15 March 2010

Comparison of Project Prospect and Baseball America Prospect Lists

Just a simple post here as I have not really found anything interesting with this data so far.

Project Prospect has been incredibly focused lately on similarities and differences between their list and others. For instance, PP makes an effort to put more positional talent in theirs as pitching has a higher attrition rate. I find it to be a rather arbitrary adjustment as it is applied across the board as no one really knows which pitchers are likely to get hurt, so what does it mean in terms of their value being compromised. There probably is a better qualitative concept in there somewhere, but I have yet to see it really eloquently put. It certainly makes sense to devalue a more volatile commodity, but there is an aspect of apples and oranges here. Certainly apples are better than rotten oranges or vice versa depending on your preference, so there is a correlation there. The issue is figuring out how they relate.

So, what simple things have I found comparing the two lists? Well, I focused on changes between 2009 and 2010 lists.

For Baseball America, I found that 30 graduated to the Majors and no longer qualify. 32 dropped off the list. 38 stayed. Of the new entries onto the list, 23 were draftees and 39 were professionals. For Project Prospect, 36% graduated to the majors. This is greater than BA's and is probably a characteristic that PP's lists with hold true on. They value floor more than they value ceiling and such a priority in criteria will result in a higher graduation rate and perhaps delayed value on prospects until they have proven themselves. 31 were dropped from the list, which is similar to BA. 33 remained on the list, which is less than BA . . . but is due more to PP graduating more players. PP also seems to have a wait and see approach with draftees as 16 were on the new top 100 list. The rest were made up with professionals.

Really nothing very interesting here. As PP has said themselves, they value the floor more than the ceiling and their goal is to predict future hard value. That more often than not means a track record. A track record will likely indicate more advanced players with professional history. I figure that PP will likely miss some less experienced players on the fringe that BA would pick up. I also think BA will ignore highly skilled players on the fringe and that PP would pick them up.

Which is better? Eh, it is apples and oranges.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention. Interesting stuff with the year-by-year composition breakdowns.

I've gathered some data on the primary quantitative differences between the hitters on BA's list and ours. The primary difference didn't surprise me, but there was a much larger gap in one statistic than I was expecting.

Jon Shepherd said...

Yeah, I was going to compare several systems together and started with yours and BA's as they seem to be created with the most different perspectives. In the end . . . just not much difference, so I probably won't bring the others in.