Yesterday we started a series reviewing the prospect lists from Baseball America, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law of ESPN. For a primer on the language and necessary background, I suggest you read the post from yesterday describing the research.
The data can be found here:
Prospect List Comparison
You can also send us an e-mail at WarehouseWorthy@Gmail.com if you would like a downloadable excel version of the data.
With all that out of the way, let's get on to 2008.
2008 introduces Keith Law's list into the mix resulting in a much larger data set than we had in 2007. On the other hand, each year we move forward the restrictions of age and injury come into play more significantly. The players in each successive year are younger and as a result have less major league experience than the previous year's lists. This explains the 2.5 WAR drop over the average of the two data sets. This can also be seen through the 52 prospects that either have produced 0 WAR or posted a negative figure to this point in their careers.
Looking at the cumulative data one might notice that once again BA has produced the 'best' list featuring the fewest misses and the largest number of times closest to a prospects actual ranking. Goldstein once again falls behind with Keith Law falling right between the two. These figures also hold up when considering the average difference between a prospects actual ranking and their ranking according to each of the 3 sources. These figures on the whole went up since 2007 as a result of a larger sample. By adding in a third list, each forecasters' list will inevitably have more guys ranked 125 thus raising the average in the difference column.
One other interesting point to note about 2008 is that all 3 sources were equally good at avoiding 'busts'. Keith Law lead the group by being the closest at predicting players that have produced 0 WAR or less at 50%. Kevin Goldstein came in at 48% and BA wrapped up the group at 46%.
Let us know anything you find interesting by mentioning them in the comments.
Tomorrow we'll wrap up this series by looking at 2009.
Part 1 Part 3