vazquez, and that was back during times when he was still considered a good pitcher in most Major League circles.  Now he's been out of the league for a year, he's 36 years old, and I'd rather not see who the blame falls on if he fools the Yankees a third time.  I know they're bottom feeding for pitching depth this offseason, but there's no logical reason for even entertaining the idea of bringing Vazquez back.  I don't care if he's healthy, if his velocity is up, or if he's had a cybernetic third arm added to his body.  I've seen everything I need to see to know that Javy Vazquez sucks in a Yankee uniform.