Winkelman: If everything goes to plan: players don’t really have value anyway

From Matt Winkelman at Baseball Prospectus on December 17, 2019:

Nothing quite brings the proximity versus upside argument into focus like the Rule 5 draft. Teams protect relievers whom no one has heard of rather than solid prospects they have. It is no secret that major league teams value minor league options highly, and even more so with relievers who can be shuttled to Triple-A and back again at will. The whole process is enough to question what is actually more valuable to a major league team. However, we actually know how the Rule 5 draft works, and why teams make the decisions they do, and it has more to do with how other teams will construct their rosters.

What the whole process bleeds into is prospect evaluation season. If a major league contributor is valuable enough to risk a higher upside low minors prospect to protect, then why do we always push the guy with upside higher? Based on how teams conduct business, top 10 lists shouldn’t be full of relievers, back-end starters, and Triple-A contributors, but top 20s should be chock full of them. Yet when we create lists, the top 20s are not full of major league ready players.

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Originally published: December 20, 2019. Last Updated: December 20, 2019.