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Monday, November 26, 2012

Jonah Keri: MLB Trade Value Rankings, Part 1

Alfonso Soriano is available for this list.

Group 9: If the Royals Can Ever Find Some Pitching, They’re Going to Be Freaking Terrifying

32. Mike Moustakas
Three Royals position players (Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon, and Moustakas) made this list. One (Alcides Escobar) just missed. Another (Wil Myers) almost certainly would have if we’d included minor leaguers who haven’t yet made The Show. When Myers and Johnny Giavotella come up and claim starting jobs in K.C. sometime next season, the Royals will have all nine starters at age 28 or younger, all signed at least through 2015. The 24-year-old Moustakas might have more upside than anyone currently on the major league roster, flashing a terrific glove at third and maturing into a 20-homer hitter in his first full season with the big club.

Unfortunately that still leaves one injury-wracked, talent-deprived pitching staff. If you want one Holy #### move that would never happen but would be absolutely awesome if it did … it’d be Royals GM Dayton Moore handing Greinke a blank check to come back and destroy the league.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:28 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jonah keri, trade value

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4309883)
Dayton Moore strikes me as one of those increasingly rare GMs who is so bad that he's going to end up sabotaging any team that doesn't have the raw talent to win 110 games.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4309886)
You obviously can't trademark or copyright "MLB Trade Value Rankings", but it feels weird for one major website to wholesale copy something that another has been doing for years.
   3. Tripon Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4309890)
Dayton Moore just doesn't have a feel about constructing a major league team.
   4. jmurph Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4309891)
You obviously can't trademark or copyright "MLB Trade Value Rankings", but it feels weird for one major website to wholesale copy something that another has been doing for years.


I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Bill Simmons started (or at least popularized, if he didn't start it himself), the trade value column idea (focused on the NBA). And he runs Grantland.
   5. Dan Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4309895)
Moustakas seems overrated here - he's a guy with 2 seasons in the bigs now and a .301 career OBP. He's looking more like Tony Batista redux than George Brett. I think I'd take any of the "Honorable Mentions" over him. I'd also take any one of Goldschmidt, Rizzo, or Freeman over him, and none of them made the list either.
   6. Ron J2 Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4309899)
#3 Bill James was doing a future value in the 1980s. He only had 3 inputs, age, current approximate value, and whether the player was a pitcher or position player.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4309903)

Moustakas seems overrated here - he's a guy with 2 seasons in the bigs now and a .301 career OBP. He's looking more like Tony Batista redux than George Brett. I think I'd take any of the "Honorable Mentions" over him. I'd also take any one of Goldschmidt, Rizzo, or Freeman over him, and none of them made the list either.


I agree with this. He has never had much plate discipline, he nosedived in the second half and his defensive stats are inflated I think because of poor positioning by the Royals (Alcides Escobar's numbers are quite bad, which doesn't pass the smell test).

I think his only saving grace is that the third base position seems awfully thin in the big leagues right now. I wouldn't be terribly upset if he's the one the Royals end up dealing for a pitcher, so long as his replacement isn't Yuniesky Betancourt Part III: The Erroring.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4309908)
I'm not sure when part 2 of this article, but who do we think will be up at the top?

Trout and Posey at #1-2?
McCutchen probably up at the top. Miggy has to be top-10 even with his big salary. Pedroia should be high, with 3/$31 remaining and not all of it guaranteed. Giancarlo Stanton in top 10?
Strasburg or Price as the highest-ranking pitcher?

   9. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4309912)

This article is a horrible mess. I disagree with Cameron all the time, but the Fangraphs execution of this concept is streets ahead of this addled, brain-dead piece of pageclickery.
   10. AROM Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4309918)
I'm not sure when part 2 of this article, but who do we think will be up at the top?


That's a clown question, bro.

Well, Trout is probably going to be #1, but Harper has to be somewhere near the top as well.
   11. Spectral Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4309919)
This format seems to be done in the same spirit as the Simmons NBA value column (which I've always enjoyed) and the Barnwell NFL column (which doesn't really make as much sense). I generally like Keri's writing, but it somehow feels lacking in substance to me this time around. Maybe this is just because I have a higher standard for what I expect out of baseball writing and analysis.

I agree regarding Moustakas being overrated. In that spirit, I think there seems to be a bit too much focus on position scarcity in general; I'd easily take Freeman or Goldschmidt going forward over Moustakas, but I'm open to being convinced that I'm undervaluing third basemen.

As to who's going to be ranked up at the very top, I suspect that it'll be Trout and Harper in the 1-2 spots. There's a reasonable argument for putting Posey higher than Harper since the Nats aren't guaranteed to keep Harper beyond his initial years, but I think Harper's ceiling is so monumentally high (even in the short run) that he has higher actual trade value.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: November 26, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4309940)
I forgot about Harper - the extra year (or 2?) of team control might push his hypothetical trade value above Posey's, but I'm not sure.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4309948)


This format seems to be done in the same spirit as the Simmons NBA value column


I'm not sure when part 2 of this article, but who do we think will be up at the top?


Probably depends on what Hench joked during the episode of 90210 where Donna Martin was caught drinking and couldn't attend graduation.
   14. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4309987)
I generally like Keri's writing, but it somehow feels lacking in substance to me this time around.

It felt to me like he was trying to imitate the tone and style of Simmons' NBA trade value column.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 26, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4310004)
I'm glad Keri didn't create some ugly uber-stat to connect all the aspects of player value, but that decision also makes the writing of a piece hard. Why exactly is #36 more valuable than #46? To what degree? This piece seemed to do a good job of laying out that the players are valuable, but it's hard to see why these players are where they are in an ordinal list.

To a certain degree, that's inevitable with a top 50 column, I guess - the differences between #30 and #35 are never going to be clear. Maybe the best solution is just a, "hey, this guy is valuable, but he's not super-valuable" approach, but it gets a little repetitious.
   16. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 26, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4310020)
Stanton has to be #3 IMO.
   17. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 26, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4310030)
This article is a horrible mess. I disagree with Cameron all the time, but the Fangraphs execution of this concept is streets ahead of this addled, brain-dead piece of pageclickery.


Well, then!
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4310031)
I would guess the top ten is:

1. Mike Trout
2. Bryce Harper
3. Giancarlo Stanton
4. Clayton Kershaw
5. Buster Posey
6. David Price
7. Andrew McCutcheon
8. Justin Verlander
9. Miguel Cabrera
10.Jeff Francoeur
   19. JJ1986 Posted: November 26, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4310038)
Matt Moore should be on there somewhere.
   20. Dale Sams Posted: November 26, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4310073)
Only Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Joey Votto, Robinson Cano, and Ryan Braun have produced more value for their teams over the past three years than Beltre has


I know a lot of that is 2010..still, "THEOOOOOooooo!!!"

Also the fact that (probably) only one Red Sox will be on that list of 50. "THEEooo...BENNNNNnnn!"
   21. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: November 26, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4310078)
This article is a horrible mess.


Agreed. It's very... Grantland.

Bill Simmons's distant cousin Andrelton (much better athlete, though inferior 17-foot jumper, surprisingly)


I have faith that Andrelton Simmons could hit a better jump shot.
   22. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: November 26, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4310090)
I'm assuming he doesn't know Alfonso Soriano is available because his exclusion from this list is criminal.

Edit: Ugh. I didn't see the intro for this piece. Sorry, AG.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4310239)
Why exactly is #36 more valuable than #46? To what degree? This piece seemed to do a good job of laying out that the players are valuable, but it's hard to see why these players are where they are in an ordinal list.


Well, given how players are grouped (like #s 39-34 all being "Twentysomething Outfielders"), it's clear that he at least fudged the list in order to make his article flow better.
   24. Guapo Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4311102)
The rest of the list:

31. Jason Kipnis
30. Ben Zobrist
29. Dustin Pedroia
28. Johnny Cueto
27. Madison Bumgarner
26. Matt Moore
25. Jose Bautista
24. Starlin Castro
23. Troy Tulowitzki
22. Matt Kemp
21. Brett Lawrie
20. Dylan Bundy
19. Manny Machado
18. Jurickson Profar
17. Aroldis Chapman
16. Chris Sale
15. Felix Hernandez
14. Clayton Kershaw
13. Justin Verlander
12. David Price
11. Gio Gonzalez
10. Jason Heyward
9. Miguel Cabrera
8. Stephen Strasburg
7. Giancarlo Stanton
6. Ryan Braun
5. Evan Longoria
4. Buster Posey
3. Andrew McCutchen
2. Bryce Harper
1. Mike Trout
   25. vivaelpujols Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4311112)
Moustakas didn't really have a great season unless you take his UZR at face value. Power was nice but K:BB rates were mediocre. He also had a pretty low BABIP so I guess he got a bit unlucky. I'd project him around 2.5 WAR next year, so he's a good player but probably doesn't deserve to be on this list.
   26. JJ1986 Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4311113)
Seems ridiculously high on people with one month or less of major league time.
   27. vivaelpujols Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4311116)
This piece seemed to do a good job of laying out that the players are valuable, but it's hard to see why these players are where they are in an ordinal list.


So, uh, wouldn't an ugly uber stat be the solution to that problem? Jonah's already creating an uber stat in his head when he ranks one player over another, it's just not transparent.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4311343)
Seems ridiculously high on people with one month or less of major league time.


Yes, the whole group between #17 and #21 seems too high.
   29. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4311352)
Stanton at 7 is crazy IMO. It seems like he gets no respect.
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4311363)
Stanton at 7 is crazy IMO. It seems like he gets no respect.


Who would you bump down to move him up?
   31. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4311369)
I'd put him at #3. He's only had three years of service time, hasn't had any injury issues, is 22, and just put up a 160 OPS+ season.

("No respect" is obviously hyperbole. But it doesn't seem like that casual fans are aware of how good he is.)
   32. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4311371)
Bill Simmons's distant cousin Andrelton (much better athlete, though inferior 17-foot jumper, surprisingly)

I have faith that Andrelton Simmons could hit a better jump shot.


I doubt it. Plain old shooting requires a bit of practice and that's it. A good chunk of out of shape rec league basketball players can shoot free throws at a better rate than the average NBA player.
   33. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4311373)
Scratch that -- I forgot about his knee issue. But I'd still put him 3rd.
   34. Rusty Priske Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4311374)
10.Jeff Francoeur


Uh...what?
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4311382)
3. Andrew McCutchen


I'm a huge fan of Cutch, but that feels a little high to me.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4311385)
I think Posey has the same amount of service time as Stanton.

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