Here is the introduction to the DMB (Diamond Mind Baseball) Trade Value series.
30) 3B Adrian Beltre (R) – Age: 31
Quick Take: A defensive wizard at 3B and a power bat to boot, Beltre gives you everything you want in a corner infielder. Since leaving the hitter’s hell that is SafeCo Beltre has absolutely killed the ball (.228 ISO) and though the BABIP (.340) is helping his average his overall .390 wOBA combined with a 9.2 UZR has valued him at a 5.7 WAR thus far in 2010. Beltre will never be confused as a patient hitter but should be productive for the next 5-6 seasons and with pending free agency, again keep an eye on what park he lands in.
DMB PRO: awesome defender, great power
DMB CON: does not walk (5.5 BB %) and this affects his overall DMB value
29) SP Felix Hernandez (R) – Age: 24
Quick Take: Seemingly been in the league forever, Hernandez is just entering his prime and his resume is impressive. Has been a workhorse since 2006 (191, 190, 200, 238 and 204 IPs so far in 2010) and has been a solid groundball/strikeout guy since making his debut in 2005. While not the K-machine I think some had envisioned there is not much to dislike about a 24 year old with the body of work that Felix possesses and no reason not to invest heavily over the next 5-6 seasons. My only concerns would be workload on his young arm, his home park is extremely pitcher friendly and he plays in front of one of the better defences, sometimes affecting his DMB value depending on chosen ballpark and defense.
DMB PRO: solid ground ball rate, good control, consistent
DMB CON: extreme pitchers park
28) RF Justin Upton (R) – Age: 23
Quick Take: A fulltime player holding his own at age 21 is a rare breed and Upton is truly a rare talent. Upton possesses huge power potential (career .200 ISO) to go along with his solid defense, arm and speed. If he could only improve his lacking plate discipline we could be looking at one of the best overall players in baseball. His ‘off’ year so far in 2010 has still produced a .350 wOBA and 3.3 WAR, not bad for a 23 year old. Upton is still a talent on the rise who at worst will provide a low average power bat with amazing right field defense, but his upside is that of top player in the game and definitely an intriguing talent.
DMB PRO: big power, solid defender, speed
DMB CON: lack of patience and high strikeouts, hitter’s park
27) SP Cliff Lee (L) – Age: 32
Quick Take: Normally a pitch to contact left hander is bad news in the world of DMB but Lee is a rare talent which his unreal control (.60 BB/9!), decent K rate (7.8 K/9) and normally solid numbers versus right handed hitters that he was another must addition to this list. Doesn’t appear to be slowing down any as he has entered his 30s and is one of the top lefties in the game, keep an eye on what team he signs with in the off-season. If he signs with the Yankees, expect a drop in his overall numbers playing in that ballpark and division.
DMB PRO: impeccable control, solid K rate, good numbers vs. Righties
DMB CON: is still a lefty and susceptible to a righty heavy lefty crushing line-up, can give up a lot of hits.
26) LF Matt Holliday (R) – Age: 30
Quick Take: Basically given up for dead while with Oakland in 2009, Holliday was supposedly only a product of his environment (Coors Field) but people failed to realize his environment in Oakland was extremely chilly to hitters. Holliday has proven to be one of the most consistent and feared right handed hitting outfielders in the game (.390 and .384 wOBA in 2009 and 2010) Holliday provides great defense (7.1 UZR) and great power (.221 ISO in 2010) and is equally effective versus righties or lefties. A guy you can just book for 300/390/500 with 40 2Bs/25 HRs, a solid rating in LF and a 5.0-5.5 WAR each season. In a DMB keeper world, that is as good as gold.
DMB PRO: consistently solid with the bat and glove, good splits vs. L and R
DMB CON: low-ish walk rate (career 8.9 BB %)
25) SP Zack Greinke (R) – Age: 27
Quick Take: If anybody is holding Greinke to his unbelievable 2009 season to say he is having a bad year in 2010, you are crazy. He was never going to repeat that season, which was one of the best over the past 10 years however Greinke is still among the game’s best starting pitchers and is only just entering his prime seasons. His K-rate is down (9.5 K/9 in 2009, 7.5 in 2010) however his control is still great (2.0 BB/9) and his 3.31 FIP suggests he is still an ace in the making. I am still buying the hype.
DMB PRO: solid control pitcher, improving GB rate
DMB CON: pitcher’s park, declining K rate.
24) 1B Kevin Youkilis (R) – Age: 31
Quick Take: The Greek God of Walks as once dubbed by Billy Beane “Youk” is an on-base machine (13.3 BB %, .411 OBP) who hits both lefties and righties well and gains an extra little bit of positional value by also being rated at 3B (for most seasons). If he ever lost his 3B eligibility permanently it would put a serious hit on his overall value.
DMB PRO: hits both lefties and righties, OBP machine
DMB CON: Fenway is a good hitters park for righties, potentially only a 1B one day.
23) CF Carlos Gonzalez (L) – Age: 25
Quick Take: “CarGo” is another intriguing talent who has shown absolutely massive power this season (.271 ISO, .596 SLG%) but is not without a few warts. Questions still abound whether he will be able to play CF going forward and his walk rate has been abysmal (5.3 BB %) which will hurt him immensely in DMB but that power stroke cannot be denied, even accounting for the effect his home ballpark will have. If he can show improved plate discipline, he could be a major force.
DMB PRO: huge power, rated at CF
DMB CON: poor walk rate and the “Coors” effect could seriously affect his value in DMB.
22) C Carlos Santana (S) – Age: 24
Quick Take: The leg injury was scary but it appears the Santana avoided a potentially career debilitating injury and is an exciting catching prospect with some very strong upside. A switch-hitter who plays catcher has the potential to give a lot of value and Santana’s numbers while coming up through the minor leagues are nothing short of brilliant and he should be a top five catcher for the next 8-10 years.
DMB PRO: position, upside
DMB CON: will injury affect his long term value?
21) C Brian McCann (L) – Age: 26
Quick Take: It seems like McCann should be nearly 40 but in reality he is only now hitting his prime hitting seasons and in 2010 has been a beast (.380 wOBA) and his improving patience (13.4 BB %) is a bonus. One of the top hitting catchers in baseball and should be counted upon to put up consistently strong numbers for the next 5 seasons minimum.
DMB PRO: a strong hitting catcher, improved patience and BB rate
DMB CON: not as strong versus lefties, but that is nitpicking.