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Monday, July 13, 2009

We’re the Team to Beat: From the Bill Simmons Handbook: the 2009 MLB Top 50 Trade Value – Hitters

The Great Mari…uhh Mike with his latest.

I’m not even going to pretend that the trade value column is my idea, I love Bill Simmons and think his NBA Trade Value column is fantastic.  Here’s my version of the column, MLB-style, in two-parts.  Hitters today, with pitchers to come right behind them tomorrow morning.

...Group L: “This is OUR future and we like it that way”

42. Matt Kemp
Kemp is doing a good job in ‘09 and giving solid 5-tool production.  Nicknamed “the Bison” he had better start hitting a few more home runs.  Overall, he just looks like a good ballplayer which is half the battle for some guys (Yeah, that means you Hunter Pence.  You’re goofy as hell, figure it out.)

41. Curtis Granderson
40. Brandon Phillips

What a strange two guys.  Both are in the tail-end of their primes and have shown just how could they can be during the ‘07 season.  ‘08-‘09 has been good for both of them, but where is that guy.  Where is Granderson’s 20/20/20/20/20 guy?  And Phillips’ 30/30 guy?  Since Barry Bonds retired Pedro Gomez must be pretty bored, can we get him on the case?

39. B.J. Upton
First of all, his name is Melvin Emanuel Upton but somehow he is allowed to have Bossman Junior on his baseball card.  Okay if I ever make the Bigs, I want my name to be B.A.M.F. Mariano.  Secondly, with every passing year trading an Upton brother looks like a dumber and dumber proposition.

Repoz Posted: July 13, 2009 at 08:57 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: projections, special topics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: July 13, 2009 at 09:09 PM (#3252188)
I can't open the link but is Group L the African-American group?

Edit: Or maybe that's the point?
   2. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 13, 2009 at 09:13 PM (#3252192)
This article may be dumb, but it's not as dumb as an actual Bill Simmons column about the top 50 MLB players with the most trade value would have been.
   3. Justin T's pasta pass was not revoked Posted: July 13, 2009 at 09:23 PM (#3252199)
Was this guy attempting to sound as dumb as a Simmons column would have been? I shall not RTFA to find out, because describing Curtis Granderson as being at the tail end of his prime is dumb. I just happened to be looking at his numbers yesterday and was stunned that his overall performance isn't actually that great this season. He's had a rough couple weeks. But in the tail end of his prime, he is not.
   4. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 13, 2009 at 09:40 PM (#3252212)
42. Matt Kemp
30. Alfonso Soriano


I wish this guy were the GM of the Dodgers.
   5. tshipman Posted: July 13, 2009 at 09:41 PM (#3252214)
It's a pretty bad list that is written by a blatant Phillies' homer. Raul Ibanez is on a trade value list? Really? Above Matt Kemp and BJ Upton? that pretty much kills the credibility.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: July 13, 2009 at 09:58 PM (#3252225)
describing Curtis Granderson as being at the tail end of his prime is dumb.

It's certainly bad phrasing but I assume what the guy is trying to say is that they're at an age where we shouldn't expect them to improve. Granderson is 28 and that 136 OPS+ of 2007 is quite possibly the best we'll ever see (and it was largely fueled by the ridiculous 23 triples ... did anyone really think we'd see that again?) Still, his true talent is probably somewhere in the 115-125 range which, as long as he's still decent defensively, is quite valuable.

Phillips is also 28. Offensively, he's never been all that. Even in his 30/30 season, he put up an OPS+ of just 105 -- good for a 2B but nothing to make you think "star". Still, in OPS+ terms, he's been a bit better this year and is on track for a 25/20 season, so I'm not seeing the rationale behind the disappointment. I know some here rave about his defense and if he is good defensively and at least an average hitter for a 2B, he's also a quite valuable player.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: July 13, 2009 at 10:02 PM (#3252229)
Is he ranking the players by how unlikely they will be traded or whatever? I don't really get at what he is trying to do here. I don't hate the article, but there are guys here with contracts that have a lot lesser trade value than they seem to be represented here.
   8. Alex_Lewis Posted: July 13, 2009 at 10:17 PM (#3252240)
The possibility of the Giants trading Pablo Sandoval is effectively nil.
   9. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: July 13, 2009 at 10:19 PM (#3252243)
Like Cardsfan, I'm having a hard time figuring out his thinking. I'm guessing some of the group names, rather than contract, age and performance, helped organize the list in the way we see it.
   10. deputydrew Posted: July 13, 2009 at 10:37 PM (#3252258)
The Simmons annual NBA trade value column is really quite good. The main difference is that Simmons is a good writer, and that he actually researches the players' contract status. That's the key, right? Without that, isn't just a list of who the author views as the best players?
   11. TomH Posted: July 13, 2009 at 10:48 PM (#3252266)
"Memo to all pitchers: Never pitch to him. What do you think the Cardinals record would be in Fat Albert got walked every time he came to the plate?"

A: Better than their record is now. Go play a few simple simulation games and learn something about baseball.
   12. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 13, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3252279)
There weren't any White Sox on that list.
   13. Raskolnikov Posted: July 13, 2009 at 11:14 PM (#3252286)
I love these types of lists. They're not right, but they generate a lot of fun discussions, which is what following sports is about anyway.

1. I love my DWright, but I would have to say that Longoria has surpassed him in value. Younger and cheaper.

2. Justin Upton needs to be higher.
   14. The Original SJ Posted: July 14, 2009 at 01:44 AM (#3252508)
(Interesting note about Soriano: He arrived in NY in 2001, the beginning of the fall of the dynasty. Then he toiled on bad teams in Texas and Washington never winning anything. Now in Chicago, he was part of two championship caliber teams (‘07&’08) and both teams choked it away. Soriano has found failure everywhere he has gone. Happens to a lot of guys, but Soriano doesn’t seem like a guy who’d sacrifice it all for the team. Might not be coincidence.)

Were it not for an error not of his doing, he would have been the guy who hit the homer to win game 7 on the road in the World Series, and the guy who played 2b on the team with the best record in the majors the following two years.
   15. The Original SJ Posted: July 14, 2009 at 01:45 AM (#3252512)
I have to stop reading this.

Stephen Drew isn't on it? If the Dbacks offered Stephen Drew for Matt Holliday, Beane wouldn't do that? is this a joke? Adam Dunn?
   16. The Original SJ Posted: July 14, 2009 at 01:47 AM (#3252518)
alright, I have closed the page.
   17. Tripon Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:00 AM (#3252546)
I don't know. Stephen Drew seems like wasted potential. Tulo easily won that race to be the greatest White SS of their era.
   18. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:06 AM (#3252555)
I read the headline and thought it was from the Bill James Handbook and went much deeper into the list than I would have otherwise. Shoulda checked the comments or double checked the headline.
   19. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:38 AM (#3252601)
Morneau is in a similar boat, if he wasn’t in Minnesota, he’d be a much bigger star.

Seriously? He's a first baseman with a career 126 OPS+, and he's already got three all-star appearances, an MVP, and a second-place MVP finish. If anything, he's overrated.
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:42 AM (#3252606)
I read the headline and thought it was from the Bill James Handbook and went much deeper into the list than I would have otherwise. Shoulda checked the comments or double checked the headline.

Frankly, this list is not much worse than James's "young talent index," which I think declared Prince Fielder to be the best young player in baseball last year.
   21. RJ in TO Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:58 AM (#3252637)
Seriously? He's a first baseman with a career 126 OPS+, and he's already got three all-star appearances, an MVP, and a second-place MVP finish. If anything, he's overrated.


And over the four years where he has the All Star appearances and the MVP, he's got a 137 OPS+ (.300 .368 .525 in 2400+ PA)while playing 95%+ of his teams games. He's not a monster at the position, but he's quite good, and looking around the league, it's not like there are a ton of other deserving All Star candidates who have suffered repeated snubs. Seriously, for the last couple years, the AL has been lacking in monster mashers at 1B - especially with Teixeira moving in and out of the league.
   22. Shredder Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:59 AM (#3252638)
6. Evan Longoria
It is only the middle of Evan’s second full season and he’s flat-out dominating. Hitting above .303 with 16 bombs and on top of that he makes peanuts
Above .303? That's awesome! That's like, .003 better than .300! And he's hitting ABOVE that!

Sorry, I just thought "hitting above .303" sounded really strange. Even stranger considering he's hitting .278. The published date is today, but he must have written this a couple weeks ago.
   23. Justin T's pasta pass was not revoked Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:08 AM (#3252644)
Longoria was hitting .303 after play on June 29. I guess the author figured that at 23 years old, Longoria was going to continue developing and be above .303 by now. Instead he fell off a cliff. Very strange career progression. Steroids, obviously. Pass it on!
   24. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:24 AM (#3252677)
Pass it on!

Yes suh!
   25. Mike @ weretheteamtobeat.com Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:01 AM (#3252740)
Thanks for checkin' out what I wrote, since I'm small-time and am still not used to taking criticism, here are my thoughts on everybody's comments on here:

yes, i realize in hindsight there are going to be some oversights and guys misplaced by a few spots. also, this is an impossible list to write and please everyone in the process, i enjoy hearing everyone else's thoughts on it though, that's really the whole point of it.

no didn't research for 40 hours (which still wouldn't do it justice) and have Elias looking up and comparing stats and contracts. however, i like most of what I did and don't like some of it. i could juggle the names on there for weeks and not be perfectly happy with it

as far as contracts and young vs. old go, in most of those cases it's not as simple as who makes less money or has more years. in the situation of Lance Berkman/Adam Jones, at some point don't you have to take the guy who you know routinely plays at an all-star level and not the guy you hope will do it in the future? Adam was incredible for a few months this year, but point being, a few months this year. Same goes for a lot of those young guys. not the perfect system i know. Cheap contracts hold weight, but not all the weight.

thanks again for reading (even if only the first line and shutting the window) I'd be glad to argue players and rankings all day with you. Check out the pitchers one tomorrow and we can argue some more! hopefully BTF shouts me out (thanks Repoz, i owe it to you as always) again.
   26. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:03 AM (#3252743)
I can't believe Soriano is on the list. He is being paid a bazillion bucks and is about to fall of a cliff, if it hasn't already happened.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: July 14, 2009 at 06:21 AM (#3252799)
He is being paid a bazillion bucks and is about to fall of a cliff, if it hasn't already happened.

Yeah, but this would make him valuable to an NBA team right? Maybe the Cubs can work out a trade.
   28. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 14, 2009 at 06:27 AM (#3252801)
I'll say the guy's got a way with nicknames. Don Pujols is pretty good, and I also liked Sir Nicholas Markakis. The rankings, not as good, but I buy his explanation to a certain degree. They could be better, but they could always be better.
   29. HGM Posted: July 14, 2009 at 07:47 AM (#3252820)
What a terrible list. Dave Cameron is doing this over at fangraphs, and I'd wager his list will be infinitely better: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/2009-mlb-trade-value-50-46
   30. tribefan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 12:09 PM (#3252856)
why just rip off a Simmons column, how about trying to write something original?
   31. T.J. Posted: July 14, 2009 at 01:08 PM (#3252896)
why just rip off a Simmons column, how about trying to write something original?

Because ranking MLB players based on age, ability, and salary is very interesting, just like Simmons's column. What's your problem?
   32. tribefan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 01:31 PM (#3252924)
What's your problem?
I got lots of problems.
   33. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 01:33 PM (#3252930)
I'll give the guy credit for showing up here and responding to the criticism without firing off a return salvo and starting a flame war. That's certainly not everyone's instinct when they get a taste of intertubes criticism. That reflects well on him even if I don't fully follow all the reasoning that made the list. (For instance, I'm a Braves fan and I wouldn't trade Brian McCann for at least half a dozen of the people above him and I don't think the Braves would either.)
   34. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 01:44 PM (#3252946)
Dave Cameron is doing this over at fangraphs, and I'd wager his list will be infinitely better


Isn't Dave Cameron the "Indians front office grade: A+" guy?
   35. Mike @ weretheteamtobeat.com Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:30 PM (#3253207)
thanks Maxwn i appreciate the kind words and respect the disagreement.

and to the guy talking about the FanGraphs list, I too would bet that theirs is 100 times better. Maybe 200 times. I didn't know they do the same thing, but I enjoyed it.

FanGraphs > me that we can all agree on.

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