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