Yankees place ninth in KLaw’s organization rankings

Yanks sign Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal
Two years ago today, an Andy reunion

It’s prospect season, so there’s going to be a whole lot of rankings and lists coming out between now and the start of Spring Training. Keith Law kicked things off with his organization rankings today (Insider only), placing the Yankees’ ninth among the 30 teams. The system is obviously highlighted by Jesus Montero, Gary Sanchez, and the Killer B’s, and beyond that they’re loaded with “back-end starter depth.” He teases us with a preview of Friday’s post about sleepers, saying that we’ll see one of the Yanks’ late round 2010 draftees on the list. Got a guess? I’m thinking Dan Burawa, KLaw’s raved about him before.

As for the rest of the AL East, the Rays ranked second behind the Royals, the Blue Jays came in fourth behind the Braves, and then the Red Sox and Orioles placed 11th and 24th, respectively. Tomorrow brings Law’s top 100, I figure there will be four or five Yankee farmhands on there. Montero, Sanchez, Banuelos for sure, I could see Betances and/or Brackman going either way.

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Yanks sign Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal
Two years ago today, an Andy reunion
  • Reggie C.

    How do the RS lose BOTH Casey Kelly and Rizzo and still get dropped ONLY to 11th?

    • Regis

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Post about prospect rankings.

      Comments about why the Red Sox are ranked so high.

      Rinse, repeat.

      • crawdaddie

        Protecting your guy, I see.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          I have no reason to protect Law, I couldn’t care less what people think about his rankings. Wait until BA’s list comes out, it’ll be the same complaints.

          • Avi

            Mike, Callis already said the Yanks are ranked at #5 or #6.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              No one’s complaining about the Yankees.

        • AndrewYF

          Yeah, it’s really just Law that people have had a problem with for the past couple of years. And for good reason.

          • Mister Delaware

            Why? Look at his pre-2010 draft rankings and look who Boston took. Its not like he simply says “Boston never makes a mistake”, he has the same scouting eye as the Sox decision-makers. That’s not the same thing as bias.

            (Really, if he were to rank Culver and Gumbs out of the top 100 then praise the hell out of the Yankees draft, that would be bias.)

            • AndrewYF

              Wait, so if he had the same scouting eye as the Yankees, it would be bias?

              • Mister Delaware

                Read it again.

                • AndrewYF

                  Sorry. Missed the ‘out’.

      • Thomas

        Speaking of the Red Sox losing Kelly, Rizzo, and Fuentes, where did the Padres rank, since the Padres now have 3 of the Red Sox top 10 prospect from the BA list?

        • Rick in Boston

          Padres were mid-teens, with Law (paraphrasing) saying that the Gonzalez trade bumped them up from the high-20’s.

          • Thomas

            Thanks. That makes sense since there system was pretty barren before the trade. I was just wondering how heavily he weighed the three.

      • Moshe Mandel

        I think it is a fair question to ask this season, Mike. Don’t you? That system seems to have gotten pretty thin, so you have to weigh the 2010 draftees pretty heavily to get a ranking this good. I have no problem with that, per se, but I think it is fair to at least raise the question.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          So then ask him. The constant complaints here are annoying. No one bothers to talk about the Yankee system being top ten, everyone goes right to the Red Sox. There’s a bit of an inferiority complex going on.

          Why not complain about the Blue Jays?

          • Moshe Mandel

            You raise a fair point. I guess everything gets viewed through a Yankees-Red Sox prism these days.

          • crawdaddie

            Maybe because even if we’re Yankee fans we can see the talent the Blue Jays have in their system which isn’t the case with the Red Sox.

            I’m disappointed you can’t see that difference.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              I willing to bet people here could name ten Red Sox prospects before they name five Blue Jays prospects. I guess whatever suits your narrative though.

              • crawdaddie

                If you really think that than I don’t know what else to say to you because the Red Sox just lost 3 out of their top 4 prospects in AGon trade.

                • Mister Delaware

                  Baseball America …

                  1. Casey Kelly, rhp
                  2. Jose Iglesias, ss
                  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1b
                  4. Anthony Ranaudo, rhp
                  5. Drake Britton, lhp
                  6. Reymond Fuentes, of

                  • pete

                    3 of 6 is still a tough blow, though

                    • crawdaddie

                      Rananudo hasn’t even thrown a pitch professionally.

                    • Mister Delaware

                      Why does that matter? Wasn’t Harper a top 3 Washington prospect the day he signed?

                  • crawdaddie

                    Kelly, Rizzo and Fuentes are gone.

                    • Mister Delaware

                      No shit.

      • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

        I just find it interesting cause the Sox only had one played ranked in the top 50 by MLB yesterday and he was ranked below all 3 of the Yankees who made the list.

        Not saying MLB is right and KLaw is wrong, just interestning how differently different people view the farm systems.

        • Rick in Boston

          MLB had Montero ranked 9th – I’d be shocked if any other source had him that low. You’re absolutely right, everyone views things differently.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Maybe they think that Kelly isn’t that great. And if so I can get onboard with that line of thinking.

  • Wrath Hannd of Prokchop

    11th os a great plac e because of the detph the sSnox have.

  • AndrewYF

    KLaw probably couldn’t backpedal too much on the Yankees’ and Red Sox’s system rankings. Remember last year he rated the Yankees 25th (yes, sixth worst farm system in the major leagues), below the METS, and rated the Red Sox number 2. Number. Two. Both rankings were an absolute joke.

    While it’s nice that he finally recognizes the Yankees have a good farm system after all, it’s hard to take Law’s organizational rankings too seriously after last year’s simply horrible job.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      They were definitely worth of that 25th ranking last year. The only thing that went wrong in 2010 was Jeremy Bleich needing shoulder surgery. Everyone else stayed healthy and excelled. Lots of last year’s questions were answered in a big way.

      • AndrewYF

        Wholeheartedly disagree. So now question marks = bust? I always hear about how Boston ranks high because they have sooo many players with high ceilings in the lower leagues. Those players don’t have questions? It’s a sorry double-standard that everyone but Law has smartly seemed to shy away from in recent years.

        The team had plenty of prospects that were worth following (even after Montero, who was a premium prospect after 2008), they just were in lower leagues and/or had questions, some experience, some injury, some performance. I’m certainly not saying that the Yankees’ system wasn’t in rough shape after trading away Jackson, Vizcaino, etc, or that they deserved to be close to the Red Sox, but ranking them significantly below a team like the Mets was a complete and utter joke, and you know it.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Last year it was Montero and Romine. Banuelos had one season under his belt, Betances was still out with elbow surgery, Brackman was coming off a terrible season, Sanchez had zero career at-bats. David Phelps and Hector Noesi and Zach McAllister aren’t enough to keep a team out of the 20’s.

          • AndrewYF

            Oh puh-leeze. Montero and Romine are more than enough to keep a team out of the 20s. Plus, there were several good prospects from the 2009 draft, and several high-ceilinged guys in the lower minors. Stop acting like the Yankees were completely barren other than their top two prospects.

            Keith Law was the only pundit to rank the Yankees so low, whereas several other establishments rightly ranked them more middle-of-the-road, and certainly better than the god-awful Mets. How did Law miss what everyone else didn’t? It’s okay to admit that Keith Law blew it with his farm system rankings last year.

            • The Real JobaWockeeZ

              And as we saw Romine considerably slowed down this year. Jesus can’t carry alone.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              Baseball America had the Yankees 22nd, Baseball Prospectus had them 26th. BA had the Mets 25th, BP 15th, Law 17th.

              You’re dead wrong.

              • AndrewYF

                Yes, I was dead wrong because I forgot about one exception.

                Maybe, just maybe, we can give credit to those who actually got it right, and admit that BP and Law got it wrong? It’s not necessarily an indictment of their ability to judge farm system talent (although Law is doing his damndest to kill what little credibility he had on the subject this year), just a statement that a site like BA or BP’s farm system rankings might not really be all that much more valuable than your average blog.

    • crawdaddie

      I have no comment on the rankings except to say I disagree with some of them.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Last year it was Jesus and to a lesser extent Romine only. ManBan wasn’t as good and Brackman and Betances were injured. Sanchez didn’t play yet.

      • AndrewYF

        Brackman was completely healthy, and there were plenty of good players from the 2009 draft that he probably ignored because the Yankees don’t give him scouting info on the players they scout like the Sox do. Keith Law, like every prospect guru, relies on teams to give him info.

        • Rick in Boston

          But Brackman was also coming off of year where he pitched terribly. Nobody, not even the Yankees, could have expected him to rebound as well as he did.

  • Brazilian Fan

    lol at red sox rank.

  • Rick in Boston

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but it feels like KLaw is weighing the 2010 draft more for his rankings than a lot of the other pundits.

    • Moshe Mandel

      I find that he tends to give high upside guys in the lower minors more weight than most pundits.

      • Avi

        Funny how he mentions Bryce Brentz.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          He did OPS .598 last year. Got to give him that.

          • Avi

            I know a slow start to a pro career doesn’t bury a guy’s future but a supposed top college hitter should fare well in the New York Penn league. Brentz was godawful. Even Kolbrin Vitek they’re first rounder, was just ok. Ranaudo hasn’t thrown an inning of pro ball yet and has significant injury risk. To place the Red Sox at #11 because of these three (plus guys like Iglesias and Drake Britton) is just silly.

      • Rick in Boston

        Which would help explain his rationalization for placing the Sox where he did. They spent big money on the draft and grabbed some players with both high upsides and who have a chance to move quickly.

  • crawdaddie

    RAB needs to be careful about their credibility with Yankee fans with this constant need to protect Keith Law.

    • Dick Whitman

      Useless comment.

    • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

      Go somewhere else.

    • pete

      I think you’ll find that many, many people here would consider KLaw to be the best baseball mind at ESPN. Myself included. Just because not everything he says sounds great to Yankees fans all the time doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

      • crawdaddie

        That’s not saying much about ESPN then.

        • pete

          ESPN does tend to suck, but Neyer generally has good things to say apart from his admitted anti-yankee bias. But Law’s just as good of a prospect guy as anybody else out there, and far better than most.

  • Dick Whitman

    The top 3 makes all the sense in the world to me. From there on down doesn’t.

  • icebird753

    Man oh man Mike, you’re getting some heat. He’s a goddamn engineer/Yankees fan people, not Jesus Christ. Give him a break, if you don’t like what they’re writing, then don’t read it.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Just imagine if I was the one that put together the list.

      • Rick in Boston

        Wait until you do your Top 10 Yankees list.

        • pete

          I don’t even think the craziest fans in the world would complain about the only top-30 Yankees prospects list available online, especially when it’s A) good, B) free, C) has blurbs about every single prospect on the list, and D) doesn’t say anything nice about the red sox.

          • Rick in Boston

            There are always some complaints, but I worry about it this year. RAB has gotten crazy lately.

  • Avi

    “If Gary Sanchez has a tremendous debut season, Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman get healthy, and Manny Banuelos sees his stuff tick up”

    Can someone explain to me what Law is talking about? Sanchez DID have a tremendous debut season. Betances and Brackman WERE healthy and Banuelos DID see an up tick in his stuff. Really weak analysis. Actually, there’s no analysis at all.
    And Red Sox at #11 is an absolute joke.

    • AndrewYF

      Yup, it’s stupidity from Keith Law. It’s okay to question a man who had some of the worst farm system rankings of all the pundits last year. He screwed up big time, and he’s certainly apt to make more stupid comments like the one you picked out.

      He’s really lost his luster.

    • squishy jello person

      He admitted it was the wrong blurb. It’s since been corrected.

      • Avi

        I see. The fact that it was published like that is indicative, I think of how much work was actually put into these rankings.

        • Mister Delaware

          Or bad editing?

  • sean in montreal

    this whole post is why the God of R.A.B. Mr. TJSC himself left us…he just got sick and tired of the whole scene…and the inferiority complex of the casual NYY fan…sometimes you have to leave before things get stagnant and start anew..like Dave Chappelle

    and now we have bexarama…Jesus life sucks

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      this is batshit insane

      • first time long time

        Insane indeed. And entirely off topic I suppose. But maybe true!

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

          I am totally not surprised that first time long time and sean in montreal are the same person.

          So you make unfounded statements about one of my friends and then insult another in the same comment? Why are you even here?

          • Mister Delaware

            There is nothing sadder than someone who creates a second ID to agree with themselves. Even if its done as a joke.

            • Not Mister Delaware

              I totally agree!

              • pete

                ietc

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                Could you stop, please.

            • Joe from Scranton

              +1

          • pete

            I am totally not surprised that first time long time and sean in montreal are the same person.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgoG27zqt0g

          • Esteban

            Haha is ftlt actually a teenage girl or sean in montreal. The plot thickens.

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

              didn’t ftlt spell her name a little differently though?

              • Esteban

                Oh maybe it was first time lawng time? I figured they were the same, but you’re probably right.

          • Jimmy McNulty

            Is First Time Long Time the same person as First Time Lawn Time, or whatever her name was, the same person too?

    • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

      And to think, if people like you had left these threads would be so much more enjoyable.

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

      Um, ouch? I think? I didn’t even comment on this thread?

      (tsjc had a kid.)

    • Esteban

      Cheap shot, but yeah, it’s too bad TSJC doesn’t come here anymore.

      • Esteban

        I should say, this comment was not meant to disparage bex at all.

    • pete

      tsjc left b/c he had a kid. and people like bexarama are why this site still rocks.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Comment. Of. The. Year.

    • Avi

      What’s wrong with Bexarama?

  • Soam

    Yankees 9th and Sox 11th sounds within reason, but Blue Jays 4th is insane. I realize they’ve made great strides, but 4th? No way.

    • crawdaddie

      How is the Yankees at 9 and the Red Sox at 11 is within reason?

  • Reggie C.

    Too-early-to-make-but-still-made prediction: Brett Marshall out-ranks Noesi, Warren, and Stoneburner by end of 2011, and gets named K-Law’s “sleeper” one-year too late.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    Does it really matter where the Red So rank? Or the Yankees or any other team for that matter? These lists are fun and give us some sort of idea of each team’s farm system, but each list is different and each person has their own way of valuing prospects.

    The conclusion: the Yankees have a better farm than the Red Sox and Orioles and a worse one than the Rays and Blue Jays. How much better or how much worse really doesn’t matter because it depends on who you ask.

  • jay destro

    LOL u guise are mad.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      dis guise! fuhgeddabouddid

  • Brazilian Fan

    Cmon fellas, this is the best site of Yankees news and analysis.

    These guys are the best.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    Why do people care where they are ranked? I’m happy that they are a top 5 or 10 system, but why do people get offended? What Law or any other scout has to say about organizations has no bearing on the future. Montero was ranked #9 last night on MLB. Does that change his future? Is he less of a prospect because of where someone ranked him? If Law put the Yankees at 11 and the Sox at 9, would that change anything?

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      seattle demanded nunez as well as montero for lee because he was only ranked the 9th prospect.

      source: the internet

      look it up

    • radnom

      You’re right, no one should be discussing the rankings and their personal opinions on them. Completely inappropriate for the comments section of this post (unless you agree, in that case its fine).

      I don’t even care about the rankings but jesus christ its the comment section of a blog post. Why are people complaining about people giving their opinions on the various rankings?

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        My point

        ___________

        Your head

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ

          Wait what? Radnom’s totally reasonable here. If people want to talk about why the Sox are so high let them be. I mean they should use better evidence instead of complaining but you shouldn’t say people shouldn’t talk about it on a blog.

          • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

            I guess I’m more attacking the “RAB is protecting Law” comments in the thread and the rest of those ilk.

            • radnom

              Too bad thats not what your original comment said at all. Oh, and thanks for the asshole reply to what was a perfectly reasonable comment. The reason people are saying shit like “RAB is protecting Law” is because they are being attacked for having an opinion on the rankings. You know, kind of like exactly what you did.

    • Ted Nelson

      To a degree I think you have a point. I think that if ESPN or whoever is going to publish rankings, though, they should be responsible about it. There’s a lot of stuff related to the rankings that’s just subjective in nature, but I wish Law would state more about how he came to the rankings. Some stats to back up his rankings maybe.

      In other cases Law just ignores reality altogether. He says the Braves picked Arodys Vizcaino up “off the scrap heap” as a “throw-in” to the Vazquez deal. That’s just not at all in line with reality and throws his credibility out the window. Arodys was the Yankees top pitching prospect and BA’s #69 prospect in all of baseball at the time of the trade. He was the trade, not a throw-in.

      • Captain Bawls

        I was just about to comment on this. That Vizcaino line blew my mind.

  • pete

    Perfectly fair. I probably would have had the sox at more like 15, but that’s based purely on my gut feeling, since outside of NYY, TB, KC, and BOS, I really don’t know shit about other teams’ farm systems. My guess is that most people whining about this ranking don’t either.

    • Avi

      Incorrect.

      • Mister Delaware

        Oh c’mon, this is absolutely correct. Who here follows every minor league system enough to have an opinion on the players? They aren’t on television and I imagine no one here is traveling to 300 games a year to scout sooo … its all just biased regurgitation of what other people are saying.

        • Ted Nelson

          Not all. You can question Law’s methods, his biases compared to others, or his logic without having seen a single prospect play in your life.

          • Mister Delaware

            Wouldn’t that just serve to highlight your own biases? “I’ve never seen any of these guys play but I know that this guy who has is wrong.”

            • Ted Nelson

              It’s not saying “I know this guy is wrong.” It’s theoretically saying that I know the way this guy values prospects is wrong (i.e. he loves rookie league and A-ball guys, but maybe you can show that the likelihood of those guys succeeding does not match his rankings), how his rankings compare to the general consensus, and most importantly his historical results compared to other analysts.

              You can certainly question why he called Arodys the “ceterpiece” to the deal a year ago and a “throw-in” today and refuses to admit fault there.

              • Mister Delaware

                Is rephrasing not an admission of fault?

                • Ted Nelson

                  In the comment I saw he basically blamed people for misreading it, which is just not the case. The “scrap heap” part was very poorly worded and misleading. The “throw in” part was just a blatant and stupid mistake, whether intentional or not.

        • Avi

          No. I have followed prospects and player development religiously for about 12 years now. I read every BA cover to cover, read everything they post online, participate in their chats etc. I also read Goldstein, Mayo and Law. I watch prospects in game action on milb.com all the time. Many people here do the same. I have enough knowledge to at least have an opinion.

          • Mister Delaware

            To quote me … “regurgitation of what other people are saying”

            • Avi

              No. Based on what all the experts are saying and what you see you form your own opinion.

              • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

                What have you seen? How many of these guys have you personally scouted? And if you have personally scouted every single prospect in the minors, what qualifies your opinion as strong as someone who is paid to scout for a living?

                • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

                  Avi is not saying that his opinion counts *more* but that he is entitled to one and that he does a lot of footwork to get there. That’s the same as what everyone here who is interested in prospecting does so I don’t see the problem.

                  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

                    But he’s disagreeing with the notion that everything he knows about prospects has been ascertained by reading what scouts have to say about prospects. For the most part, that’s the boat we are all in.

            • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

              Exactly.

            • AndrewYF

              Which is exactly what prospect ‘gurus’ do for pretty much every prospect. You think Jim Callis individually scouts every prospect he ranks? He doesn’t. He relies on his network of scouts to provide him most of his information.

              • Mister Delaware

                We know that Law does go out and see college and HS players and makes a point to note if he hasn’t ever seen someone or hasn’t seen someone since a major industry opinion up/downtick. Which, I’d certainly think, does make him more qualified than fans and aggregators.

            • Jobu The Voodoo Troll

              “To quote me” – I like the way you roll Delaware.

      • pete

        I doubt that. I said most, not all. I know that that’s not true for Mike, and I’m sure there are plenty of others. But most people have very limited exposure to prospects, and very little expertise in analysis beyond statistics compiled in the minors. And I’m absolutely certain that most of the people who whine about these lists – that is to say, complain about them without bringing up any real evidence to counter-argue – don’t really know what they’re talking about.

        There are a lot of Yankees fans, even on a pretty smart blog like RAB, who subconsciously believe that the Yankees should be, at the very least, in the top-5, and that Montero should be, at the very least, in the top-3 prospects, without really knowing much about the systems/players before theirs. Then they complain when it doesn’t match up with their overly yankee-biased scenario.

    • Not Mister Delaware

      Bing-fucking-go

  • Avi

    For the life of me I can’t understand how anyone can rank the Twins and Blue Jays system ahead of the Yankees. The Dodgers and Phillies bother me too but not nearly as much.

    • Esteban

      How many prospects have you seen play? What is your scouting experience?

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        Irrelevent. BA, BP and Sickels aren’t nobodies which is where he gets his info from.

        • Avi

          Yes. Thank you Jobawockeez. Esteban Pls see above.

        • Esteban

          I should say that I don’t subscribe to those other ones, so I don’t know what they rank. I trust BA and BP sure, but correct me if I’m wrong, doesn’t Sickels just use stats for his rankings? If so, I’ll trust Klaw and his scouting.

          • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

            If you are trying to say Sickels doesn’t see every guy he talks about that’s true for every single person who writes about prospects. He does not just go by MiLB statistics.

          • Ted Nelson

            I’d be just as inclined to believe a thorough statistical analysis as any individual scout’s eyes.

  • David

    I like the depth that they have at P, C, and even 2B, given that Cano will have a long Yankee career. They could trade a package like Adams, Noesi and Romine at the right time, perhaps at the deadline, for a prime quality starter. They would still be stacked at all three of those positions. It is an enviable position to be in. The match would come with a team looking to rebuild with young players and unload $ at the same time.

    • Ted Nelson

      Good point.

    • pete

      totally agreed. That’s why it’s always much more important to stock up on pure talent/vacuum value than than try to fill positional needs through the minors.

  • Ted Nelson

    Obviously it’s tough to make any ranking list, but especially for MLB prospects and ranking entire organizations. Anyone doing it would be open to some criticism and the success rate would only be so high.

    That said, I don’t particularly respect Law’s rankings. It’s hard to get behind what come across as subjective rankings since he offers little or no explanation or work behind them. On the one hand his ranking have little predictive power for the coming season and on the other he always loves everything the Red Sox do even before it’s paid any dividends whatsoever and is hyper-critical of the Yankees.

    Take this on the Braves:
    “They have a knack for getting good young talent back in deals and signing players off the waiver wire and scrap heap, including Arodys Vizcaino as a sort of throw-in to the Javier Vazquez trade.”

    ARODYS WAS THE TRADE. Melky was the throw in. *Going into* last season, having only pitched in the Yankees’ org, Arodys was BA’s #69 prospect in all of baseball. He was not off the scrap heap. He was maybe the Yankees best pitching prospect, and they used him to get a Cy Young candidate from 2008. Total ignorant, revisionist bullcrap. Total lunacy, that’s really an unforgivable oversight in my opinion.

    • Mister Delaware

      That one got me too. He’s already said the Yankees commentary was edited wrong, I’m thinking the Vizcaino comment might be the same. Or hoping, atleast.

      • Mister Delaware

        And he wrote this at the time of the trade: “The key player in this trade for Atlanta is Arodys Vizcaino, who becomes one of the top five prospects in the Braves’ system and gives them a trio of potential No. 1 or No. 2 starters in the low minors with Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado.”

    • AndrewYF

      I think we just need to admit to ourselves that Keith Law isn’t perfect, and can get ‘lazy’ with these overwhelmingly large projects like farm system rankings. Lazy meaning he doesn’t check every single sentence of every single blurb for 100% factual accuracy.

      There is an argument that farm system rankings between the top 5 and bottom 5 is almost entirely subjective, and nigh on useless. Plus, look at how much a system can change in one year. The Yankees and Blue Jays go from bottom-half to top 5 or 6.

      • Ted Nelson

        It’s not the editing his writing part that bugs me so much as his just forgetting facts in what seem to be largely subjective rankings. He might just forget that a certain player is even in a certain system or forget how a player performed or get confused about a game he watched a year ago. That’s why I think he needs a more open, scientific system to be taken seriously rather than a blurb about every system.

  • http://jukeofurl.wordpress.com Juke Early

    Law takes every chance to rip the NYY- straight on, backhand or sideways. If he was any good at judging baseball, he’d have a(-nother) job with a MLB team, not just baseball commenting on the The NFL Buttboys Network. Sure he’ll be right sometimes – you know how that goes, check your broken watch and/or share some acorns with a blind squirrel. Your choice. BTW I’m pretty sure this Bartolo Colon signing is part of that Mayan Calendar thing & was predicted by them. . ..

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      He loves Banuelos and is going to put either 4 or 5 Yankees in his top 100. So that just doesn’t make sense, and I don’t think he’d risk his credibility to bash the Yankees.

      All of that being said, let’s say Law was totally anti-NYY (he’s not though), how would that change anything other than the rankings themselves. It effects nothing. It’s just a list.

      • Ted Nelson

        “I don’t think he’d risk his credibility to bash the Yankees.”

        I don’t think he’s totally biased by any means, but he’s a human. He shoots his credibility to shit by claiming the Braves got Arodys “off the scrap heap” as a “throw-in” to the Vazquez deal, after himself saying that he was the key to the deal at the time it went down.

        “It effects nothing. It’s just a list.”

        Published on ESPN. I think people have every right to vent and disagree. The list doesn’t necessarily change anything, but it might influence opinions a little. Certainly it has a huge impact on fan opinion.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

          Disagreeing with it is fine. But that’s just that. To claim he hates the Yankees, or RAB is protecting Law, or any other of the wall claims is outrageous. I’m surprised as well that the Yankees are #9, though Law’s list is just one of many, and they all know more than I do about it.

          • Ted Nelson

            Yeah, I agree.

    • Esteban

      Where does he bash the Yankees unreasonably? You know he grew up a Yankees fan in LI right?
      Is it possible that the situation at MLB is one he wants?

      • Esteban

        I meant to say his situation at ESPN*

      • Ted Nelson

        “Where does he bash the Yankees unreasonably?”

        Claiming the Braves got Arodys “off the scrap heap” as a “throw-in” to the Vazquez deal, after himself saying that he was the key to the deal at the time it went down.

        • Esteban

          I think it’s more of a weird sentence than unreasonably bashing the Yankees. I still don’t see why he would develop an anti-Yankees bias.

          • Ted Nelson

            I don’t know that he has a particular anti-Yankee bias. I do think he seems perpetually high on Sox prospects and low on Yankee prospects, though. Maybe that’s just his honest to goodness, unbiased opinion.

            I would not say weird sentence. I would say it’s a blatant misrepresentation of the truth that needs to be edited. Loses his rankings a lot of credibility to me. Maybe it’s just a typo, but then edit it. If he completely forgot his own comments on Arodys from a year ago, what else has he forgotten to and neglected to put in his subjective rankings?

            I do think your point on him liking ESPN could be right. Not sure what his role was in Toronto, but the average scout might well make significantly less $ than ESPN’s minor league guru. Plus it may be a more stable job.

  • BPDELIA

    Here’s the thing I think a lot of us miss. For a team like the yankees prospect system rankings aren’t super important. Because much of these rankings is based on depth (which includes the overall # of marginal or low end prospects whose ceiling is league avg MLer) it doesn’t matter to us. Yes there is value in developing 4th starters and league average pos players. But for a team like Pittsburgh this is huge whereas for a team like the Yankees league average players can be bought at market value. The cost controlled aspect is less important.

    For me all that counts is that the Yankees keep bringing in a few top tier prospect. Right now we are lucky to have depth and quality. But with the B’s, Sanchez, and Montero as possibilities to be better than league average players I’m good. I don’t need the yankees to be deep in league average players. I need them to develop a couple of above average to star players because the yankees have the resources to pay market or over market prices for complimentary pieces where as low revenue teams need to develop those pieces to stay competitive. The cost control angle is vastly more important for poorer teams.

    • Ted Nelson

      You make some good points, but at the same time organizational depth is probably more important than you let on even for the Yankees. For one thing, not everyone hits. You take 5 guys in A ball who project to be average ML players and on average maybe 1 of them becomes that. Also, these types of guys can be traded to the Pirates and Royals of the world for guys the Yankees want. With another, slightly better Eduardo Nunez (named Alcides Escobar perhaps), another Slade Heathcott, and another hard throwing reliever, for example, maybe the Yankees could have Greinke as their #2 starter AND still their “#9″ ranked farm system.

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    Curious who the sleeper prospect is from the late rounds of the draft. Don’t think it is Burawa. He was taken in the 12th round, which is not exactly a late round. I’m thinking a guy like Connor Mullee, who was taken in the 26th round. have heard some good things about him. He was recently converted to a pitcher before being drafted, and have seen him labeled a possible sleeper.

  • pete

    to the complainers about the redsox ranking:

    prove beyond reasonable argument that at least one of the systems ranked below the red sox is distinctly better than them. I think the Yanks’ system is quite a bit better than the Sox’s, which may not appear to be reflected by the difference between a 9th and 11th place ranking, but how do we know the quality doesn’t simply drop off severely after the Yanks?

    • Rick in Boston

      Very good point. As there’s no statistical ranking here, we can’t judge what Law thinks is the gap between 4 (Jays) and 9 (Yanks) and 11 (Sox). For all we know, it could be Jays > Yankees >>> Sox.

      • Ted Nelson

        But that makes these rankings pretty useless. And not even addressing this leads to an expectation that it’s a fairly linear progression.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    All this hand wringing about the Sox and Law is ridiculous and only serves to distract people from this point: by both BA and KLaw, the Yankees have a top 5-10 system. That’s a really, really, really, really, really good thing. Try not to worry so much about the goddamn Red Sox and realize how far the Yankees’ system has come, even in just one year.

  • Brian Cashman is Watching

    If you think the Yankees rank low and Red Sox rank high, blame Damon Oppenheimer for drafting Cito Culver with the first round pick. And blame the Steinbrenners for not giving Oppenheimer a $15 million budget for the draft (yes I exaggerate a bit).

    I like Cito, but it appeared BA, BP, and Law all didn’t feel he was a first round talent, and maybe not a second round talent. Boston picked three guys that were held in higher regards with their first picks. Explains the rankings a bit.

    Keith Law doesn’t like filler like Nunez (side note: when did Nunez become so hyped?), but wants to see high ceiling players even in lower minors. High ceiling low minors players to him are the ones most likely to be stars and regulars, whereas guys that are slated to be average are too common to consider special. BA, John Manuel especially, mentioned in podcasts that he prefers more polish, so Nunez and the Yankees system ranks higher for BA. They tend to believe that there is value in any prospect that can play in the majors. I’m betting the differences between BA and Law are less than people think. All Law did was confirm what we knew: Boston spends a lot on high impact talent in to fill the lower minors. Why is that so controversial?

    • Steve (different one)

      Gotta love Yankee fans: according to all the experts, the Yankees have a top 5-10 system, and the reaction is “Blame Damon Oppenheimer”.

      Imagine the “blame” he’d deserve if the system he built actually wasn’t in great shape??

      • Brian Cashman is Watching

        I wasn’t blaming for anything. I think the ranking is fine. Just not happy how everyone is blaming Law for his rankings.

        • Steve (different one)

          Ok, I guess I misread.

    • Ted Nelson

      I think it explains the rankings a bit, but I think you have to question how highly Law values high upside, low minors guys. I just wish he was more scientific about it and/or explained his process better. He puts the Phillies in the top 5 and all he really has to say about them is that they’ve got some exciting guys in low A. He cites the Royals only having one or two major league ready players as a positive.

      It’s a tough balance (and maybe ESPN has found readers prefer high upside guys), but you have to acknowledge that low minors guys usually are years away and low probability guys. His rankings seem to be as much 2010 draft and A-ball rankings as farm system rankings.

      Nunez has value because he plays SS. Put him next to Alcides Escobar and ask yourself how Escobar got so hyped. Nunez got “hyped” because the average MLB starting SS is awful.

  • slim

    Keith Law and MLB.com listings are barely worth reading.
    Baseball America is #1
    Baseball Prospectus is #2
    the rest are just wannabes.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    I rank the Sox #1 and the Yankees #52. Commence getting worked up.

  • NJYankeeFan

    Who gives a crap about Klaw’s list. All these guys, Mike included have as much of a chance predicting which of these players are gonna be good professionals as they do picking the winning lottery numbers. Pro Scouts and GMs are wrong way more than 50% of the time. Just be patient, hope the kids develop and get a chance to play and enjoy.

    • pete

      point taken, but hyperbole does not help your point.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    Vizcaino is the “good young talent” coming back in deals to Atlanta. Not a scrap-heap guy. Sorry that wasn’t clearer, but you can see in my analysis of the deal at the time that I wrote about Vizcaino as the centerpiece.

    Here’s his answer to the Arodys comment.

    • Ted Nelson

      Here’s what he wrote: “They have a knack for getting good young talent back in deals and signing players off the waiver wire and scrap heap, including Arodys Vizcaino as a sort of throw-in to the Javier Vazquez trade.” It reads very clearly. He goes so far as to call Arodys a “throw in.” He blatantly contradicts his analysis at the time of the trade, when he said Arodys was the key. You can’t be both the key to a deal and a throw in to that same deal. Not possible.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        I agree it was clear, though he did make sure to point out that he called him the centerpiece. Defintely wasn’t written well.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t think it’s about writing well. The “young talent in deals” vs. “scrap heap” part is about poor writing. The “centerpiece” vs. “throw-in” part is just a blatant mistake. Own up to it.

          • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

            Agree with that completely.

      • Ted Nelson

        He needs to just suck it up and admit he screwed up. Acting like people are reading it wrong is just insulting the intelligence of his readers.

    • AndrewYF

      Sorry, but what he wrote was perfectly clear. He said, blatantly, that Vizcaino was a ‘sort-of throw in’. Can’t backpedal from that. He probably just forgot, which is reasonable considering how many prospects he needs to research and cover. Unfortunately for his credibility, he tried to cover his ass by claiming we the readers can’t comprehend his ‘unclear’ sentences. It’s too bad he doesn’t have the balls to admit blatant mistakes, but that’s why his farm system rankings are losing so much credibility. If he forgot that fact, what else is he forgetting?

      He did an exceedingly poor job last year, and is probably repeating himself this year. Farm system rankings probably just aren’t his thing. It’s okay, he’s still a very valuable resource on prospects, just not judging teams on a macro-level.

      • Ted Nelson

        “If he forgot that fact, what else is he forgetting?”

        That’s a key right there. With more in-depth, scientific rankings it would be clear what he’s considering and how he came to his conclusions. I’d like to see this sort of overview accompanied by links to a page for every team’s system.

        • AndrewYF

          Honestly, I don’t think he uses some in-depth scientific method, it’s just a general overview.

          Was it Law who said that a big part of his rankings were how many players appeared on his top 100 list?

          • Ted Nelson

            As a paying subscriber I’d much rather see an in-depth scientific analysis than Keith Law’s rantings. This is his job. These rankings come out once a year. It really wouldn’t be hard.

  • camilo Gerardo

    summary is: you must anger new yorkers to make them read, and adhere to whims of bostonians to make them stay

  • Mike Myers

    Lots of anger in here, not what I was expecting.

    A top 10 Farm + Highest payroll = Always contending.

    Anyone that feels different is just way too spoiled. We got it good guys.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      This.

  • Ted Nelson

    I guess my biggest problem with Law’s rankings are that it’s just basically: this is what I think about these teams and I’ll give two or three reasons why. Not necessarily logical or true reasons, just some thoughts off my head. For a guy whose full time job this is, these rankings are just not thorough at all. He could have written all this in about 30 minutes, and at times it seems like he did.

    As a paying subscriber to ESPN Insider, I expect a lot more.

    • Ted Nelson

      That and his seeming preference for his own pre-draft rankings of recently drafted players than the actual professional performance of prospects. Maybe that’s unfair, but he’s always talking about teams 2010 and 2009 drafts and I’m not sure he mentions a single stat throughout the rankings.

      • Anchen

        I’d say it makes sense for the first year or two after a player is drafted he would still trust his feelings at the time they were drafted (he does go and actually scout/watch a lot of the players). I kind of agree, especially at low minors I don’t think stats are that important. I mean sure if a guy is tearing it up and he has great tools/was highly regarded then that’s big. However there are a lot of people who can tear up the minors stats wise, especially at lower levels but don’t project to be big time guys. Pat Venditte comes to mind although he hasn’t necessarily gotten a fair shake. A lot for stats also has to do with how young (or old) you are for a level.

        That being said, I think people should really cool off a bit til we see his top 100. That’s where he will get into more analysis of the actual players, their tools, how they are progressing, and yes some of their stats.

        • Ted Nelson

          “I’d say it makes sense for the first year or two after a player is drafted he would still trust his feelings at the time they were drafted”

          With the number of first round busts and late round gems who come along every season, I’d really rather he trust their pro performance than what he thought of them against high schoolers.

          “at low minors I don’t think stats are that important.”

          I don’t know the answer, but if this was my job I’d take the time to

          I have a feeling that stats are very important. By and large I’d say that successful MLB players dominated the low minors to some extent, and that guys who struggled at those levels and made it are the exception. Again, I don’t know for sure. I would guess that there’s some predictive power of minor league stats, though.

          “However there are a lot of people who can tear up the minors stats wise, especially at lower levels but don’t project to be big time guys.”

          But I’m not sure the opposite is true. How many guys are bad in the low minors and become successful MLB players?

          You could consider other factors in a statistical model besides pure box score stats. Age relative to level would knock a 25 year old in A ball like Pat Venditte down a few levels. You could look at velocity and movement for pitchers if you had some data.

  • Bulldozer

    Gotta say, how did people not see this coming. KLaw sees most of the of the Yankee pitchers as back-end/reliever types except ManBan. He’s said it time and time again, Dellin, Brack, Warren, etc…, are not top end starters to him. That said, he thinks Ranaudo can be a top end starter. To him, the Yanks and Sox have the same high-end talent in the pitching department.

    As far as the hitting is concerned, he really, really likes the Sox 2010 draft. I wouldn’t be surprised if you took Montero out, he would consider the Sox better. There is logic to thinking if you understand what he values. He understands that most prospects mean squat because they don’t pan out. Therefore, he values high-end talent a ton.

    That said, I think he values the 2010 Sox Draft too highly without more data on them all. I still think it’s a good list though.

    • Ted Nelson

      “There is logic to thinking if you understand what he values.”

      A. You can understand what he values and disagree. You could look at the probability of low minors prospects making it vs. high minors guys and probably poke of whole lot of holes in his logic using that crazy thing called empirical evidence.

      B. He should spell out what he values. How he came up with these rankings. Throwing team names on a list and saying this is how I feel about the off the top of my head does nothing for me. If he actually has a system, which he should, it would be easy to articulate it. If it’s “I do what I want and just go with my gut” then there’s very little value to his rankings.

      “He understands that most prospects mean squat because they don’t pan out. Therefore, he values high-end talent a ton.”

      He doesn’t seem to value Montero and Sanchez too much given that he ranks the Mariners right behind the Yankees and says in his comment that the Mariners have two players in their system and no depth.

      Most guys who make it to the high minors and are successful there are a lot more likely to make an impact in the majors than some random draft pick with a pretty swing.

  • Mark D.

    My problem with the rankings are the teams he put ahead of the Yankees. He has the Angels 6th stating,

    “They have the top prospect in baseball in Mike Trout, a catcher and reliever who should help the big club in 2011, and a ton of depth in A-ball and short-season, including a very promising haul from the 2010 draft led by infielder Kaleb Cowart and right-hander Cam (son of Steve) Bedrosian. I know Angels fans aren’t happy with the team’s offseason, but there’s a lot of help on the way.”

    He contradicts himself saying the there is a lot of depth in A ball and “short-season,” which would mean you will see them maybe in two years, not helping the club this year except for the reliever. This is not future rankings, 3 years from now, it is this year and the Yankees have alot of talented players that are more ready than the Angels.