Ranking the 2012 hitting prospects

These are the final regular-season numbers for Cub hitting prospects in 2012. Rizzo is the starting 1B on the major-league team for the foreseeable future, and is kept on this list for historical purposes. (He did spend half the season at Iowa.) I exclude him from the top-ten list of hitting prospects, which, based on the ranking formula laid out at the bottom of this page (below the table), looks like this today:

1) Jacob Rogers
2) Jorge Soler
3) Brett Jackson
4) Tim Saunders
5) Javier Baez
6) Matt Szczur
7) John Andreoli
8) Luis Valbuena
9) Logan Watkins
10) Zeke DeVoss

Here are the next five:

11) Adrian Cardenas
12) Josh Vitters
13) Arismendy Alcantera
14) Junior Lake
15) Greg Rohan

A few of these players have major-league numbers this season, but I exclude those numbers from the table data. A few have Arizona League numbers, which I also exclude. I exclude Boise numbers unless the player was promoted to Peoria or Daytona, in which case I include the Boise stats. A player is thus excluded from the table if he played no higher than Boise. So much for Almora, Vogelbach, Candelario, Bruno, et al.

Rogers and Soler get a big boost from the small size of their data samples, sixteen and twenty games as a Peoria Chief, respectively. Rogers raked in 26 games with the Arizona League Cubs, however, and Soler didn’t disappoint in 14 games; so I let their Peoria numbers stand. Jacob Rogers was a 40th round pick this past June. (There is no 41st round.) You may be seeing his name for the first time. It would surprise me if anyone else has referred to him as a prospect, but we follow the numbers where they lead.

Like Tim Saunders, Rogers was drafted as a college senior and is a bit old (22) for his level (A).


This is a ranking system that considers a base that is stolen to be as valid a unit of offensive production as a base that is attained any other way. It takes the sum of total bases + walks + SBs, adjusts it slightly, and divides by games played to arrive at a score, according to which the players are ranked. (Hitting prospects are starters, not pinch hitters or defensive replacements, so dividing by games is about as valid as dividing by at-bats or plate appearances.)

The adjustment represented by the “adj points” column is Points minus Games. This adjustment rests on the idea that one total base (or walk or SB) per game is a baseline, required to get you to zero.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From The Lou Brock Fan Club - Top-of-the-order hitters on 13 Sep 2012 at 9:40 am

    [...] The days of a Mather or a Vitters hitting in the 1- or 2-hole may soon be over. Notable in the Top Ten list of 2012 hitting prospects are the players who made it based on their walks and steals more than on their total bases. Here is [...]

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