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Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Ranking 2022 rookies based on long-term value

The age at which a player breaks into the Majors and becomes a star correlates heavily with his future value, so we’re leaning toward RodrĂ­guez. In our long-term rookie rankings below, we also note each player’s seasonal age as of July 1, and it’s no coincidence that three of our top five rookies played this year at age 21.

We also factor in present-year performance, past track record and future projection. Position players are less volatile than pitches, so we take that into consideration as well.

Our list considers only graduated rookies who have exceeded of 130 at-bats, 50 innings or 45 days of active service time in the big leagues. Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson (No. 2 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list) and Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll (No. 3) are close to but not over the limits and thus not ranked.

jimfurtado Posted: November 08, 2022 at 10:15 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: future star

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 08, 2022 at 01:03 PM (#6104802)
They are looking at total future value not, say, value in the pre-FA period or the next 8 years (the period a buyout might cover). That's fine but in the debate of Rodriguez vs Rutschmann, that does make the answer pretty easy. I suspect age matters much less in the question "how much value will each of these guys produce before being FAs" with Rutschmann also having the "advantage" that he has 6 years before FA vs Rodriguez's 5. But sure, the younger OF is likely to compile a lot more career PT than the catcher who is 3 years older. But all they do is rank them, they don't give us any sort of future value projection.

Anyway, Witt Jr is still at #4 which means either they don't believe b-r's defensive numbers (-23) or they think he'll start walking and find a position to play. They put him 3 spots ahead of Oneill Cruz although Cruz would seem to have more potential with similar flaws (not a detailed comparison). Somehow Hunter Greene comes in all the way down at #16, behind a few others. Greene got off to a rough start but was excellent in his last 10 starts -- 55 IP, 76/18 K/BB, 2.91 ERA. He did miss 6 weeks though so maybe that's an issue. Still given his velocity and developing control, the sky's the limit. Gorman has dropped all the way to #18 which is not how it looked at the start and Cub fan fave Christopher Morel doesn't even make the list of 30 (which is probably correct).
   2. The Duke Posted: November 08, 2022 at 05:18 PM (#6104835)
That's a really strong list. So strong that gold glove winner and potential ROY Brendan Donovan can't even make the cut
   3. Walt Davis Posted: November 08, 2022 at 06:06 PM (#6104842)
I assume that's the age thing -- he's a year older than anybody else on the list. (If it's limited to <25, I didn't see them say so.) It seemed that most of the 23-24 yo's were pitchers. Probably the most Donovanny players that did make it were Kwan at #20, Stott at #27 and Vinnie Pasquatini at #28 who are all 24. It would be very thin differences once you're down at that end of the list. But, sure, hard to see why you'd pick Stott there -- as soon as the Phils get a SS, he's out of a job. So maybe they just forgot about him.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: November 08, 2022 at 06:40 PM (#6104848)
That's a really strong list. So strong that gold glove winner and potential ROY Brendan Donovan can't even make the cut

Donovan has pretty much hit what he's going to hit as far as development. I've compared him to Matt Carpenter and he might end up being that good, but it's still a relatively short window of a peak due to his age and his particular skill sets. Donovan is one of those guys who the Cardinals develop that is a decent enough player for a few years and then ages out of usefulness. Mind you, if he repeats the same year(rate wise) over 150 games, it's going to make him a pretty good player, but he does feel like a guy who just had his career year.

At best he's Matt Carpenter 2.0, which is something to enjoy, but in comparison to the other players on this list that is his upside, while most of these other guys have more potential.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: November 08, 2022 at 09:53 PM (#6104858)
So they've been doing this since 2015 so we can get a pretty good idea of those early classes.

2015: Correa, Bryant, Buxton, Lindor ... that's a darn good start. Addison Russell oops. Sano, Syndergaard, Pederson, Rodon, Schwarber. Solid top 10. The next 15 starts with Swihart (oops) but Severino, McCullers, ERod, Conforto, Nola, Iglesias, Ketel Marte are the hits; Joe Ross, Daniel Norris, Maikel Franco, Greg Bird, Andrew Heaney, Soler, Piscotty are a decent mix of mostly useful players.

2016: Seager, Bregman, Buxton?, Urias, T Turner is another very strong start. The next 5 show some cracks: David Dahl, Swanson, Mazara, Snell, Gary Sanchez. Out of the final 20 (I'm getting bored), the big hits are Contreras, Story, Berrios and Tim Anderson; the flops were Jake Thompson, AJ Reed, Cody Reed. The rest are OK or good then hurt.

2017: This is much more a mixed bag
1-5: Benintendi, Bellinger, Devers, Moncada, Judge
6-10: Rosario, Albies, Margot, Swanson again, Happ
11-15: Chapman, Josh Bell (listed in 2016 too), Zimmer, Hoskins, Clint Frazier
16-20: Derek Fisher, Dom Smith, Giolito, Weaver, Hader
21-25: Luis Castillo, Marquez, Glasnow, Winker, Jeff Hoffman
26-30: Jacob Faria, Reynoldo Lopez, Francis Martes, Matt Olson, DeJong

Seems like each of those groups is a bit all over the place. This probably has the least depth of "at least useful" so far. Maybe too many pitchers. I don't even remember Faria or Marts.

2018: Starts with Acuna, Soto and Ohtani so pretty solid stuff there. Gleyber and Buehler no complaints, starts to get a bit wobbly
6-10: Flaherty, Adames, Miguel Andujar (oops), Austin Meadows (oops), Tyler O'Neill ... just not a strong 6-10
11-15: Winker again, Ryan McMahon, Shane Bieber (he's pretty good), Bauers (oh lord), Burnes (he's pretty good)
16-20: Bader, Brian Anderson, Carson Kelly, Fried, Laureano
21-25: Lewis Brinson, JP Crawford, Franklin Barretto (really?), Fernando Romero (who?), David Bote (really?)
26-30: Scott Kingery (c'mon now), Dustin Fowler (really?), Seranthony!, AJ Minter, Jaime Barria (who?)

Maybe my memory is off -- I recall some folks taking Barretto seriously as a prospect because he was so young but I don't recall anybody expecting anything out of him by the time he made the majors.

I'm not sure that little exercise taught me much. They've done a good job in the top 10, no surprise. A lot of pitchers got hurt so who knows if they were right or not. Especially outside the top 10, it seems a pretty random grab bag of good, OK and forgotten guys. Looking again at this year's list, keeping Witt at #4 and Torkelson at #10 seems like the sort of mistake they've made in the past. Half the pitchers will get hurt, some of those guys in the bottom 15 will be forgotten by me in 5 years (several I didn't know existed until this list). And sure, it's quite possible that Donovan has already made himself more memmorable than Vinnie Pasquantino will ever be.
   6. Boxkutter Posted: November 08, 2022 at 10:02 PM (#6104859)
I suspect age matters much less in the question "how much value will each of these guys produce before being FAs" with Rutschmann also having the "advantage" that he has 6 years before FA vs Rodriguez's 5.

Rodriguez signed a long-term deal with the Mariners in the middle of last season for between $210 and 470 million. He won't be a free agent for awhile. From ESPN:

"The base deal is for $120 million and lasts through the 2029 season, sources said. Following the 2028 season, the Mariners can exercise an option for an additional eight or 10 years, depending on where Rodriguez finishes in MVP voting in the preceding seasons.

If the Mariners turn down the option, Rodriguez can exercise a five-year, $90 million player option after the 2029 season or hit free agency just shy of his 30th birthday."
   7. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 08, 2022 at 10:35 PM (#6104862)
But, sure, hard to see why you'd pick Stott there -- as soon as the Phils get a SS, he's out of a job.

Hmm, not so fast. Stott likely ends up at 2B if the Phils sign one of the big time SSs.
   8. Cris E Posted: November 09, 2022 at 12:13 PM (#6104899)
I wonder if their numbers get more accurate as we start moving away from the lost Covid year. The system weighs younger guys higher, but in 2021 how many 21 year olds could be ready for the show after missing their 20 year old season? In 2022? I wonder how many development paths were really busted up by that gap year.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: November 09, 2022 at 02:01 PM (#6104916)
#6 ... I think we all know that. Still doesn't make this a fruitful exercise -- i.e. it's a weak question to ask. And the role of age in questions like projected career value or "should we offer this guy a 15-year buyout?" is obvious. Add in the futility of projecting the next 18 years and the method of such an evaluation becomes highly questionable too. I'm advocating for a more relevant question ("who will produce the most during the period of team control") using more robust methodology (5-6 year projections) and, since they brought it up, asking the question "does age actually matter then?" The answer no is quite plausible -- a 20-21 yo may not be ready and not start to really produce until season 3 or 4 while a 24-yo may be producing at peak value on debut.

If you want the broader meta-point, it's that it's disappointing to see us still analyzing these sorts of issues as if the reserve system was still in effect.

Even within the context of the long-term question, What Callis seems to want to say here is "Rutschman is as good, maybe better right now, he will probably remain so for several years. But, because he is 3 years older, his productive period will likely be three years shorter than Rodriguez's. Also, as a C, Rutschman is more likely to have a career-altering injury and to decline quickly. Therefore Rodriguez will compile more career value." That's not difficult to express (and quite obvious). What any of that has to do with Steven Kwan vs Vaughn Grissom is a mystery to me.

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