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Monday, January 23, 2017

What the heck is A+ ball and why has the top Yankee prospect, Gleyber Torres, played no higher?

Gleyber Torres
Position: Shortstop
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1", Weight: 175 lb.
Born: December 13, 1996 in Caracas, Venezuela (Age 20 and 41 days)

Prospect Ratings by Baseball America:
Pre-2016: Rated #41 Prospect
Prospect Ratings by MLB.com:
Pre-2016: Rated #28 Prospect
Prospect Ratings by BaseballProspectus.com:
Pre-2016: Rated #41 Prospect

201417-2.82 Teams2 LgsRk-A-CHC502151823754862331072940.297.386.440.8268030040
201518-3.52 Teams2 LgsA-A+CHC12653848754140245364221444115.287.346.376.72218372141
201518-3.4South BendMIDWACHC11951446453136245362221343108.293.353.386.73917972141
201518-4.7Myrtle BeachCARLA+CHC724231400020117.
201619-3.62 Teams2 LgsA+CHC-NYY125547478811292951166211358110.270.354.421.77520185510
201619-3.5Myrtle BeachCARLA+CHC94409356629823394719104287.275.359.433.79115455510
All Levels (3 Seasons)301130011471723236116161635334131265.282.356.405.761464187691
A+ (2 seasons)Minors132571501821332951168211459117.265.348.409.75720585510
.775 OPS in 2016 in A+ ball. In 2017 Torres will undoubtedly be promoted to AA ball. Then eventually to AAA, then the New York Yankees.

But his batting numbers so far are nothing special. So, why is he rated so high when he's in the functional equivalent of ...? What?


The current minor league classification system divides leagues into one of five classes, those being Triple-A (AAA), Double-A (AA), Class A (Single-A or A), Class A Short Season, and Rookie. Furthermore, Class A is further subdivided into Class A and Class A-Advanced (often called Low-A and High-A, respectively), and Rookie is further subdivided into Rookie Advanced, Complex-based Rookie and international summer baseball. Under the rules governing the affiliated minor leagues (specifically Major League Baseball Rule 51), Class A Short Season is a separate classification from the other leagues bearing the "Class A" name, despite the similarity in name.

So is there: A+, A, A-?

Whatever level of ball Gleyber Torres has played so far, it's below AA. So, why are people so sure that he is the top Yankee prospect? Why not the other prize acquisition from July 2016, outfielder Clint Frazier, who has played AA and FINALLY after three pro years AAA, where Frazier has only 129 PA, .657 OPS?

Torres OPS exceeds that of Frazier but it's A+ v. AAA. And Frazier PA and OPS:
2015 A+ 588  .842
2016 AA 391  .825

Torres is a shortstop and Frazier an outfielder but Frazier has shown more with his bat, at least below AAA. So, what the heck?

2016 rankings (lower is better; 1 is best):
Baseball America: Frazier 44, Torres 41
MLB.com: Frazier 27, Torres 28
BaseballProspectus.com: Frazier 53, Torres 41

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