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Benihana
03-06-2010, 02:08 PM
In his 2010 Gold Mine book, Bill James ranks organizations based off of how much talent they have in the organization under the age of 26. From what I've heard, the Reds rank...27th????

Johnny Cueto
Homer Bailey
Edinson Volquez
Mike Leake
Aroldis Chapman (not sure if he was signed when the list was published)
Jay Bruce
Joey Votto (not sure if he counts or not, as he turns 27 this year)
Drew Stubbs
Todd Frazier
Yonder Alonso

WTF????

REDblooded
03-06-2010, 02:11 PM
wow... has the makings of a great read... or not.

Edd Roush
03-06-2010, 02:36 PM
Funny, because I think the Reds have the most young talent in the division.

camisadelgolf
03-06-2010, 03:17 PM
Maybe he meant to say that the Reds are the 27th-worst, meaning that they're the fourth-best.

HokieRed
03-06-2010, 03:52 PM
Hope somebody will post more on this for those of us who won't likely see the book. Apparently James is not as high on some of our young talent as RZers tend to be[?]

mth123
03-06-2010, 08:33 PM
27th seems low, but if you aren't wearing Reds colored glasses you might say:

1. Chapman is an unknown that many of the contending teams didn't bother to bid on.
2. Alonso is 1B prospect who hasn't really distinguished himself much from the myriad of other young 1B prospects around baseball. Seems every team has one whether its a major leaguer like Prince Fielder or Billy Butler or a prospect like Brandon Allen, Freddie Freeman, Ike Davis, Eric Hosmer, Brett Wallace, Justin Smoak, Logan Morrison, Cris Carter, etc, etc, etc.
3. Todd Frazier is a tweener who hasn't been able to hold down a spot in the MI, hasn't been tried at 3B and is nothing special as a corner OF or 1B.
4. Homer Bailey is out of options and has failed multiple times.
5. Joey Votto still has questions concerning his head that haven't gone away yet.
6. Johnny Cueto projects as a middle of the rotation guy with weak number 2 as his top level.
7. Edinson Volquez is coming off major arm surgery.
8. Mike Leake hasn't even played in the minor leagues yet and people question his size.
9. Drew Stubbs has pretty much been a defensive specialist in the minor leagues.

Add that beyond the current generation of players the organization seems to be pretty bare and I can see how someone could come to the conclusion that the organization is still lacking in young talent. I don't think its as bad as 27th, but there is a glut of low ceiling guys on the verge who all have some major questions and then little coming up behind them.

OnBaseMachine
03-06-2010, 08:57 PM
There's very few teams out there whose young talent I would take over the Reds. The Rays are the only obvious team I can think of. 27th is ridiculous.

TheNext44
03-06-2010, 09:16 PM
Here are his full rankings for the 30 teams (with last year’s ranking in parentheses):

1. Tampa Bay Rays (3)
2. Colorado Rockies (8)
3. Minnesota Twins (1)
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (2)
5. Boston Red Sox (10)
6. San Francisco Giants (22)
7. New York Yankees (29)
8. Texas Rangers (19)
9. Chicago White Sox (25)
10. Florida Marlins (4)
11. Los Angeles Dodgers (13)
12. Philadelphia Phillies (20)
13. Atlanta Braves (9)
14. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (11)
15. Kansas City Royals (5)
16. New York Mets (16)
17. Chicago Cubs (26)
18. Seattle Mariners (18)
19. Milwaukee Brewers (6)
20. Baltimore Orioles (24)
21. Oakland A’s (12)
22. Toronto Blue Jays (28)
23. Washington Nationals (23)
24. St. Louis Cardinals (14)
25. Pittsburgh Pirates (17)
26. Cleveland Indians (7)
27. Cincinnati Reds (15)
28. Detroit Tigers (27)
29. San Diego Padres (21)
30. Houston Astros (30)

OnBaseMachine
03-06-2010, 09:18 PM
So the Reds add Aroldis Chapman and Mike Leake while losing Zach Stewart and drop from 15 to 27? Funny stuff. After looking at that list, the Rays are the only definite team I would take over the Reds.

Joseph
03-06-2010, 09:32 PM
Just remember, every team in baseball thinks they have young talent about to explode and change the landscape of their major league team.

TheNext44
03-06-2010, 09:57 PM
So the Reds add Aroldis Chapman and Mike Leake while losing Zach Stewart and drop from 15 to 27? Funny stuff. After looking at that list, the Rays are the only definite team I would take over the Reds.

They also lost Votto due to his age. And I doubt this includes Chapman. If it does, then the list is very suspicious.

The Reds don't have any one on his top 20 list, which might explain some.

James’ top 20 young players in baseball (with their ages in parentheses):

1. Felix Hernandez, Seattle (23)
2. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee (25)
3. Hanley Ramirez, Florida (25)
4. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee (25)
5. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco (22)
6. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco (25)
7. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay (23)
8. Justin Upton, Arizona (21)
9. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit (26)
10. Nick Markakis, Baltimore (25)
11. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers (24)
12. Dustin Pedroia, Boston (25)
13. Zack Greinke, Kansas City (25)
14. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington (24)
15. David Wright, New York Mets (26)
16. Joe Mauer, Minnesota (26)
17. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado (24)
18. Adam Lind, Toronto (25)
19. Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta (23)
20. Mark Reynolds, Arizona (25)

WebScorpion
03-06-2010, 10:54 PM
I think the rankings are for young talent on the MAJOR LEAGUE team, so the only Reds players who fit the bill are Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Herrera, Stubbs, and Maloney. Herrera, Stubbs, and Maloney will all turn 27 next year... We have a lot of young talent in our organization, there just aren't many at the Major League level.

OnBaseMachine
03-06-2010, 11:43 PM
They also lost Votto due to his age. And I doubt this includes Chapman. If it does, then the list is very suspicious.

The Reds don't have any one on his top 20 list, which might explain some.

James’ top 20 young players in baseball (with their ages in parentheses):

1. Felix Hernandez, Seattle (23)
2. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee (25)
3. Hanley Ramirez, Florida (25)
4. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee (25)
5. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco (22)
6. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco (25)
7. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay (23)
8. Justin Upton, Arizona (21)
9. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit (26)
10. Nick Markakis, Baltimore (25)
11. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers (24)
12. Dustin Pedroia, Boston (25)
13. Zack Greinke, Kansas City (25)
14. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington (24)
15. David Wright, New York Mets (26)
16. Joe Mauer, Minnesota (26)
17. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado (24)
18. Adam Lind, Toronto (25)
19. Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta (23)
20. Mark Reynolds, Arizona (25)

If it's 26 and under then Votto still qualifies as he turned 26 in September.

Benihana
03-07-2010, 12:36 AM
If it's 26 and under then Votto still qualifies as he turned 26 in September.

Agreed. Pablo Sandoval at #5 (over Lincecum, Upton, Wright, Tulo, Pedroia, Greinke, etc.) is borderline bizarre.

This list doesn't mean much to me. As for mth123's comments, while I agree that some around here wear the Rose-colored glasses all too often, I take exception with

1) Chapman- just because some top teams didn't bid on him?
2) Cueto- topping out as a mid-rotation guy? Please.
3) Votto- still issues about his head? Sure. But you could say the same about A-Rod.

WebScorpion
03-07-2010, 12:41 AM
If it's 26 and under then Votto still qualifies as he turned 26 in September.

Yea, I just noticed that...whoever computed those ages has a math problem. David Wright turned 27 in Dec 2009 and Joe Mauer turns 27 next month...if those guys qualify, so do Votto and Bray. Masset and Owings are only a few months older than Wright, so they may have been counted too. It seems if you're making a list based on age, you'd try to get the ages right...it kind of invalidates the whole thing. :rolleyes:

jojo
03-07-2010, 01:22 AM
Agreed. Pablo Sandoval at #5 (over Lincecum, Upton, Wright, Tulo, Pedroia, Greinke, etc.) is borderline bizarre.

This list doesn't mean much to me. As for mth123's comments, while I agree that some around here wear the Rose-colored glasses all too often, I take exception with

1) Chapman- just because some top teams didn't bid on him?
2) Cueto- topping out as a mid-rotation guy? Please.
3) Votto- still issues about his head? Sure. But you could say the same about A-Rod.

James has a real soft spot for guys who can produce at a 5 WAR level at age 22 which probably explains his intrigue with Sandoval.

Votto is a 26 ear old first baseman. While he might be classified as a "head case" guy like AROD, that's pretty much about where the similarities between the two stop.

In all fairness, Cueto has an uphill battle to become a consistent TOR starter.

REDblooded
03-07-2010, 01:46 AM
I can think of about 30 players (if not more) that would fit the age requirements and be a better choice than jurjjens....

REDblooded
03-07-2010, 01:58 AM
Also having a REALLY difficult time figuring out who the cardinals have in their organization ages 26 and under that would rank them above the reds... I mean... Rasmus, Shelby Miller, Daryl Jones... and the list dies... (forgetting one or two, but not really notable)... Bolded rasmus because of the possibility that we're looking at guys currently on a big league roster... Even in that case, I can't think of too many GM's that would take Rasmus for Jay Bruce alone...

thatcoolguy_22
03-07-2010, 02:14 AM
Felix over Lincecum? The same Lincecum coming off of 2 consecutive Cy Young awards...
Hanley not being #1?
Mauer at 16? He just put up a top ten season of all time at catcher.
Jurrjens had a 2.6 ERA over 215 innings but a weak 6.36 K/9. He doesn't even have the most upside on his team at the pitcher position! No Tommy Hansen?!
Mark Reynolds makes the list with a 38.6%K rate?
Markakis at 10? I just don't see the love for this guy. He is a below average RF and only went for 2.2 WAR last year. He seems the equivalent of Denard Span with more double power but less OBP.

I just don't get it :dunno:

REDblooded
03-07-2010, 02:27 AM
Felix over Lincecum? The same Lincecum coming off of 2 consecutive Cy Young awards...
Hanley not being #1?
Mauer at 16? He just put up a top ten season of all time at catcher.
Jurrjens had a 2.6 ERA over 215 innings but a weak 6.36 K/9. He doesn't even have the most upside on his team at the pitcher position! No Tommy Hansen?!
Mark Reynolds makes the list with a 38.6%K rate?
Markakis at 10? I just don't see the love for this guy. He is a below average RF and only went for 2.2 WAR last year. He seems the equivalent of Denard Span with more double power but less OBP.

I just don't get it :dunno:

You could pick apart just about every single thing about that list... And here's the kicker... It's helping him earn a living...

REDblooded
03-07-2010, 02:34 AM
Taken from a 2007 SI article, James somewhat explains the thought process involved on this thing... Don't know if he's made any adjustments to the formula since then, but at least this shows his baseline logic...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/11/02/billjames.talent/index.html


You just have to pick a method and roll with it. We're not talking here about prospects or minor league players. We're discussing proven major league players who are still young. This was my method, in short. First, I eliminated from my study all players who were 29 years old in 2007 or older, since 29-year-olds in 2007 are now 30, and 30-year-old baseball players are not young. A 28- year-old player can be considered to have a little bit of youth left; a 30-year-old, no way. Second, I figured the runs created by each player -- for Rios, 105. Third, I made a "speed adjustment", since speed correlates strongly with defensive value, and defensive value is more difficult to measure. Fourth, I divided that total by the runs scored/runs allowed per game by the player's team, thus building in context adjustments. Fifth, I multiplied that by the number of years the player had left before he was 33 years old. For Alex Rios, this creates an output of 216, which ranks ... well, I'll get to that in a moment. For the pitchers, I developed a similar method based on runs allowed.

Why 33 years old, rather than 30? I tried it the other way and it doesn't work. Suppose that you have a 27-year-old player and a 24-year-old player of the same accomplishment...Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols, or Justin Verlander and Josh Beckett, or Edwin Encarnacion and Felipe Lopez. The 24-year-old is more valuable, and we want him to rank higher, but he's not twice as valuable. If we subtract his age from 30, that's 3 "years left" for the 27-year-olds, 6 years left for the 24-year-olds. It causes moderately good 22-year-olds to vault ahead of MVP-level 27-year-olds. Subtracting from 33 flattens the slope, creating better balance.

Combining youth and performance, Felix Hernandez ranks well ahead of Sabathia, Francoeur a little ahead of Rios, which is just my ranking ... feel free to second guess, ***** and moan, or do your own ranking. Without further ado, here is my post-2007 Young Talent Inventory, starting with the 25 best young players in baseball today:

thatcoolguy_22
03-07-2010, 02:44 AM
Heres a different way to look at it...

Lets say everyone in baseball under the age of 27 is only making the league minimum. Now baseball is going to have a fantasy draft for some sort of reshuffling of teams. Whatever the reason, they are going to do it. Now how do you think the draft would go? My take:

1 Hanley Ramirez
2 Joe Mauer
3 Tim Lincecum
4 Prince Fielder
5 Felix Hernandez
6 Justin Upton
7 Evan Longoria
8 Troy Tulowitzki
9 Matt Kemp
10 Pablo Sandoval
11 Zack Grienke
12 Ryan Zimmerman (20.1 UZR/150 plus an .888 OPS)
13 Ryan Braun
14 Miguel Cabrera
15 Joey Votto


I'm probably missing someone but this was just a quick glance. Feel free to list your own.

REDblooded
03-07-2010, 03:02 AM
Here's what mine would look like...

1.) Justin Upton (4 years younger than Hanley)
2.) Hanley Ramirez
3.) Lincecum
4.) Kemp
5.) Braun
6.) Felix
7.) Prince
8.) Longoria
9.) Miggy
10.) Tulowitzki
11.) Mauer (special year, but it's in the books now, and he's had injury issues)
12.) Greinke
13.) Votto
14.) Hanson
15.) Sandoval
16.) Zimmerman
17.) Bruce

mth123
03-07-2010, 03:55 AM
Agreed. Pablo Sandoval at #5 (over Lincecum, Upton, Wright, Tulo, Pedroia, Greinke, etc.) is borderline bizarre.

This list doesn't mean much to me. As for mth123's comments, while I agree that some around here wear the Rose-colored glasses all too often, I take exception with

1) Chapman- just because some top teams didn't bid on him?
2) Cueto- topping out as a mid-rotation guy? Please.
3) Votto- still issues about his head? Sure. But you could say the same about A-Rod.

There were a lot of teams who were critical of Chapman. The teams that have been successful in the standings for the last several years are going to be given some weight in the matter. The fact that some of those passed on the opportunity will be viewed as a negative from the outside looking in.

Cueto has had a couple seasons with ERAs in the mid to high 4s. Lots of those around.

Votto missed a month with depression. While those of us who follow every day may be pretty confident its all behind him, those at more of a distance see this and think of other players who have had such problems recur through their careers. Not fair to lump them all together, but it happens. It was only a couple years ago that Khalil Greene was putting up a .468 slugging % with 27 HR.

For the record, I think Chapman is the real deal and will be pretty good in a couple years after he takes some lumps. I think Bailey will be good - possibly a TOR guy by the end of the year. I think Cueto will top out as a really good number 3, arguably a number 2 (that's not terrible btw and basically describes Andy Pettite's career with the exception of a couple of his early years). I think Bruce will be a star as long as he doesn't try to hit a HR every AB. I think Votto's issues are behind him. I'm less confident about the others but I can see why an outsider would rate the Reds behind some other teams who have young guys who have already taken the next step. On the Reds, Votto is the only young guy who has really established himself in the big leagues.

jojo
03-07-2010, 08:07 AM
Felix over Lincecum? The same Lincecum coming off of 2 consecutive Cy Young awards...

James might rank Felix higher than Lincecum because James can beat up Lincecum but it also might have something to do with Lincecum being 2 years older than Felix while also pitching in an easier league....

blumj
03-07-2010, 08:25 AM
Taken from a 2007 SI article, James somewhat explains the thought process involved on this thing... Don't know if he's made any adjustments to the formula since then, but at least this shows his baseline logic...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/11/02/billjames.talent/index.html




Alex Rios is probably a better player right now than Jeff Francoeur, but Francoeur is three years younger. Both players are 1) clearly still young, and 2) clearly very good.

Chip R
03-07-2010, 10:30 AM
So the Reds add Aroldis Chapman and Mike Leake while losing Zach Stewart and drop from 15 to 27?

Well, anytime you lose a Cy Young award winner.... ;)

Blitz Dorsey
03-07-2010, 12:12 PM
Bill James is losing it. Happens to the best of 'em.

Blitz Dorsey
03-07-2010, 12:14 PM
And the fact that James was very high on a couple busts like Rios and Francoeur a few years ago is more proof that he is losing it.

jojo
03-07-2010, 12:25 PM
And the fact that James was very high on a couple busts like Rios and Francoeur a few years ago is more proof that he is losing it.

That's a bit of a harsh judgment...

Here's his top 25 from that article:

1. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee first baseman.
2. Hanley Ramirez, Florida shortstop (23).
3. Fausto Carmona, Cleveland starting pitcher (23).
4. David Wright, New York Mets third baseman (24).
5. Felix Hernandez, Seattle starting pitcher (21).
6. Scott Kazmir, Tampa Bay lefty (23).
7. Jose Reyes, Mets shortstop (24).
8. Matt Cain, San Francisco starting pitcher (22).
9. Grady Sizemore, Cleveland center fielder (24).
10. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia starting p
11. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington third baseman (22).
12. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado shortstop (22).
13. Miguel Cabrera, Florida third baseman (24).
14. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee third baseman (23).
15. Justin Verlander, Detroit starting pitcher (24).
16. Nick Markakis, Baltimore right fielder (23).
17. Jake Peavy, San Diego starting pitcher (26).
18. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego first baseman (25).
19. Tom Gorzelanny, Pittsburgh lefty (24).
20. James Shields, Tampa Bay (25).
21. C. C. Sabathia, Cleveland lefty (26).
22. Curtis Granderson, Detroit center fielder (26).
23. Brandon Webb, Arizona starting pitcher (26).
24. Chad Billingsley, Dodger starter (22).
25. Chris Young, Arizona center fielder (23).

Isn't there way too many hits and way too few misses to just make a blanket statement suggesting James is irrelevant? Pick his current list apart-all lists are fodder for that kind of thing- but really, based upon his criteria, a list populated with a ton of Reds players would be an even easier target IMHO...

TheNext44
03-07-2010, 01:28 PM
Bill James is losing it. Happens to the best of 'em.

James creates formulas that he thinks make sense, than runs them on players/teams, and lets the results speak for themselves.

Some of his formulas are better than others, and some have serious flaws. But that is why he creates them and runs them. To see how they stack up against reality, so we can all gain a better understanding of the game.

James considers himself more a scientist trying to come up with more and more interesting experiments than he considers himself an expert talent evaluator. And it shows.

lollipopcurve
03-07-2010, 01:38 PM
Take a look at the list in 2-3 years. And laugh!

REDblooded
03-07-2010, 02:18 PM
To be perfectly fair... how hard is it really to rank a bunch of youngsters that have already made the majors and had a certain level of success? It's not like he's offering up groundbreaking names or anything.

TheNext44
03-07-2010, 02:28 PM
To be perfectly fair... how hard is it really to rank a bunch of youngsters that have already made the majors and had a certain level of success? It's not like he's offering up groundbreaking names or anything.

To be perfectly, perfectly fair, he's not trying to rank a bunch of youngsters who have already made it to the majors. He's trying to scientifically see which teams are most likely to get the most production out of their young players over the next 5 or so years. The ranking of players, based on his formula for future production, is just a byproduct of that.

REDblooded
03-07-2010, 03:53 PM
To be perfectly, perfectly fair, he's not trying to rank a bunch of youngsters who have already made it to the majors. He's trying to scientifically see which teams are most likely to get the most production out of their young players over the next 5 or so years. The ranking of players, based on his formula for future production, is just a byproduct of that.

which is a pretty easy thing to accomplish... and makes you wonder why a first baseman with average defensive abilities outweighs a SS...

Mario-Rijo
03-08-2010, 09:13 AM
Take a look at the list in 2-3 years. And laugh!

Really? Perhaps you could make an argument that the formula is flawed but if you can't then you can't really disagree with the list. I would question the formula however based on how much weight he is giving to a single season which is why you might see a couple of those guys fall off that list eventually. Anything less than 2 full seasons (maybe even a bit more) worth of data is not enough IMO to make a determination on who a guy really is.

lollipopcurve
03-08-2010, 09:25 AM
Really? Perhaps you could make an argument that the formula is flawed but if you can't then you can't really disagree with the list. I would question the formula however based on how much weight he is giving to a single season which is why you might see a couple of those guys fall off that list eventually. Anything less than 2 full seasons (maybe even a bit more) worth of data is not enough IMO to make a determination on who a guy really is.

I mean the organization listings, not the listing of the top players.

bucksfan2
03-08-2010, 09:37 AM
For augments sake, which young player performed to expectations, or exceeded expectations last year?

Joey Votto - Put himself in the mix with top 1b in the game.
Jay Bruce - Struggled mightily and spent a considerable amount of time on the DL
Jhonny Cueto - Inconsistent, great some nights, awful others.
Homer Bailey - Inconsistent. Great at the end of the season but bounced between AAA and ML
Mike Leake - Very little professional experience.
Aroldis Champan - No professional experience
Yonder Alonso - Disappoint season.
Todd Frazier - Played to expectations.

If this is about young production then I can see why the Reds ranked low. But I don't think you can go based upon production only.

WebScorpion
03-10-2010, 10:49 AM
Well, his only defensive metric is 'speed'. How do you quantify that? Time in the 40? Stolen Bases? Stolen Base Percentage? Personally, I think this is one of Bill's less reliable lists. ;)

klw
03-19-2010, 05:49 PM
C. Trent asked James about the ranking
http://cnati.com/spring-training-2010/talking-with-bill-james-part-1-001559/


CTR: I saw in your book, the Reds weren't very high in your "young talent meter" however, most of the Reds' top players are young and their hope lies mostly in young players.

BJ: Votto should score well in our system, but the guys Hanigan and Janish - even though I absolutely love Paul Janish - they don't score highly on the young talent meter because they haven't yet proven they can play every day on the Major League level.