Posts Tagged ‘DMB park ratings’

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

2010 DMB Trade Value: #50 -#41

40) 2B Ian Kinsler (R) – Age:  28

Quick Take:  One of the best hitters at a thin position (2B) when healthy, which has been a major factor over his entire career.  His career high in games was in 2009 with 144 and in 2010 he has provided solid overall value with his stick (.359 wOBA) and glove (0.2 UZR).  His power is way down (.235 ISO in 2009, .120 in 2010) but can injuries be to blame for the power outage?  Another guy who needs to prove he can stay healthy and put up consistent power numbers.

DMB PRO: good bat and glove at a weak position

DMB CON: injury prone, declining power

39) 3B/RF Jose Bautista (R) – Age:  30

Quick Take:  Having a career year with his first real fulltime gig with the Toronto Blue Jays, his power has been massive (.351 ISO!!) and he leads the league in HRs (42) and even walks a ton (14.9 BB %), bonus is the positional value as he is rated at 1B, 3B and RF.  Not a great defender at any position, questions are already being raised whether he can produce anywhere near the same level in 2011, my guess is not, but until that is proven otherwise, given his power and positional versatility he is a valuable player going forward.

DMB PRO: huge power/patience, plays multiple positions

DMB CON: low average, a fluke season?  Skydome has been launching pad this year.

38) C Matt Wieters (S) – Age: 24

Quick Take:  So obviously he can’t walk on water as we were led to believe however the kid is only in his first full season at the major league level at 24 years of age and playing the toughest position in the sport in the toughest division in the game.  While some of the prospect lustre is firmly off Wieters, there is still a lot of time left for him to develop and we can’t just forget the 600 or so god like PAs from the minor leagues.  This is purely a speculative play for a weak position over the next 5-6 years and though I am still buying stock in this guy we will need to see marked improvement next year.

DMB PRO: switch hitting catcher, solid potential at the thinnest position in the game

DMB CON: lacklustre overall offensive numbers thus far.

37) SP Justin Verlander (R) – Age: 27

Quick Take: His K-rate has normalized in 2010 (8.5 K/9) after a sensational 2009 (10.0 K/9) and his walks are also slightly up, but I am still a huge believer in Verlander going forward and he is still among the game’s best starting pitchers and is only now entering his prime seasons.  Armed with one of the game’s best arsenal of pitchers, all of his pitches (fastball, curve, change and slider) show a positive run value (per 100 pitches thrown).

DMB PRO: solid K rate, consistent, doesn’t possess huge splits (good vs. L and R)

DMB CON: plays in a pitcher’s park, decreasing K’s a slight concern

36) LF Ryan Braun (R) – Age: 27

Quick Take: The Hebrew Hammer is having his worst statistical season in the big leagues and still possesses a .370 wOBA and .843 OPS.  His power is down across the board but he is still young, has shown massive power in the past and is entering his prime hitting years, consider me still on board the bandwagon for one more season in hopes that the power returns or his value will take a serious hit.

DMB PRO: destroys left handed pitchers

DMB CON: only a LF, lack of patience at plate, hitter’s park, decreasing power output

35) SS Elvis Andrus (R) – Age: 22

Quick Take:  What does it say about the current state of the shortstop position when a guy with a sub .700 OPS ranks among the most valuable players in the game?  Andrus is still an exciting (young) prospect and the Rangers still have hopes that his bat continues to improve.  He already plays one of the better defensive shortstops in baseball and adds a speed element offensively, hopefully he can hit for more power going forward.

DMB PRO: provides valuable PAs and is a great defensive player at very shallow position, speed

DMB CON: very little power and plays in hitter’s park

34) 3B David Wright (R) – Age: 28

Quick Take:  While no longer in the discussion for one of the game’s best players Wright still provides good pop (.207 ISO, 499 SLG) from a premium position.

DMB PRO: plays in pitchers park

DMB CON: declining patience/OBP affects overall value

33) CF Colby Rasmus (L) – Age:  24

Quick Take:  A slick fielding centre fielder with power gives you a valuable asset going forward.  Rasmus has massive power potential (.232 ISO) and should settle in as an average defensive centre fielder when all is said and done, plus at only 24 years of age can still improve.  His lack of plate discipline has given him a shockingly high K rate (32.6 K %) and he can’t hit lefties at all, but with time hopefully these improve or his value will definitely take a hit.

DMB PRO: good power, good defense

DMB CON: cannot hit lefties, way too many strikeouts

32) SS Starlin Castro (R) – Age: 20

Quick Take: Anytime a 20 year old more than holds his own with the stick (.338 wOBA), plays a solid position that is dying for talent (SS, -0.5 UZR) and is still growing and maturing physically is definitely a player worth owning.  Castro has given Cubbies fans something to cheer for in 2010 with a pretty decent rookie season overall.  There are a ton of holes in his offensive game (patience mostly) but he is 20 years old and this is to be expected, the future could be bright for this kid and another speculative buy at an ultra thin position.

DMB PRO: shortstop with upside, solid defender

DMB CON: growing pains of youth

31) RF/CF Jayson Werth (R) – Age:  31

Quick Take:  One of the more underrated players in the game, Werth has power (.222 ISO), patience (12.9 BB % and .390 OBP), speed (normally good for 20 SBs) and plays solid defense at all three outfield spots.  He strikes out a bit much and he plays in a hitter’s park but at just 31 years old should have some solid years left, he is a free agent at season’s end so keep an eye on where he lands (ballpark factors).  Werth also normally has extreme platoon splits and struggles against righties in DMB, has hit righties better in 2010.

DMB PRO: solid defensively (rated at CF), good power/patience

DMB CON: strikes out a lot, has heavy platoon splits (awesome vs. L, average to bad vs. R), good hitter’s park

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A lot of my time is dedicated to playing in a simulation baseball league to which I am a co-founder (established in 1999) and a proud (and active) member to this day.  The league is run on ‘Diamond Mind Baseball’, the preeminent baseball simulation software which uses the player’s current stats (from previous full MLB season) and using the advanced game engine produces results for games and a season. 

I know there are a lot of simulation players out there, and more specifically a lot of DMB users and I have decided to construct a ‘Top 50 Most Valuable Simulation Players’ list for your enjoyment.  This will be similar to the extremely popular ‘Fangraphs Top 50 Trade Assets’ but I will tailor the list to the needs to simulation baseball players and more specifically to the parameters and setup of my particular league as it a fairly standard type of league.

My league has 16 teams (divided into 2 Leagues and 4 divisions of 4 teams), 40 players per roster and is set to the current ‘NL’ era (or atmosphere for stats, so it uses the NL team batting average, E.R.A and runs/game etc).  If I have lost you, sorry, a simple explanation is that we are the owners/GMs of ‘fake’ teams that play an entire season and postseason using the  most advanced ‘simulation’ software on the market. 

If you have never played in one, I highly recommend it, it forces you to become totally enamoured with the game of baseball when you are in a league like this and in turn you learn a ton about the game and it’s players as with 640 total players combined on our rosters, you need to know more than just the top 25-30 players in the game, you even need to know relief pitchers, backup infielders and a healthy knowledge of prospects is a must.

Join the ongoing conversation about baseball, DMB, simulations and leagues on TWITTER, follow me @tdotsports1

There are a lot of different aspects that DMB uses to churn out the results, and this list will be comprised of players who I feel are most valuable to the DMB world and not necessarily just the major leagues.  This list will be similar to the Fangraphs lists however this is not based on salary at all as our league has no salary cap or any vesting interest in what a player makes per season.  Age is going to play a factor but this list will not contain many pure prospects (think Mike Stanton) as we have a steep amount of drops at season’s end so production in the next 2-3 seasons is vital and will be a major factor in the overall rankings.  Youth is preferred of course, but if a player is still in or entering his prime he will still be ranked accordingly (think Pujols, Halladay).

Here are some of the factors I have taken into account based on my knowledge and experience with DMB:

Position, position, position:  Just like in real life, there is a huge premium placed on the catcher, shortstop, centre field and second base positions – not only for defense sake but there just aren’t as many solid players to fill those spots league wide.  This isn’t to say I will take Craig Counsell over Mark Teixeira but one has to factor in positional value (and scarcity) as well as the offensive contributions.

Defense:  DMB assigns a ‘defensive range’ rating (from PR to EX) and defense plays a big overall role in team success and keeping your pitcher’s ERAs as low as possible.  Like in real life, solid defenders are preferable to the stone handed fielders so don’t expect to see Adam Dunn on this list!

Versatility:  if defense is important, than versatility is huge as the more positions a player is rated the more valuable he is for the season, as long as he isn’t rated poor at most of them.  Also, players cannot play out of position in most leagues and are heavily penalized if one’s that allows this. 

Park factors:  DMB places an emphasis on home ballpark for the players, so a pitcher who is solid at Coors Field is going to be more effective than if he pitched at PetCo – Ditto for hitters, but reversed, of course.

Handedness:  For pitchers it is more beneficial to be right-handed as a southpaw can face a super stacked line-up of all righty hitters who have incredible splits vs. Lefties.  For hitters, I give a slight advantage to lefties (or switch hitters) as the league is normally loaded with right handed starters (for the above reason) who historically are tougher versus righties.

Age:   younger is preferred, but as we discussed players entering or in their primes are welcome additions to many rosters as you just want immediate productivity.  With no salary cap or salary structure in most leagues, there is no worry about arbitration, free agency or ‘super two statuses’.  Again, this doesn’t mean I am going to take Tim Hudson over Felix Hernandez regardless of how good a season Huddy is currently having, age has to be factored in.

Other general nuances:   over the years I have noticed ground ball pitchers with solid HR rates (i.e., low) tend to ‘sim’ better than the norm, and low-ish average/high on-base hitters tend to fare better than a high average/medium OBP hitter.  Kevin Youkilis will likely sim better than say Delmon Young as the low BB hitter is at the mercy of his BABIP, just like real life.   Some teams/owners might value a certain player or position more than another, just another factor that a list cannot totally encapsulate, plus this is for fun and entertainment also!

An everyday player is preferred over a pitcher, and a starting pitcher is preferred to a reliever (duh) so only one relief pitcher made the cut, and his future potentially lies in the starting rotation.  Pitchers are extremely volatile and injury prone and only eleven total pitchers made the Top 50 and one has recently been scheduled for TJ surgery and has effectively wiped out his entire 2011 season, lending even more credence to the above stated rule of thumb regarding the value of everyday position players.

There are of course many other factors that may come into play in a given season and some leagues might have different settings, rules that could affect a player’s overall value (like a strict salary system) but without further ado, here is the 2011 Simulation Baseball’s 50 Most Valuable Assets, starting with the also-rans, players who were just left off the list. 

There were a ton of great players who didn’t make the final cut and I could name 100s of players I like, here is a highlight of a few of the more interesting names left off:

Honourable mention:

SP Stephen Strasburg – though the phrase “Tommy John” doesn’t cause a massive coronary as it used to, the fact remains Strasburg will be going under the knife and will miss all of 2011 and who knows if he will be the same pitcher he was prior to this injury.  His injury has to be one of the biggest disappointments of the season in 2010, and I actually had my rankings finalized prior to his injury and he was close to cracking the top ten – what a shame.  Here’s hoping for a speedy and solid recovery.

SP Clay Buchholz – I still do not fully trust that Clay has ‘arrived’ despite a gaudy ERA (2.21) as his K rate has dropped again (has dropped every season in the bigs) to a pedestrian 6.2 K/9, his BABIP is unsustainable (.260) and his xFIP sits at a rather ordinary 4.19.  Still, nice to see he has finally put it all together for the BoSox in 2010.

 SP CC Sabathia – close, but his falling K rate and being a southpaw was the deciding factor, plus better options to choose from.

SS Jose Reyes – Another guy who must prove he can stay healthy and regain that patience he was starting to show at the plate, his declining defense and BB rate are worrisome however he is still young-ish and the position of shortstop is in sad shape.

RF Jay Bruce – Too many solid OFers to choose from, Bruce must continue to improve, but the power potential seems to be scratching the surface, hard to ignore minor league numbers and overall talent level.

1B Prince Fielder– tons of talent, but he plays an even easier position to fill (1B).

C Victor Martinez – yeah, catcher is that weak – and he is barely a catcher anymore.

3B Alex Rodriguez – what would a list be without A’Rod, however, given the better options ahead of him at 3B, his declining power production, his age and wonky hip A’Rod finds himself on the outside looking in.