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Thread: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...ames.rankings/
    Groundbreaking analyst Bill James, who is senior baseball operations advisor for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, has published this provocative Young Talent Inventory in The Bill James Handbook 2008, available as of Nov. 1, 2007. He is also working on a new book to be published in February, entitled The Bill James Gold Mine 2008. For further information on these books go to http://www.actasports.com/.

    The number one team in terms of Young Talent is the Colorado Rockies, and here I'm going to have to revert to giving the values I assigned to each player, even though there is no real frame of reference for it. I credit the Rockies with 1,902 points worth of young talent -- 1,008 to the hitters, 895 for the pitchers, it rounds down. This is a team-by-team summary:

    1. Rockies | Hitters: 1008 | Pitchers: 895 | Total: 1902
    Four Grade-A young players, in Tulowitzki, Holliday, Jeff Francis and Manny Corpas Delecti, with three more young and somewhat good or good and somewhat young talents in Brad Hawpe, Garrett Atkins and Willy Taveras.

    2. Tampa Bay | Hitters: 1072 | Pitchers: 778 | Total: 1850
    Five Grade-A young players -- Kazmir, Shields, B. J. Upton, Delmon Young and Carl Crawford. I know that a lot of people would list Delmon Young in the top five young players in baseball, but I don't see that his performance justifies that, and this isn't about scouting reports or press clippings, it's about performance. Edwin Jackson just misses being A grade, and Sonnanstine ain't bad, either.

    3. Arizona | Hitters: 930 | Pitchers: 861 | Total: 1791
    Four young players among the top 75 in baseball, which is how I defined "Grade A" -- Brandon Webb, Chris Young, Jose Valverde and Mark Reynolds, backed by Stephen Drew, Conor Jackson, Micah Owings and others.

    4. FloridaMarlins | Hitters: 1181 | Pitchers: 605 | Total: 1787
    Hanley, Cabrera and Jeremy Hermida are Grade A, Dontrelle Willis has slipped to a B because of his off season and Dan Uggla is a B because he is 27, but he's good, too. Scott Olsen is in there.

    5. Cleveland Indians | Hitters: 970 | Pitchers: 735 | Total: 1705
    Three players on the top 25 list (above), backed by Jhonny Peralta, Ryan Garko and Victor Martinez. Victor is 28, which is half-young.

    6. Milwaukee | Hitters: 1237 | Pitchers: 440 | Total: 1677
    They have the best young position players in baseball, and I believe they are the only team that has six Grade A young players (Fielder, Braun, Corey Hart, J. J. Hardy, Yovani Gallardo and Rickie Weeks.) But the great young pitchers they had a couple of years ago all looked at the defense behind them and decided their best shot was to hide out on the disabled list for a couple of years.

    7. Pittsburgh | Hitters: 752 | Pitchers: 867 | Total: 1619
    The future is looking better with two good young starters (Gorzelanny and Snell), and a crack reliever (Capps). Maholm is a maybe (another starter) and Jose Bautista's a maybe at third...team needs Jason Bay to get back where he was.

    8. Kansas City | Hitters: 837 | Pitchers: 664 | Total: 1501
    More depth than flash, with reliever Joakim Soria and third baseman Alex Gordon scoring as low A's, but lots of depth with Greinke, Teahen, Butler, Bannister, DeJesus and Pena.

    9. Oakland | Hitters: 617 | Pitchers: 851 | Total: 1468
    Oakland has a different set of expectations than most of the young teams, like Pittsburgh and Kansas City, Tampa Bay. Oakland is accustomed to winning. Three starters are Grade A (Haren, Blanton and Gaudin), Huston Street, Travis Buck and Nick Swisher are B's and could be A's, but the injuries to Chavez, the failure of Dan Johnson to develop, and the wipeout of Rich (Hardy Harr) Harden have pushed the team at least temporarily off course.

    10. Toronto | Hitters: 561 | Pitchers: 841 | Total: 1402
    Grade A: Alex Rios, Jeremy Accardo, Aaron Hill
    Grade B: Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Jesse Litsch, Casey Janssen

    11. Minnesota | Hitters: 679 | Pitchers: 717 | Total: 1396
    Grade A: Morneau
    Grade B: Mauer, Santana, Kubel, Baker, Bartlett, Bonser, Cuddyer Mauer being evaluated in an off year, Santana is great but no longer so young.

    12. Philadelphia | Hitters: 737 | Pitchers: 640 | Total: 1377
    Grade A: Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins
    Grade B: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Brett Myers, Shane Victorino
    Most of the team has exited "young" and entered "prime", but is holding on to pieces of their youth.

    13. Washington | Hitters: 732 | Pitchers: 538 | Total: 1270
    Grade A: Ryan Zimmerman, Chad Cordero
    Grade B: Matt Chico, Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez

    14. San Diego | Hitters: 580 | Pitchers: 645 | Total: 1225
    Grade A: Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez
    Grade B: Kouzmanoff, Khalil Greene, Justin Germano, Chris Young

    15. LA Angels | Hitters: 524 | Pitchers: 674 | Total: 1198
    Grade A: K-Rod is still young enough to Grade A, although it seems like he has been around forever. Also Jered Weaver.
    Grade B: Kotchman and Howie Kendrick

    16. Atlanta | Hitters: 884 | Pitchers: 301 | Total: 1185
    Grade A: Francoeur and Kelly Johnson
    Grade B: Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira, Chuck James, Yunel Escobar
    A year ago McCann rated very, very high after what may have been a fluke year.

    17. New York Mets | Hitters: 711 | Pitchers: 455 | Total: 1166
    Grade A: Wright, Reyes, John Maine and Oliver Perez
    Grade B: None
    Competitive teams don't have as much room to let young players thrash around, and consequently most of the top teams don't show as having a lot of young talent. They may have the young talent; it just isn't in the lineup yet.

    18. Boston Red Sox | Hitters: 500 | Pitchers: 656 | Total: 1156
    Grade A: Dustin Pedroia, Jon Papelbon, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
    Grade B: Youkilis and Coco Crisp.
    The young players Boston is most excited about, Ellsbury and Buchholz, don't show up yet because they spent most of the 2007 season in the minors.

    19. San Francisco | Hitters: 220 | Pitchers: 877 | Total: 1098
    Grade A: Matt Cain
    Grade B: Lincecum and Noah Lowry.
    The young pitching is very good, but it would be the understatement of the Bay to say that the lineup needs a lot of work.

    20. Dodgers | Hitters: 702 | Pitchers: 347 | Total: 1049
    Grade A: Billingsley, Russell Martin, James Loney and Matt Kemp
    Grade B: Andre Ethier, Jonathan Broxton.

    21. Texas Rangers | Hitters: 450 | Pitchers: 491 | Total: 941
    Grade A: None
    Grade B: Kinsler
    Players acquired in mid-season (Saltalamacchia, Gabbard, Murphy) may grade better next year.

    22. Baltimore | Hitters: 336 | Pitchers: 552 | Total: 888
    Grade A: Markakis
    Grade B: Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera, Jeremy Guthrie.
    Bedard is great, but not a Grade A young player because he is 28.

    23. Cincinnati Reds | Hitters: 686 | Pitchers: 201 | Total 887
    Grade A: Brandon Phillips
    Grade B: Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Dunn

    24. White Sox | Hitters: 252 | Pitchers: 636 | Total: 888
    Grade A: Bobby Jenks
    Grade B: Jon Garland, Mark Buerhle, John Danks 430

    25. Seattle | Hitters: 339 | Pitchers: 543 | Total: 882
    Grade A: Felix Hernandez
    Grade B: Yuniesky Betancourt, Jose Lopez

    26. Cardinals | Hitters: 557 | Pitchers: 307 | Total: 864
    Grade A: Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols
    Grade B: None
    Let me note that there is almost no difference here between spots 22 and 26...they're all really about even.

    27. Yankees | Hitters: 432 | Pitchers: 390 | Total: 822
    Grade A: Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Chien-Ming Wang
    Grade B: None

    28. Detroit | Hitters: 270 | Pitchers: 545 | Total: 814
    Grade A: Verlander, Granderson, Bonderman
    Grade B: None
    Grade C: None
    The Cardinals at least have three C's, in Chris Duncan, Brad Thompson
    and Yadier Molina. The Tigers are heavily dependant on the veteran stars that they brought in.

    29. Cubs | Hitters: 228 | Pitchers: 541 | Total: 769
    Grade A: Carlos Zambrano
    Grade B: Rich Hill, Carlos Marmol
    Theriot, Marshall and Murton are C's.

    30. Astros | Hitters: 255 | Pitchers: 171 | Total: 425
    Grade A: Hunter Pence
    Grade B: None

    It will be interesting to see, looking backward ten years from now, to what extent the possession of young talent has predicted the pennant races of 2008-2012. I sort-of studied that a year ago, but only time and repetitions will really show us what that relationship is.

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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    I'm guessing Dunn is a Grade B because he is older...I hope.

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    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Dunn is still young, born in 1979, but Johan Santana is not...born in 1979 also?

    Championships for MY teams in my lifetime:
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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Quote Originally Posted by AvesIce51 View Post
    I'm guessing Dunn is a Grade B because he is older...I hope.

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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
    Dunn is still young, born in 1979, but Johan Santana is not...born in 1979 also?
    There's hitter's years and pitcher's years.

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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
    Dunn is still young, born in 1979, but Johan Santana is not...born in 1979 also?
    JS is also one of the top 3 pitchers in all of baseball. Dunn is not a top 3 player. Age was overlooked for santana bc he is so unbelievably good.

    As far as the glove goes WOY, I do see BJ Upton in there as an A. But he is younger too. Rickie Weeks made Grade A... i say wow for glove and bat. Not in the top 75 players for sure.

    among the top 75 in baseball, which is how I defined "Grade A"
    Last edited by TOBTTReds; 11-02-2007 at 10:46 PM.

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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    17. New York Mets | Hitters: 711 | Pitchers: 455 | Total: 1166
    Grade A: Wright, Reyes, John Maine and Oliver Perez
    Losing credibility quickly.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Quote Originally Posted by AvesIce51 View Post
    Losing credibility quickly.
    Bill James?

    It will take a bit more then that.

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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Bill James?

    It will take a bit more then that.
    Why, does he have a history or something? haha. I meant the list.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Stats people are just so full of it....complementing the Devil Ray rotation...thats just silly talk.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Stats people are just so full of it....complementing the Devil Ray rotation...thats just silly talk.
    sweet, sweet vindication eh?
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    That list is a load of bunk.

    He has the Reds listed at #23? How can that be?

    Bill James needs to do more research. He should at least read the Minor League Talk section on RedsZone, then he would understand just how loaded the Reds are with young talent.


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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Why isn't Josh Hamilton on the list?
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup View Post
    Why isn't Josh Hamilton on the list?
    I'd guess he used some standard for amount of playing time that Hamilton didn't make?
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons

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    Re: Bill James - Team-by-Team Talent Rankings

    If you're doing team rankings of young talent, I'd think you'd want to focus on -- or at least include -- players the teams will be able to control for the next few years. Instead, there are players on these lists who will be eligible for free agency soon. So, this is more a snapshot than a forecast.

    Kyle Kendrick an A, and Ryan Howard and Chase Utley Bs? Sorry, James may be esteemed, but he may also be inebriated.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini


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