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AL Central Farm System Values

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In continuation of my division by division series, it's now the AL Central's turn. Here again are Victor's surplus values for the different categories of prospects:

Top 10 hitting prospects $32.5M
Top 11-25 hitters $22.3
Top 26-50 hitters $20.8
Top 51-75 hitters $12.6
Top 76-100 hitters $11.1
Top 10 pitching prospects $13.5
Top 11-25 pitchers $14.2
Top 26-50 pitchers $14.2
Top 51-75 pitchers $10.8
Top 76-100 pitchers $8.7
Grade B pitchers (as graded by Sickels)
Grade B hitters $4.9
Grade C pitchers 22 or younger $1.9
Grade C pitchers 23 or older $1.3
Grade C hitters 22 or younger $0.62
Grade C hitters 23 or older $0.45

Yes it is odd, but top ten pitchers were shown to have less value than top 11-50 pitchers. It's probably a sample size issue, but the more important truth is that pitchers as a group have rather high rates of attrition. We all would rather have David Price than Jhoulys Chacin on our team, yes, I know, but there is still the chance they produce equal value for a number of different reasons. 




  • Detroit Tigers, $45.07M surplus value. Move over Astros, this is the least valuable system in all of baseball.  Rick Porcello makes up 31.5% of the Tigers' farm system surplus value, and he signed a 4-year/$7.285M contract with options for his '11-'12 seasons worth a little over a million apiece. Therefore, I don't know how much true surplus value you can actually say he has. After Porcello, the only players of much value left are Ryan Perry and Brett Jacobson, a couple of college relievers from last year's draft. 
  • Chicago White Sox, $72.06M. Gordon Beckham is good at baseball. Dayan Viciedo signed a 4 year/$10M major league contract, making his true surplus value sketchy. Here's a look at surplus value in action: The ChiSox received Tyler Flowers ($11.1M), Santos Rodriguez ($1.9M), Jon Gilmore ($.62M) and Brent Lillibridge ($.45M) for a total surplus value of $14.07M. The Braves got Javy Vazquez and Boone Logan. Vazquez will be getting paid $23M the next two season, but CHONE projects he'll pitch like he's worth $37M. Logan has only 2 years of service time and projects to be worth 1.8 WAR over the next four seasons, worth $8.1M. Even using more conservative projections for both Logan and Vazquez, this trade looks good for Atlanta.  
  • Minnesota Twins, $94.31M. According to the surplus values, the Twins made the right choice making Aaron Hicks an outfielder, even if he would have made a great pitching prospect. Top 50 hitter > Top 50 pitcher. Ben Revere was universally panned as a first round draft pick by the experts, but went on to hit for a .436 wOBA as a 20 year old in the Midwest League. About 1/3 of the Twins' farm system value comes from five grade B pitchers, including 2008 draft picks Carlos Gutierrez and Shooter Hunt. 

Graph time for the two top systems in the division-

Total val.:  $105.74M. 43% of Cleveland's value comes on players they acquired in mid-season trades. You can't really blame Milwaukee for giving up LaPorta and others to acquire Sabathia, but Carlos Santana for Casey Blake is a dumb and inexcusable move on the part of Ned Colletti. Blake contributed 0 WSAB for the Dodgers, whereas Santana and Jon Meloan account for $22.1M in surplus value.


Total val.: $107.5M. The Royals have one of the more underrated farm systems in baseball. Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are a nifty 1-2 punch at the top of the system. After that, there's not much star talent, but they have a very nice collection of B grade arms.

In summary, this division has a couple of underrated farm systems in the Twins and Royals, and one of the more overrated systems in the White Sox. Well, they're not really a highly rated system to begin with - most rankings have them in the middle of the pack - but I think they're worse than that.

Next up: The AL East.