Jonathan India, JT Realmuto, and the Cincinnati Reds Doug Gray February 3, 2019 61 Comments It feels like we are 85 years into rumors surrounding “the Cincinnati Reds are trying to acquire Miami Marlins catcher JT Realmuto” situation. The rumor of the last few days is that Jonathan India is the main prospect that’s being discussed in the deal. But even that has been an interesting situation. Earlier in the week, the word was that the Reds were actively trying to move Jonathan India all offseason. Ken Rosenthal wrote about that on Friday at The Athletic. The article is full of speculation, though. A rival executive noted that India was “a bit of a disappointment” in his first season, and that “for him to be available all winter is telling”. Let’s address that. Jonathan India hit .240/.380/.433 in 44 games between Greeneville, Billings, and Dayton in 2018. The average is something you would like to have seen higher, of course. But he showed a strong ability to get on base, he showed good power, he showed speed, and he showed defense. Essentially, if you’re going to say it was a bit of a disappointment, you’re pointing to batting average across 44 games. That’s a bit much, but your mileage may vary. The other point, of “him being available all winter is telling”, is true. It’s telling. But it’s not telling of anything at all to do with Jonathan India, or how the Reds necessarily feel about him. This is the weirder part of the article and speculation by this rival executive. India plays third base. And the Reds did give him a few starts at shortstop in 2018, too – though almost everyone thinks he’s either a third baseman or a second baseman. Does that sound familiar to anyone? At third base the Reds have Eugenio Suarez locked up for the next seven seasons if they want (six are guaranteed, and they have an option for a seventh). That takes third base off of the plate. At second base, there’s Scooter Gennett today. He, though, is a free agent after the year. But the teams top prospect, Nick Senzel, is likely the next guy in line even though he’s giving center field a shot this spring. Most believe that even if Senzel can handle center field, it’s a short term option and he’ll slide to second base after 2019. There’s a chance he plays well enough to remain there long term, though it’s a small chance. It doesn’t take second off the plate for India, but it makes the fit unlikely. And those are the very simple reasons as to why Jonathan India is potentially available in trades this offseason. That’s what is telling. It’s not that he had a “disappointing” season. And it’s not that the Reds are trying to move on. It’s that it’s not an easy fit for him on the Reds in the near future, he’s a premium prospect that has value in big deals, and the team is trying to acquire players that would require a premium prospect and he’s the one with the toughest place to find a spot for in the next three years in Cincinnati. Jim Bowden, good ole Leatherpants himself, had this tweet earlier today about the Reds pursuit of JT Realmuto: The best part of the #Reds trade proposal of India, Barhart and 3rd player to the #Marlins being leaked is how many GM’s will be picking up the phone and calling the #Marlins this am and saying “I can beat that offer”…… — Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) February 3, 2019 And you know what, he might be right. A lot of teams can beat that offer. The Reds can beat that offer, too. But here’s the thing: Teams aren’t beating that offer right now. It’s why JT Realmuto is still a Marlin. Tucker Barnhart, Jonathan India, and a third player is rather valuable. How valuable depends on who that third player is. But let’s break down what the Reds are offering here. Using the Fangraphs prospect valuation, Jonathan India is worth roughly $28M in surplus value. Projecting Tucker Barnhart’s value isn’t as easy, as we have to project forward what he will produce. But let’s call him a league average catcher (2.0 WAR) per season (he’s projected for 2-2.5 WAR this year depending on where you look) for his contract. The catcher is under team control for the next three seasons, and has a fourth option year at $7.5M with a $500K buyout. At worst, he’s owed $11,563,500 over the next three years. That would put his surplus value at nearly $40M, assuming we count 1 WAR at $8M. Before the third player in the deal would even be named, the Reds are trading nearly $70M in surplus value if those numbers hold up. Now, you can argue that maybe there’s some wiggle room on Barnhart, who was only worth 1.1 fWAR last season according to Fangraphs. But even if you cut the surplus value of Barnhart in half, and he’s only worth, say $20M in surplus – that’s still nearly $50M in surplus value being moved by Cincinnati. JT Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball right now. He’s under team control for 2019 and 2020. We do not know his salary for 2020, but in 2019 he’s owed $5.9M. ZiPS projects Realmuto to be worth 3.9 WAR in 2019. That would give him a surplus value of $25M in 2019. In 2020 his salary will be determined by arbitration, and will go up. How much will depend on his performance. But if he repeats what he’s done in recent years, you are looking at something like $10M at the least. The surplus value on that season, assuming similar production, would be in the $20M range. It could be a little more or a little less depending on his salary and production. On paper, a deal of Jonathan India and Tucker Barnhart for JT Realmuto, works, when it comes to surplus value. You can’t always do trades looking solely through that prism. There’s always things that come into play that are more than just the numbers on the spreadsheet. The idea, though, that the Reds aren’t offering enough in a scenario where it’s Jonathan India, Tucker Barnhart, and a third prospect, and other teams could beat that is both true and untrue. Teams could beat that offer, as noted earlier. But so could the Reds. Right now, teams don’t seem to be doing that, though. And there’s a reason for it: It’s a pretty good offer that adds up. Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditPocket 61 Responses Wes February 3, 2019 Bowden is spot on w his tweet. And the answer is 0- no team is going to give up a top 25 prospect in offseason for realmuto. Reds will end up giving up more than Miami got for yelich plus India adds extra value being a home grown south fl guy. Miami has been waiting and leaking fake info for almost two weeks now and no one has bit. Love to see this get done today ! I’m guessing it takes India Barnhart and Siri. Even if realmutos arm falls off and India and Siri go on to be all stars- I’ll never say that’s a bad move for reds. Reds compete through June and in july you can look to add an ace to the staff if one hasn’t emerged. Reds land realmuto and Bumgarner at deadline and they can contend for WS next season. Fish February 3, 2019 2 things: 1, I would absolutely not include anything of value as the third prospect for realmuto, no one in the top 30 for sure. 2, even with realmuto, there is absolutely nothing the reds can do to contend for the world series next year. They’re around 16th in team WAR. Mortgaging the future for a 1 year run is ridiculous. Doug Gray February 3, 2019 Hindsight makes the Marlins haul for Yelich look far worse than it was at the time. The Marlins got back Isan Diaz (Top 100 prospect in 2017), Monte Harrison (Top 50 prospect at BP, Top 75 at BA and MLB Pipeline at the time of the trade), Lewis Brinson (Top 20 prospect at BA and BP, Top 30 guy at MLB Pipeline), and Jordan Yamamoto. That would be the equivalent of today trading Taylor Trammell, Jonathan India, and maybe a guy like Tyler Stephenson. The fact that the guys that Marlins got didn’t hit the ground running makes it look bad. At the time, the Marlins grabbed a valuable package of prospects for Yelich. Was it enough? I don’t know (obviously with hindsight, the answer is no). But the Reds aren’t giving up more for Realmuto than the Brewers gave up for Yelich, and it’s not particularly close. Reds schotzie February 3, 2019 I think the rub on the Yelich trade was most of those prospects, while ranked in top 100, have/had huge bust potential. They’re mainly Jose Siri with slightly better track record OBP and slightly better hit tools. There really wasn’t a “safe prospect” in the bunch to guarantee relative equal value. At least that’s what I recall. Wes February 4, 2019 Brinson was fools gold. And the fool Jeter bought it. Top twenty prospects aren’t traded over and over again- Brinson was though. And that’s bc teams who owned him knew he was a bust. India today is twice the prospect Brinson was when traded. And all four of those aren’t worth trammell. Who cares what they were ranked. Doug Gray February 4, 2019 I don’t even know how to respond to this. Joe February 3, 2019 Keep Realmuto – great athlete getting better as catcher. Let everyone else develop their own. Redsvol February 3, 2019 boy I would Wes. 2 All stars for a catcher. We would be laughing stock of league. I wouldn’t do anything in off-season. I’d rather we wait and see where we are in June. DocProc February 3, 2019 Great analysis, Doug. Agree completely. A “rival executive” allegedly dissing India shouldn’t carry much weight. India was still the #5 overall pick a year ago and is now a Top 100 prospect. Barnhart plus India plus one lower prospect (PLEASE not Siri) is a fair deal for two years of Realmuto. DocProc February 3, 2019 So assuming the Reds are trading India, Barnhart, “and some other prospects” for Realmuto, let’s talk about those “other prospects.” I really, really hope that Jose Siri doesn’t get included in the deal. As recently as 2017, Siri was our minor league hitter of the year. He hit .293/.341 in Dayton that season with an .871 OPS. He had 24 HRs, 76 RBI, and 46 SBs in 126 games. And a 39-game hit streak. Siri came to Spring Training last year and there was lots of buzz. Then he busted his thumb on the outfield wall in the second game and wasn’t the same at the plate the rest of the year. Understandably. But he was back in force in the Dominican League this winter. He’s a true 5-tool player. He’s probably the best defensive outfielder in our system, with wheels that would make him the fastest guy on our team. I’m betting the Marlins are asking for him since we won’t give them Trammell. DO NOT TRADE HIM. Doug, who are the “other prospects” you would refuse to give up in this Barnhart + India deal? Hanawi February 3, 2019 Siri would be too much. I’d look at one of the OFs in the 15-25 range (Friedl, Fairchild, Aquino, Sugilio, Beltre). Fairchild seems like it could be the right combo of decent prospect, young, and his speed would play well in the Marlins’ park. Frankly, I’d give up anyone as the 3rd piece on Doug’s 15-25 list other than Willems. I’d even throw in AlfRod as a 4th piece for free. Nep O'Tism February 3, 2019 Heading into his 7th Professional Season: Career .261/.280/.395 A+ hitter. Career .229/.300/.474 AA hitter. 32.2% K rate in AA. 48 Infield Fly Balls in 870 AB the last two years (Hamilton had 38 IFFB in 1,086 AB the last two years to give you an idea of how absurd that 48 is.) If he’s the third piece that lands Realmuto, I can easily live with that. Sure like that lot more than Santillan. Don’t be seduced by the siren call of a raw 5-tool player. Take the best catcher in baseball. Norwood Nate February 3, 2019 Agree with those who don’t want to give up Siri. I’m probably ok with just about anyone other than the big 3, Santillan, T. Stephenson, and Siri being the 3rd prospect. The Duke February 3, 2019 4 tool player. Can’t say a guy who struck out 32% of the time in AA as having a plus hit tool. ohiojimw February 3, 2019 Siri is probably a hot button ask for about now due to his run in the Dominican Series. I thought it was interesting the Reds exercised their prerogative to hold him out of the Caribbean Series. I can see the logic either way. It could be to protect his value from depreciating if he had a bad series or conversely not wanting to escalate it even more heading into camp if they have already decided he isn’t in the mix to make the MLB team out of camp. Then again maybe they just want him rested, healthy and ready for camp and the season to follow, wherever that takes him. Hanawi February 3, 2019 After the spring training injury last year, I could see the Reds not wanting to risk another injury so close to the season again this year. He’s on the 40 man, so both he and the Reds need to know what he has going forward. Think this is a really key year for his future with the organization. Is his plate discipline going improve enough or will his other skills be able to overcome that? Justin February 3, 2019 A rival executive may be one that is trying to make his proposed trade to the Marlins look better by making ours look worse for all we know. The weirdness of the free agent market had affected many things, but I think the worst is the reporting. The need to produce content when there isn’t any seems to push a lot of questionable info out there. I’m guessing most of your readers would agree that you set yourself apart in that way Doug. I’ve never seen something on here that I questioned the integrity of. MK February 3, 2019 I am with that rival executive as I too was disappointed by what I saw of Jonathon. Some might have been a little unfair as most fans at least were expecting a Senzel clone and he is not. I just did not see the power that was expected and foot work on defense was kind of heavy. Could have been fatigue from a long season and a lot of air miles in a short time. Not sure I would want to put Siri in the deal. The Duke February 3, 2019 He had been playing meaningful games since mid February, let alone when their preseason training started. The bat speed is real there, power is the least of my worries with India. Colorado Red February 3, 2019 I do not trust rival executives. They all have ulterior motives. Lies and half truths. Do not raise the offer, and see what the mullets do. Norwood Nate February 3, 2019 This generally seems to be writers needing something to write about with the lack of anything truly newsworthy to actually speculate on. Cguy February 3, 2019 Back before the Reds became big players this off season, when it was doubtful the Reds had a plan to become competitive in 2019 (or 2020 for that matter), discussions would come up about trading players to get more prospects. Players like Suarez & Iglesias. There would always be a contingent of posters who would claim that trading Suarez or Iglesias would be bad policy, because both of those guys had signed “team friendly” contracts. This was argued would discourage future players from such signings because the Reds weren’t serious about keeping them. Well that’s exactly what’s happening to Tucker Barnhart in this Realmuto trade. I haven’t seen anyone dissenting on this deal on the grounds that this trade could hamper future efforts by the Reds to sign in house players to team friendly deals. Why not? Tucker has been the ultimate team friendly player, improving almost every season, handling a large number of pitchers/prospects/suspects every year, & signing on to stay for 4 years. Team loyalty doesn’t seem to apply to all signings equally, does it? DocProc February 3, 2019 Suarez and Iglesias had good years. Barnhart did not. He signed a long-term deal and then performed poorly, both offensively and defensively. When you say that Tucker has been “improving almost every season,” you’re clearly ignoring 2018. Cguy February 3, 2019 4 out of 5 is almost in my book. I’m not ignoring anything, but allowing that most players have a down year. By the way, I would not call Suarez’ defensive performance in 2018 good. The Duke February 3, 2019 Trading for prospects vs trading for an all star. Massive difference. Brian February 3, 2019 Doug I’m not traditionally the guy to took my own horn but I will here because I was pretty spot on. Like a month ago I said I hoped the reds would trade India who after Baseball America came out was somewhere around #46 and Barnhart for realmunto. Even if I need to include a lesser throw in. You said that wouldn’t be nearly enough, and while it still might not, my prediction is looking pretty golden about now. Btw, I love your articles. I’m just feeling myself a little at the moment. Let me have this win. MikeinSoCal February 3, 2019 Losing India is bad enough. Throwing in Siri as the third piece would be a big mistake. It does seem that maybe the Marlins are leaking these scenarios in a fishing attempt for better offers. Personally I prefer a Kluber deal, maybe a three way with San Diego. Get a Kluber and a CF. Colorado Red February 3, 2019 I would have to agree 100% with you. MuddyCleats February 4, 2019 Dittos – Reds need long term solution – talent. If they R going 2 trade best young prospects they need a 5 tool type player n return. Compare last yrs stats between Tucker & JT – not that much different. JTs best stat yr (R & RBI) IF he regresses 10 & Tucker improves 10 – they’re essentially equal. Payoff here just doesn’t seem worth it 2 me?? Brian February 4, 2019 Is the difference between a healthy kluber vs a healthy disco greater than realmunto to Barnhart? I think it is a little and don’t get me wrong I love kluber. I just think the difference there is smaller than the one between senzel/trammel and India. Especially since the kluber trade would need more good pieces like a santallian or Winker to happen. I love the idea of having a 2015-level royals lineup where there are no easy outs. That has an affect on pitchers and leads to bigger rallies. Now take that concept and we’d have just that except way better hitters than they had. It excites me I’d rather trade for JT, and lock him and Puig or wood up for another 3+ years. Then use the money we have coming off the books to sign a sale, verlander, Cole, bumgarner, or wheeler without giving up senzel or trammel Bob Anderson February 3, 2019 lol, India is a nobody. He hasn’t proven a thing. There is a reason why Realmuto hasn’t been traded yet and that is because nobody has given them a matured top prospect. That is not India. Time for the media to move on and stop making things up. He will be going into camp as a Marlin. DHud February 4, 2019 If we’re calling people nobody’s, more people know who Jonathon India is than Bob Anderson Wes February 4, 2019 You give Jeter the joke too much credit. I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded realmuto and didn’t even get a catcher in return when they don’t have one on their roster. Their ownership is a complete embarrassment to Major League Baseball James H. February 3, 2019 With your value estimation, and others throwing in Siri, this would be a dumb trade. Reds are set at the Catching position, and there’s no need for Realmuto unless he’s signing and extension so he’ll be around for a pennant run. Save India for landing someone like Kluber next year. Bernie February 3, 2019 If these rumors are accurate, and often they are not, then I say the Reds should go for it as long as the 3rd guy is not top 20. Mark February 3, 2019 Let’s not forget the value of a possible draft pick down the road, if Realmuto gets a qualifying offer. It’s not without value. Troy February 3, 2019 I would do India, Barnhart, and Siri for JT. I would not give up any of our top 3 and assuming India would be the main piece, I wouldn’t want to include Stephenson or Santillan as the other prospect Cincy kid February 3, 2019 India, Barnhart…yes! 3rd player…a pitcher would be best since that is not a strong area for Miami….even though R.Steph would be difficult to swallow…that might be enough to swing the deal…he cannot be optioned…so he must make the team as a reliever..he will not start..no room…he can start for Miami… Don’t give more! I don’t like the trade! Hope the Braves or Dodgers get him & we can go after a CF…what we really need. Oldtimer February 4, 2019 Robert Stephenson has little or no trade value. He is no longer a prospect. He has shown what he can and can’t do. He has been marginally decent to unsuccessful in 3 years of MLB. The Duke February 4, 2019 Bob Steve would make a lot of sense as the 3rd piece. The high upside is still there, and he’s a guy they could throw in their rebuild rotation right now and not bat an eye if he goes out and loses 20 games this year. On the flip side, if he figures something out working through his issues in the bigs he could turn into a very good pitcher. He still throws mid 90’s, touching higher. Still has offspeed pitches that move a ton. Find a pitching coach that can make the control click like it had in the past, and he’s a perfect buy low candidate. Oldtimer February 4, 2019 Stephenson has been in MiLB for 7 seasons already (plus parts of 3 seasons in MLB). He is past time for figuring it out. A throw-in, perhaps. Like Ed Armbrister in 1971. If he were a serious P prospect, the Reds would keep and use him. seadog February 3, 2019 We could always ask for Chad Wallach back? Choo Choo Coleman February 3, 2019 Let’s get it done! Best catcher in baseball! Offense weapon! Bill February 3, 2019 When I did the math on this using essentially the same process, I came up with India and Barnhart being worth $8M to $16M (depends on whether Barnhart ‘s option is exercised) more than Realmuto. If the Reds picked up a QO pick after the first round, a reasonable expectation, the trade value really balanced out almost perfectly. If the Reds are optimistic they can extend Realmuto, this trade becomes fantastic. One final note, Fangraphs methodology assumed a WAR value of $9M/year whereas Doug (and I, not that I count) used $8M/WAR for Realmuto and Barnhart. Not a big deal, but it leaves India valued a little higher than best for the comparison. I haven’t read an article that addresses this, but it would seem to me from observation that there’s a sliding scale of what one WAR is worth per player with elite players being worth more than average players. In other words, are teams routinely willing to pay a premium for a player they believe gives them a legitimate shot at having a top 1-3 player at their respective position? pw February 3, 2019 I wonder if JTR idolized Johnny Bench growing up in Oklahoma. Could help with a possible extension. Ryan February 3, 2019 What if the Reds could get Realmuto without trading Barnhart and then flip Realmuto for Corey Kluber? It’s a massive blow to prospect/team depth but what about the following trade scenario that enables the Reds to keep their top 3 prospects? Reds get: Kluber Indians get: Realmuto, one of: Mahle/Schebler Marlins get: India, Guitierrez, Richardson, Robert Stephenson Would you make this trade? Or would you rather have Realmuto? Is this a realistic package for all teams involved? Reds get their ace. Marlins get a top 100 prospect, two top 15 team prospects, and a former top 100 reclamation project. Indians get the best catcher in the game and either a controllable starting pitcher or controllable outfielder (both with upside remaining). Everybody wins? Oldtimer February 4, 2019 Why would Marlins want Robert Stephenson in a trade? He will be available as DFA on waivers this year. Doug Gray February 4, 2019 Because they get first dibs here. And there’s absolutely no way of knowing that he’ll actually be available on waivers this year. If they think he’s got an arm and they can get him on the cheap, that’s why they’d want him in a trade. AirborneJayJay February 3, 2019 Barnhart, India, Siri and Jose Garcia will be it. Will be done by end of business Monday. All 4 positions right up the middle. Patrick February 3, 2019 To many people are stuck in the moneyball/analytics past and have not caught up with today’s reality. A player like Siri is very valuable. IndyRedsFan February 4, 2019 JJ, I pray that you’re wrong sixpack2 February 4, 2019 I think six years of India and four years of Barnhart for 2 years of JT would be a very bad trade. Unless there is a CF coming our way or an extension please do not ruin a great offseason with a very bad move. Now I still think a three-way trade with JT being flipped for a pitcher (Barnhart stays) is a possibility. The Duke February 4, 2019 There are only so many spots on the field, and more top 100 prospects don’t amount to anything than the ones that turn into stars. Is it a risk? Absolutely, but if you take no risks, then odds are you never climb above mediocrity. D Evans February 4, 2019 You only do this if you’re in it to win it in 2019, and if your trying to get good before Votto gets too old, maybe that should be the plan. Make the trade, then stretch the budget to make a run at Keuchel. Add him to the top of the rotation and DeSclafani to the bullpen and your pitching staff is more than adequate, considering the offense you should generate. Maybe you can get someone to take Kemp and a chunk of his salary to help. Don’t trade Siri. You may need his defense. If his offensive development suffers, who cares? Your trying to win now. Throw Ervin in the Realmuto trade. Unless he’s a viable centerfield option, there’s not a lot of playing time for him in Cincinnati right now. There will be a lot of guys in AAA trying to prove they belong on the 2020 major league roster, so you have some depth. If they develop, you let free agents walk in 2020. If they don’t, maybe you try to sign a Gennett or a Puig or a Wood. In either case, you should be competitive in 2019 and you haven’t sacrificed the future. Also, someone needs to explain to me how a guy in AA has a future value like being put on India and Siri. Considering their projected value, there have been a lot of hot shot prospects that would have been similarly valued. In retrospect, you could argue that several actually had a negative value because, instead of trying something else, they were allowed to stay around, taking up roster space and development money, until no one else wanted them. Matt McWax February 4, 2019 There is no reason to trade Siri. He should be off the table because he has so much potential value to be gained this year and beyond. A small market team should hold on to high ceiling talent because the reward is so much higher than the risk (if he’s being discussed as a third piece now, how bad would he have to be to not be the same next year). Bowden’s right though because some teams have excellent prospect depth, like the Rays with over 50 35+ rated prospects and plenty at the high ratings. SeeingRed February 4, 2019 AirBorneJayJay has good intel; yes it will be Barnhart, India, Siri and J. Garcia. Siri has tools, but tools are meaningless if you can’t hit. When a guy K’s one-third of the time in the low levels of the minors and is a screwball, to boot, he has zero chance of “making it.” Unloading Siri and another dud (Jose Garcia), who is a weak hitter and defensive player, as well as a guy (India) who is merely a ranked MILB’er to get the best catcher would be a steal for Dick Williams, who is making all the necessary moves this off season. Furthermore, it’s short-sighted to complain that some acquired players’ may be free agents after 2019, because if they “fly” the Reds will get Compensation draft picks, thus backfilling for the lost draft picks used to acquire them. Seeing the 4 high-ranked Brewers players (for Yelich) crash proves that the only rankings that mean diddly are those of MLB teams, not Mayo’s or young guys at BA and FGraphs, which are often agent and team influenced for various ulterior motives. Doug Gray February 4, 2019 Where are you getting your intel from? And where do you think BA, Fangraphs, and Mayo/Callis are getting their info from? I’ll tell you this much: BA and Mayo/Callis aren’t out there doing their own scouting – they are getting all of their info from scouts who work for Major League Baseball teams. And the Fangraphs duo? Well, one of them is a former scout for multiple teams, who also as recently as a year ago worked in the Atlanta Braves front office. There’s not some situation where BA ranks some dude 18th in baseball and he’s some dude every team in baseball is like “nah, this guy is terrible”. By-and-large, the rankings you see there are going to be pretty close to what a teams internal system is going to say. SaveTheFarm February 4, 2019 The very implication that India is a bust after half a season is laughable. You can’t give up on a top 5 pick after half a season of rookie ball. Unnamed source is unnamed because we’d all be laughing at them. SeeingRed February 4, 2019 You’re correct in theory Doug, however, those scouts that “talk” are often some who actually work “on the side for agents.” There’s such a high degree of BS, PR and influencing industry influencers, due to the extreme financial implications. It can be clearly seen in past amateur drafts, where certain hyped players, with high rankings and influential agents weren’t drafted or were drafted very late and it was not always an issue of signability. We saw it exposed in amateur basketball with the FBI investigation. Coaches, scouts, influencers, etc. were nailed. When you have impoverished teenagers being brought to the US to play HS baseball and they somehow manage to immediately get high rankings, though they were never seen by those doing the rankings, it becomes clear what’s occurring and when those financially-strapped kids somehow manage to travel around the country to various showcases and attend elite private schools, it’s obvious that “people” are investing considerable dollars in them, with the hope that the ROI will be high. There’s corruption in anything that involves money. Thankfully we have the FBI addressing issues, not only in amateur basketball, but even in baseball now, starting with the international side of the house. Doug Gray February 4, 2019 Yeah, I’m just going to go ahead and disagree with that. The Angels scouts aren’t making things up about the other 29 organizations players that they see because of agents. SeeingRed February 5, 2019 I agree with you. All I said was that there are some players who get higher rankings than more deserving players, due to influencers’ agendas. Even teams hype certain players in an effort to increase their trade value, or as CYA’s for bad signings. As an aside, everyone in the know realizes that FanGraphs, BA, MLB Pipeline, etc. have not seen every player that was drafted in the first 125 picks or so in any given draft, yet they do their rankings and it’s not all from scouts input. When guys are high ranked and don’t get drafted, unrelated to signability, it means there’s a degree of influencing occurring. Clearly, very powerful agents and their ballyhoo boys have, on occasion, effectuated undeserved rankings for a few of their clients. If anyone denied that they are very naive or part of the problem. There really is no way to know for sure if a prospect will pan out, even though fans are being bored to death with esoteric, evaluation sciences. Ten years from now there will still be the same percentage of hits and misses with handicapping prospects, regardless of the analytics.