Here is the introduction to the DMB (Diamond Mind Baseball) Trade Value series.
20) CF/RF Josh Hamilton (L) – Age: 29
Quick Take: Hamilton appeared ready to take his place among the game’s elite after a stellar 2008 campaign (.530 SLG%, .385 wOBA) but things quickly turned south in 2009 as Josh struggled through injuries and a season long slump. Well 2010 has answered any potential questions, and then some, Hamilton is having a career year and hitting for power (.277 ISO, .637 SLG%, .448 wOBA) and though his average is being propped by a .395 BABIP, he has cut his strikeouts down marginally year over year. An average fielder, he still qualifies at CF which is a bonus. If not for the injuries and shaky past would have ranked much higher.
DMB PRO: huge lefty slugger destroys right handed pitching, qualifies at CF
DMB CON: scary past life struggles, doesn’t hit lefties well, plays at hitter’s park, average defender, what is his true talent level?
19) 1B Joey Votto (L) – Age: 27
Quick Take: Has put up monster numbers throughout his young career and currently sports a huge .438 wOBA for the Reds as their first basemen. Plays solid defense and is in the early stages of his prime seasons. Would have ranked much higher but there are a ton of great 1B and this takes away from some of his value, also some DMB leagues allow ANY player to man first base regardless of if they are rated there or not.
DMB PRO: huge power/on-base combo, good defense
DMB CON: hitter’s park and only a first basemen
18) SP Tim Lincecum (R) – Age: 26
Quick Take: Though I think the ‘best pitcher in baseball’ tag might be removed after a more pedestrian 2010 (3.48 xFIP, 3.80 ERA) the ‘freak’ is still among the game’s best arms with a still solid 9.4 K/9, 30.9 o-swing % and one of baseball’s best changeups. However, his value has taken a hit as he finally looks human after years of utter domination, playing in a pitchers park and a rising BB rate (3.6 BB/9) hurt his overall DMB value but we will give him another season to get back to his old form before starting to officially panic.
DMB PRO: strong strikeout numbers
DMB CON: rising BB rate and pitches in a pitchers park
17) 2B Dustin Pedroia (R) – Age: 27
Quick Take: The pesky little second basemen has been a solid player since entering the league in 2006 and 2010 has been a solid but injury riddle season. Increased power (.205 ISO) along with his rock solid defending at the scarce position of 2B give him immense value going forward. Probably has reached the apex of his career and will likely never rank higher than this given the propensity for 2B to literally fall off a cliff in their mid to early 30s but for now, a hitter in the midst of his prime.
DMB PRO: good defense, solid bat for a 2B
DMB CON: Fenway takes away some of his hitting value
16) 1B Adrian Gonzalez (L) – Age: 28
Quick Take: A monster with the bat given that he plays at PetCo park in San Diego, career .224 ISO and .508 SLG, his stats are hugely magnified in a neutral ballpark and he is a DMB machine if your team plays in a hitters park. Gonzalez provides solid defense and as long as he keeps producing at this clip in San Diego will be among the best hitters in DMB. Keep an eye on his impending free agency.
DMB PRO: huge power numbers in the worst hitting park in the majors, good defense
DMB CON: only a 1B
15) C Buster Posey (R) – Age: 23
Quick Take: Posey has been everything he was advertised as and more, posting a .374 wOBA so far in 2010. A few question marks remain in terms of where Posey will end up playing position wise, if he is a catcher the sky is the limit in terms of his value, if he sticks at 1B, he won’t see this list again. There have been no indications that he won’t be a fulltime catcher so for now, all systems go and stock way up. His numbers likely won’t be this gaudy with a full rigorous season behind the plate, but he might also see improvements in BB rate (currently only 5.6%) and this is only his first full season in the bigs.
DMB PRO: great numbers for a catcher in a pitchers park
DMB CON: positional questions, will he stick at C?
14) RF Jason Heyward (L) – Age: 21
Quick Take: A 21 year old rookie shouldn’t be posting the insane numbers that Heyward currently has put up, sporting a solid .197 ISO and .379 wOBA Heyward has shown every indication that stardom is in his very immediate future, if not already.
DMB PRO: solid power, good fielder
DMB CON: growing pains of youth, must learn to hit lefties
13) SS Troy Tulowitzki (R) – Age: 26
Quick Take: One of the better all around players in the bigs, Tulo has solid power (career .190 ISO, .362 wOBA)) and plays a mean shortstop defensively. Injury concerns have started to creep up and playing in Coors Field definitely hurts his overall value in DMB, however given the lack of options at SS he is among the game’s most valuable players in spite of a few flaws.
DMB PRO: good hitting/fielding shortstop
DMB CON: Coors Field, lack of patience hurt his overall DMB value
12) SP Ubaldo Jimenez (R) – Age: 26
Quick Take: A 26 year old pitcher with a 3.14 FIP, 8.2 K/9, 50% gb rate, 1.13 WHIP and 0.41 HR/9 would be one of the best pitchers in the game no matter where he pitched, but when you take into consideration the home park of Coors Field, it takes it to a whole other level. Jimenez has simply developed into one of baseball’s best pitchers and might be the best pitcher in DMB given the park factors of Coors Field. Just entering his prime years, Jimenez appears poised to become one of DMBs best hurlers for the next 5-6 season, possesses the hardest fastball in baseball (96.2 MPH).
DMB PRO: good strikeout numbers, solid ground ball/homerun rate and pitches in an extreme hitters park
DMB CON: high-ish walk rate
11) 2B Chase Utley (L) – Age: 32
Quick Take: Contradictory I know as I knocked Pedroia for being close to his early 30s and here I am ranking Utley as one of the best overall players in the game, and for good reason. Utley has been a model of good health until this season (given his age, there is slight concern going forward) and his career .387 wOBA, .222 ISO, .379 OBP and amazing defense at the thin position of 2B is absolutely insane. Utley is definitely deserving of such a high ranking and should be counted among the game’s best hitters for the next 2-3 season at least.
DMB PRO: great all around hitter/defender at weak position
DMB CON: is hitting the age some second basemen turn into pumpkins, hitter’s park