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Combining MLB Top 100 Prospect Lists

How would a Top 100 MLB prospect list look if you took the average rankings from four publications? Let's find out.

The top MLB Prospect lists don't agree on many players, but they agree that Boston's Andrew Benintendi is one of the best.
The top MLB Prospect lists don't agree on many players, but they agree that Boston's Andrew Benintendi is one of the best.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Many in the writing world urge caution reading the comments, but here on this blog some of the best ideas are birthed there. Take for example a recent request from Shalesh:

Anyone who has access to all of the 5 or so Top-100 lists want to re-order the prospects by ranking average and re-post here?

A point on methodology: maybe assign a value of "110" for Lopez's ranking when he falls off Law's list. Thus, say his rankings on the other lists are 32, 34, 35, and 39, just add in 110 and divide by 5. The result should be a ranked list of the top 125-150 prospects.

A mixture of day job boredom and curiosity, I did the grunt work and combined four Top 100 MLB Prospect lists (MLBPipelineBaseball AmericaESPN, and Baseball Prospectus) to find the average rankings for 144 baseball players. You can view the list here, but below are the Top 15 based on the mean ranking:

Andrew Benintendi

Boston Red Sox

Dansby Swanson

Atlanta Braves

Amed Rosairo

New York Mets

Yoan Moncada

Chicago White Sox

J.P. Crawford

Philadelphia Phillies

Gleyber Torres

New York Yankees

Alex Reyes

St. Louis Cardinals

Austin Meadows

Pittsburgh Pirates

Victor Robles

Washington Nationals

Eloy Jimenez

Chicago Cubs

Cody Bellinger

Los Angeles Dodgers

Lucas Giolito

Chicago White Sox

Rafael Devers

Boston Red Sox

Brendan Rodgers

Colorado Rockies

Tyler Glasnow

Pittsburgh Pirates

There were a few things that caught my eye while working on this activity. New York Mets Robert Gsellman is a fantastic case study on how different takes can be about one prospect.

Baseball Prospectus: 17th

ESPN: 76th

Baseball America: Not ranked

MLBPipeline: Not ranked

Keith Law thinks highly of former White Sox prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. (#47) and Max Fried (#50), but neither appear on the other three lists. While Sox fans are well aware that Law doesn't have Reynaldo Lopez in his Top-100, he also left out eight more players that did appear on the other three lists:

Tyler O'Neill
Bradley Zimmer
Albert Almora
Erick Fedde
Jorge Mateo
Hunter Renfroe
David Paulino
Mike Soroka

Baseball Prospectus had six players not on their Top-100 list that others had. Both Baseball America and MLBPipeline just had two such players. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is considered a Top-50 prospect on three lists, except for Baseball Prospectus, who didn't even have him in their Top 101.

What the four publications can agree on, is that Andrew Benintendi, Dansby Swanson, Amed Rosario, and Austin Meadows are Top-10 prospects. Both Benintendi and Swanson are Top-5.

The Atlanta Braves had the most players in the Top 144 with 10, followed by the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Yankees with nine. Not far behind are the White Sox with seven players.