It is time for our annual Meta-Analysis of the Rays top prospects. In the science community, a meta-analysis is what we do when we don’t want to do any work ourselves and instead want to take the work of a bunch of other people, tease the data a little, draw some conclusions that nobody had noticed before, and then pawn it off as our own.

Presenting the 2011 Tampa Bay Rays Top Prospects Meta-Analysis.

A few notes on the final rankings

  • See below for notes on how the list was constructed.
  • Last year, everybody had the same top 3 prospects, although there was disagreement about the exact order. Two of those guys (Desmond Jennings, Jeremy Hellickson) are back this year and everybody agrees on the top 3 and their exact order.
  • Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos and Hak-Ju Lee (via the Matt Garza trade), and 2010 draftees Josh Sale and Justin O’Connor are all new to the list this year.
  • Wade Davis and Reid Brignac are no longer eligible and Nick Barnese, Kyle Lobstein, Matt Sweeney and Wilking Rodriguez have fallen off the list.
  • Tim Beckham had the biggest drop going from 5 to 13, although one could argue Nick Barnese fell further, going from 8 to off the list. Jake McGee, showing he has recovered from Tommy John Surgery jumped from 10 to 5.
  • Of the players on the list, Robinson Chirinos had the biggest disparity between high (9) and low (24) rank.
  • Four of the players have either Major League or triple-A experience. Seven of the players have never played above single-A. This is the exact same makeup of last year’s list.

A few notes on how the Meta-Analysis was constructed

  • We included rankings from Baseball AmericaBaseball Prospectus, Minor League (Keith Law) and our own Trade Value Index (which will be updated in the next week).
  • Our Trade Value Index ranks players a bit differently. In addition to projecting how good a player will be, we also consider value to the organization and offers a mathematical approach to ranking the top prospects. For more information see the most recent TVI post.
  • The final list includes all players that appeared in the top 10 of at least one list.
  • Some players did not appear on every list. For players not on a list, we gave that player a ranking of 2 spots lower than the lowest ranked player in the list for the purpose of calculating the final average.


  1. Will says:

    No raysprospects? They have the best lists.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I agree, those guys do a great job. But I don't think they have a top prospects list for this season. All I have seen is a ranking of the top hitters. It would be impossible to integrate that into this analysis.

      • Thanks Cork. We do a top hitters list and a top pitchers list, we prefer apples-to-apples and oranges-to-oranges. Hard enough to compare Alex Torres to Alex Cobb with certainty, let alone Alex Torres to Josh Sale. Hope the new baby and mom are doing well.


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