Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Prospects Month Quick Primer on Grade Meanings

Good evening everyone and welcome to Prospects Month. This month of February is the month that we dedicate almost solely to prospects as we prepare for not only the Major League 2016 season but the Minor League 2016 season as well. Over the course of the month we are going to be throwing a lot of names, scouting reports and terminology around that some of you may or may not be familiar with. I know back in 2004 I didn’t know a lick about prospects other than that they brought the team the top talent around the league in trades. It was the 2005 season that I decided to truly take a look at what prospects meant to the organization and how they were graded. This morning I will attempt to explain how they are graded so when you see a grading you can know just what that grade means in the grand scheme of things. If you have any questions leave them in the comments section below and/or tweet us at @GreedyStripes on Twitter. 

Grade A: These prospects are elite or more commonly referred to as “blue chip” prospects. These prospects “can’t miss” and have good chances of becoming stars and superstars. These prospects are thought to be MLB regulars within a year or two of reaching the Major Leagues. Think Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor, they were Grade A prospects. 

Grade B: These prospects are stuck in the middle of common players and guaranteed star players. Some Grade B prospects will develop into stars and some will flop, Brett Lawrie is a good example of a Grade B prospect that flopped while his replacement Josh Donaldson was never considered to be a Grade A prospect but found stardom anyway. Most Grade B prospects spend several years in the major leagues in some capacity. 

Grade C: These prospects all have something going for them but also come with obvious holes in their game. For example, Kyle Roller could hit the ball over the fence 20 times a season but his defense was borderline atrocious, his base running and base stealing was almost non-existent and his batting average and walk totals were nothing to write home about. Other Grade C prospects are also too far away from the Major Leagues to get a good feel for or an accurate representation of. These players may grow into Grade B or Grade A players but it is obviously not guaranteed. 

To put this all into English a Grade C prospect down in Staten Island may be the next Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino or Greg Bird… or maybe they won’t be. It’s too hard to tell right now. A Grade C prospect in Triple-A is an Austin Romine type who may develop as a backup or a part-time player but is very unlikely to reach stardom in the show. Grade B prospects could take the league by storm and dominate for a long stretch of their career or they may just be the gritty Brett Gardner who continues to put up good numbers consistently over his career without many non-Yankees fans knowing it. Grade A prospects are your Bryce Harper’s and Mike Trout’s when they were prospects. You know what these players will become eventually. 

So there you have it, the grades are in. Now let’s get on with this Prospects Month!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)