2010 Trade Value: #35 – #31


#35 – Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit

The Tigers ace is one of the most dominant power pitchers in the game, but after what looked like a breakout season in 2010, he’s essentially reverted to being what he was before 2009 – a good pitcher who doesn’t get as much out of his stuff as you would expect. Teams would love to have him, certainly, but with an $80 million extension and a heavy workload, he comes with a fair amount of risk. That said, power arms are always highly sought after, and there’d be a line for his services if the Tigers put him on the market.

#34 – Mike Stanton, OF, Florida

Stanton is arguably the strongest player in baseball, and he doesn’t turn 21 until November. His ability to drive a baseball is almost unheard of for a player his age. The power comes with a cost, as his ferocious swing doesn’t make enough contact right now, but its important to remember just how young he is. He’s improved his approach at the plate, and while he’s still too aggressive, it shouldn’t be a permanent thing that can’t be fixed. Once he harnesses his natural abilities, look out. The Marlins would have to be overwhelmed to part with their monster in the making.

#33 – Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore

A year into his career, Wieters isn’t yet what everyone anticipated. Billed as a switch-hitting Joe Mauer with power, he’s shown the skills that got him so much hype in the first place except for the one that was supposed to set him apart – the ability to drive the baseball. It hasn’t helped that he’s been worse this year than he was last season, making it hard to find progress in his development. But we should also keep in mind that, for all the talk of how disappointing he’s been, he’s essentially been a league average catcher as a rookie, and there’s certainly potential for more. It’s far too early to give up on Wieters, though we have to adjust our expectations and perhaps recalibrate the timeline a bit.

#32 – Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas

In a league with few good shortstops, Andrus stands tall despite being just 21 years of age. A defensive specialist, he’s never going to be the best hitter in the league, but he provides enough value on offense that his total package makes him one of the better players at his position. His lack of power and too frequent baserunning gaffes are problematic, but the good outweighs the bad with Andrus. Good young players who provide value now and potential for more later are building blocks of good franchises, and that’s exactly what Andrus is to the Rangers right now.

#31 – Buster Posey, C, San Francisco

The Giants rookie catcher has shown why many thought he should have been given the starting job out of the gates this year. You can bet that he won’t be surrendering the position any time soon, and by limiting the service time he will gain this year, they ensured that he won’t be a free agent until after the 2016 season. San Francisco fans can look forward to six more years of a catcher who offers value both at the plate and behind it.

Print This Post

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

43 Responses to “2010 Trade Value: #35 – #31”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Paul says:

    Nice group here.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Tim says:

    Come on. This is a little ridiculous.

    No GM in his right mind would rather have Weiters or Andrus than Verlander–even taking into account contract status.

    -32 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Alex says:

      Very few teams could even handle the 60 million he’s owed from 2012-2014. He’s a very good pitcher, but he’s about to get too expensive for most teams out there.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Graham says:

      You could have Wieters and then buy most of a Verlander with the leftover money.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Paul says:

      That’s not true. I love the Tigers & I love Verlander, but I’m sure several GMs would prefer Wieters or Andrus to Verlander all things considered.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Chris Cwik says:
    FanGraphs Supporting Member

    I highly disagree.

    -19 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Alex says:

    Stanton scares the crap out of me. He could develop into the best power hitter in the game or he could be a huge bust. I don’t think he has improved his approach nearly as much as people want to think. Yeah, he became more patient, but I think its as much do to being passive and guessing at pitches as actual improvement. I think he’ll eventually figure it out, though I worry about his pitch recognition ever being good, but I think pushing him straight from AA to the majors will delay his development.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • KG says:

      I think Stanton “became” more patient because pitchers were scared to throw to him this year – hence, the massive uptick in walks. He scares the crap out of me, as well. He definitely could have used some AAA seasoning, to see how pitchers reacted to him there. In the majors, it is clear pitchers aren’t afraid of him and will go right after him, so he needs to adjust. We’ll see if he can, or if he turns into Rob Deer.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. mgarner543 says:

    Andrus’ baserunning gaffe was pretty costly to the American League last night.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Adam D says:

      He’s been over-sliding bases for several weeks now and gotten away with it for the most part… I have no idea why.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. DavidCEisen says:

    “The Tigers ace is one of the most dominant power pitchers in the game…a good pitcher who doesn’t get as much out of his stuff as you would expect.”


    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Travis L says:

      His stuff is so nasty that you might expect him to perform like Strasburg has so far. But for some reason, outside of last year, he hasn’t gotten quite the results you would expect.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chris says:

        It depends on if it’s the two-pitch Verlander or the five-pitch Verlander. ;)

        I think you’d be hard-pressed to find 10 starters with better pure stuff than Verlander, but as people have noted, for whatever reason he hasn never been as good as his stuff. I’ve not seen many of Strasburg’s outings, but I have seen most of Verlander’s, and the biggest difference between the two is that Verlander doesn’t seems to bring his curve with him to every game, and Strasburg seems to have better command.

        In any event, this seems to be a reasonable ranking for him, and even though Verlander and Felix Hernandez are similar in terms of WAR and contract, I’d expect Hernandez to slot 10-15 spots higher because he’s three years younger.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dwight S. says:

        I think one of Verlander’s problems is that he just doesn’t pitch that well by his standards with runners on base. It appears to me by watching him as soon as a guy gets on base he gets way too caught up in the runner, he’ll throw pick off throw after pick off throw to him instead of concentrating more on the batter, no matter if the guy is a big base stealer or not. I just think it gets him out of his groove. I also think once runners get on he get too amped up and throws it too hard which straightens out his fastball.

        I don’t really have any numbers to back this up other than his low lob% but just by watching him for the past 5 seasons he just looks like a different pitcher with baserunners aboard.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TCNick says:

      He is one of the most dominant, when he has his stuff. This season Verlander’s biggest problem is too many pitches in the early innings – he often thinks he can just get out of early trouble by exclusively throwing the heat and it doesn’t always work, especially against good fastball hitting teams. To be all he can be, Verlander has to mix his stuff and when he’s on, nobody can hit him well.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. TexasRanger says:

    Buster Posey is a beast, a young cost controlled catcher, there can’t be many C’s ahead of him in terms of trade value today. Maybe Santana?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bill says:

      Brian McCann, I would imagine.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Alex says:

      I would assume McCann is as well. Signed through 2013 for very reasonable salaries. I wouldn’t have argued if he had shown up already, but there is no way he gets left off the list all together.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Cronus says:

    Dave, I know you’ve found yourself in civilized debates with Tigers fans on here, but before they chime in on you I have to post and agree with you on the Verlander sentiment.

    Every time I watch Verlander pitch I get excited because I know he’s got the skill to take a game to the distance and shut down a line up. But then too often you see him exit the game after 5 1/3 to 6 innings and hurling 120 pitches. The most frustrating of it is that he gives up so many foul tips. I don’t know if it’s his ego showing or what, but in the middle innings he becomes obsessed with hurling fastball after fastball to a hitter that he loses his feel for his curveball (or just doesn’t throw it…) then becomes trapped in throwing nothing but fastballs to a hitter.

    One of these days he’ll figure it out… Hopefully.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Steve says:

    Verlander got off to a slow start this year as he does every year, while he almost certainly wont be as valuable as his 2009 campaign i don’t think he has essentially reverted to his 06-08 self, his year to date numbers are dragged down by a bad April.

    I don’t know who is coming next on the list but I cant imagine Verlander belongs any higher when you consider a pitcher like Felix Hernandez has the same contract as Verlander. Verlander is great but compensated well enough that he doesn’t belong any higher.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Michael says:

      Undoubtedly, Hernandez is sitting above (ranks better) Verlander on this list, but that’s just as much age as anything else. Going by career numbers:

      Verlander: 3.91 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 4.11 xFIP
      Hernandez: 3.38 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 3.42 xFIP

      Let’s introduce park factors by looking at WAR:

      Verlander: 955 IP, 22.1 fWAR, 16.1 rWAR
      Hernandez: 1042 IP, 24.7 fWAR, 21.2 rWAR

      About half a season more innings for King Felix, with around the same production, Felix probably being a bit better. The difference? Verlander is 27 this season, while Felix is 24. Felix is much closer to his prime than Verlander, and they have similar contracts. Hence, Hernandez is more valuable.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Principal Belding says:

    Look at all these white dudes. Just appalling. It’s like Saved by the Bell, with Elvis Andrus as AC Slater, just to color things up a little.

    OK maybe not. Slater was all butch n’ manly.

    Maybe Lisa Turtle.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Andy S says:

    I’m sorry, I can’t understand how you give Verlander as good a ranking as #35.

    The guy’s only had one really good season. The rest have been decent, and flashed potential, but not great. This year he’s pitching like a bottom-half ace – nothing mind-blowing for a #1, but certainly good. But for $80 million?

    Anyone who thinks that Verlander has higher trade value than Hughes, Romero, or Price is out of their mind.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Andy S says:

      Oh, and James Shields and Jered Weaver (although the latter only has 2 years of club control, so I can see that side of things).

      This is nuts.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Dr.Rockso says:

    How much you wanna bet the top 5 are all Mariners?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Capt. Obvious says:

      I’ll bet all of my money that that’s not the case.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Andy S says:

        The only guys on the top 5 who are pretty much even eligible are Felix and Gutierrez.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Alex says:

        If Gutierrez is in the top 25 players this is going to get ugly. He’s a solid player and the contract is quite nice, I wouldn’t have argued him making an appearance early on, but there is no GM in baseball who would trade any of these 5 guys for him.

        As for Smoak, I can’t see him getting ranked ahead of someone like Stanton. He projects as a good 1B, but the upside isn’t big enough to justify a ranking this high.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ray says:

      This Dave bashing is getting lazy. I don’t even think you’re a real doctor.

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Hat McCullough says:

    Mike Stanton is rated pretty aggressively for a guy who struck out in over a quarter of his minor league plate appearances — none of which came at AAA.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. 22gigantes says:

    I’m still waiting for you guys to get to the Top 10 so I can read about Eugenio Velez.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. O.J. Simpson says:

    Shouldn’t Wieters..you know..actually do something before being declared more valuable than Verlander?

    Christ..even Posey has so far put Wieters to shame.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Rama Lama Fa Fa says:

    This is the section where we get to the overhyped busts, I see (Wieters, Stanton).

    re: Verlander, Cronus hits it on the nose. Too many fastballs. He’s been mixing in a lot more breaking stuff his las 2 starts, though. I expect a spike in his K numbers in the second half if he continues this.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Eric Cioe says:

      Nevermind that in his best season so far, he threw more fastballs than he ever had before and more than he’s throwing now.

      The difference with Verlander last season to this season is that last season he controlled the zone better.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason B says:

      Ready to throw in the towel on Stanton already?!? (Wieters, too, but good lord Stanton has 116 plate appearances! Give the kid a shot.)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Rama Lama Fa Fa says:

    Stanton reminds me of Wily Mo Pena. That’s…not good.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. ChrisDTX says:

    @Eric: yes, if you just look at the % of each pitch type, Verlander is throwing roughly the same amount of FB he always has. It’s a matter of *when* he throws them. With men on base it’s a good bet he’ll throw 95% FB. He gets predictable, and he gets hit. There’s a reason he gives up more 3+ run innings than other “aces”.

    Vote -1 Vote +1