2013 Trade Value: #30 – #26

Honorable Mentions
#50 to #46
#45 to #41
#40 to #36
#35 to #31

As we approach the middle of the list, we end up with a group of young players who are mostly more about future value than present production. These are some of the very best players in the game, and this is about as high as a player can rank without establishing himself as a big leaguer.

 

#30 Matt Moore (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
24 107.1 9.06 4.61 38.0 % 3.44 3.67 4.26 2.2 1.7

Under Team Control Through 2019: $1M, $3M, $5M, $7M option, $9M option, $10M option

Moore hasn’t had a big breakthrough yet, as his command still comes and goes, making him more of a good pitcher than a great one.  Perhaps most disconcerting is the velocity loss, as he’s sitting closer to 92 than the 94 he was at a year ago, though it hasn’t yet made him worse.  Still, you’d like to see improvement in command in order to offset the normal degradation in stuff, and Moore’s command hasn’t yet improved.  

But, that contract is still so friendly that Moore would be a highly coveted asset in trade.  In a worst case scenario where he gets injured or falls apart, they’d be out just $13 million after three years, having paid the buyouts on all of his options.  More likely, those are all exercised, and he ends up earning $35 million over the next six years.  

Soon enough, though, Moore is going to have to start throwing strikes.  As the stuff erodes, it will get harder and harder to compensate for all the walks, and the cheap years are going to start disappearing sooner than later.  Moore is at a spot where he’s either going to become the ace that he was projected as, or he’s going to settle in as a quality starter on a solid contract, but not one that teams are willing to try and build around.  Where he goes from here remains to be seen.

 

#29 Xander Bogaerts (SS)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 378 95 12 13 50 72 7 .294 .390 .489 .396

Under Team Control For Six Years: Pre-Arb, Arbitration

Despite not yet reaching the big leagues, Bogaerts is already one of the most coveted players in the game.  With most prospects, you can point to some kind of glaring hole that would keep them from producing in the Majors, but Bogaerts doesn’t really have that.  His defense at shortstop has improved, and it’s no longer a given he’ll have to move to third base.  He has more present power than you’d expect from a 20-year-old middle infielder.  He doesn’t chase pitches out of the strike zone, and will take a walk when it is offered to him.  He’s hit at every level despite being much younger than his peers.  

Major League teams covet cost controlled franchise players more than anything else, and that’s exactly what Bogerts projects to be, and fairly soon.  He’s a prospect in the sense that he doesn’t have a big league track record yet, but it’s not clear that he needs much more time in the minors, and his combination of offensive skills and ability to play defense are likely to make him a quality player in the very near future, with MVP upside as he continues to develop.

The Red Sox aren’t going to trade him, but he’s the kind of chip that would open the door to acquiring the best players in the game.  Expect Boston to keep him and make the foundation of their future instead.  

 

#28 Byron Buxton (OF)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
19 392 112 17 9 49 69 35 .333 .416 .530 .427

Under Team Control For Six Years: Pre-Arb, Arbitration

While my own biases would probably lead to a preference of Bogaerts over Buxton, consensus within the prospect community and team officials is that Buxton is the #1 prospect in the sport, with his crazy athleticism making up for the fact that he’s a couple of years away from contributing at the big league level. His utter domination of the Midwest League showed that he was more advanced than expected after being drafted out of high school, and while he’s got a long ways to go, there’s no question that he has superstar potential.

There’s probably a bit more risk here than with Bogaerts, though. Not just in proximity to the big leagues, as more problems can become apparent as he rises through the system, but there’s a pretty long line of super toolsy center field prospects who never amounted to much. Center field is becoming something of an offensive position, and the offensive bar is higher at this up-the-middle spot than any of the other three.  Having the physical skills to handle center field is great, but Buxton’s going to have to hit to live up to the hype, and projecting how well a guy like this will hit when he’s a 19-year-old in A-ball is difficult.  

But, the upside is simply too high to ignore.  If he hits, he’s in the conversation for best player in the game, and he hasn’t given any reason to think that he won’t hit, at least not yet.  He’s a very high risk/high reward asset for this high on the list, but the reward is high enough to justify it.  

 

#27 Jason Kipnis (2B)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Fld BsR WAR
26 374 12.0 % 22.2 % .301 .383 .514 .385 149 -4.6 1.9 3.4

Under Team Control Through 2017: Pre-Arb, Arbitration

Kipnis’ next extra base hit will make his 2013 total equal to his 2012 total. The power surge has taken his game up a notch, and was really the missing ingredient in his overall package of skills. If he can keep driving the ball the way he has been, he’ll settle in as a perennial All-Star.

And yet, he’s two spots lower on this list than he was a year ago. How does a player fall on the trade value list while having a breakout year? This is the nature of depreciating years of team control. Since last year’s list, he’s lost one year of league minimum control, and so the Indians have essentially banked a huge premium in his performance over the last year. That’s value that was transferred from Kipnis to the team, and can’t be acquired by another team. Even as players improve, their trade value diminishes as they march closer towards free agency.

Really, just holding his ground is a pretty big accomplishment, as most of the players around him on last year’s list found themselves much lower or off the list entirely this year. If the Indians would have been able to lock him up over the winter, taking advantage of his poor second half to get him at a discount, he might have ended up much higher.

He’s still a highly valuable player, of course, and is one of the main reasons the Indians are hanging around in the playoff race. He’s just going to cost a lot more to lock up now than he would have a few months ago.

 

#26 Jurickson Profar (2B)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Fld BsR WAR
20 155 7.7 % 19.4 % .235 .309 .346 .293 76 -1.7 -1.1 -0.2

Under Team Control Through 2019: Pre-Arb, Arbitration

Because of the instant success from some other recent prospects, it seems like Profar is already being treated as a disappointment for posting a 74 wRC+ in his first 172 plate appearances.  Reminder: he’s 20, and a shortstop.  It is unusual for a player this age to step right in and be a good big leaguer right away.  We’ve been spoiled by Trout, Harper, and Machado.  What they’re doing is historically unique.  Not playing at that level before you can drink does not make you a bust.  

Now, there’s an argument to be made that Profar’s more of a high floor prospect than a super high ceiling guy.  In some ways, he’s kind of exactly the opposite of what we expect a 20-year-old infielder to look like.  He’s a disciplined hitter who controls the strike zone pretty well, but probably isn’t going to turn into a serious power bat.  He’s more of a walks-and-doubles prospect than a dingers guy, but because he can play shortstop, walks-and-doubles are more acceptable for his position.  

I know some teams aren’t in love with him due to the lack of superstar upside, but Profar still projects as a quality two way player, and with some patience, he could be one of the game’s better shortstops within the next few years.  Of course, the enduring question is whether that future will come in Texas, as they gave Elvis Andrus a lot of money to hold down the fort in Arlington for the foreseeable future.

Because of that, Profar may have more value to other teams than he does the Rangers, and it wouldn’t be terribly shocking to see him get traded this winter.  But Texas won’t let him go cheap.  He’s still a terrific young talent, and one of the most valuable trade chips in the sport.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


151 Responses to “2013 Trade Value: #30 – #26”

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  1. Izzy Hechkoff says:

    I think some of these prospects are being underrated. Would any team trade Byron Buxton for Jason Kipnis?

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    • Nik says:

      Because there is risk with any prospect? Delmon Young comes to mind.

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    • Kyzslew77 says:

      I think some would. Buxton is electrifying, but Kipnis is an elite player at a near-premium position and is under team control for four more seasons. What are the odds that we will be saying that about Buxton in 3/4/5 years? Good, certainly good, but not 100%.

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      • Brian says:

        it’s also not 100% that Kipnis doesn’t go all Rickie Weeks on us and start putting up 1-2 WAR seasons instead of 4-6 WAR seasons.

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        • Jason B says:

          True, but the range of possible outcomes is considerably greater for a prospect with zero MLB service time than with a more established player like Kipnis.

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        • Kyzslew77 says:

          What Jason said–would you rather bet on Kipnis or Buxton being a 4 WAR player in 2016ish/2017ish? If you say Buxton I think you’re crazy.

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        • Brian says:

          I don’t know. I guess I don’t view Kipnis as a future Cano or Utley. I think too much weight is being given to a good last month-and-a-half. And I think the chances of Buxton completely flaming out without getting hurt are closer to zero, especially given his speed and arm will give him enough value defensively that even if he underperforms with the bat, he’s still a very useful CF’er.

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        • Chief Yahoo says:

          Bite your tongue!

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        • Mr Baseball says:

          I’m not 100% sold X Bogerts is going to be elite. I think he might be a tease.

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        • Jason B says:

          Wait, you’re thinking there’s more downside risk to an established major leaguer than a prospect with 0.00000000 MLB at-bats?

          Hmm.

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        • Two More Cuts says:

          @Kyzslew77 Not that I disagree, but here’s another hypothetical:

          Who would you rather bet on being a >6 WAR player in 2016/2017?

          I don’t think there is a doubt that Buxton has a higher ceiling. So I think the answer to that is clearly Buxton.

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        • AJ says:

          Obviously Buxton has a greater magnitude of downside — Kipnis’s downside is maybe a 1 or 2 win player whereas Buxton’s is never making the majors. But Buxton has MUCH higher upside than Kipnis, even if the chance of him maximizing his potential is reduced.

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        • wobatus says:

          Kipnis is already on a 6+ pace, so maybe he hasn’t hit his ceiling yet either. Probably this is what you get. He’s 26. But maybe he goes 8 some time in the next few years.

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    • SC says:

      I’m a Twins Fan and think this ranking seems fair. Buxton’s not really close (Late 2014-early 2015) to delivering a lot of present value. As Dave points out a lot can wrong in between these times.

      Should the Twins make this trade? Probably not but this has to do with their current organizational standing.

      Would the Indians make this trade? No for Similar reasons of the present being worth more currently then the future.

      I believe the point of a series like this is how an league average team in tension between contending and rebuilding would value these players.

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    • TKDC says:

      Any team projected to win 85ish or more games this year with a void at second base. That’s for starters. The Dodgers, Athletics, Orioles, Tigers, and Braves come to mind.

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      • Jonathon Paquin says:

        Scratch the Tigers off that list….they already have Omar Infante. Easily one of the top 5 two baggers in MLB…

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        • EL says:

          Easily?

          He’s 6th so far this season, and the argument that he’s better than *all of* Zobrist, Kendrick, and Phillips is a going to be a tough one to win with a career walk rate of 5.5% (4.9% this year).

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        • TKDC says:

          you’ve got to be fucking kidding, right? Infante might be the best second baseman on any of these teams, but he’s not that good and he was born in 1981.

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      • Aaron says:

        He’s an albatross on defense but he still post above avg WAR from his HRs and BBs alone.

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    • rotowizard says:

      Like the rest of these people said, Jason Kipnis is great RIGHT now, while Buxton is still a bit aways and is not a guarantee to produce as Kip’ has.

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    • Tommy says:

      The Twins wouldn’t but say the Rockies might if they had him instead of Dahl

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    • Tim A says:

      The prospects should be lower. The major telling factor, is that Buxton/Bogaerts + would be required too land most of the players below them on the list, so the value has too be lower as well. JUp would have cost the Sox more this winter then Bogaerts 1 for 1, and I don’t even think he is on this list. They are still just prospects, and this ranking is based on them becoming like 90% of the players we think they will be, and the error bars are way too high for this ranking too hold for current value.

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      • Tim A says:

        This is Trout/Machado/Harper sydrom, with the way they all came on last year, people are now looking at prospects like sure things, its silly SSS, in larger numbers with only elite prospects, the number of misses must be factored in.

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        • Fred says:

          What Tim said. The attrition rate of top 10 prospects is typically 50% (look at Baseball America’s historical lists).

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        • Simon says:

          Except these guys are significantly above average for top 10 prospects, and there are reasons why they are substanitally less likely to bust than average – Bogaerts having had success at AAA, and Buxton having elite skills and being the consensus #1 prospect.

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      • Baltar says:

        What has Justin Upton’s trade value last winter have to do with anybody’s trade value today?

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        • Tim A says:

          Super simple come on. If Bogaerts doesn’t land JUp 1 for 1, then he is worth less then Up. If Upton doesn’t make the list then Bogaerts can’t be worth more. Prospects flame out (especially in the sense that some look like superstars but become regulars). I just don’t think any team in baseball puts that much value on unproven talent, It is a big value booster too play at least 1/2 season, at the MLB level, and produce. Teams won’t trade established for untested, at equal valuations. I would posit that Buxton is worth 40-60% of his projected team control WAR currently (FFS He is in AA, and a lot can happen).

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    • SB says:

      Yeah, I was actually going to say the opposite. I feel like there’s extreme value in a “bird in the hand.” It boggles my mind that Profar is more valuable than Kipnis right now. I guess Profar is an excellent shortstop, so right there he’s got a major leg up on Kipnis. But the best case scenario as far as the bat goes for Profar is Kipnis. I think there’s a problem when a young player in the midst of a breakout is valued below a prospect who in 2 seasons could be nowhere near this list if he doesn’t pan out. But I guess it’s the TRADE value list, and some GMs may value Profar over Kipnis. I tell you what, I’d love dealing with those guys if I was an opposing GM. They can have my prospects all day for their 26-year-old major league studs.

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      • Sleight of Hand Pro says:

        couldnt agree more. i actually disagree with the consensus here and think the prospects are too high on the list, in general anyway. buxton is great with great upside, but hes ahead of guys like craig and santana? 1 spot behind kipnis? hes a great talent, but i remember when they said the same thing about lasting milledge.

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        • Baltar says:

          Lasting Milledge didn’t work out, therefore no prospect will ever work out. That’s your reasoning? What about Trout, Harper, Machado, Stanton and a hundred others since then?

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        • Sleight of Hand Pro says:

          Trout, Harper, Machado, and Stanton worked out, therefore all prospects will always work out. That’s your reasoning? What about Lastings Milledge, Delmon Young, Jeremy Hermida, Ruben Rivera, and hundreds of others?

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        • Slugger27 says:

          LOL. Well played.

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        • Nick says:

          Nice straw man argument, Baltar

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      • Baltar says:

        A difference of one rank on this list is not worth commenting on. It’s a nit.

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        • Scraps says:

          It’s a nit worth commenting on!

          Seriously, when a list of top 50 is made up 1 to 50, as opposed to just 50 not rated, it invites comment as ratings, even as small as 27 to 28, because Dave has put them there: he’s made a small difference, otherwise why?

          Also, you know, we like commenting.

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        • Tim A says:

          Also, I am not debating Profar vs Kipnes placement. I think Kip is about where he should be, and no player with 0-1 service time should be on the list period. I think that there are a few prospect slots here that belong below 75th in trade value. For reference I think the A’s would trade Reddick back too Boston right now, injury, and related underperformance aside, for Bogaerts. Josh Reddick is what he is worth right now.

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    • JT Grace says:

      I think most of the prospects seem really, really overrated.

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    • Balthazar says:

      Tearing up Low A isn’t proof that you’re going to be a dominant major leaguer; rather, it’s a demonstration that you have serious tools in excess of that level of competition. The demonstration that Buxton hit the learning curve in High A only drives that home. I love Buxton’s package. That said, it may be years before he develops much over-the-fence power, if he does at all. Buxton is at least two full years from a major league debut also. To me, he’s more Kenny Lofton than Mike Trout; that’s still a very, very good player. Someday.

      Kipnis is here, now. He has polished skills around those tools. He plays an important defensive position if not nearly as well as Buxton will defend. For a team that has a shot at deep post-season 20-13-2015, Kipnis is definitely the get and Buxton the give. That isn’t Minnesota, or half the teams in the league, but there are organizations which fit that context. It’s all a question of needs.

      Would Atlanta have traded Heyward out of High A for a ‘Kipnis of that time?’ Probably not. Would they trade Heyward of today for Kipnis right now? Yes, I think so. That’s all one needs to know about prospect risk/reward right there.

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    • Ruki Motomiya says:

      I’d make that trade without hesitation.

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  2. Josh says:

    I guess I don’t get it. Does this mean the Sox wouldn’t say yes if Tigers offered Verlander for Bogarts!? I think they would in that unrealistic situation.

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    • Ryan says:

      there are extenuating circumstances in Verlander for Bogaerts. Teams like the Red Sox would always put present value above future value if the two are remotely close because they have such a good chance at winning now. If, say, the Mariners had Bogaerts and you offered them Verlander for him straight up they’d be much less likely to take that trade than the Red Sox would.

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    • jmarsh123 says:

      The Red Sox specifically may make that trade because they are a high revenue team, but there are probably many teams out there that prefer cheap years of Bogarts over the huge contract of Verlander.

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    • LK says:

      Maybe, maybe not. Verlander’s 30 and making huge money for a long time. It would help massively for 2013, but you’ll end up bottoming out pretty hard if you keep making deals like that.

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      • Jason B says:

        Especially after the Gonzalez/Crawford spree/fiasco. They will likely be more reticent to spend huge dollars on free agents well into their 30’s at least for a little while.

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        • LK says:

          I was more speaking in the abstract, but you’re right that Boston specifically may get gun-shy about the massive contracts after their recent history.

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        • Jason B says:

          Ah! Understood. Kinda like the whole trade value construct is more in a vacuum, not saying any specific team would or would not deal any specific player.

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    • Ray says:

      I think Dave has said this before but this series isn’t about ‘would Team X trade player 1 to Team Y for player 2′. The Sox might very well part with Bogaerts for Verlander given their team needs, the standings and weakening a direct competitor. Would the Marlins, or Padres, or any of dozens of other teams make that same swap?

      No…what Dave’s trying to do is to look at these players in a vacuum of sorts–take their contracts and production and evaluate them without any outside team dynamics coming into play.

      If your point is that team X wouldn’t trade Verlander to team Y for Bogaerts, then my answer is that I’m not sure they would. First, Bogaerts isn’t the only unproven player ahead of Verlander, with Correa, Myers, Profar and Buxton all making the list as well. But Bogaerts looks ML-ready at this point, he’s 20 years old with six years of team control and a number of years where his surplus value could be huge. A lot depends on 1) how highly you rate Bogaerts, and 2) how much faith you put in mL numbers and scouting reports. But given their contracts and putting team dynamics aside, I’d trade Verlander for Bogaerts right now.

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    • rogue_actuary says:

      I don’t think the Sox would touch that deal. They enjoyed their get-out-of-jail-free ticket with the Dodgers last summer.

      Going forward, I’m not sure that the Verlander’s present value is even positive, given all the money he’ll be making.

      There is a bias in these big contracts in that the player signing the contract is rarely injured, or was rarely recently injured. Verlander has been extremely healthy, but even the best and most durable pitchers aren’t immune from substantial injuries.

      Think of how his contract would look if he was only injured for a total of 1 year out of the entire duration of his agreement. And, with pitchers, doesn’t losing one year out of every six or seven seem about right?

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    • Wally says:

      I am with Josh. Kipnis especially seems too high. It just doesn’t seem like the teams of many of the players from 50-30 would trade them straight up for some of these guys like Kipnis. And if they all have extenuating circumstances like the Red Sox valuing present over future, then isn’t it no longer reflecting actual market value?

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    • Tommy says:

      Would the Cardinals trade Bogaerts for Verlander if they had the option? I don’t think they would given contract and positional scarcity.

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      • Dauber says:

        What an odd speculation.
        I think Man United would, but the Everton Chevrolet Tigers LIttle League All-Stars would not.

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        • GO TIGERS! says:

          Are you kidding?! The ECTLLAS are in desperate need of starting pitchers this year. Add in that their tee-ball farm teams are barren of serviceable arms, and you can see that they have every reason to pursue Verlander.

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    • Baltar says:

      Don’t forget that you have to pay the players. How good a player is is only one consideration in this list.

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    • Balthazar says:

      I don’t think that the Sox do Bogaerts for Verlander, period. And I’m not sold on Bogaerts’ ceiling in saying that. Great position players are simply worth more than great starting pitchers, however important the latter are. I think the Sox understand that better having done HanRam for a great pitcher. Yeah, that pitcher really helped short-term—then really hurt long-term. It isn’t so much the money; but then again, the Sox have been boxed into huge money on the wrong guys. The Sox have sung that song before, all the way through to the refrain.

      I do think the Sox do two of Cecchini, Bradley, and Barnes for Verlander; or all three. Pennants and rings do matter, and Verlander might make those happen. But Bogaerts; no. Six years of team control of his potential matter too much to give up for one good Saturday night run, and then a looonnnng Monday morning after.

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  3. The other Kyle says:

    It’s definitely close — and not much to haggle over — but shouldn’t Profar be ranked below Bogaerts due to the whole lacking “superstar upside” piece that Dave mentions?

    Dave, did the fact that Profar is already in the majors play into it at all? Of course, the “already doing it in the bigs” rationale is generally reserved for those who are performing well (which Profar has yet to do).

    Otherwise, all other things being considered — age, position, team control — are equal. But again, Bogaerts appears to be viewed by most as having (far?) more upside.

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    • andy s says:

      This is my question as well. There’s a half-year age difference and the lack of positional uncertainty in favor of Profar, along with a more extensive minor league track record. But if you buy Boegarts as a SS, he has a much higher offensive ceiling and arguably a similar floor.

      If you gave me the choice, I would take Boegarts, but I can see different organizations making different decisions.

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    • Joel says:

      I believe Profar projects higher because no one doubts his ability to stay at SS. Bogaerts has improved defensively, but it not a sure thing to stick at SS>

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      • The other Kyle says:

        By that same token, though, doesn’t Profar stand to be downgraded slightly due to his positional uncertainty should he remain with Texas? Just because he’s capable of sticking at SS doesn’t mean he’ll play there and accrue that position’s value.

        And Baltar, no one’s arguing, and if you don’t find it worthy of discussing, then why are you participating in it? The slight nature of the difference was noted in the OP, but the distinction is seemingly exacerbated by the fact that they appeared in the same article.

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    • Baltar says:

      Sigh. A couple of places in the ranking is not worth arguing about.

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      • Scraps says:

        People disagree. If you think a couple of places in the ranking is not worth arguing about, well, go on; why argue about what things are worth arguing?

        Now you’ve got me arguing about what things are worth arguing. Turtles all the way down.

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  4. Rod says:

    Nitpick regarding Moore’s contract; if the 1st option is declined and the buy-out is paid; the remaining option years/buy-outs are null and void. So if Moore’s options are all declined it would cost $11.5 for the remaining 3 guaranteed years.

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  5. JoshEngleman says:

    I’ll disagree with Buxton over Bogaerts here. Bogaerts has been raking for the past two years. He’s only one year older than Buxton and will at least be able to handle SS for the better part of his cost controlled years. He has a 144 wRC+ as a 19 year old in A+ last year, the same level that Buxton has just reached. I don’t think the gap in talent between the two offsets the time value of having Bogaerts right now.

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  6. Frank Pembleton says:

    I wonder how many teams will have NO players on this top 50 list

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    • Los says:

      I would guess around 8

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    • PraiseTrout says:

      I can’t remember all the players mentioned so far, and I don’t feel like looking too indepth.

      Phillies for sure because Dom Brown was an honorable mention. Unless Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels somehow make it, which I doubt since they are pitchers with big contracts.

      Maybe the Padres, unless Cabrera or Gyorko somehow sneak on which I doubt.

      Yankees, since no Cano.

      Astros if no Altuve or Castro?

      I’d say Mets if Wright’s contract is too big but i’d bet he’s on

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      • db says:

        You are also forgetting Matt Harvey, who is going to be on and probably higher than Wright.

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      • Los says:

        If we combine the best and the worst lists, the Yankees and Phillies will both be represented.

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      • TKDC says:

        I’d say: Yankees, Phillies, A’s, Padres, Astros.

        I think Harvey for the Mets, right?

        Which by the way, the A’s are 56-39 with a tiny payroll and no top-50 trade pieces (which are mostly young, good players).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • PraiseTrout says:

          Ya, Cespedes was an honorable mention and I completely forgot about that

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Tim A says:

          JD may make the list, and I would think Cook, Reddick, Ces, all have decent value. The A’s need someone to sustain a breakout, and get locked up on an extension too hit trade value. Also they always end up with SP that have value, since they are always trading those away. If all these prospects are this high, you would also have to think Russell is nipping at the back end of the 50 by comparison, but I wouldn’t put any prospect above around 75th on the list, all named included.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Izzy Hechkoff says:

        Given that Braun, Tulo and Kemp were very high last year, I’d be surprised if DW doesn’t make it. Also, Harvey will almost certainly be top 10.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • scottiedawg says:

        Agree on all points.
        FYI, Gyorko and Everth were honorable mentions.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • PraiseTrout says:

          Like I said, I kinda just ballparked it. If I had to do it over, I would say

          Yankees
          Astros
          Phillies
          Padres
          A’s
          Reds

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Terence says:

        With Altuve’s new extension he should certainly be on this list. I don’t know if Dave had enough time to react to the extension though before the publication of the list began.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • scottiedawg says:

      Teams currently with zero: Marlins, Astros, Rockies, Mets, Angels, Mariners, White Sox, Orioles, Padres, Athletics, Phillies, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, Reds.

      Teams that should get one: Angels, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Mets, White Sox, Orioles, Giants, Mariners, Dodgers…..

      Which leaves:
      Astros–Altuve or a prospect probably most valuable
      Rockies–Maybe Cargo, but he’s owed a lot of money
      Padres–no one
      Athletics–Parker, Reddick, Milone, Crisp–all unlikely
      Phillies–no one
      Yankees–no one
      Reds–Frazier, Leake, Cozart….doubt it

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • PraiseTrout says:

        Rockies could have Arenado as well. A’s I missed. Forgot Cespedes has an HM. Chapman or Bruce for the Reds? Seems highly unlikely.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Kyzslew77 says:

          I am a big Rockies fan, but Arenado doesn’t belong on this list. (Or belong on this list YET, says the optimistic side of me.)

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Mcneildon says:

          Despite his contract, I have to imagine Joey Votto is on the list considering that Dave has said that there isn’t as much of a penalty anymore for star players with big contracts.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Mcneildon says:

          Ooops. I probably should have read the honorable mention piece before I posted that. Votto is not on the list.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Professor Ross Eforp says:

        Cargo was 27 on the list last year, and he has been unreal this year.

        He isn’t really owed that much money. In fact, I would say he is in kind of a sweet spot for a big money guy. He is still only 27 years old and owed $64MM + the remainder of his $7.5MM salary for ~4.5 years.

        That’s a lot of coin, but that is an infinitely better contract than for a guy like Verlander.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt says:

        Tulo as well. Lots of money, but also the best SS in baseball. And the deal isn’t so bad with the direction salaries are moving. He was #11 last year.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Professor Ross Eforp says:

          Tulo is under control until 2021 at basically $20MM per (and last year is an option year). Yeah, that’s pretty good.

          He has an interesting clause in his contract that I don’t know that I have ever seen: he may be traded only once during his contract.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kyzslew77 says:

        In addition to Cargo, Tulo will be on there. Yes, big contract. Yes, health issues (which are overstated anyways). But baseball history is not exactly littered with elite defensive shortstops who can get on base and hit for power.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Travis L says:

          Tulo is very good, but he has missed >25% of games in the past 6 years. I think that’s a pretty significant hit to his value.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Kyzslew77 says:

          No one says that isn’t true–doesn’t change the fact that he’s got more trade value than everyone listed so far. If he played 162 games every year he’d be more valuable than he is. But he’s still really damn valuable.

          Imagine Kipnis is a solid defensive shortstop in addition to being the solid defensive 2B he already is. The Indians call up the Rockies and offer him straight up for Tulowitzki. The only sound coming from the Denver end of the phone call would be laughter.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ivdown says:

      I’m wondering how long until we see Puig on this list. I thought he would be in the 40s, but I think it’s more believable that he’s still to come than not having made the list, and I don’t recall seeing him on the “just missed” post.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • scottiedawg says:

        You can project Puig for 3.5 WAR per year (as opposed to his 6-7+ current pace), and still have him as a top 20 most valuable player. He’s owed only 36 million over 5 years, starting in 2014. Of course he can opt for abitration after a few years, which may net him 5-10 extra mil.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • TKDC says:

          Puig is also absolutely tearing it up right now, which if you are talking about trade value is very important. Who would make a huge immediate impact right now. That’s why I really don’t think these prospects are correctly rated, especially guys not close to the bigs.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Jurickson Buxton says:

    this is all habbardashary! who are these fellas? I wouldn’t trade ballpark garlic fries for these people, also Michael Young

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Professor Ross Eforp says:

    Trout has to remain as number one, right? How unreal is that guy? He is going to be halfway to a Hall of Fame peak at the age of 22!

    I’m not going to project anything out, but wa wa wee wah.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • scottiedawg says:

      He’s produced 15.6 WAR over his last 1065 PAs….just crazy. And 4 more years of team control I think? He could be worth in excess of 150 million. Doubt anyone else is worth more than 100 million, unless you’re aggressive with projections for Harvey, Machado, Puig, or Harper.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Professor Ross Eforp says:

        We never know about internal discussions, but I still can’t believe that the Angels didn’t jump all over extending him.

        I mean, I would think that shovelling him a few million dollars the next few years instead of $500K would go a long way in buying some arbitration years.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tim A says:

        I am not positive, but I think this might be year one, with when they called him up, so he might be around for 5.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bubba says:

      Yeah, this is basically a countdown to Mike Trout.

      I would guess Harper #2, Machado #3. Might even flip those 2, given positional difference.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. pudieron89 says:

    “Soon enough, though, Moore is going to have to start throwing strikes. As the stuff erodes, it will get harder and harder to compensate for all the walks, and the cheap years are going to start disappearing sooner than later.”

    Really, Dave? Matt Moore is a pitcher in decline at 24 years old because he had a 2 mph velocity drop from his rookie season? This is a laughable, shallow assessment of one of the best young lefthanded pitchers in the game of baseball.

    -23 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bubba says:

      Pretty harsh reaction after Moore was named the 30th most valuable player in the game (in terms of trade value). In other words… Dave doesn’t think he sucks.

      +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Caveman Jones says:

      If by “one of the best young lefthanded pitchers in the game of baseball” you mean slightly above average to this point in his career (94/97/103 ERA-/FIP-xFIP-) then yes, I agree with you. But velocity loss is usually a red flag for pitchers indicating injury or declining results ahead. Dave is absolutely right about him needing to cut down on his walks if he wants to make the jump from average to good.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • pudieron89 says:

        Neither of you addressed my complaint, which is that Dave apparently thinks Moore’s arm is falling off at age 24 (“as the stuff erodes…”). Just an awful, shallow assessment from all of you that take this stuff as gospel. A quick look at the game logs shows that outside of 3 horrendous starts against the Rangers, Tigers (first start after rain delay wasted his start @CLE), and Blue Jays, his control problems are pretty much nonexistent. All pitchers have bad starts and Moore’s shown that he can post above-average numbers and peripherals in the best division in baseball. With a team friendly contract, yes, he is much better than 30 on this silly trade ranking, and absolutely one of the best young lefthanded pitchers in the game.

        All of you that pull the ERA/FIP/xFIP stat line and consider yourself a knowledgable fan need to take a step further and look at what makes up those numbers if you don’t want to come off as topical and incompetent.

        -14 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • jruby says:

          So, here’s my question for you: do you think he’s going to get that velocity back?

          It’s not a perfect comparison, but I think of the relationship between a pitcher’s ability and his stuff as similar to the relationship between a base stealer’s ability and his speed. Both the speed and the pure stuff are probably at their peak during the pitcher’s/base stealer’s first year or two in the majors. Inevitably, stuff and speed fall off. But saying “Moore’s stuff will decline” or “Starling Marte’s probably going to lose some speed on the basepaths” doesn’t mean you don’t think that player’s going to be awesome for years to come.

          In fact, the placement at 30 here means that, pretty much, Dave – or, at least, a whole bunch of GMs – believe that Moore *WILL* make up for the loss of velocity and stuff in the normal way that really good pitchers do so, like walking fewer guys.

          I just don’t get your complaint here. I think you’re delusional. Thirtieth is high praise.

          +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • pudieron89 says:

          I understand the ranking as well as the praise. Where I take umbrage is the unfounded statement that Moore’s stuff is going to erode and/or that he has major control problems. I myself, and others have pointed this out too, believe that he may be taking a mile or two per hour off his fastball in order to work later in to games, which he’s done with success so far: going at least 6 innings in starts in 18/31 in 2012, that number is already 12/19 in 2013.

          Another point in that regard is that Moore is a notoriously slow starter– throughout the minor leagues, last season, and again this season when he looked terrible at times in June. Maybe that’s something he learns to mitigate in the future, but I’m expecting a much improved second half this season because that’s what we’ve come to expect from him. He was a 2.5 WAR pitcher over ~180 innings last season and he should be at least 4 this season, with cost/years controlled through this teams next playoff window.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • scottiedawg says:

          over the last two years, among players with 250 IP, Moore has the 3rd highest BB/9. Maybe that’s not what you define as a control problem, but that’s a lot more walks, compared to his peers.

          I don’t have any info on the MPH issue, so can’t comment.

          +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Sparkles Peterson says:

          Evidence that Moore’s physical abilities will erode with time: The fact that it happened to the first 108 billion human beings who lived.

          +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Facts, schmacts says:

          You and your BB/9 stats! If you exclude all those starts where he walked a bunch of dudes, his numbers compare very favorably with most other starters.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • pudieron89 says:

          Pitchers don’t peak at 23/24. Sorry, try again.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Dauber says:

          pudieron89: You are right, some peak even earlier, see Gooden, Doc, et all.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • elgato7664 says:


          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • elgato7664 says:

          html fail…

          http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4897&position=P

          (it’s a link to Scott Kazmir who was 24 in 2008)

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jason B says:

          I also liked how he sidestepped the blatantly obvious item that clearly contradicted the “control problems? What control problems?!” canard:

          “over the last two years, among players with 250 IP, Moore has the 3rd highest BB/9″

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • pudieron89 says:

          I’m getting piled on by a bunch of fangraphs sycophants that can’t think for themselves. That’s fine, you can all parrot BB/9 for now despite his track record of great control in the high minors and being better in the second half of the season. Not only that, but his fastball velocity has been increasing each start since the beginning of the season. Pointing to one or two pitchers who flamed out after strong starts to their careers does not disprove anything I’ve said and adds nothing to the discussion. You can bet on young pitching prospects to flame out and be right most of the time, who fucking cares.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Fred says:

      Not sure if serious.

      A 2 mph decrease is very significant for a Major League starting pitcher where there is little margin for error. What if Moore loses 2 more mph over the next year or two? That’s a serious issue when you consider than he has zero control (one of the worst walk rates in the game).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      Where do you get that Dave said he’s in decline? Look up that word in a dictionary. Either your vocabulary or your reading comprehension needs a lot of work.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. kwk9 says:

    Past one calendar year:
    Kyle Seager – 5.5 WAR
    Jason Kipnis – 4.1 WAR

    Seager is younger. This list just isn’t that well thought out.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • LK says:

      Or it could also be based on more than the past one calendar year.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • kwk9 says:

        OK, go back farther! Seager and Kipnis are objectively very similar talents, but one is not on the list and one is #27.

        My guess as to what happened here is 1) Dave has underrated Seager from the very start and is stubbornly sticking to his low valuation of him, and 2) He kept Seager off the list to fend off accusations of homer-ism.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Baltar says:

          Was Seagar on the close-but-no-cigar list? If not, he may still be coming–probably should be.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • He was on the close but no cigar list.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Scraps says:

          He kept Seager off the list to fend off accusations of homer-ism.

          Great. Dave can’t win. Either he is a homer or his “list just isn’t that well thought out.”

          Maybe your criticism isn’t well thought out.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • kwk9 says:

          Yeah, I got carried away a bit there. I’ve been a huge Dave Cameron fan for years and I respect his analysis more than any other baseball media person out there. I guess I just want to know what I’m missing here. And I do think he’s been overly bearish (at least publicly) on M’s talent since #6org.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Scraps says:

          Okay. I probably got carried away with my last sentence, too.

          I do think you’re mind-reading Dave, even now (with your last sentence).

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • That Guy says:

          He listed Seager as an “Underpowered Corner” and suggested that had he developed his value (not added to it, persay) via the HR, he would have made the list.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • PraiseTrout says:

      He’s saying the market would pay more for a middle of the diamond player, especially since Seager likely isn’t a 30+ HR CIF long-term, which is what GMs want

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • kwk9 says:

        Seager is a 2B who was thrown at a 3B need and played himself into a starting role. There have never been any questions with his ability to play 2B.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ivan Grushenko says:

      3.7 of Seager’s 5.5 WAR is from 2013, and it’s possible that it will be revised when more reliable park factors are determined. Not that this means that Kipnis is more valuable, just that I don’t buy Seattle or San Diego players’ WAR as is without a mental adjustment up for pitchers and down for hitters.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • kwk9 says:

        Look at Seager’s road split – he crushes it on the road. Anyway, I’m not saying the WAR numbers are all that precise here or that Seager is substantially better than Kipnis.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Marcus A. says:

        Actually, the new park factors already adjusted Seager down. He went down from 3.8 to 3.5 the day Appelman announced new park factors. in fact with how heavily they’re regressing safeco and petco towards the mean rather than towards their old selves it’s possible his current WAR is underrating him rather than overrating him.

        Still debatable about whether he should be on the list, but if you’re marking him down more than he already has for the park factors rather than just assuming natural regression I think it’s something to reconsider.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nick says:

      Mariners fan, perhaps?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Theodore says:

      Matt Carpenter should also be on this list.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. pudieron89 says:

    Bogaerts as a “prospect only in the sense that he hasn’t reached the majors” is a joke. Yes, he’s a valuable young player but you’re kidding yourself by saying a player who hasn’t yet reached the majors and is hitting merely above average against AAA pitching is a franchise cornerstone player. Let’s see him handle ML pitching before we crown him the next Garciaparra.

    -17 Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Mikey J says:

    Bogaerts > Buxton … SS > OF

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nick says:

      Cameron basically said as much. He’s trying to reflect the groupthink of the “prospect community” (i.e. let Baseball America do all the work for us and then make a list)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

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