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  1. Toronto was ranked low-ish last season and I think it was appropriate but fully knew they would likely be one of the teams that could JUMP the most in the rankings coming into 2011.

    Some of these bottom teams (besides Houston) could possibly do the same.

    So far, the list has been very accurate.

    Comment by tdotsports1 — March 22, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

  2. “…the young talent coming up in the pipelines right now isn’t as elite as it has been in the past.”

    Well said. The Marlins may not be hopeless, but I don’t see a whole lot of Hanleys and Miggys and Johnsons about to break onto the scene there. Dominguez may mature into a fine player, but a potential 6+ win player does not look to be in his cards.

    Comment by adam b — March 22, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

  3. haterz

    Comment by Cloud Computer — March 22, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  4. I concur. Depending on where other teams fall in the rankings, I might put the Marlins higher on current talent, but the other categories seem pretty accurate.

    Comment by gnomez — March 22, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  5. I know he isn’t a rookie anymore but 21 year old Mike Stanton is just scratching the surface of what he can become. He can be a +6 win player you’re talking about. Those types just don’t grow on trees,and they just promoted one. You don’t expect them to have five or six more in the system, do you?

    Comment by Ty — March 22, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  6. Fair enough, Stanton is a stud.

    Comment by adam b — March 22, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

  7. I don’t think I expect another stable of Stantons, but I also don’t think that the current talent is enough to contend without another few high-end prospects… or some FA money spent.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 22, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  8. I agree with Eno. The Marlins have quite a few interesting players but they really need another front end SP, a relief ace, and a center fielder if they have aspirations of contending. The worst part is that this is a pretty small laundry list of needs (though scarcity play in to all of them) yet we can all be reasonably certain the Marlins won’t spend the 30ish mil required to settle them.

    It’s too bad, the NL East looks remarkably winnable this year. Waiting for the Mets to get back on their feet and the Nats to start filling the seats is a poor decision if the goal is to make the playoffs. (that’s ignoring all those shiny prospects in ATL).

    Comment by Brad Johnson — March 22, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  9. With the promised but not yet fulfilled change of title from “Minor League Talent” to “Future Talent,” the Marlins may be better than rated–Johnson, Nolasco, Stanton, Morrison, Coghlan, G. Sanchez, A. Sanchez, Dominguez.

    Comment by HuskerGiant — March 22, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  10. Not sure i can agree with a ranking this low for the Marlins. Obviously, their financial resources are going to put them always near the bottom, but I still like them better than a few other also-rans. They won 80 games last season, won 87 in 2009, and won 84 in 2008. They’re putting together .500-and-better teams on the super cheap, and a sufficient amount of luck puts a team like that into the playoffs. Sometimes you can win a division with just 84-87 wins.

    Where are they right now? I like them just a hair better than the Mets and Nationals, so I think they’ve got a good chance to finish third in the NL East again, with some from 80-85 wins (BP has them at 84). There’s definitely some holes there, like the scramble to find anything above replacement level to stick at third base.

    But they have Hanley Ramirez, who should be a 5-6 WAR player, and you can expect another 5-6 WAR out of Josh Johnson. Toss in 3.5 WAR from Mike Stanton, 3.5 from Nolasco, and around two from Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, Javier Vazquez, and Chris Coghlan, and you have a really solid looking team. A bit of good luck and some injuries to Atlanta and/or Philadelphia, and this team could make the playoffs (BP has playoff odds at 22.7%). Clearly, these rankings are aimed at beyond just this year, but they look stable for the next season or two as well. I think teams like the Nationals, Royals, Mariners, Orioles, and Indians would GLADLY take 22% playoff odds with a stable core.

    Of course, making the playoffs doesn’t exactly change this team’s reality. They’ve won before without selling out the stadium. Marlins baseball has never earned a reputation as a must-see event. So maybe I’m missing on the goal of organizational success. I still see a team that looks to hover around a 1-in-5 chance to make the playoffs this year and the next 2-3 with young (developed) talent. I would take that in a heartbeat over Cleveland, Baltimore, and maybe even Kansas City.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 22, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  11. That ownership group is not my favorite, but the overall org is way better than 27th. They are mired in mediocrity, yes, and don’t look poised to move up from that, but shouldn’t the ranking reflect that kind of not too hot, not too cold consistency?

    Comment by bflaff — March 22, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  12. They changed what they’re calling it, but not how they’re evaluating it. It’s basically “The Major League Team” and “The Farm System.” I feel like they’re missing greatly on teams that have young, developed talent. Marlins are a good example of this. Supposedly, any considerations about developed talent under future organizational control falls under the “Current Talent” header, but I don’t see it playing out here.

    Frankly, I feel they missed out in two ways there. I like the Marlins’ talent a tad better than 19th this year. Maybe 17th. I see them winning more games than some AL teams with better talent, as well, so they could have the 14th or 15th best record this season. And a lot of their talent is cost controlled-they’ll still have basically the same talent in place for 2014. Gaby Sanchez and Chris Coghlan clearly aren’t stars, but they are pretty good players.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 22, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  13. Agreed. The more I think about it, the more I feel this is a pretty bad miss. I’d have them at 24th.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 22, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

  14. Posted before I finished my thought. I’d have them at 24th, maybe even a bit higher. Even at 24th, they’d be much closer to 23rd than 25th.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 22, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  15. “I feel this is a pretty bad miss. I’d have them at 24th.”

    Missing a totally subjective ranking by three notches out of 30 I don’t think would qualify as a “bad miss”. If FG has them at 27th and you have them at 12th, or vice-versa, I would agree.

    Comment by Jason B — March 22, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

  16. Did they really “miss” on Cabrera, or did they just not want to pay him? They certainly missed on the return for him, granted.

    Comment by Jim — March 22, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  17. 1) I feel it would be better if they made it totally subjective. I feel like they’ve lost something this year by trying to quantify certain aspects of it.

    2) I guess being 10% wrong could qualify as close. But still, i could very easily see the Marlins at 23rd or 22nd, even, much easier than 27th. I think it’s pretty terrible that they’re behind Cleveland, who I think will have a really bad team both this year and next year, while the Marlins appear to have respectable talent for the next 3-4 years.

    Maybe I’m looking at this with an improper scope-the Marlins could end up being really terrible when Stanton hits arbitration and Hanley’s and Josh Johnson’s contracts expire. But then, there’s too much uncertainty out that far for me to know much about anything, except that the Yankees will probably outspend everyone.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 22, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

  18. That’s the point he was making, clearly. He said they usually acquire good trade value, but the return on Cabrera was pretty sparse given his hitting ability.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 22, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  19. Which of these is not like the other.? Astros, Pirates, Dbacks, Royals, Indians, Marlins.
    One of these teams has been consistently competitive for the last seven years, winning a championship eight years ago. One of these has a brand new jewel of a ballpark opening next year bringing in 30 to 40 million dollars of added revenue (premium seating is already sold out). One of these has a young proven MVP candidate. One of these has a young proven Cy Young candidate. One of these has a 21 year old who hits baseballs so hard they knock over fielders who dare get in the way, when not leaving the park. One of these has young major league proven talent already in place throughout. I don’t know, who could it be?

    I cannot fathom the lack of awareness here, I expect this from other sites. Epic fail here.

    Comment by JLR — March 22, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

  20. I doubt we are not aware of the players on this team.

    Perhaps they should be higher for present talent, based on faithcasting some of their young players – and beyond Stanton and Johnson, I do believe it’s faithcasting – but 19th is not terrible. The minors don’t have much and the team spends the third-least on salaries, so those rankings seem okay. Current financials are not good, and ballparks don’t always mean the cache starts rolling in – ask Pittsburgh.

    I agree with some of the commenters that perhaps they could be a tiny bit higher, but I don’t believe this is some incredible lack of awareness. Perhaps you have your ‘friend’ eye on.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 22, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

  21. Perhaps it is homerism, I grant that. However, my main point is the Marlins are nothing at all like the teams below them and so far are nothing like the 2 in front. If this is a ranking based on present and future success, there aren’t that many teams in front of them, in my humble opinion. You’re giving too much weight to what’s left in the minors when its not that important right now to them, the talent has graduated to the majors. But it is of paramount importance to teams like the Bucs, Astros, Dbacks, Royals, and of course the Mariners. Payroll will go up AS NEEDED. Thats what you’re not seeing as well. All I’m saying is you need to view the Marlins through a different prism, the new park is already a game changer for them. Again, they are not like the others. Also please spare me the PNC comp, opening a new park and putting a crap team on field year after year is no comparison to what the Marlins have right now.

    Comment by JLR — March 22, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

  22. I don’t think it’s JUST faithcasting. I think the Marlins should be expected to post a win total this year somewhere in the low 80s, maybe topping out around 87 unless things get REALLY whacky. Wins and talent aren’t always precisely correlated, with the differences in leagues and schedule difficulty, but I’m having a really hard time finding 18 teams I like better for just next year. Just having a lot of cost controlled players beyond 2011 seems like it should carry its own value.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 22, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

  23. “It’s too bad, the NL East looks remarkably winnable this year. Waiting for the Mets to get back on their feet and the Nats to start filling the seats is a poor decision if the goal is to make the playoffs. (that’s ignoring all those shiny prospects in ATL).”

    I feel like you’re missing something here. Oh, wait, the 4-time defending NL East champions? They might not be as good as the hype, but please don’t pretend like the Phillies aren’t the class of the division. Yes, they’re getting older, but they also have the #5 farm system in baseball according to Keith Law and have the financial resources to fill other holes. This is just pure ignorance.

    Comment by Jimmy the Greek — March 22, 2011 @ 11:57 pm

  24. Here’s the thing. The Marlins project as something like an 80-win team for the near future. That’s fine–a lot better than some of the teams that will rank ahead of them.

    The problem is that’s ALL they can project to, because they don’t have an ownership that cares about winning. Would you rather have a 70-win team that is rebuilding with the potential to build a real 90+ win team in the future, or a consistent 80-win team? You’d take the former.

    The ranking is defensible. Easily.

    Comment by Jimmy the Greek — March 23, 2011 @ 12:00 am

  25. Obviously Philly is the class of the division at the moment, but you have to admit that even with the historically great starting rotation, their offense sans Werth and Utley looks positively Mets circa 2009. Valdez, Castillo, Gload, Ibanez, Francisco, etc. all potentially getting 100s of at bats honestly has disaster-season written all over it. What’s more, according to their GM, they don’t have any financial flexibility at all at the moment. So yeah, they are looking kinda combustible from where I sit as well.

    Comment by BurleighGrimes — March 23, 2011 @ 2:15 am

  26. “I guess being 10% wrong could qualify as close.”

    In a totally subjective ranking of 30 things, using totally subjective methodology, being off by 3 notches *would* qualify as close.

    /fixed/

    (Always cracks me up how in, say, NFL power rankings, Team X’s fans will hoot, howl, and moan about being ranked, say, 5th. “We should’ve been ahead of Team Y!” they cry. “We should have been 3rd or 4th!” I mean…really? Joe Superfan is worried that ‘his team’ was immensely, crushingly, and embarrasingly disrespected in a rating system that means nothing and counts for nothing? Love it.)

    Comment by Jason B — March 24, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

  27. The ownership cares about winning in the short to medium term. If you look at the Marlins, you have a couple veterans signed to long-term deals, and a bunch of guys who are going to be in rookie contracts/arbitration for years to come. If they can lock up the core of their pitching staff, who exactly are they going to lose any time soon?

    I mean, yeah, some of their stars might walk in 3-4 years when they hit free agency, or be traded for prospects at that time. Name a small-market team you CAN’T say that about.

    Comment by ECN — March 29, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

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