After taking care of all four infield positions, starting pitchers and catchers, the B/R MLB 500 now heads to the outfield. Up first are the guys who make their living on the corners.
Like with first base and third base, corner outfield spots are offense-first positions. So much so, in fact, that defense in the corner outfield spots isn't that much more valuable than defense at first base, according to Tom Tango's The Book. There are some really good athletes who play on the corners, to be sure, but for every Carl Crawford there's a Michael Cuddyer or a Matt Holliday.
So here's our scoring system: 30 points for hitting, 30 points for power, 15 points for baserunning, 15 points for defense and, as with all other players, 10 points for health. Add it up, and you get 100 points.
As always, hitting entails more than just what happens after the ball leaves the bat. Results do count for something, but so does the process. Each player's approach will be taken into account.
Power is less complicated, but results will be taken into account just as much as scouting reports. A player may have tremendous natural power, but his score will be lower if he has a hard time making it show up in games.
For baserunning, it's all about whether a guy can steal bases and how well, and whether he can get around the bases better (or worse) than the average player.
Defense is also simple. How well can a guy field his position? And since these are corner outfielders we're talking about, how well can he throw?
For hitting, power, baserunning and defense, keep the following in mind: A score that's, say, 15 out of 30 is not a failing score. That's an "average" score. Anything better is above average. Anything below is below average.
As for health, that's basically 10 free points unless there's a reason(s) to dock points. The scoring is subjective, but the general rule of thumb is that a player is only getting less than five points if he has a potentially career-altering injury.
Lastly, here's a reminder that the whole idea is to round up guys we'd want on a team in 2014. That means top prospects who could potentially make an impact are in play, and they may be ranked higher than you think. And if there are any ties, the edge goes to the player we'd rather have.
That about does it, so let's go ahead and see what's around the corner.
Note: All prospect write-ups/scores were created by B/R's MLB Prospects Lead Writer, Mike Rosenbaum.