Prospect season is around the corner, and while various rankings, reports, and even trades will continue to influence the ebb and flow of prospect opinions, it’s helpful to lay the groundwork for establishing this year’s fantasy prospect values as early as possible. The list below represents a very early look at the top 101 prospects in the game for fantasy leagues tailored specifically towards sabermetric scoring (where OPS, FIP, and wOBA are better indicators than AVG, ERA, and SB). For example, this list could be a resource for evaluating the value of prospects in Ottoneu points leagues (a separate post will follow ranking the top 101 prospects for traditional rotisserie leagues).
Years ago I introduced the Scorecard system, my custom prospect ranking process, and I’ve continued to use this method for scoring and ranking this crop of 2020 prospects. In ranking these prospects I take into account the following factors:
“Scouting” is everything that goes into evaluating the true talent of an MLB prospect. Age, ability, stats, rankings, “makeup”, and scouting reports all play a role here. It’s the input of information that causes you to ask about the player’s ceiling, their floor, and what might be realistic in between. What are the risks, and how serious are they? Is this prospect regarded more for their defensive talents than offensive? What MLB players might they compare to? What is their future value expectation and how likely are they to reach it?
Royce Lewis scouts like a dream player (and #1 draft selection), but scouting alone hasn’t yet materialized into an elite on-field player, so there are other elements to consider when ranking him among the other top prospects in the game in this context.
“Scoring” is honestly assessing whether the prospect’s skills and talents effectively translate to the specific scoring format of your fantasy league. It seems obvious, but I continually see fantasy owners fail to make this connection in the way they draft and value their prospects each season. While Drew Waters might be an exciting buy in a 5 x 5 auction, his value needs to be reassessed in the context of OPS leagues, for example. In order to be more successful in building our dynasty rosters, we need to always project value within the context of our specific league, which is what this rating is designed to consider.
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