Currently the bi-annual Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs) balloting is underway for the midseason list. This is a tradition that goes back to 2010 and participation in our community has grown every year, including a major spike in participants over the last several rounds of voting.
Those who submit PuRPs ballots range from the prospect junkies who live and breathe prospect evaluations to the general Rockies fan who likes to participate and everything in between. Suffice it to say there are about as many methods and systems for filling out a ballot as there are ballots. Which brings us to this question:
What is your approach to filling out your PuRPs ballot?
A lot of people who fill out their ballot offer their rationale for each pick in our polling thread, but don’t often have time to explain how and why they use certain sources, make certain choices, or value certain skills or information over others. Here is your chance to explain. Not only will this give a glimpse into the process for people at Purple Row, it may give some more casual fans some insight on how they might jump into participation with the list. I’ll offer a brief example of my own. If you’re just interested in how to start your FanPost, skip passed the star divides and you’ll find the links you need.
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When I first started doing PuRPs ballots, I had been casually following the minor leagues for a while—mostly because the Rockies’ major league teams weren’t anything to write home about. When I stumbled upon the PuRPs list, I didn’t feel like I knew enough about any individual players (except the most well known ones), but decided to jump in anyway. I started with the previous round of PuRPs balloting to get a list of players, then I went through all the ballots that were posted before mine to get a list of about 50 players or so from which to choose. This second step helped me make sure I wasn’t missing a recent signee or trade piece or lower-level guy I’d yet to hear about. This is also why I always tried to be the last one to post a ballot (a choice which made me list our most recent round of voting—oops).
When it came to ordering my list, I would generally lean on the consensus from the previous list to set the order then move the player up or down based on newcomers to the organization, those who graduated from the list, and their performance since the last list. I would consult prospect ranking sites to find scouting info, but this was usually only helpful for the guys on the top half of the list.
As I messed around with the order, players would form themselves into certain tiers, though each year the tiers were different sized and had a slightly different character. For example, one year there was the “The best of the system,” “Potential MLB regulars,” “Guys who need to prove they can be MLB regulars,” “Quad-A/Bullpen Types/Too-far-away-to-tell,” and “Barely hanging on the list” (which was for the guys who fell outside my top 30). After that initial ballot, my main reference point has been my previous list rather than the official PuRPs list.
Some years I have enough time to dig into those no. 30-40 guys, other years I barely can investigate the new draftees/signees (like this year). But it’s still a fun exercise for me because I get to participate in something that Purple Row does as a community and I learn so much about the state of the farm system. It also puts me ahead of the curve on up-and-coming prospects, so most of my family and friends would turn to me for information on the latest call-up, assured that I had been following him since at least Double-A (this was before I started writing about the Rockies and, you know, had to know these things).
If you’ve never submitted a PuRPs ballot, let me do for you what someone did for me way back when: give it a shot! The beauty of the rankings is that yours don’t have to be The Definitive Rankings, just your opinion, and it doesn’t matter how well-informed that opinion is. This list belongs to all of us, and so all of us get to participate in shaping it.
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Whether you’ve done a dozen PuRPs ballots or this year is your first, tell us about your process. Write up a FanPost (if you’ve never done one here are a couple handy guides for you) and tell us all about it. Make sure to include “FPF” in the title and we will post some of our favorites on the front page as we publish the results of our PuRPs balloting.