Posts Tagged ‘Albert Pujols’

Here is the introduction to the DMB (Diamond Mind Baseball) Trade Value series.

2010 DMB Trade Value: #50 -#41

2010 DMB Trade Value: #40 – #31

2010 DMB Trade Value: #30 – #21

2010 DMB Trade Value: #20 – #11

So here we are, to our Top Ten DMB Ball Players and I must say looking at the top 15-20 there isn’t much that seperates most of these players, almost personal preference or just slight improvement in key areas (and age).  It has been awesome to break this type of list down with a “DMB” twist and I look forward to doing it every season.  We’ll see who rises and falls the most season over season and see what hot new players burst onto the scene in 2011, hope you enjoyed.

10) SP Adam Wainwright (R) – Age: 29

Quick Take:  Definitely one of the best arms in baseball, sporting a solid 8.2 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 2.91 FIP and a solid gb rate Wainwright is quickly becoming a reliable workhorse and ace pitcher many had envisioned when he was a prospect.  His big weakness in 2009 was his propensity to get slightly roughed up by left handed hitters appears to be over given his .222 avg vs L this season and he should be counted upon to be one of the game’s best starters for the next 5-6 seasons.

DMB PRO: solid control, groundball rate

DMB CON: lefties have historically hit him relatively hard, not a major concern at this point. 

9) 2B Robinson Cano (L) – Age:  28

Quick Take:  Can you believe this is Cano’s 6th season with the Yankees?  It feels like just yesterday he was the young rookie from “Murderer’s row plus Cano” but now he is firmly entrenched in his prime and his offensive game has gone to unseen heights, his power (.238 ISO, .563 SLG%) as well as patience (8.5 BB%, almost double is career rate) has powered the second basemen to a career best .402 wOBA.  Cano plays a very valuable position and has improved his defense in 2010 (3.2 UZR) and is the best overall second basemen in the game on pace for 30 HRs.  He has finally put it all together in 2010 and should remain among the best middle infield options in DMB for 4-5 seasons if he continues to improve his patience and plate discipline.

DMB PRO: huge power for a 2B, big numbers versus lefties and righties.

DMB CON: plays in hitter’s park, still needs to improve BB rate to maximize DMB value.

8 ) SP Josh Johnson (R) – Age:  26

Quick Take:  One of the top overall arms in baseball, Johnson has taken another step forward in 2010 posting career best numbers in ERA (2.28), K/9 (8.8), BB/9 (2.28), FIP (2.50 and xFIP (3.23) in his second full season in the majors since coming back from TJ surgery.  He is equally effective against lefties and righties and possesses one of the biggest fastballs in the game (94.8 MPH) and has shown a solid gb rate in his career.  The only flaw he has DMB wise is pitching at Marlins Stadium, a notorious pitchers park.

DMB PRO: huge strikeout numbers coupled with low walk totals, good groundball rate, effective vs lefties and still improving

DMB CON: plays in is a pitchers park

7) 1B Albert Pujols (R) – Age:  30

Quick Take:  Having an “off-year” with only a .420 wOBA, Pujols is in contention for the NL Triple Crown and is again having a remarkable season, if you don’t compare to his past body of work of course.  One of the best hitter’s of our generation, Pujols is likely to be among the game’s best all around players until he retires.

DMB PRO: best overall hitter in the game?  Patience/power

DMB CON: only a 1B.

6) 1B Miguel Cabrera (R) – Age:  27

Quick Take:  Probably the game’s best right handed hitter, if he was still rated at 3B he would probably be near the top of this list but as it is he is still firmly in the top ten as his offensive ability carries him a long way.  Miggy possesses huge power (.305 ISO), patience (14.4 BB %, .437 OBP) and a huge .446 wOBA all while playing in a pitcher’s park with zero protection is a pretty lame Tigers lineup.  Equally amazing against lefties (1.034 OPS) and righties (1.096 OPS) Cabrera is entering his prime and there is no reason to believe he won’t remain among the game’s best hitters for the next 5-6 seasons.

DMB PRO: amazing hitter, power and patience.  Plays in a pitcher’s park

DMB CON: only plays 1B, lousy defender

 5) SP Roy Halladay (R) – Age:  33

Quick Take:  The best pitcher in baseball, period.  Halladay is a nightmare matchup for any hitter with his impeccable control over an arsenal vast enough to make an army general jealous.  Halladay throws a nasty two-seam fastball with good sink, a cutter he throws to both lefties and righties, a solid overhand curveball and an improving changeup he hasn’t thrown with much frequency until 2010 – scary.

The only thing keeping him from being ranked even higher is his age, though showing no signs of slowing down in 2010 (career best ERA at 2.27, FIP 2.80 and xFIP 2.91) Halladay has carved up the NL after serving as the game’s best pitcher in the game’s best division (AL East) since 2002.  Doc seems to have a skill set that will age well (a control, groundball pitcher) that a Greg Maddux like age 36-40 period doesn’t seem far-fetched.

DMB PRO: workhorse, solid against lefties and righties, awesome control and BB rate, groundball pitcher, pitches in a hitter’s park, is a DMB dream pitcher

DMB CON: aging – like fine wine however.

4) 3B Evan Longoria (R) – Age:  25

Quick Take:  One of the best all around players in the major leagues, his big time power (career .240 ISO, .523 SLG%), decent patience (10.2 BB %) and outstanding defensive abilities (15.3, 17.7 and 8.4 UZR marks the past three seasons).  Still young and theoretically improving Longoria will be a DMB mainstay on rosters for the next ten seasons with his huge level of talent.  Hits lefties and righties nearly equally as well and has added a bit of speed in 2010 (15 SBs) to go along with the power.

DMB PRO: huge power, great glove at 3B

DMB CON: could strike out less, never been a huge average hitter until 2010

3) C Joe Mauer (L) – Age:  27

Quick Take:  The player to which all prospective catchers will be compared to for the next 15-20 seasons, maybe longer.  Mauer has everything you want in a DMB player, he plays the most demanding (and leanest) position at catcher, has solid power for a backstop (.156 ISO), patience (11.7 BB %, 11.0 K %) and average (career .327).  The fluky power show from 2009 (in 2009, his HR/FB was 20.4 %, his career mark is 10.7 %) hasn’t returned but when you have a catcher that is as strong of an overall hitter and player as Mauer you have one of the top assets in DMB baseball.  Only 27 years old and entering his prime, keep an eye on the park factors for the new Minnesota ballpark.

DMB PRO: premium position and top flight stats, hits lefties and righties

DMB CON: power has come and gone over his career.

2) 3B Ryan Zimmerman (R) – Age:  26

Quick Take:  Simply, Zimmerman is a beast.  Playing in a pitcher’s park Zimmerman has put up huge power numbers (career .199 ISO), his 12.3 BB % is a career high which has also led to a career best OBP of .387, Zimmerman has it all.  One of the best defensive players in baseball at a relatively thin 3B position, there aren’t many better all around players in the game when factoring in age, talent and what DMB values in a player.  Zimmerman might still improve as he is only 26 years old and the future is bright for a guy who has already put up a 6.3 WAR in 2010.

DMB PRO: big offensive numbers in pitcher’s park, awesome defender, solid versus lefties and righties

DMB CON: nothing major

#1) SS Hanley Ramirez (R) – Age:  27

Quick Take:  Like we discussed with Pujols previously, Hanley is having a bit of a ‘down’ year but has still put up an impressive .370 wOBA with a triple slash line of 299/375/476 in 2010 while providing league average defense at shortstop, he is miles better than any other SS in DMB considering he also plays in a pitcher’s park.  He destroys righties (874 OPS in 2010, 1018 in 2009) and has been remarkably consistent with his offensive numbers (.364, .411, .405, .410, .370 wOBA ) since his rookie season. 

Hanley brings everything to the table, average, power, patience, speed and improved defense.  At only 27 years old, Hanley will be entering his prime hitting seasons and is poised to be considered one of the best hitting shortstops in the history of the game if he continues at his current torrid pace.

DMB PRO: best offensive middle infielder in baseball, plays in a pitcher’s park, great all around game, hits righties better than lefties

DMB CON: could stand to improve BB rate to maximize DMB value

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Let’s play the ever popular “Guess that player” and consider the following numbers using the past three seasons:

  G PA AVG HR HR/FB BB% K% BABIP wOBA
A 178 448 .267 7 *6.0 11.4 21.0 *315 *330
B 388 1347 .325 64 *18.1 11.1 17.5 *355 *412

*approximated, or split data not available

Well first off you see a pretty wide discrepancy in terms of playing time, Player A might possibly be a role player or oft-injured?  Player B has a pretty big advantage in wOBA though he has had significantly better luck with balls in play and a markedly higher percentage of his fly balls leave the yard.  Ok, enough with the suspense as I am sure you are all at the edge of your chair in anticipation awaiting the names of Player A and Player B.

Player A is none other than Hanley Ramirez, while player B is…Hanley Ramirez?  As a few of you might have guessed Player A is actually Hanley Ramirez versus left handed pitchers and Player B of course versus righties.  Over the past three seasons Hanley Ramirez has been the best shortstop in the majors and in the conversation for best overall player in the game, but looking at his numbers against southpaws and it appears Hanley could have possibly been even better.

Although not always the case ‘Baseball 101’ states that right handed hitters will perform better against left-handers, and possibly struggle against same handed pitchers.  Hanley stuck to this premise in his first two seasons in the league as his splits versus lefties were ridiculous (2006 – 307/385/588, 2007 – 399/455/703). 

But over the past three seasons he has hit southpaws much worse than righties:

Hanley Ramirez VS L

YEAR AVG OBP SLG wOBA
2008 258 389 402 351
2009 316 376 418 347
2010 202 286 323 260

 

Hanley has over three times as many at-bats versus right-handers over the past three seasons to use, and those numbers have been ridiculous:

Hanley Ramirez VS R

YEAR AVG OBP SLG wOBA
2008 313 403 580 417
2009 353 424 594 429
2010 307 385 477 373

 

His batted ball profile shows only slight differences at first glance and Hanley has actually hit more fly balls versus lefties than righties for his career, however the HR/FB is a huge difference maker (8.5% vs. L and 15.2% vs. R) nearly twice is high.  The BABIP difference is approximately 40 points and this could have helped make up some of the BA/OBP difference as over his career he has hit more line-drives against lefties overall.

So what happened from his first two seasons when he obliterated left handed pitching and was above average against righties to the past three seasons where he has had a reverse split, and destroyed righties at a similar clip to that of Albert Pujols?  Has the quality of left-handed starting pitching improved dramatically over the past three seasons, or at all?  It’s hard to imagine that specialized relievers have much of an impact as I can’t see Sweet Lou (or any other manager) coming out of the bullpen and summoning his top lefty reliever to get Hanley out in the bottom of the eighth inning?

Not sure if anybody has access to ‘Pitch type’ values split for each hand but taking a quick look at his profile for an entire season (vs. Both hands) and the number of cutters that Hanley has faced has risen each season, from 1.9% in his rookie season to 5.5% in 2010.  Some of this could be incorrect pitch type recognition from the past (the system has improved a lot since 2006) but it is possible lefties are busting Hanley inside with more cutters.  For his career Hanley has only pitch that shows a negative run value (per 100 pitches thrown) coming in at -0.26, that pitch is the cutter. 

It appears he has struggled in 2010 with more pitches (CB -1.30), (CH -0.52) than he has in the past and has really scuffled against the cutter (CT -2.86).  David Golebiewski recently did a wonderful analysis on his current season and gave his take on what to make of Hanley’s relatively down season.  What are your thoughts, more specifically on his reverse platoon splits?  Should we ignore them as the sample size is much smaller than versus righties or is there enough to go on that we can ascertain meaningful conclusions which can explain a pretty huge difference in overall numbers?