Here Are All 30 Organizational Ratings

The other day, I asked you to participate in a community project. The polling was both simple and very complicated — there was one poll for every team, and I asked each of you to issue a rating for your favorite team, based on basically everything. There were six options, going from 0 to 5, with 0 being the worst, and 5 being the best. I wanted to end up with a landscape of organizational health. Ratings were to be based on both short-term and long-term considerations, and while I know that crowdsourcing doesn’t always suss out the truth, we can’t know the *actual* truths. So we might as well see what the community thinks.

The polling and ensuing conversation is always fun, but there’s nothing quite like the analysis, whenever I run a community polling project. For this one, this morning, I collected all the votes and calculated all the necessary numbers. Below, your FanGraphs community organizational ratings, as of this very week in January 2017.

The plot shows average ratings for all 30 teams, and for those of you who are curious, I made some minor adjustments to wipe out very obvious trolling. I’d always prefer that trolling not exist in the first place, but at least the trolls make themselves stand out. My adjustments did basically nothing to the final order of things. The adjustments were more for me than for you.

Unsurprisingly, according to the audience, the Cubs organization is in the best position in the game. Now, the Cubs just won the World freaking Series, so maybe there’s a little recency bias in there, but they’re clearly in excellent shape. The Cubs are one of the most valuable organizations, with very competitive resources, and although the farm system has been partially drained, the major-league roster is maybe the best in existence, and it’s young. Kris Bryant is under team control for five more years. Anthony Rizzo, five more years. Kyle Schwarber, five more years. Kyle Hendricks, four more years. Addison Russell, five more years. (Jason Heyward, seven more years!) On it goes. The Cubs have an enviable core, and they’re great today. No one’s surprised.

It’s maybe a little surprising to see the Indians in second, since they don’t have the Cubs’ money. They also have what’s probably an average farm system. But they’re also great today, and the roster has a good amount of youth, and I think there’s a lot of faith in what the front office has been doing. In any case, the Indians aren’t far from the Red Sox and Dodgers, two financial powerhouses with both youth and immediate title aspirations. Los Angeles, to me, is positioned better than Boston, but who am I to disagree with so many of you?

After the top four, there’s a healthy drop-off. Maybe that’s where you draw the line for Tier 1. I won’t go through every single team, but I will note that the overall average rating is 2.75. The teams on either side of the average are the Braves and the Orioles. The Braves definitely don’t look good right now, but Keith Law just gave them the No. 1 farm-system ranking. Pretty obviously, the Braves’ positive votes were made with an eye toward sustainable success a little down the line.

The lowest tier, to me, might or might not include the Angels. The Angels are one of seven teams with an average rating under 2, but there’s also a decent gap between them and the Marlins. If you leave the Angels out, you’re left with the Marlins, A’s, Twins, Diamondbacks, Padres, and Reds. None of those six teams are expected to be good right away, and only two of them have top-10 farm systems, according to Law. Which is interesting! Law gave the Padres farm his No. 3 ranking. Still, they’re 29th here, as an organization. The Reds come out ever so barely worse, with the worst organizational rating on FanGraphs. Law ranked their farm eighth. He put the Diamondbacks farm dead last, but I guess their superior big-league roster for today helped keep them out of the FanGraphs basement.

Cubs organization: best in baseball, according to you. Reds organization: worst in baseball, according to you. Padres organization: basically as bad as the Reds. Maybe San Diego has the superior farm system, but they also have an insane general manager. I’m just the messenger, in this case. You all put together the messages.

The top eight teams, by rating, all have top-10 projected 2017 records, according to Steamer. The highest rating for an average team belongs to the Yankees. Which, yeah, they have money, and they have a terrific farm system. The highest rating for a bad team belongs to the Braves. Meanwhile, the lowest rating for a good team belongs to the Angels. I’m going to guess this is in large part because the community doesn’t believe in the Angels’ Steamer projection. So then we’d be looking at the Mariners, who are 13th by rating, but 11th by projected 2017 record. Ehh.

For fun, I decided to run a very simple regression, trying to find an expected organizational rating based just on projected 2017 record, and Keith Law’s farm-system rankings. It actually worked pretty well, with an ultimate R-squared value of 0.78. Note that this only indirectly considers front-office identities and financial resources. By weight, when it came to the community ratings, projected 2017 record was 2.74 times more important than Law’s farm rankings. That might surprise you, or it might not. Here’s a plot of it all!

The team with the biggest positive difference between actual rating and expected rating: the Brewers, at +0.85. We’ve probably played a role in this, since we’ve been fairly positive about the Brewers’ rebuild. The Cubs are second, at +0.76, and I bet that has to do with all the team control remaining on the big-league roster. Then you get the Orioles, at +0.67. They have neither a strong farm nor a strong roster, but at some point you just get used to a ballclub overachieving.

The team with the biggest negative difference between actual rating and expected rating: the Angels, at -1.15. They take this running away, as it sure seems like people don’t trust their 2017 roster at all. Second-worst is the Reds, all the way up at -0.60. The big-league team seems real bad, and there might not be a lot of trust in the prospects or in the front office. Then the Padres are there, at -0.56. That roster is also quite bad, and much of the farm system’s best talent is in the lower levels, which means there’s a lot that could go wrong. Padres fan spirits aren’t high.

I don’t have anything left to say, for the moment. Thank you again for allowing me to run this project. I love you, and you are great.

We hoped you liked reading Here Are All 30 Organizational Ratings by Jeff Sullivan!

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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Maverik312
Member
Member
Maverik312

I grew up in Ohio and live in Chicago, so there is no bias here.
Community, don’t sleep on the Pads. Their outfield has an average age of 24.9 (Jank, Margot, Renfroe, Dickerson), and they all look like they can be great.
OF – covered
C – Great year last year (albeit PCL)
1B – covered (health?)
2B – high BB%, ISO over .200 since 2011 minus 360 PA
SS – ?
3B – Solarte?
SP – ?
RP – ?
Closer – Capps

and they’re only paying out $55 million this year. Puts them at 2nd to last for money on the books, with the exception of the Brewers.

Their ACTIVE payroll is at $18.5 million. They have money to blow.

nuthought
Member
Member
nuthought

They would need find $120M in value from the pitching and there just isn’t anyone available. Best case scenario is that Espinosa and Cal Quantril are both aces and Pads are back by 2020.

nv
Member
nv

Only one of their regular position players is projected for above league average offensive production. Renfroe and Margot are interesting. The rest of the young outfield are actually 25-26 year olds with <500 MLB PAs, not prospects, nor regulars on a good team, and probably would not crack the 40 man on a contender. Schimpf might be sneaky OK, Solarte close to average, and Meyers should be fine. Pitching staff… shudder. This team is last place in the NL west. The Dodgers and Giants, sleeping, could probably beat them as their reserves are better in most positions than the Pads starters.

Maverik312
Member
Member
Maverik312

100% agree they will be terrible this year, and probably the next two years. The ranking is for the organization, so I took that to mean future as well.

nv
Member
nv

Sure. I understand. I’m cautious because so much of the talent is below high-A. Seeing the Padres as being a good team in 2020 is not a stretch. However, given the way the Dodgers are set up, they look more like wildcard contenders in the future.

websoulsurfer
Member
websoulsurfer

Myers(not Meyers), Solarte and Schimpf are all projected for above league average offensive production. That is 3 in the infield alone. Alex Dickerson is projected as a 106 wRC+ and 110 OPS+. We haven’t even gotten to Margot and Renfroe yet. Relief pitching is strong and barring trades will be top 10 in baseball. The Padres could very well finish last in the NL West, but it won’t be because of offense. It will be because of starting pitching.

evil kevin towers
Member
evil kevin towers

i’m a padres fan. they have the chance to be average to above average offensively and defensively. the pitching staff is the worst of my lifetime and i remember staffs that were headlined by eric stults and featured kip wells and jeff suppan back from the dead.

victorvran
Member
victorvran

They’re a bad mlb team, with a farm system that is mostly far away and they play in a division with the LAD and Giants who are both rich. If everything goes right, they could be good in 4-5 years, I guess. But they will still have to get past those 2 teams and the dodgers farm and young mlb assets are really good on top of their huge financial advantage. They have potential, but there is a ton of risk associated with predicting them as good

Johnston
Member
Johnston

The Padres have a terrible rotation, a bad bullpen, and essentially no shortstop. Even though everything else is at least acceptable (if not good), I’m still going to sleep on them.