Using BP's "Star System" to Rank the Farm Systems

Earlier this year, dougdirt did a nice compilation, ranking the farm system's by organization using John Sickels' letter grades and Victor Wang's prospect valuation work, translated to dollar values by the good men of Beyond the Box Score.

Considering that Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus uses his own ranking system to label prospects, known as the "star system", I thought that it would be interesting to see how the rankings play out with those grades. Goldstein uses two-, three-, four- and five-star valuations for his prospects, with the four- and five-star prospects all being included on Goldstein's Top 101 prospect list.

In order to translate all of the sub-four star rankings into dollar values, I had to correspond Sickels letter grades to each Goldstein star ranking. I decided to settle on this fairly simple, junk math solution: three-star prospects in the upper half of the Top 11 get B- rankings, three-star prospects in the bottom half of the Top 11 get C+ rankings, and all two-star prospects receive C rankings.

The top five included some surprises: 1. Tampa Bay 2. Minnesota 3. Cleveland 4. Atlanta 5. Chicago (NL)

The total results after the jippity jump.

1. Tampa Bay

2. Minnesota

3. Cleveland

4. Atlanta

5. Chicago (NL)

6. Texas

7. Baltimore

8. Oakland

9. Pittsburgh

10. Florida

11. San Diego

12. Detroit

13. Boston

14. San Francisco

15. Washington

16. Kansas City

17. Los Angeles (NL)

18. New York (AL)

19. New York (NL)

20. Los Angeles (AL)

21. Toronto

22. Seattle

23. Milwaukee

24. Philadelphia

25. Colorado

26. Cincinnati

27. Chicago (AL)

28. Houston

29. St. Louis

30. Arizona

And some notes:

-Obviously, depth doesn't have a great deal of value here, since we're really only looking at the quality of only each organization's very best prospects.

-The translation system (letter to star) was far from perfect. It doesn't necessarily make perfect sense that the No. 5 prospect in one organization should be worth more than the No. 10 prospect in another, clearly superior farm system. But alas, this was more art than science.

-Tampa Bay had far and away the best system. They accumulated $123.2M in value, nearly $25M more than second-place Minnesota. Arizona and St. Louis were each more than $7M worse in value than No. 28, Houston.

-Teams I was surprised to see so low: Cincinnati, Texas, Boston

-Teams I was surprised to see so high: Minnesota, Detroit, New York (AL)

Overall, I was relatively happy with the rankings. I'd certainly love some suggestions about how to improve them, and more specifically the translation of letter grades to star grades, if anyone has any. And the full spreadsheet is available below, if anyone wants to take a looksy.

Goldstein Star Data

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