Putting a dollar value on the Yankees farm system

The RAB Radio Show: January 10, 2011
Open Thread: So long, Sax

Prospects are great, we all love to follow their progress and stuff, but it’s always tough to gauge their value. It’s even tougher to gauge the value of a team’s farm system as a whole. Doug Gray at Reds Minor Leagues did just that however, using Victor Wang’s research and John Sickels’ latest round of farm system rankings to put a dollar value on each team’s far system. The Yankees check in at $140.8M, the sixth highest in the game. Interestingly, it’s split almost evenly between pitching and hitting, at $71.5M and $69.3M, respectively. Jesus Montero really has that much value, at least compared to his peers historically.

Unsurprisingly, the Royals top the list at a ridiculous $245.3M. The Rays are a distant second at $184.2M, but that doesn’t include the haul from the recent Matt Garza trade. I just wrote about the fantasy impact of Kansas City’s system at RotoGraphs, and it’s probably the best farm system I’ve ever seen. Not that I’ve been doing this minor league thing long, but damn. It’s that good.

The RAB Radio Show: January 10, 2011
Open Thread: So long, Sax
  • The Real JobaWockeeZ

    Moustakas, Hosmer, Meyers, Montgomery and Lamb alone is still like the best system ever.

    Don’t fuck it up Royals.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Moore will find a way, somehow.

    • FIPster Doofus

      “Don’t fuck it up Royals.”

      Dayton Moore will find a way.

    • Plank

      Projected to be great and actually being great are different things. The Royals are certainly in a position to be dominant in a few years, but a lot can change between now and then. If everything goes as people are projecting, they will be like the Rays with tons of young talent and low payroll, but it’s not guaranteed.

      The Yankees never had a good farm system the past decade, but they still produced Cano, Wang, and Gardner along with the more hyped guys. Still, I bet the Royals will be the team to beat in the AL central in a few years.

      • Mike HC

        If any team is due, it is the Royals. They have been bad for so long I can’t even imagine them fielding a competitive team. It has to happen eventually though, right?

        • Plank

          Yeah, they’ve been futile for 20 years. I always disliked the Royals since they were somewhat rivals of the Yankees when I started being a fan, but even I feel bad for their fans due to the ineptitude and greediness of ownership.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          The Royals have been over .500 more recently than the Pirates

          • Plank

            I have always had a soft spot for the Pirates. I would love to see them turn it around and get some buzz going in Pittsburgh again.

            I generally like older teams much better than new ones. I will root for the Pirates, Giants, or Cubs against the Rockies, Dbacks, or Marlins every time.

          • Mike HC

            True. The Pirates are in the same class as the Royals. Something about the Royals seems sadder/more desperate to me though. I don’t know.

    • Rob

      Montgomery came out of my highschool. Can’t wait to see him come up

    • steve (different one)

      Forget those guys, they have Melky!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=sgm Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Unsurprisingly, the Royals top the list at a ridiculous $245.3M…..and it’s probably the best farm system I’ve ever seen.

    In Philadelphia, it’s worth Fifty Bucks

    • pete

      nice reference, yo.

  • CS Yankee

    What about the luxury tax?


  • CS Yankee

    The scary thing is that the Rays have two “A” rated pitchers out of a total of six…a third of the highend projections.

    • Plank

      The Rays went from one of the worst run clubs their first decade to one of the best. Thank goodness they don’t have any fans, or they would be able to make splashes in free agency too.

  • Stu H

    Actually, the $184m for the Rays DOES include the Garza trade. He updated it since he originally posted it. It also includes’ Sickels’ recent grade changes.

  • Stu H

    I just reviewed the Royals farm system. Odorozzi at #8, Aaron Crow at #14, and Tim Melville at #15 is insane.

    • YankeesJunkie

      The Royals are just stacked with talent it will be interesting if they can develop and get better.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    Oh WasWatching:

    It has the Yankees with the 6th best system in the game. That’s the good news. The bad news is that most of the Yankees prospects, according to the data, are in the “B- to C+” range and not real “blue chippers.” That’s like saying you have the 6th best used car lot on the strip – because you have a lot of Hondas to deal. Meanwhile, the 14th best use car lot on the strip has six mint condition Lexus Sedans that are worth more than half of the cars combined on your lot.

    I’m pretty sure he doesn’t believe half the stuff he says/says things like this that can be really easily disproven (a lot of the prospects in every system are in the B- to C+ range) just to be negative. Geesh. I mean, if a team had 6 A prospects I seriously think they’d be in the top level.

    • steve (different one)

      I was actually expecting the 14th team on the list to look something like he described, but it’s not even close. He’d have a kernel of a point if he wanted to argue that he’d rather have a distribution more like the Reds. Fine. Flip the Yankees and Reds, whatever. So the Yankes are 7th.

      An educated writer would know that some of those B-‘s are prob B/B+, but Sickels is a VERY tough grader.

      It really is a sickness with Lombardi.

      • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

        He’s clearly the Glenn Beck of baseball blogs.

  • ShuutoHeat

    I’m surprised to see Bahston at 19.

    • Gonzo

      They are banking heavily on the recent and next draft class.

  • steve (different one)

    I’m confused. I’m 99% sure that the Padres acquired Casey Kelly tHis winter, yet they have no A, A-, or B+ prospects. How can this be?

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Haven’t you heard? You lose one full grade just by leaving the Sux system.

      Kelly may have been an A before, but he is no better than a B now (or as PeteAbe opined after the trade, “he’s a potential #2 starter”, after just about implying that he was a 1st ballot HOFer before the trade).

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        I love how they do thsi with Sox and Yanks prospects. Arodys last year jumped a full grade to an A after we traded him to the Braves. Casey Kelly who was Cy Young reincarnated with the Sox is now looking like an Ian Kennedy type at best. What a joke, though I do have to say, the Sox do a great job at getting their media people to hype up their prospects for trades.

    • Mister Delaware

      The formula couldn’t factor in the infinity sign. Happens.

  • Preston

    This is a really impressive feat for the Yankees system. All of the teams ranked ahead of us on this list other than the Braves have exclusively been sellers and not buyers in recent trades. The Royals have a prospect infusion from trades of Zach Grienke, David Dejesus and Mark Teahan. The Rays have traded Garza, Bartlett and Edwin Jackson. The Indians have traded Sabathia and Lee and the Jays traded Roy Halladay. Plus the Yankee’s system has lost pieces like Arodys Viscaino, Mike Dunn, Jose Tabata, Zach Mcallister, Mark Melancon and maybe ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson would still be in the minors due to trades we made.Factor in the inherent disadvantage of drafting later and I’d say that since Brian Cashman made a commitment to growing the farm system we’ve been drafting, signing and developing players as well as anyone in the league.