2009 MLB Trade Value: #40-#36

Continuing on with the trade value series.

#40: Tommy Hanson, RHP, Atlanta: 0.1 WAR

Despite a mediocre start to his major league career, Hanson is one of the most talented young pitchers in baseball. He put up video game like numbers in the minors and was the most impressive pitcher in the history of the Arizona Fall League last year. His four pitch mix contains two knockout breaking balls and an above average fastball. His lower present value and high risks push him down here, but he could easily be top 20 a year from now, especially considering he’s basically free for the next 3 years.

#39: Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta: 0.0 WAR

Recently promoted to Double-A at the age of 19, this is how Heyward has handled his first 32 plate appearances above Double-A: four singles, three doubles, two triples, four walks, no strikeouts. That’s how you announce that the best prospect in baseball has arrived on the scene. A big left-handed premium bat with power and plate discipline, Heyward profiles as an elite hitter with some defensive value. He could be in Atlanta next year, taking the mantle from Chipper Jones as the next great Braves hitter.

#38: Clay Buchholz, RHP, Boston: 0.0 WAR

In any other organization in baseball, Buchholz would be a regular member of the rotation. He’s mastered the minor leagues and even pitched fairly well in the majors, posting a career 4.34 FIP over 98 innings in 2007 and 2008. He’s got top notch stuff and improving command, which is why every GM in the world asks for him when they call Boston, but the Red Sox realize how valuable of an asset he is, which is why he’s still in their organization. Wherever he ends up, he’ll instantly become the future of the team’s rotation.

#37: Roy Halladay, RHP, Toronto: 4.2 WAR

Perhaps the most interesting guy on the list, because he’s actually in play. He’s the best pitcher in baseball, but he’s only signed through 2010, and his salary is prohibitive for some teams. The Blue Jays have made it clear that they’ll only trade him if they get overwhelmed, but will teams be willing to part with multiple premium players in exchange for ~45 starts from Halladay? I’m guessing Toronto will have to decide whether they want one top notch guy, or several pretty good players, because I don’t see anyone offering two players who could end up on this list next year.

#36: Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas: 1.0 WAR

He’s probably the most physically gifted player in the game, a supreme athlete with the ability to do everything on the field. He was a +4 win player in his first full season of major league playing time, and he’s improved defensively since last year. A true middle of the order hitter with defensive value, heading into his prime, and 3+ years away from free agency, he’s the prototypical franchise player. Injury concerns drag him down a bit, as does the lack of cost certainty, but on talent, he’s top five.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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ecp
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ecp
7 years 1 month ago

So essentially by this valuation method, if the Rangers called the Jays today and offered Hamilton for Doc straight up, you think they should consider it? Or that they should consider any of the next 35 coming on your list straight up, if offered? Interesting concept.

alskor
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alskor
7 years 1 month ago

Yeah, they probably should consider it.

If guys are within five of each other we probably shouldnt get worked up about it, either. Give it a little margin for error. Lets just say Halladay and Hamilton have approximately the same trade value.

Whether teams would accept a guy straight up or not involves a ton of other variables.

If Hamilton was made available, given his contract, I think he probably would command something near the returns we’ve heard speculated for Halladay.

Davidceisen
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Davidceisen
7 years 1 month ago

Each team has its own strengths and weaknesses, which obviously influences how teams evaluate trades. The combination of Travis Snider, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, and Adam Lind means that the Jays would be unlikely to trade Doc straight up for Hamilton, unless they included one of their outfielders (they would probably want to include Wells).

Also the reason that Hamilton and Holliday are close in the rankings is because Hamilton does not become a free agent until 2013, meaning that no team will have to pay him what he is actually worth. Holliday may be worth more wins, but Hamilton allows for more money to be spent elsewhere.

Benne
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Benne
7 years 1 month ago

I wasn’t aware the Blue Jays traded for Matt Holliday.

(The person you’re thinking of is spelled “Halladay.”

Jack Moore
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7 years 1 month ago

It makes sense, because Hamilton is cheap and Halladay isn’t, to put it simply.

Wrighteous
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Wrighteous
7 years 1 month ago

it is interesting to consider such a deal using the transitive property of trading:

volquez for hamilton for halladay

would you do volquez for halladay? if you were the blue jays, i am sure you would in a second. if you were the reds or rangers (assuming they had never traded him for hamilton)…not so much…

i am sure we will be seeing volquez’s name soon on this list

also, for these reasons, i would not do the hamilton/halladay trade if i were the rangers, because it essentially undoes a previous deal and it involves trading an mvp caliber everyday playuer who plays a premium position for a pitcher

Judy
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Judy
7 years 1 month ago

This might get entertaining.

B
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B
7 years 1 month ago

Interesting decision to include a guy like Heyward who’s had 32 AB’s above the single-A level. I don’t think I’d straight up trade any of the guys you listed behind him for him, nor even the honorable mentions. How do others feel about that?

cpebbles
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cpebbles
7 years 1 month ago

I wouldn’t, but I personally think he’s the most overrated prospect in recent history. I’d be open to including a player in Heyward’s position, but it would have to be someone I’m far more sure will hit for power.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

Why would you doubt that Heyward would hit for power? He’s got a huge frame, has a swing that already creates very good power, and he’s already shown quite a bit of power up to this point. You do realize he was in the top 10 in HR in Carolina league even though he played just 50 games at that level and that only Cody Johnson and Pedro Alvarez had better rates of HR/GP. The kid’s 19 years old and he already has an ISO of better than .220…what are you looking for?

Oh, and personally, I’ll take the guy who is showing incredible plate disciple with developing power over the guy with incredible power and developing plate discipline any day. There aren’t a whole lot of 19 year old who can post a 30/25 K/BB rate, especially when you consider the incredible physical tools he also has.

cpebbles
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cpebbles
7 years 1 month ago

He does not have a power hitter’s swing, he has a line drive swing. He hit for HRs one month in his professional career, in a pitcher’s park that most assume suppresses HRs though it doesn’t, and every prospect-watcher on the planet considers that question closed. I don’t.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

That’s seems like a bit of a stretch to me. First of all, he’s 19 and nowhere close to being a finished product. Second, he’s already hitting for a lot of power, especially when you factor in how young he is. Even if he never develops 35-40 HR power, he is still a great bet to be .300/.400/.500+ type hitter given the incredible amount of plate discipline he’s already showing. I think he’s the safest bet to be a very good player of anyone his age in the minors and he’s got the incredible upside to go along with it.

JH
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JH
7 years 1 month ago

@ cpebbles: Albert Pujols has a line drive swing too. When you can combine plus power and plus contact, you’re a really, really good hitter. Think about how much top prospects return in trade in the form of veteran major leaguers. This really isn’t far off. I’m not saying this is exactly where I’d rate Heyward, but it’s definitely defensible.

cpebbles
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cpebbles
7 years 1 month ago

I’ve acknowledged Pujols before in these discussions as someone who is able to be an offensive powerhouse with a line drive swing. He is the very, very rare exception, not the rule. Most people with Heyward’s swing and physical abilities turn into Sean Casey, not Albert Pujols.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

What about someone like Chipper then? I’ve always seen his swing as far more line drive oriented than power oriented and his approach at the plate is very similar to what I see in Heyward’s approach.

As for Sean Casey, he strikes me as a pretty bad comp as he was never that as highly regarded as a prospect (didn’t crack the top 100 until after his ML debut and even then was just 20th), didn’t have nearly the sort of projectable body Heyward has (6’5″ 235 according to Heyward), and was at least 2 years older at each minor league stop.

I think you’re also missing the point that almost every scout seems to think Heyward is an exception. He continually gets ranked higher than his performance may seem to warrant upon a cursory look at the numbers precisely because he controls the strike zone in such an exceptional way for someone his age.

Ophidian
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Ophidian
7 years 1 month ago

The most common scouting comp I’ve heard about Heyward (from people like Sickels and Goldstein that talk to scouts) is Dave Winfield. Winfield also had a line drive swing and managed to end up with 465 HR in his career. I think I could live with that.

Mike
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Mike
7 years 1 month ago

I didn’t expect to see someone like Heyward on this list. As a Giants fan, I wouldn’t trade Madison Bumgarner or Posey for Heyward straight up, but I doubt they’ll be on the list. (Since the Giants drafted MadBum instead of Heyward, I would assume they wouldn’t do the trade either).

alskor
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alskor
7 years 1 month ago

Really? I sort of expected both Bumgarner and Posey to be on the list.

ebc
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ebc
7 years 1 month ago

Seems unlikely, since Dave has just declared Heyward the best prospect in baseball.

ron
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ron
7 years 1 month ago

if heyward continues at his current rate, how many other players have been that successful in AA before they turn 20?

matthew
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matthew
7 years 1 month ago

griffey and Arod

Mike
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Mike
7 years 1 month ago

Lars Anderson last year, although he might have been 20

JH
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JH
7 years 1 month ago

Lars is also a bad-bodied first baseman who doesn’t come anywhere near Heyward’s contact skills, while Heyward’s a great athlete.

matthew
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matthew
7 years 1 month ago

can you say OVERRATED

Sky
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7 years 1 month ago

Victor Wang’s done some great research on valuing prospects. Basically, a top 10 position player prospect is expected to provide $35M in excess value over his cost-controlled years.

How does that compare to Roy Halladay? Let’s say he’s a 6 WAR pitcher. That’s worth 6WAR*$4.5M/WAR/year*1.5yrs + $.6M min salary = $41M. Then subtract his actual salary of $7M this year and $16M next year to get a profit of $18M. Oh, plus the expected return of two draft picks when he leaves via free agency at $11M to get up to $29M in total excess value. Evidently one could argue Heyward is the more valuable commodity.

B
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B
7 years 1 month ago

That’s not very fair to use Halladay as your example, though. He’s going to be one of the few highly paid players on the list. Someone like Adrian Gonzalez (below Heyward on the list) can provide you that kind of value over the next two years (slated to make $10.25 this year and next combined) if he’s a 4.5 WAR player this year and next. And Gonzalez is going to be closer to the end of his rookie contract than most others on the list I imagine.

I’m curious if Dave used a hard formula for his rankings, or his own judgement (based on the evidence, of course)…

Sky
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7 years 1 month ago

Do you mean that Halladay’s too high so comparing anyone to him will make that person look better?

I’ll try Adrian Gonzalez. Set to make $12.5M over the next 2.5 years. Pro-rating this season to 700 PAs, he’s had WARs of 5.5, 3.5, 3.5, 4.0 going backwards. Call him a 4.0 WAR guy, especially considering the weaker NL pitching? That’s worth $18.5M per season, or $48M gross and $36.5M net after his salary. Do players signing FA deals after ending their team-controlled years bring back compensatory picks? If so, add $11M to that.

Am I being unfair with any of those numbers?

Sky
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7 years 1 month ago

I doubt Dave ran a formula. Salary data is just too hard to get into working order and you’d have to estimate both future WAR and future arbitration awards.

B
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B
7 years 1 month ago

I liked your thought process from the start, Sky, I just thought the player you used (Halladay) as the example was not very representative of the list. Your numbers for Gonzalez look good enough for me. If he leaves he’ll be a type A FA, so that’s $47.5M total.

Look at the guys ranked behind Heyward. Fielder, Weaver, Hamels, Cano, Andrus, Gonzalez, Scherzer, Zimmerman, Joba, Beckett, and Hanson. No need to do this exercise on all of them, but a bunch of them have 3+ years of club control on cheap contracts to bring their teams value. It just seems to me Hayward is too high. I don’t think I would put any prospect on this list without at least SOME MLB success, but that’s me. :)

Sky
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7 years 1 month ago

There are few MLB prospects I’d put on the list without experience. Pitchers, nearly not at all, too flukey. (And I’d drastically limit the value of any veteran pitcher more than 2-3 years down the road.)

The best of the best position players, though? Yes, I would. I personally can’t make a judgment on Heyward, but I’d guess the best five position players on a prospect list should make it, maybe limited to AA/AAA experience.

Sky
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7 years 1 month ago

I swung and missed on Victor Wang’s numbers. After re-reading this:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/valuing-the-draft-part-one/

Type A’s should be at more like $5M and Type B’s should be more like $2.5M.

matthew
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matthew
7 years 1 month ago

i would rather have Tommy hanson then Clay Buchholtz, the most overrated prospect

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

I agree, I’m not sure I really get the reasoning on that one. Hanson is going to be under team control for longer (through 2015 compared to 2013 or 2014 for Buchholz) and he was considerably more impressive in AAA than Buchholz has been.

matthew
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matthew
7 years 1 month ago

also at a younger age

plus where has buchholz strikeouts gone. he went from 10 K/9 in AAA in 07 to 8 K/9 this year

Craig
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Craig
7 years 1 month ago

I think you’re neglecting Clay’s ability to acquire computers. In the age of sabermetrics 29 laptops could come in really handy.

Andrew
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Andrew
7 years 1 month ago

You think every Red Sox is overrated.

Pedroia? Overrated
Lester? Overrated
Buchholz? Overrated
Lars? Overrated

You a Yankee fan or something?

Pat
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7 years 1 month ago

I think if the Giants offered Pablo Sandoval straight-up for Clay Buchholz or Tommy Hansen, the Red Sox and/or Braves would jump at it.

This is great work, but Sandoval is terribly undervalued

Michael
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Michael
7 years 1 month ago

Neither the Braves nor the Red Sox would do that.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

Disagree big time. I don’t even think Giants would be able to finish making that offer before the Sox or Braves hung up. Guys with true TOR potential that are already major league ready are far harder to come by than corner IFs with Sandoval’s potential.

B
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B
7 years 1 month ago

But what about C’s with Sandoval’s potential? I don’t know that Sandoval necessarily belongs above those guys on the list, but I think your reaction is a little too far. He’s at least in the same ballpark and it’s worth giving a thought, even if the conclusion is no.

Pat
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7 years 1 month ago

1. Sandoval isn’t just a corner IF. He is also a catcher who, because of organizational circumstances, doesn’t play the position. Very few hitters on this list will have the versatility to play three different positions.

2. Proven position players are more valuable than unproven pitchers. I like Hanson and Buchholz, but they aren’t slam-dunks to become top pitchers. Just ask Homer Bailey. Also, with young pitchers, injuries are always a huge possibility.

I’m not going to change your mind, and you’re not going to change mine, but I’m very confident that Sandoval will have more value over the next several seasons, and a better career than the likes of Scherzer, Buchholz, and Hansen

JH
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JH
7 years 1 month ago

The jury’s definitely still out on whether Sandoval’s a major league catcher. Yeah, he played it in the minors, but so did Paul Konerko and Carlos Delgado, and Sandoval’s not getting any smaller or more nimble as he approaches his mid-20’s. I don’t think many teams would give him a significant bump because he used to play an up the middle position.

Bob
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Bob
7 years 1 month ago

Homer Bailey?? Talk about a straw man. He was never considered a ‘slam-dunk’ along the lines of Bucholz or Hanson. Bailey’s prospect status topped out when he was a prototypical Texax fireballer with command problems fresh out of high school, years away from sniffing the big leagues. He never delivered similar results in the high minors to what Hanson and Bucholz have done.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

Sandoval was a C, but even in the minors it wasn’t his full time position and I think its naive to think that he could easily make the transition back there after taking at least a season off from from playing the position. I’m certainly not going to value him as a catcher when I have no idea how well he can play it anymore.

Oh, I’d also say its a bit of a stretch to compare either Buchholz or Hanson to Bailey. In retrospect, Bailey appears to have obviously been overrated as he was never nearly as dominate in the high minors as the other two were.

B
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B
7 years 1 month ago

The way you have to look at Sandoval’s C ability is probability he can do it * extra value he provides at C. Obviously not everyone will agree on the probability he can play C full time at the MLB level, but you have to at least acknowledge the possibility exists. Given what we know about positional adjustments, playing C has an enormous amount of value, so there’s at least some added value from Sandoval’s potential ability to catch.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

Okay, but if I put his chances of catching at an average level at around 10% that’s only about a 1 run difference in how I value him (12.5 for C and 2.5 for 3B, correct?). That’s also ignoring the possibility that he may have to move to 1B which would significantly decrease his value due to positional adjustments.

B
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B
7 years 1 month ago

Well that’s where the argument over what probability to use comes in. And I don’t think any of us are really all that qualified to answer it, but my opinion is it’s higher than you’re giving him credit for. Essentially coming into this season the Giants organization considered him a C they moved to a corner IF spot because of need. Of course there were concerns already about his ability to stay at C. For a little background if you care, here are some of Baseball America’s opinions on Pablo before the season:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=1948
http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=1835
http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=1724

Pablo seems to be a fast learner and baseball natural all around, so I’d put his probability much higher than you, but this is his first full year so the definitely presents more risk. I dunno, I don’t think there’s necessarily a right answer here. I think it’s safe to put the positional difference at a little less than 10 runs, because at C he’ll likely play less games per season than at 3B.

As for the chances of 1B, if you want to include a similar calculation I guess that’s reasonable, I don’t see any reason he’d have to move there, though. His D at 3B has been adequate enough, and if anything should improve with experience. His weight is an issue, but he’s been a large kid for a while and his weight has been pretty consistent and he’s not all of a sudden ballooning up the way someone like Miguel Cabrera did.

Pat
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7 years 1 month ago

It’s way off-base to say Sandoval has taken a full season off from catching. He’s been in the big leagues for five months and has played 14 games at catcher.

And, I wasn’t comparing those guys to Bailey. I was making a point about the unpredictability of unproven pitchers versus proven regulars.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

I was referring to this season alone, though I now realize that Sandoval has caught 3 times this year. Still he’s unlikely to play much more than that at C the rest of the season which was really my point. That will be almost a full season with almost no live work at the position. I just don’t see teams valuing him as a C simply because he’s played the position on a couple occasions over the past year.

The whole point you seem to be missing with Bailey is that he was never nearly as proven as Hanson or Buchholz because he never dominated in the high minors the way they did. Of course a guy who has yet to dominate the high minors is a much bigger risk than proven ML pitchers, but that doesn’t really apply to Hanson or Buchholz because both have completely dominated AAA which makes them safer bets.

Pat
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7 years 1 month ago

So, the point is, if pitchers dominate Triple-A, then they’re almost sure things?

Dominate like Phil Hughes did? Or dominate the way Luke Hochevar did?

And what about the inherent injury risk with pitchers?

Unproven pitchers are always a big risk. Proven position players are not big risks. And, one who can play three positions like Sandoval is very valuable.

The Fallen Phoenix
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The Fallen Phoenix
7 years 1 month ago

To Bob re: Homer Bailey – that’s not true. He and Phil Hughes were 1-2 amongst all pitching prospects in the game in 2006, after they both put really, really good numbers in AA at the tender age of 20.

Granted, Bailey bought much of that success off his fastball, as his control and secondary pitches were not highly developed. Still, one can argue that he was every bit the prospect Buchholz and Hanson are now.

And considering Chamberlain’s been putting up at least league-average numbers in his first go around in the majors, I’m a little confused as to why he’s ranked below Buchholz, who was utterly destroyed in his, unless it’s based on (legitimate) injury risk. I’m sure if Chamberlain spent a half-season in AAA (which he practically skipped when he rocketed all the way to the majors in his first professional season), he’d be putting up the same kind of numbers Buchholz is putting there now.

Michael
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Michael
7 years 1 month ago

First of all, Hochevar is another bad example, and Hughes is far from a bust yet. But let’s say you’re right. You’re naming guys who dominated AAA and disappointed in the majors as if we couldn’t list off positional players who started off their career like Sandoval and then had mediocre to bad careers? It’s a silly argument. And tou’re making it sound like he’s been a star for 5 years.

I’m not even debating in terms of this list, I wouldn’t have a problem with Sandoval being on it. All I, and others, are telling you is that the Atlanta Braves would not trade Hanson straight up for Sandoval, and the Red Sox would not trade Buchholz straight up for him either. I’m not even necessarily saying they’d be right not to, they just wouldn’t.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

And I’m telling you that the Giants wouldn’t trade Sandoval for Hanson or Buchholz.

I guess I gave you bad examples because they don’t back up your argument. I gave you names of highly touted pitchers who had outstanding success in Triple-A and haven’t panned out.

Now, name me the players who have started their careers like Sandoval and have had mediocre to bad careers?

The point is young, proven position players are more valuable than young, unproven pitchers.

BIP
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BIP
7 years 1 month ago

Half a season = proven?

k

don
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don
7 years 1 month ago

Jeff Francoeur had an .880 OPS and 3.0 WAR in half a season as a 21 year old.

Bob
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Bob
7 years 1 month ago

Ben Grieve had a .927 OPS through the end of June his rookie season at the age of 22, and he was a lot more highly thought of as a prospect. Not that BA rankings are the end-all be-all of prospect rankings as they do have a notable blindspot to disgusting fat-bodies like Kung Fu Panda, but I couldn’t find him anywhere in their Top 10 Giants rankings for the past 3 years.

Jesus, are the Pablo Sandoval fans going to be like the Kansas City Royals fans were for Dave’s pre-season Organitational Rankings chiming in after every post? Seriously, you people sound ridiculous. Just because the Giants are relatively set in young pitching compared to their lineup and therefore would not trade Sandoval for another young pitcher does not make Kung Fu Panda a more valuable trade asset throughout all of MLB. I’m sorry, it doesn’t.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

You still haven’t named a single guy who dominated AAA in the same way Hanson did. I’ll give you that Buchholz and Hughes have fairly similar AAA numbers (though with Buchholz we’re talking about a sample size that’s twice as large), but Hanson was on a completely different level (12.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9). And Hochevar shouldn’t even be in this discussion. His K rate in AAA never even broke 7.

Pat
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7 years 1 month ago

Phil Hughes was 23rd on this list two years ago. Enough said.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

How is the fact that Hughes was 23rd on this list two years ago proof of anything? I said Hanson was a better bet than Hughes because he dominated AAA to a greater degree than Hughes ever has. Just because Hughes may have been overrated on this list when he was ranked 23rd doesn’t mean Hanson is overrated now when he is 40th. If anything I think it points to Dave being more conservative with young pitchers.

Oh, and Geovany Soto was 28th last year. At this point last year he had proven himself to a similar extent as Sandoval, with a .288/.369/.522 line at the break. This year he’s at .230/.336/.396. Should he be held against Sandoval the same way you’re holding Hughes against Hanson?

BIP
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BIP
7 years 1 month ago

And he’s running a 2.5 K/BB as a 23 year old future starter. I’m glad you’re admitting defeat.

Pat
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7 years 1 month ago

Soto’s numbers were not similar to Sandoval’s. Not the batting average, OPS, or wOBA

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

Right and Phil Hughes’ numbers were not that similar to Hanson’s…that was kind of the point genius. Well that and pointing out that pitchers weren’t the only young guys who were overrated on the list last year.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

You’re the one who has made the argument that Sandoval doesn’t belong in the Top 50, so we’re not just talking about Hanson here.

We’re talking about Buchholz, Hanson, and Scherzer. Guys who are all rated in the Top 50.

I brought up Phil Hughes, and as you admitted, Hughes Triple-A numbers are comparable to Buchholz. A player who is more valued on this list than Hanson. Got it?

That’s the point, genius.

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

No, you’re arguing Sandoval should be in the top 50. I’m pretty sure I haven’t even stated an opinion on that one. All I’ve really been doing is disagreeing with your claim that the Braves or Sox would jump at the chance to trade Hanson or Buchholz for Sandoval and trying to explain my reasoning behind that opinion.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

So, now you’re backing off your claim.

You said you “disagreed big-time”. And said the Sox and Braves would hang up the phone before the Giants could even make the offer.

That sounds like someone who didn’t even think Sandoval was Top 50-worthy. Unless my arguments have since changed your mind. Perfectly understandable.

Where should he rank? Or are you too afraid to give your opinion?

Alex
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Alex
7 years 1 month ago

I haven’t taken the time to go through and rank players so I don’t know exactly where I’d rank him. He’s really a tough guy to gauge because of his weight and the questions it raises about him long term and the extremely high BABIP that may or may not be sustainable. I think he might crack my top 50, but he’d definitely be borderline.

As for the my initial response, maybe it was a little over the top, but I was countering the logic that the Braves or Sox would jump at such an offer, which they most certainly would not. None of those 3 teams would do that deal. Anyway, my main point was that team’s aren’t even going to consider dealing ML ready starters with true TOR potential unless its for someone very special, and in my mind Sandoval needs to keep up what he’s doing for the rest of this season and into next season before I count him at that level.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

The truth is, we can’t speak for other teams and what they may or may not do. Some org’s value certain players more than others. Some org’s value more proven guys over potential.

No one is going to change anyone’s mind here, but I’m very confident that, from this point forward, Sandoval will have more value than Scherzer, Hanson, and Buchholz (Chamberlain can be thrown in there, too).

The reasons are the fantastic numbers posted above, plus his power and patience numbers continue to improve.

Prince Fielder had weight questions, too, and had worse numbers than Sandoval in his first full season at age 22. Yet, he was ranked 31st in the 2007 rankings. I was expecting Sandoval in the 31-36 range.

Cowboy Popup
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Cowboy Popup
7 years 1 month ago

Phil Hughes is having a pretty good season for a guy who just turned 23. Anyone who thinks he is a bust just isn’t paying attention.

Pat
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7 years 1 month ago

I don’t know who you’re directing this to because no one has called Hughes a bust in this thread.

David
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David
7 years 1 month ago

Why do you say Tommy Hanson has had a mediocre start to his major league career? He seems to be quite dominant and successful – Braves fans should be happy.

Eric/OR
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Eric/OR
7 years 1 month ago

I believe Dave’s concern with Sandoval wasn’t that he can’t hit – it was that he’s 5’11, 245 at age 22. Most people END UP at 5’11, 245, say at age 52 – Sandoval is STARTING there. Just not much precedent for fat guys being good for a long time as position players.

Michael
Guest
Michael
7 years 1 month ago

“I guess I gave you bad examples because they don’t back up your argument.”

Luke Hochevar has mediocre stuff and Kansas City was killed for that pick from day one, as they should’ve been. On top of that, his “domination” of AAA didn’t come until this year, at age 25. Basically you’re pointing out that a guy who most people didn’t think was going to be great isn’t great.

Phil Hughes is 23 and has been fine this year. If he were in any other organization he’d be given the chance to just go out and start 30+ games (if healthy), but the Yankees have to win every year and if he struggles at all they can’t risk it.

As far as Sandoval, you’re conveniently ignoring people’s points about him being proven over the equivalent of less than a full season. Someone mentioned Francouer, how about Eric Hinske? Positional players are more of a safe bet than pitchers because of the difference in injury risk, but that’s sort of canceled out when you’re talking about a kid who’s already a blimp before his 23rd birthday. Do you also have a problem with Prince Fielder being ranked below the pitching prospects? He’s far more proven than Pablo Sandoval, but I guess that doesn’t really bother you since he plays for someone other than the Giants.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

I figured the Francouer comparisons might be coming, but the fact is Francouers’s (and Grieve’s) strikeout rate, wOBA, and batting average is/was significantly worse than Sandoval’s. Francouer barely hit .300 over half a season while Sandoval is a .337 hitter over five months.

The Eric Hinske comparison is laughable since he broke into the big leagues at 24/25.

And, this is about value, so your Prince Fielder statement is off-base. Fielder is making $9 million/year, while Sandoval is on a minimal contract.

As for Fielder and Sandoval being thick, you helped my argument since Fielder was also portly at Sandoval’s age, although not nearly as athletic or versatile. Even with his girth and contract, Fielder is still in the Top 50.

And, if you really want to compare, you can see who wins in a landslide.

Fielder’s first full season at age 22:
.271, .354 wOBA, .831 OPS, 22% K

Sandoval in five months at age 22:
.337, .392 wOBA, .926 OPS, 13.7% K

And, by the way, Sandoval is also hitting extraordinarily well while playing in a pitcher’s park.

It won’t be long until you see why Sandoval is a much better and more valuable player than the likes of Scherzer, Buchholz, and Hanson. I look forward to revisiting these comments.

B
Guest
B
7 years 1 month ago

AT&T is a neutral park these days.

Alex
Guest
Alex
7 years 1 month ago

So are you just saying that there is no way any of Scherzer, Hanson, and Buchholz pan out? Because if just one of those guys ends up as an ace, a pretty good bet considering you spreading the risk over 3 guys with TOR stuff, they’re going to at least as valuable, if not more so, than Sandoval will be.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

No, I’m not saying none will pan out.

I’m saying that, considering the risk involved with young, unproven pitchers, I’d rather have more proven everyday hitters who have almost equal service time to those pitchers.

If they ever become an ace, it’s also very possible and likely it will take a few years before they become that ace. Look at last year’s list as example:

31. Joba Chamberlain
32. Clayton Kershaw
37. Edinson Volquez
43. Dustin McGowan
48. Clay Buchholz

Don’t get me wrong. None of these unproven pitchers are close to being “busts”, but they haven’t lived up to potential yet, either. By the time they do live up to potential (if they ever do), they may be arbitration-eligible and closer to their free agency years. This brings down their value to the organization.

Pitchers are very unpredictable. Sometimes when we think guys are aces or on the verge, they get hurt, disappoint, or flame-out a year or two later. Very rarely, do you find guys like Johan Santana, who produce year after year, without getting hurt.

I’d take a proven position player over guys that may very well turn out to be the next Jeremy Bonderman or Brett Myers.

don
Guest
don
7 years 1 month ago

He wouldn’t have to drop anywhere near as far as Francoeur to not be a top 50 value, even if he’s starting marginally better. Sandoval may be a better contact hitter than Frenchy ever was but an 82% contact rate is far closer to average than spectacular, and he swings at more balls than almost anyone in the game.

To maintain his .385 OBP he’s got to either maintain something close to his .358 BABIP or totally change his approach at the plate. Either of those things could happen but neither are sure things.

Alex
Guest
Alex
7 years 1 month ago

Seriously, stop acting as if Sandoval is some incredibly proven commodity. He has less than 500 PA at the major league level and much of his success is predicated on an abnormally high BABIP (.361 career) which he seems unlikely to sustain given his minor league track record. He seems like an ideal candidate to start crashing back down to earth once we see him over a larger sample size.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Eric Seidman posted on this very site:

Sandoval’s BABIP “signals that he could be one of those hitters with consistently high marks in this area”

If you ever watch any of his games, you would know that he consistently makes solid contact and his BABIP can be sustainable.

And, at 22 years old, there is plenty of time for him to be a more disciplined hitter. His plate discipline continues to improve as the season goes on.
(don, I don’t know where you’re going with the contact rate, but Sandoval’s 83.7% career contact rate is very similar to the career marks of Hanley Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis.)

Sandoval has with the 11th highest wOBA in baseball this year.. at age 22. He is a proven commodity. I’m sorry you don’t know it yet.

don
Guest
don
7 years 1 month ago

His contact rate this season is 87th of 167 qualified batters, from this very site. That’s where I’m coming from.

I don’t care if you watch him play and you think he can maintain that BABIP – the key word in that quote is “could”; it’s conjecture. Are you a professional scout? Is he a better, more consistent hitter than Pujols? His career BABIP is .321.

The guys who have the highest career BABIPs are all much faster than Sandoval.

Alex
Guest
Alex
7 years 1 month ago

He’s got the 11th highest wOBA in baseball over a little more than half a season, and he’s taken advantage of an extremely high BABIP in order to get there. Of course its possible that Sandoval can maintain that type of BABIP, but it doesn’t seem especially likely, and if that does start dropping, you’ll see a sizable drop in his wOBA as well. We get that you really, really like Sandoval, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasonable arguments for him ranking where he does on this list.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

The best contact hitters are slappy’s like Luis Castillo and David Eckstein. Sandoval is a power hitter. Expecting him to have similar contact % as those guys is ridiculous, especially when his contact % is similar to guys like Han-Ram and Youk.

And, Youkilis has a higher career BABIP than Pujols. It doesn’t make him a better hitter.

B
Guest
B
7 years 1 month ago

Are we still talking about Sandoval? Man, I’m a Giants fan and I think we’ve gone over every point that needs to be discussed. Let’s move on…

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Even if Sandoval’s wOBA drops into the 20’s, he’ll probably have more value than Hanson, Scherzer, and Buchholz in the next several seasons.

Alex
Guest
Alex
7 years 1 month ago

The point is that there’s a pretty good chance that he’ll drop further than just into the 20s. Let’s say ZiPS is right and his wOBA drops to .386 by the end of the season, well that already puts him at 27th. ZiPS rest of season projection is for just a .354 wOBA from here on out, which would place Sandoval at just 75th overall right now. Its really all about how good you think Sandoval is going to be going forward, and there are very good reasons to think his hitting is going to drop off significantly from its current level.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

From this point forward in his career… not just the rest of the season.

We’ll see what the numbers say at the end of the year. Even if we take those modest projections, 27th is really good for a 22-year old in his first full season.

Alex
Guest
Alex
7 years 1 month ago

No doubt that would be good, but the lofty ranking would be heavily influenced by a high BABIP. If he could maintain a similar level in that category going forward, then yeah he’ll likely be among the top 30 or so in wOBA at least through free agency. I’m not sold on that yet though, so I could easily see him sinking back into the 60s or so by next season.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

So, you’re expecting Sandoval to be a worse player/hitter at age 23 than at age 22?

Then that’s where we can agree to disagree. We’ll see.

Alex
Guest
Alex
7 years 1 month ago

Talent-wise no, but if he’s been pretty lucky in terms of BABIP and that number regresses to the mean going forward, then yes I do expect his numbers to get worse. If he’s actually more of a .320 BABIP type hitter than the ~.360 he’s posted thus far, then he’s going to have to improve a lot in other areas to maintain similar offensive numbers with the lower BABIP.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Like I said, we’ll find out.

But, his power and patience has improved significantly over the last month plus.

CH
Guest
CH
7 years 1 month ago

If you believe Sandoval = Hanson, even for a second, long enough to actually type that out and enter it into the comments section, then you’ve lost all credibility and the argument should stop.

Pat
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Sandoval > Hanson

Your zero credibility lies in your lack of facts and analysis

SP
Guest
SP
7 years 1 month ago

What I’d like to know is how Heyward fell to #14 in that draft. Was it a signability issue? The Braves got extremely lucky to have the local boy fall right into their lap.

Olddutchpots
Guest
Olddutchpots
7 years 1 month ago

From what I recall, his opponents in HS wouldn’t pitch to him.

Dan
Guest
Dan
7 years 1 month ago

Heyward would only sign with the Braves, he was going to college if another team drafted him.

SP
Guest
SP
7 years 1 month ago

You sure he was a Braves or college guy? I remember JP Ricciardi saying he would’ve taken him 2 picks later if he was available and the Jays don’t pay above slot or risk unsignability.

twinsfan
Guest
twinsfan
7 years 1 month ago

Settle down Pat, nobody slept with your sister.

Whateverfor
Guest
Whateverfor
7 years 1 month ago

I’m not really sure Buchholz belongs up here. He’s a 24 year old pitcher with an 8.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and a 53 GB% in AAA. That’s good, but it’s not outstanding like his ERA, which is driven by a .229 BABIP.

I really don’t see the case for him over guys like Scherzer and Chamberlain, let alone the more easily projected young hitters like Andrus and Sandoval.

Michael
Guest
Michael
7 years 1 month ago

His stuff is just as important as the numbers. Above average fastball and two plus offspeed pitches. Sure it’s debatable, but a lot more is going into Dave’s analysis than these guys’ past 3 months of performance.

And Pat, Fielder doesn’t help your argument. Yes he made this list, but he made it with a down arrow next to his name.

Alex
Guest
Alex
7 years 1 month ago

Wow this makes so much more sense now. Finally checked out the website Pat links too and guess what…

Pablo Sandoval is Going to Be A Hall of Famer
http://westcoastbias.com/?p=821#more-821

No wonder you’re arguing this one non-stop and are absolutely convinced that Sandoval will be better than Scherzer, Hanson, Buchholz, and Chamberlain, you’re already predicting a HOF career for the kid after less than 500 PA in the majors.

Needless to say I’m done wasting my time here.

kevinM
Guest
kevinM
7 years 1 month ago

I agree with others who think it’s a bit presumptuous to put Buchholz on this list. Stuff has to be a major part of his ranking because otherwise it makes no sense. Compare his profile to Phil Hughes, who’s almost 2 years younger, has dominated the minors too, and also has periods of big league success to point to. Does Buchholz stuff give him such an advantage that he belongs on this list and not Hughes?

Regarding the Heyward pick, I have a difficult time putting any pitcher/position player on the list who currently isn’t in the majors and hasn’t proven he can perform at this level yet.

Judy
Guest
Judy
7 years 1 month ago

I assumed that Hughes was going to show up later, not that he isn’t on it at all.

nick
Guest
nick
7 years 13 days ago

Okay so I just started reading the comments for the trade value pieces and just wanted to chime in on the sandoval discussion (albeit about 3 weeks late). As a Braves fan I can certainly say that there is no way that the Braves would trade Hanson for Sandoval, ace caliber starters are less in number than solid hitters like Sandoval, plus we have Chipper and Freddie Freeman for the corner spots. Just like the Giants wouldn’t make the deal because they have Lincecum, Cain, and Bumgardner. Just like there are serious reservations about Hanson’s ability to reach his potential, there have to be serious reservations about Sandoval’s free swinging ways, future position (will he be able to remain at third?), and ridiculous BABIP. There’s just as good a chance of Hanson becoming a #1 as Sandoval maintaining his BABIP, staying at third, and not falling victim to his Vlad Guerrero approach. In fact I’d say Hanson’s chances are better. I do agree that Sandoval should have been included in the top 50 but I don’t see any team offering a #1 pitching prospect (a la Hanson, Scherzer, etc) in return.

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