Spurred on by something posted in a diary at Minor League Ball, I began to think about what I like in a prospect list. The muse was this:
Without having heard the audio, I can not say whether Mr. Goldstein had some tongue-in-cheek in that statement, but I'll assume he means what he said. Referring to other people's lists as regurgitation leads me to conclude he wasn't being cheeky and does believe his list and that of Baseball America are the creme de la creme.
Anyhow, consensus seems to be a requirement across lists. What makes this criteria tricky is one must have multiple lists in order to determine a consensus criteria. Would BP's and BA's be enough? No. At least a third must be included to calibrate the previous two.
Ideally, I'd prefer a third (or fourth) list to be determined by a methodology that differs from the other two. If two rely upon a blend of the visual skills of the scouting community and statistical analysis, then I'd like a method that ignores one of those two criteria.
So what do I like in a prospect list? Three or four of them to contrast against each other. And unlike most, I look for the anomalies and judge the lists value by how well that does. Unfortunately, the universe of minor league prospects is limited. This means judgments are being made on who ranked Robinson Cano 78th and who ranked him 97th. Or 117. Or not at all.
Let me know what you look for in a good prospect list.