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Bill James Team-by-team ratings/rankings


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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. Florida Marlins | 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

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/base...james.rankings/

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lol, I think it's kind of funny how he mentions a sidenote about Ellsbury and Buchholz under the Red Sox and how they're not on the list because they spent most of the season in the minors and looks for them to be really good, but he does not mention one word about Joba Chamberlain with the Yankees.

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I don't know how they rate players but I can't imagine I would agree with a grading system that somehow puts Crisp, Uggla and Chico in the same bucket as Teixeira, Utley, Lincecum and Howard.

 

This system takes into account performance at what age and for younger players, performance projection at the same age as those older guys.

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I don't know how they rate players but I can't imagine I would agree with a grading system that somehow puts Crisp, Uggla and Chico in the same bucket as Teixeira, Utley, Lincecum and Howard.

 

The operative word is "youth" and in this analysis age matters. I didn't check them all but Teixeira, Uggla, Howard, Utley are all 27-28 years old. It is the reason the Marlins are scoring as high as they are and these players are more or less lumped together.

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Yes, I'm sure age has a lot to do with it but given that Teixeira, Uggla, Crisp, Howard and Utley are all about 27 or 28 I would think that Teixeira, Howard and Utley would be rated higher than Uggla and Crisp because they're much better players. Crisp is in a whole different league from these guys.

 

With Chico and Lincecum, Lincecum is better, younger and has a much higher ceiling so I would think he would be rated higher.

 

There's some strange stuff in there.

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Suprised Willingham didn't get a B...though I guess he's also too old

 

well nvm, he doesnt say they're going to be good, he says they're excited about them.

 

same idea

 

And what does that have to do with anything?

 

 

Notice that Bill James works for the Boston Red Sox, you know, the Yankees' arch rival?

 

He mentioned all the good young prospects the Sox have like Buccholz and Ellsbury, but he says nothing about the Yankees good young prospects.

 

dint-dint-dint?

 

you're forgiven

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Suprised Willingham didn't get a B...though I guess he's also too old

 

well nvm, he doesnt say they're going to be good, he says they're excited about them.

 

same idea

 

And what does that have to do with anything?

 

 

Notice that Bill James works for the Boston Red Sox, you know, the Yankees' arch rival?

 

He mentioned all the good young prospects the Sox have like Buccholz and Ellsbury, but he says nothing about the Yankees good young prospects.

 

dint-dint-dint?

 

you're forgiven

 

 

.....and? Again, what does that have to do with anything?

 

It has nothing to do with the rankings, he made an offcoment about why two players didn't get ranked. Why should he have to continue to repeat himself after every team "These guys weren't on the list because they were in the minors"?

 

I still fail to see what that has to do with anything. He also didn't say anything about most other teams prospects that didn't serve major league time. Why single out the Yankees? Because they're the Yankees? He also said why Texas prospects didn't make the list, why don't you jump on that? You're making something out of nothing.

 

Boston/Yankee stuff is so f***ing stupid

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