Earlier this morning, Dan Farnsworth of Fangraphs released his own prospect list for the Atlanta Braves system. Farnsworth, as you may know, took over the prospect honcho position on Fangraphs after the Braves hired Kiley McDaniel back into an employed-by-an-MLB-team status, and his first Braves-related list might cause some consternation (or at least confusion) among Braves fans.
In short, here's the top of his list:
- Ozhaino Albies - FV: 60
- John Gant - FV: 60
- Sean Newcomb - FV: 55
- Ryan Weber - FV: 55
- Lucas Sims - FV: 55
- Hector Olivera - FV: 50
- Max Povse - FV: 50
After that, Mallex Smith, Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Touki Toussaint, Mauricio Cabrera, Chris Ellis, and Daniel Castro clock in as 45+ FV prospects. Braxton Davidson, Ricardo Sanchez, Tyrell Jenkins, Rio Ruiz, and Andrew Thurman bring up the rear with 40+ FV caliber values. Kolby Allard is unranked due to injury/health concerns, and Austin Riley features only in Farnsworth's quick hits section.
Needless to say, these rankings differ wildly from both any semblance of "industry consensus" that may have semi-crystallized about the Braves' farm system, as well as Talking Chop's own rankings both by the staff and by the community. Additionally, Farnsworth's rankings raise some interesting points, specifically in that they suggest that Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe were able to fetch a 60 FV prospect better than the one obtained in a swap for Andrelton Simmons. Additionally, one might wonder why the Braves would bother to pay premium prices for pitching prospects when they can generate presumptive 55 FV guys like Ryan Weber from out of nowhere.
This isn't to say, of course, that Farnsworth is definitively wrong, or that we should cast aspersions on anything that seems to reject the industry consensus. The real proof will be in future years, when we're able to look back and see which prospect e/valuation system was most accurate in the long run on a forward-looking basis. But right now, this list seems to contain adequate hay for anyone willing to make it: it's hard to let things go by when the community's #15 prospect is placed second in the system with a 60 FV, or when a guy that seems likely to miss the community's top 30 list (Max Povse) is in the top seven in lieu of eight players the community placed in the top ten.
Again, the full list is available here.
My reaction is probably something akin to
Again, I really don't want to say that something is bad just because it's different, but there are enough things that seem fairly questionable to me in there that make me at least a little unwilling to die on that particular hill. Someone like Ryan Weber seems more like an organizational afterthought than a top-five prospect to me, but again, maybe I'm just colored by what I've heard from other corners of the internet as far as prospect rating goes. Or not.