We give in-season grades and preseason rankings to anything and everything, but now we're going to cross those streams and apply in-season grades to MLB preseason rankings.
Among the hundreds of "top 100 MLB players" lists posted between the end of last season and the start of this one, we chose three* to compile a consensus list of the preseason top 25 players.
Just to be clear, we're not grading the graders, but rather grading each player based on what was expected of them from preseason ranks.
For example, Buster Posey tied with Felix Hernandez for ninth place in the consensus rankings following his NL MVP Award in 2012. Though he has played admirably this season and certainly still belongs as a fringe member of the top 25, he's nowhere near his top-10 expectations nor his level of play from last season, thus receiving a grade of B-.
Hernandez, on the other hand, is having the best season of his career and is in the running for the AL Cy Young Award, so he receives an A+ for being even better than we thought.
Make sense? Clear as mud? Don't worry. You'll get the hang of it. Players are listed in ascending order of consensus preseason rank, starting with David Wright at No. 25 and somehow ending with someone other than Miguel Cabrera at No. 1.
**All statistics are courtesy of Fangraphs.com and ESPN.com and are accurate through the start of play on Tuesday, August 27.