A few weeks ago, RoyalsReview writer Scott McKinney, looked at success rates (players that averaged more than 1.5 WAR for the first 6 years of the player's career) for players on Baseball America's Top 100 prospect list. Not all successful players make the list because the list is limited to just 100 players and a player's true talent may not have fully developed by the time a team calls them up into the majors. I went and looked at which of the top hitters according to their 2010 fWAR were not on any of Baseball America's Top 100 prospect lists over the years.
The following data is just a one-year snap shot on hitters (I'll get to pitchers later). I was pretty lucky that all the players who played in 2010 had a chance to make a list at one time. I grouped the players according to their WAR values and figured out what percentage of those players were on a BA top 100 list at anytime. After running the numbers here are the results:
|2010 WAR||% of Players On BA List||Total|
|5 to 6||75%||16|
|4 to 5||79%||19|
|3 to 4||74%||38|
|2 to 3||56%||57|
|1 to 2||49%||83|
|0.5 to 1||34%||70|
In 2010, roughly 75% of all hitters who generated more than 3 WAR were on a BA top 100 list at any one time. Less than 3 WAR, the percentage of players on the list eventually drops to about 33%. I was surprised by the high percentage of hitters who were on the list.
Here is a look at the players who generated a high WAR value and weren't on any BA list:
- Greater than 6 WAR - Robinson Cano, Matt Holliday, Jose Bautista
- Between 5 and 6 WAR - Andres Torres, Brett Gardner, Dan Uggla, Nelson Cruz
- Between 4 and 5 WAR - Angel Pagan, Michael Bourn, Kevin Youkilis, Carlos Ruiz
No general trends seem to exist for the players who were excluded. I would like to say that it is possible BA is not taking into account high walk players like Gardner and Youkilis, but no conclusion should be based on just 2 samples.
In 2010, most good hitters were at least on BA's list once. I expect the numbers for pitchers to be a little lower. We'll see.