I wanted to find an unbiased way to rank prospects based on an individual score. I created PARS (Prospect Aggregate Rating System), which rates and ranks players using a custom, proprietary formula. Players are graded in 7 categories and receive a final score between -220 and 660. This number is then converted to the 0-100 scale. Each category is weighted differently, with more emphasis placed on certain stats than others.
PARS focuses more on percentages and ratios than counting stats. Counting stats are often not indicative of true talent level, as there are many factors, independent of player skills, at play. For example, RBI and Runs are ignored for hitters, and Wins and Saves are ignored for pitchers.
For hitters, wRC+, wOBA, ISO, BB%, and K% are all included in the PARS formula, to varying degrees. In my research, I have found wOBA and ISO to be superior to OBP and SLG. For pitchers, WHIP, GB%, HR rate, K rate, and BB rate are all included, also to varying degrees. Other stats that are factored into the final score are BABIP and LD% for hitters, as well as LOB% for pitchers. With these, we are looking more for anomalies and outliers than anything else.
Proximity to the majors is another piece of the formula, though weighted less than performance. This makes it difficult for a prospect tearing up the DSL to rank in the top 50, however, as past performance/track record will raise or lower a player’s score. Without a track record of success, your overall highest possible score is lower. This helps boost AA and AAA player scores, as these players are performing at the highest levels of the minors, and are closest to helping in the majors. Success at AA is much more predictive of future success than success at the Complex.
Scores are also affected by numerous other factors, including hit tool, pitcher arsenal, age-to-level, pedigree, and more. For example, a first round pick with an elite hit tool struggling in their first taste of rookie ball will receive a higher score than a player at the same level with the exact same stats, who is old for the level and drafted in the 28th round.
Once #Statcast metrics are readily available for all of @MiLB, the formula will change dramatically. Until then, slight occasional tweaks/improvements to the formula as I learn, and get feedback, will see player scores change slightly here and there.
— Who Asked You? Fantasy Baseball Advice (@PARSlist) August 28, 2021
Counting stats are factored into PARS within a custom stat called BBPG (Bombs + Bags Per Game). This adds HR and SB and divides the total by the number of games played. I wanted to find a way to recognize players who profile as potential power/speed threats. The Trouts and Acunas will shine on their other merits, but what about the Cedric Mullins, Randy Arozarenas, and Trent Grishams? This helps these players not slip through the cracks. Due to the quality of catchers and significant rule changes in A ball and below, stolen bases count as 0.5 at these levels.
PARS is Fluid:
As names are added to the list based on their PARS score, the rankings of prospects below them will change. The #20 prospect today can be #25 tomorrow. It is a fluid list, with new names added, performances changing, and players receiving promotions. Also, if Statcast metrics, such as exit velocity and spin rate, ever become as widely accessible for minor leaguers as they are for big leaguers, needless to say, the formula will see a pretty decent facelift.
Follow the List:
To access the PARS list at any time, click bit.ly/PARSlist or type that URL (case sensitive) into any browser (including mobile). To follow along with daily player additions or other updates, follow the hashtag #PARSlist on Twitter. You can also find me @PARSlist on Twitter. I am always happy to take player requests for the list, as well as hear any suggestions or feedback that you may have.
The #PARSlist is now over 300 players, as well as more than 1,100 page visits!! Wow! Thanks to everyone who has made suggestions, I’m working hard to get them added. The goal is 500 players by the end of September. Full list coming later. Time for a break 🙂
— Who Asked You? Fantasy Baseball Advice (@PARSlist) August 30, 2021