Setting aside the specfic talent for a minute, I'm curious about the structural quality of a minor league system. What determines how good your minor league system is? How do we measure the quality of the system itself, aside from the current level of talent? Can we isolate the problem(s) in a struggling system? Maybe development is good but scouting is poor. Maybe scouting is good and development is fine, but players are being rushed by a desperate GM.
A few thoughts:
- Draft position helps, but isn't a top factor, as evidenced by the Red Sox and Yankees strong systems and the Pirates and Orioles comparatively weak ones.
- The level of talent in a minor league system ebbs and flows, but good systems always rebound quickly after graduating their current crop.
- Money matters, but how much? The really strong systems aren't primarily strong because of over-slot bonuses and major league contracts.
- What are the general areas to consider and who are the people to be judged?
It seems to me that we often mix up the strength of a team's minors in regards to talent and the quality of the organization itself. I'd like to separate the latter as much as possible. It's one thing to do this on an ad hoc basis, "Braves are good. Pirates are bad." but can we create a measurement system that can be applied repeatedly.
Maybe there are 3 or 4 general areas we can rate 1-10. Maybe we have to do it by level. Maybe personnel turnover is such that we can't yet rate certain aspects, but I'd like to be able to understand the quality of the Reds organization from the non-player perspective.