11/21/2012 2:00 AM (edited)

We've all been there before.  Gushing over your favorite teams top prospects.  Writing down future lineup cards where Brandon Wood is the cleanup hitter on the next World Champion Angels team.  Imagining how many Cy Youngs Rick Ankiel will win.  Wondering when Lastings Milledge will put up his first 30-30 season.  A young Rays team with Elijah Dukes and Rocco Baldelli or Felix Pie being a gold glove centfielder for the Cubbies for years to come.  Can you begin to even imagine how many nights I spent thinking about an Indians heart of the order with Andy Marte, Matt LaPorta and Josh Barfield in it?  And it sucks that the Marlins sell every other year but at least they get young talent like Andrew Miller to join the Jeremy Hermida's and Scott Olsens of the world.  How many more titles would the Yanks of had with Ruben Rivera playing up to his potential instead of stealing Derek Jeter's batting gloves to sell on eBay?  For every Mike Trout and Bryce Harper there are a dozen Matt Anderson, Dewon Brazelton, Ben Grieve, Billy Beane, Joe Borchard and Todd Van Poppel's.  Can't miss prospects that somehow do just that - miss.  Well it's time to make these guys matter!

Pick a team.  Draft 24 of the biggest can't miss top prospect busts your team has to offer over the last 20 years.  To define "top prospect" we are going to use players that were on your teams Baseball America's top 20 prospect list when they were in your teams minor league system.  To define "bust" we are going to use players that have a career OPS+ of under 100 and a career ERA+ of under 100.  If a player was on multiple teams top prospect list, i.e. Andy Marte with the Braves in 2005 and the Indians in 2006, both teams are elgible to use him.  Players just had to be a top prospect of your teams future at one point.  With everyone having a roster full of busts, some of these guys are going to pan out and become the future all-stars we all though they would be.  You might notice I said 24 of the biggest busts of all-time and that we use 25 man rosters.  Since I am an Indians fan, we are all going to be Indian givers and I am going to give every team one "mulligan" to use.  You can pick one player, hitter or pitcher, with a less than $7 million dollar salary to be your 25th man, but he has to of been traded or released from the team you picked.  Example - if the Rays want to use Josh Hamilton in the outfield, Marlins or Rangers wish they could undue the Adrian Gonzalez trades, or the M's want Brandon Morrow or Cliff Lee back in their rotation - you can fulfill this fantasy as well.  Every team gets 1 player - under 7 million - that was traded or released by your franchise.

Playing under these rules ALL teams are going to be competitive, which is the way it should be.  We are going to go with $120 million cap even though none of us will come even close to that (really its no salary cap.)  24 teams, 12 NL and 12 AL aligned as closely as possible.  DH in the American League only.  No Wavier Wire, Yes to trades (and trades are actually going to be encouraged, adds to the fun and realism.)  Use a ballpark your team called home at some point in the past 20 years. We'll go with 8/4 AAA, U-pick below average since this is a bust league and I don't want AAA making too much of an impact.  AAA is mainly going to be to add depth and give us all enough PA and IP.  It is also going to be fun to re-name our prospects to even BIGGER busts, such as Brien Taylor or Matt Bush - guys who suck so bad they don't even have seasons in the WIS database.  We can also re-name to guys in our teams current farm system who have yet to reach the MLB level.  While I can't really "enforce" anything it would be good to have all our prospects re-named something that makes sense to our team.  I don't really want to see "Bugs Bunny" playing short stop for the Rays but would be cool to see Tim Beckham or Hak-Ju Lee.  Reds can go with Billy Hamilton as a speedster in AAA, Paul Wilson as a pitching prospect.  You get the drift.       

I have been thinking about this theme league for awhile.  It is new and should be very fun and competitive for all 24 owners!
 

11/29/2012 12:37 AM (edited)
Owners:

American League:
1. Cleveland Indians - tribechamp07
2. Baltimore Orioles - hokieken
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

National League:
1. Pittsburgh Pirates - Jfranco77
2. St. Louis Cardinals - specsman
3. Philadelphia Phillies - newarkswilder
4. Los Angeles Dogers - rockysdad44
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

TBD - coachgreat1

11/24/2012 4:07 PM
Interesting. Count me in if this ever fills up. I'll let you know what team I want to be after some research. 
11/26/2012 10:23 AM
I want to do this. Put me down for the Pirates (tentatively) and I'll try to build them soon. 
11/26/2012 12:00 PM
I'll take a St. Louis team but not sure how to find these prospects on Baseball America website??
11/26/2012 1:07 PM
I thought it used to show up if you looked at the individual PLAYER page - you could see their BA ranks by year. But I don't see it on bb-ref any more. I don't see a way to get it directly from BA. Hmmm. Some years you can see, like this:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2009/267431.html
11/26/2012 1:12 PM
For the guys from the past 20 years or so it shows up on their minor league stats page on BR.
11/26/2012 3:12 PM
I see the players who made the top 100 prospects for each year at the top of the minor league page but I don't see a teams top 20 for that year. Where in BR does it show the top 20 anual prospect rankings?
11/27/2012 1:29 PM
I would take the O's if we have some way to define the top 20 prospects per year - I don't see any record of it anywhere either?
11/28/2012 1:52 AM
thank you for the intrest fellas!  I would really like to get this league started up.  When it gets about half full I'll go ahead and create a league number.  I found it easiest to just google prospect rankings by season...I.E. I would type "2002 Cleveland Indians top prospects" into google and it would pop right up.  I'll see if I can get a maser site we can use.  Again, thank you all for your intrest!
11/28/2012 11:47 AM
You can also get the Top 10 for the last several years (and a couple other that were in the BA Top 100 for each year) here:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/prospects/byTeam.asp

My issue with the O's that in the late 80's many of their top prospects were pitchers - all of the same 'breed' (control, no velocity, etc) that predate the lists on baseball cube.com. So I'm still working on finding a larger collection of lists from that time.
11/28/2012 11:52 AM
Top 100 lists from BA back to 1990:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/all-time.html

So if BA started the lists in 1990 and we have to use the BA list of prospects, I may need to bail or switch teams - just not enough pitching for the O's without the late 80's guys. Is there any flexiblity? Example for the O's - John Habyan. I can, sadly, attest to his "second coming of Boddicker" status having cornered the market on his 88 Fleer rookie card :)  
11/28/2012 1:30 PM
I'll take the Phillies.

a couple clarifications:
  • if I'm reading right, career 99 OPS+/ERA+ = okay to use, career 100 OPS+/ERA+ = can't use?
  • going back 20 years means we're starting with the 1992 BA lists?
11/28/2012 3:11 PM
I'll take the Los Angeles Dodgers but am still working on generating enough players to get a qualified team. Using the Top 100 list doesn't provide enough players for some of the teams so Googling each year will have to do but is going to take some time. What about using 1st-3rd round draft pick busts for the last 50 years? Alot easier to get the draft picks than to find the top 20 for each season. I did google Seattle top 20 for 2002 (my original pick) but was not able to come up with the top 20 for any season before 2010.
11/28/2012 4:41 PM
look at the Baseball Cube link hokieken posted. they have BA's top 10 going back to 1992 for every team.
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