A Primer to our Top 30 List: Using a Tier-Based Ranking System

A Primer to our Top 30 List: Using a Tier-Based Ranking System
Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports, Hal Yeager, Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Rather than the usual list you’re use to seeing from us, we’ve decided to tweak the format slightly this year. We’ll still be ranking the prospects in number order, but we will also be placing them in tiers. This allows us and the readers to easily discern the big jumps, in terms of talent, that we see in the Cubs system. For example, we have Ian Happ at the end of Tier 1, and Albert Almora as the top prospect in Tier 2. Meaning, we value Ian Happ’s potential future value higher than Almora’s. So rather than the posts coming out 30-20, 20-10 etc. it will now come out in tiers. After looking over the system extensively, we’ve decided that there are four tiers worth of prospects in our top 30. They are as follows: Tier 1 (A & B), Tier 2 (A & B), Tier 3, and Tier 4. Each tier correlates with our estimate for the prospects future value. That is, we valued Tier 1 (A) prospects as having a 55 future value, and Tier 1 (B) prospects having a 50+ value. The others are as followed: Tier 2 (A) 50, Tier 2 (B) 45+, Tier 3 45-40, and Tier 4 40-35.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 20-80 scouting scale used in baseball, read this. For reference, a 50 FV player is an average MLB regular, worth about 2 WAR per year.

We hope you all enjoy our list, as all of the members put in a good deal of effort in creating it. This year we will continue our coverage of the Cubs system, and hope to include even more interviews and live-look ins. We start with Tier 4 tomorrow, and will finish rolling them out on Friday. You can find our Sleepers HERE and our Honorable Mentions HERE.

- Teddy Eley

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