2019 Trade Value: #11 to #20

Francisco Lindor’s production (and smile) continue to rank highly throughout the industry. (Photo: Keith Allison)

As is the annual tradition at FanGraphs, we’re using a week around the All-Star Game — when the industry pauses to take a metaphorical breather — to take stock of the top-50 trade chips in the sport. For more context on exactly what we’re trying to do here, see the Honorable Mentions post linked at the top of the page.

For this post and the top 10 to follow, I’ll present a graphic (by way of the wizard Sean Dolinar) breaking down each player’s objective skill level (represented, in this case, by a five-year WAR projection from ZiPS), contract/team-control details, rank in last year’s series, and then year-by-year details of age, WAR, and contract through the end of 2023, although a couple players have control beyond those five years, and some, you’ll notice, show projections for fewer years to reflect when those players reach free agency. For those readers who are partial to spreadsheets rather than blocks of text, I’ll also include all of the players we’ve ranked so far in grid format at the bottom of the post.

It should be noted that the ZiPS WAR forecasts influenced the rankings a bit. For players who were bunched together, it acted as an impartial tiebreaker of sorts, but the industry opinions I solicited drove the rankings.

With that said, let’s get to the next 10 spots on this year’s Trade Value list.

Five-Year WAR +18.5
Guaranteed Dollars $46.0 M
Team Control Through 2023
Previous Rank #35
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 27 +4.0 $7.0 M
2021 28 +4.0 $10.5 M
2022 29 +3.7 $12.5 M
2023 30 +3.5 $16.0 M

Snell signed an extension this winter that locks him up through his age-30 season, which would’ve been his first year of free agency. He really belongs as the last guy in the previous article, so you can see him on the tier with fellow possible/current aces German Marquez, Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom, Jose Berrios, Chris Paddack, Aaron Nola and (given the late revelations I’ve since added to his blurb about the details of his contract) Max Scherzer. All of these guys rank from 20th to the low-30s, and could be put in almost any order. Most sources I spoke with moved them as a group and generally kept the same names at the top/bottom as I have, shuffling the order in the middle a bit. Once you take Scherzer off the table as the best pitcher in baseball, ZiPS essentially has Snell, Jacob deGrom, Marquez, Bieber, and Nola tied for second among those pitchers over the 2020-2024 term. Snell is the only lefty in the group, he’s on pace for his fourth straight year of 31 regular season starts, his velo has been stable year-to-year at an average of 95.7 mph, his 3.12 FIP over his last 58 starts is a sustained run of elite performance, and his extension is for reasonable money, for exactly as long as I’d be predicting No. 2 or 3 starter performance from him.

Five-Year WAR +18.3
Guaranteed Dollars $100.0 M
Team Control Through 2025
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 27 +4.5 $20.0 M
2021 28 +4.2 $20.0 M
2022 29 +3.7 $20.0 M
2023 30 +3.2 $20.0 M
2024 31 +2.7 $20.0 M
Player Option

Bogaerts was lower in earlier iterations of this list because I just assumed that a bunch of guaranteed money, even at a reasonable rate, would move him to the back half of the top 50. He slowly worked his way up as I got advice from industry folks, and I realized his contract is still an asset. He’s making $12 million this year in his final year of arbitration, then $20 million per year from 2020-2025 with a 2026 vesting option for $20 million if he reaches 535 plate appearances in 2025. And, because Bogaerts’ agent is Scott Boras and this was an extension (i.e. a rare concession to the team), Bogaerts got an opt out after 2022.

Bogaerts would be choosing between hitting the open market for his age-30 season (coming off of a five-year run with WAR of 4.9, 6.6, 4.5, 4.2, and 3.7) or sticking with the three years and $60 million remaining on his deal, with a vesting option if he can play what amounts to 125 of 162 games in 2025. He could probably beat that contract by a bit, but the market is hard to peg when we’re in it, so we’ll call the opt-out a 50/50 at this point. Interestingly, UZR has Bogaerts as essentially average defensively for his career, at a pretty steady rate since 2013, while DRS has him between -10 and -19 runs annually from 2016-2019. If Bogaerts has to move off of shortstop, it could make a contract in his 30s a little trickier, so having $120 million guaranteed is nice security given the 24 WAR he’s going to put up in his first six seasons. All of that to say, Bogaerts is really valuable for the next 3.5 years or so. It’s a bit of an open question what his value will be after that, but the salary won’t be high enough to make this contract a problem.

Five-Year WAR +14.3
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2023
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 25 +2.9 Pre-Arb
2021 26 +3.0 Arb1
2022 27 +2.9 Arb2
2023 28 +2.8 Arb3
Pre-Arb
Arb

Moncada was another tough placement because his first 900 PA or so were just okay, but he was so hyped and has such good tools and we’ve sadly been conditioned to expect every elite prospect to ball out from day one. He didn’t even make the Honorable Mentions last year because even a .344 BABIP and bonkers tools couldn’t get him to a league average offensive performance, so it seemed like a wait-and-see-and-maybe-lower-your-expectations-a-bit sort of situation. This year, Moncada looks different, in a way similar to the change we’ve seen in Joey Gallo: he got a little better at everything. Suddenly he’s 24 years old and performing, and making me feel silly and reactionary for ever questioning that smile.

Moncada’s StatCast figures show that while his strikeouts are down, his exit velo and rate of barrels are way up, which puts his expected batting average (.283) and slugging (.512) right about where we would’ve pegged them to be when we had him as baseball’s top prospect. ZiPS incorporates StatCast data for the BABIP projection (Dan reports the StatCast data gives Moncada eight extra points of projected BABIP), but it may be a little slower to recognize the power spike (which StatCast’s quicker-stabilizing data thinks is real). This whole package likely costs under $40 million for 4.5 years of a tools monster with prospect pedigree who’s about to post a not-that-lucky 4.7 WAR season at age 24. There’s still some uncertainty here, but I feel a little better about this than the back end of the Bogaerts deal.

Five-Year WAR +15.0
Guaranteed Dollars $18.0 M
Team Control Through 2024
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 26 +3.4 $4.0 M
2021 27 +3.3 $6.0 M
2022 28 +3.0 $8.0 M
2023 29 +2.8 $10.0 M
2024 30 +2.5 $12.0 M
Team Option

Speaking of one-year breakouts changing a guy’s trade value, it was tough to separate Moncada and Marte given all the similarities. Marte is a year and a half older and has a background in the infield, but is having his breakout season playing both second base and center field for Arizona. Given his elite athleticism, it’s not surprising that defensive metrics show him as plus in center field (in a small sample) and average at second base. This year’s performance looks to be a little on the lucky side, and a few sources questioned how real the power spike was. StatCast expected outcomes have his wRC+ closer to 120 this year, rather than the 135 he’s currently sitting at. I think ZiPS has this one about right: a peak between 3 and 4 WAR in true talent. The salary and WAR are pretty similar to Moncada, but Marte has an extra year of control by virtue of an extension he signed before the 2018 season, so he gets the slight edge here. But this is one matchup where I may flip the winner every other day.

Five-Year WAR +14.3
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2023
Previous Rank #30
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 25 +2.9 Pre-Arb
2021 26 +3.0 Arb1
2022 27 +2.9 Arb2
2023 28 +2.8 Arb3
Pre-Arb
Arb

So I’m sure you’re aware that Ohtani is really good and exciting, and both hits and pitches and next year he’s gonna pitch again. He’s a really good pitcher, which is what we expected and look forward to seeing again. I’d like to see more than 10 starts before I say he would’ve made the top 50 just as a pitcher, but I think he would’ve. The surprising part is the bat — we thought he’d be a solid, useful hitter, but with big power and contact issues. After 607 plate appearances, Ohtani has posted 4.1 WAR and that’s while not playing the field at all; we have good reason to believe he’d be around average in right field with an 80 arm. By rate stats, Ohtani has been the second-best DH in baseball and has been better than Giancarlo Stanton over 2018 and 2019, and Stanton got a $325 million contract for doing just that. And he doesn’t pitch at all.

Even if we assume some regression and a conservative usage case (20 starts and 400 plate appearances), Ohtani’s still a 4 WAR player. ZiPS is undershooting that figure because of the gaps in his pitching and hitting record, which make playing time is tough to project. He’ll be going into his traditional prime years next year and while we’ve seen the downside in terms of injuries, the upside is still a 10-win season where he’s a durable ace (5-6 WAR) and a top-three DH (4-5 WAR). You could easily argue he should be ranked higher within this list, but there are enough unknowns — and concern that trying to contribute both ways will impact his durability/performance — that we’ll be conservative. Ohtani has a better chance than most guys in the teens to be in the top five on this list next year, as a hot 15 starts in 2020 and more uninterrupted hitting performance could led to his ZiPS projections jumping close to 5 WAR per year.

Five-Year WAR +20.2
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2022
Previous Rank #3
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 28 +4.6 Arb1
2021 29 +4.7 Arb2
2022 30 +4.2 Arb3
Arb

Judge, 27, has seen some fairly minor injuries stack up (wrist, oblique) and affect his playing time. Meanwhile, execs have always wondered how he would age given his frame. This could be confirmation bias given that there is such a small sample of MVP-level giants to compare Judge to, but his teammate Giancarlo Stanton, noted for not being a pitcher, is 29 with what appears to be a better-aging physique, and is now in his third season of a meaningful injury eating into his playing time. Judge is in his prime and still has 8 WAR upside, but ZiPS’ expectation of 4 to 5 WAR in what should be some very pricey arbitration years seems about right. I’ll set the over/under for the tab on Judge’s three arb years at $49 million.

Five-Year WAR +20.4
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2023
Previous Rank #45
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 23 +3.8 Pre-Arb
2021 24 +4.2 Arb1
2022 25 +4.2 Arb2
2023 26 +4.3 Arb3
Pre-Arb
Arb

Devers is another young player enjoying a breakout season that was predicted when he was an amateur but took a little bit of time to materialize, even though he’s somehow still just 22. These things happen when every scout who sees you at age 15 thinks you’re the best hitter they’ve seen in years, making not being an All-Star in the next six years seems like a letdown. He leads all of baseball by a good margin in hard-hit balls, his strikeouts are down, his power is up, and his defensive metrics have even improved a bit. He’s been a bit hit-lucky this year, so I have him in the 3-4 WAR true talent range right now, but he’s also 22 and could still take another step forward. Devers also has another year at the league minimum, so his could be another precedent-setting trip through arbitration if he opts to pass on an extension.

Five-Year WAR +29.4
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2021
Previous Rank #2
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 26 +6.5 Arb2
2021 27 +6.5 Arb3
Arb

After barely missing any games for three seasons, Lindor missed the beginning of this season with leg injuries, but he has picked up where he left off performance-wise. A popular topic of discussion with Indians fans following our All-Star Weekend event in Cleveland was whether the team could re-sign Lindor. Signs point both to Lindor wanting to hit the open market after 2021 and the Indians not having the money or inclination to pay him, but Lindor’s agent also negotiated the Ozzie Albies deal and has been Craig Kimbrel’s agent, so it’s pretty hard to triangulate that signal. There aren’t a lot of guys projected by the mid-season ZiPS update to post 6.5 WAR seasons in 2020 and 2021 (*whispers* it’s only Mike Trout), so getting 2.5 years of a now-healthy second-best player in baseball for what I’ll guess is $39 million in his final two years of arbitration is pretty, pretty good.

Five-Year WAR +24.5
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2024
Previous Rank #20
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 23 +4.5 Pre-Arb
2021 24 +4.9 Arb1
2022 25 +5.2 Arb2
2023 26 +5.1 Arb3
2024 27 +4.8 Arb4
Pre-Arb
Arb

Devers was thought of as a slam dunk guy in his July 2nd class. Some other playters in that humble 2013 J2 class include Victor Robles, Eloy Jimenez, Ozzie Albies, and Gleyber Torres. I saw four of those five at an MLB showcase the winter before they signed, and Torres stood out to me as the best talent (Devers was the best hitter) because he could play shortstop, and while he didn’t have the flashy tools you look for at these events, he did everything well and slowed the game down in all phases. If you look in the top right of his Baseball Savant page, you’ll see that his tools as measured by StatCast are all about average, though our tools grades on him are a little stronger than that. Torres is still just 22, and his defense and feel for the game bring a lot to the table where his raw tools aren’t plus like you’d prefer to see. He’ll likely be grouped with Devers for awhile, and you could still flip those guys, but Torres can play the middle infield and has an extra year of control, so he gets the nod.

Five-Year WAR +19.0
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2024
Previous Rank #40
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 25 +3.9 Pre-Arb
2021 26 +3.9 Arb1
2022 27 +4.0 Arb2
2023 28 +3.8 Arb3
2024 29 +3.4 Arb4
Pre-Arb
Arb

Putting Buehler at No. 40 last year got some pushback from readers, but industry folks were pretty sure that even as a slight-framed righty with a TJ, they were looking at a potential ace who was about to prove it, and do so in the way it needs to be done in today’s game. In the 32 regular season starts since last year’s list, Buehler has thrown 195 innings with a 3.22 FIP, didn’t miss a single time through the rotation, and mixed in four sterling playoff starts with even better stats. The same risk factors apply as they did last summer (pitcher, TJ, slight frame, throws hard) but the superlative last 12 months, along with the postseason multiplicative ace properties, means that Buehler has to go to the front of the list ahead of these hitters, who each have one or two issues you could nitpick over. Spoiler alert: Buehler is the highest-ranked pitcher on this year’s list.

2019 Trade Value, 11-50
Rk Pv Player Age 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
11 40 Walker Buehler 24 +3.9
Pre-Arb
+3.9
Arb1
+4.0
Arb2
+3.8
Arb3
+3.4
Arb4
12 20 Gleyber Torres 22 +4.5
Pre-Arb
+4.9
Arb1
+5.2
Arb2
+5.1
Arb3
+4.8
Arb4
13 2 Francisco Lindor 25 +6.5
Arb2
+6.5
Arb3
14 45 Rafael Devers 22 +3.8
Pre-Arb
+4.2
Arb1
+4.2
Arb2
+4.3
Arb3
15 3 Aaron Judge 27 +4.6
Arb1
+4.7
Arb2
+4.2
Arb3
16 30 Shohei Ohtani 24 +2.9
Pre-Arb
+3.0
Arb1
+2.9
Arb2
+2.8
Arb3
17 Ketel Marte 25 +3.4
$4.0 M
+3.3
$6.0 M
+3.0
$8.0 M
+2.8
$10.0 M
+2.5
$12.0 M
18 Yoan Moncada 24 +2.9
Pre-Arb
+3.0
Arb1
+2.9
Arb2
+2.8
Arb3
19 Xander Bogaerts 26 +4.5
$20.0 M
+4.2
$20.0 M
+3.7
$20.0 M
+3.2
$20.0 M
+2.7
$20.0 M
20 35 Blake Snell 26 +4.0
$7.0 M
+4.0
$10.5 M
+3.7
$12.5 M
+3.5
$16.0 M
21 Shane Bieber 24 +4.3
Pre-Arb
+4.3
Pre-Arb
+4.3
Arb1
+4.3
Arb2
+4.0
Arb3
22 German Marquez 24 +4.2
$4.5 M
+4.2
$7.5 M
+4.3
$11.0 M
+4.2
$15.0 M
+3.8
$16.0 M
23 Wander Franco 18 +1.2
Pre-Arb
+2.3
Pre-Arb
+3.9
Pre-Arb
+4.5
Arb1
+5.3
Arb2
24 25 Jacob deGrom 31 +4.5
$23.0 M
+4.5
$33.5 M
+3.8
$33.5 M
+3.5
$30.5 M
+3.3
$32.5 M
25 11 Kris Bryant 27 +4.7
Arb3
+4.3
Arb4
26 46 Jose Berrios 25 +3.5
Arb1
+3.5
Arb2
+3.4
Arb3
27 8 Trea Turner 26 +4.2
Arb2
+4.0
Arb3
+3.6
Arb4
28 Joey Gallo 25 +2.9
Arb1
+3.0
Arb2
+2.8
Arb3
29 HM Paul DeJong 25 +3.4
$1.5 M
+3.4
$4.0 M
+3.0
$6.0 M
+2.9
$9.0 M
+2.5
$12.5 M
30 Chris Paddack 23 +2.5
Pre-Arb
+2.5
Pre-Arb
+2.7
Arb1
+2.6
Arb2
+2.3
Arb3
31 21 Aaron Nola 26 +4.0
$8.0 M
+4.0
$11.8 M
+3.8
$15.0 M
+3.8
$16.0 M
32 Peter Alonso 24 +4.0
Pre-Arb
+4.1
Pre-Arb
+3.7
Arb1
+3.5
Arb2
+3.2
Arb3
33 1 Jose Ramirez 26 +4.6
$6.3 M
+4.5
$9.0 M
+4.0
$11.0 M
+3.5
$13.0 M
34 HM Javier Baez 26 +4.1
Arb2
+3.7
Arb3
35 34 Rhys Hoskins 26 +4.0
Pre-Arb
+4.0
Arb1
+3.8
Arb2
+3.2
Arb3
36 9 Freddie Freeman 29 +4.9
$22.0 M
+4.6
$22.0 M
37 HM Nick Senzel 24 +2.7
Pre-Arb
+2.7
Pre-Arb
+2.6
Arb1
+2.5
Arb2
+2.4
Arb3
38 Jorge Polanco 25 +3.1
$3.8 M
+3.2
$4.3 M
+2.8
$5.5 M
+2.7
$7.5 M
+2.2
$10.5 M
39 Jeff McNeil 27 +4.0
Pre-Arb
+3.8
Pre-Arb
+3.3
Arb1
+3.0
Arb2
+2.3
Arb3
40 Max Kepler 26 +3.0
$6.3 M
+2.8
$6.5 M
+2.6
$6.8 M
+2.1
$8.5 M
+1.6
$10.0 M
41 Brandon Woodruff 26 +2.9
Pre-Arb
+2.9
Arb1
+2.9
Arb2
+2.8
Arb3
+2.5
Arb4
42 Mike Soroka 21 +2.7
Pre-Arb
+2.7
Arb1
+2.9
Arb2
+2.9
Arb3
+2.7
Arb4
43 32 Eugenio Suarez 27 +3.5
$9.3 M
+3.2
$10.5 M
+3.2
$11.0 M
+2.7
$11.0 M
+2.2
$11.0 M
44 41 Max Scherzer 34 +5.6
$35.0 M
+5.6
$35.0 M
45 5 Carlos Correa 24 +4.2
Arb2
+4.3
Arb3
46 31 Gary Sanchez 26 +3.2
Arb1
+3.0
Arb2
+2.6
Arb3
47 13 Corey Seager 25 +4.0
Arb2
+3.9
Arb3
48 Adalberto Mondesi 23 +3.0
Pre-Arb
+3.0
Arb1
+2.9
Arb2
+2.8
Arb3
49 HM Matt Olson 25 +3.4
Pre-Arb
+3.4
Arb1
+3.1
Arb2
+2.9
Arb3
50 Luis Castillo 26 +3.4
Pre-Arb
+3.4
Arb1
+3.2
Arb2
+3.0
Arb3
Pre-Arb
Arb
Team Option
Player Option

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Kiley McDaniel has worked as an executive and scout, most recently for the Atlanta Braves, also for the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. He's written for ESPN, Fox Sports and Baseball Prospectus. Follow him on twitter.

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Cave Dameron
Member
Cave Dameron

I think most teams would have Ohtani much higher on their lists.

Werthless
Member
Werthless

He’s a 4 WAR hitter in his first 600 PAs, and pitched at a rate of 3 WAR per 30 starts, in his rookie season. He’s a free agent in 2024. His floor is so high, with 2 routes to producing value. Imagine his value in the playoffs?!?

That said, the top 10 are elite young hitters with a ton of team control. I wouldn’t be surprised if 7 of the top 10 make the hall of fame (don’t ask me which 7). I’d move Ohtani up about 5 spots, but he’s still probably on the outside of the top 10.

RPDC
Member
Member
RPDC

Sadly, one of the top 10 isn’t an elite hitter – just a very good young player who is only in the top 10 b/c he signed a contract that he didn’t understand (by his own admission) and that pays him an indecent fraction of his value.

weekapaug09
Member
weekapaug09

The guy in question isn’t too far from being elite. 7.7 WAR already and he doesn’t turn 23 for another six months. But yeah, the contract is still unconscionable. And I say that as a Braves fan..

hebrew
Member
Member
hebrew

i’d love if you could clarify the (by his own admission) remark, because I can’t find what you seem to be implying

dl80
Member
dl80

So, Trout, Betts, Bellinger, Yelich, and Bregman, all have at least a chance at the Hall of Fame, though it is obviously really early for everyone but Trout. Too early on Albies, Soto, and Acuna to say much about their chances, really.

Not sure who the other 2 guys are, but I think 7 Hall of Famers out of that is very unlikely.

Trout is in, obviously, and Betts and Yelich are probably better than 50/50 at this point. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s all out of the 10.

Psychic... Powerless...
Member
Psychic... Powerless...

As Kiley stated in the introduction, this list is based on what teams told him, not his personal preferences.

Maggie25
Member
Member
Maggie25

I mean, isn’t his list made by talking to people from most teams? The intro makes it clear that it’s not based on Kiley’s opinion about players.

Shauncore
Member
Member

Alright I love Ohtani but let’s be a part of the red team and try to make a case against him being higher

Tommy John means he won’t be pitching for awhile
He has no positional value in the field other than DH (has he ever played the field other than pitching?)
His FIP last year (3.57) ranked last of Marquez (3.40), Bieber (3.23), Buehler (3.04), Nola (3.01), Snell (2.95), and deGrom (1.99)
His walk rate was as well last of that group
He does have speed but he’s been an average base runner so far
Strikeouts aren’t crazy but they are fairly high (27.8% in 2018, 23.8% in 2019, and projected for 28% by ZiPS for the rest of the season)
He looks like a very good DH but there is only so much value; David Ortiz peaked at 6 wins in 2007 as a DH but he had a 175 wRC+ and averaged ~3 wins per 600 PA for his career (Ohtani though is obviously a better runner)

I suppose you could find dings for everyone but I’m just trying to play devil’s advocate here (Othani is really good)

Stoppage in Udders
Member
Stoppage in Udders

He played the OF in Japan occasionally

dukewinslow
Member
dukewinslow

all caveats accepted here, I think he’s going to be really good for a long time.
but….
He’s going to be really expensive when everyone else is getting cheaper and younger. He’s just going to cost a ton of money in his next contract, and from the way things are going, you can get that kind of production cheaper elsewhere (or develop it internally).
Also, rampant speculation, but he’s probably going to care about market size, so the list of teams that can re-sign him is going to be very small (though I imagine everyone cares about market size, so maybe that won’t matter).

All these things are contingent and small, but who knows. Heterogeneity in wage suppression might be the most interesting thing here, but who knows if things will keep going the way they are.

Careless
Member
Careless

“his next contract” doesn’t matter for his trade value when he’s controlled for 5 years.

Shirtless George Brett
Member
Shirtless George Brett

Ohtani has no positional value only because they refuse to play him in the field, not because he cant play the field. Thats an important distinction.

As Kiley states, with an 80 grade arm (and 60 grade speed) he is likely at least an avg RF if not better if they actually chose/were forced to play him there.

Shauncore
Member
Member

But he is never going to play the field, that’s the point.

Edgar Martinez could play 3B but the Mariners played *checks notes* Russ Davis instead.

Ohtani stopped playing OF in Japan basically at 19. NHF didn’t let him play outfield in 2015, 2016, or 2016. The Angels haven’t played him there yet either.

No team in the MLB is going to let him both field and pitch. It was somewhat revolutionary just to DH him.

Shirtless George Brett
Member
Shirtless George Brett

But he is never going to play the field, that’s the point.

No, thats not the point actually. The point is he does have positional value its just not utilized at this point in time. If he found himself in a position where he could not pitch anymore (or if the Angels just decide its not worth it anymore) he would not be relegated DH and therefore have his value severely inhibited by his lack of defensive ability. He would move to the OF and likely be a good to great OF.

This is a pretty important point to recognize when talking about value especially future value.

Edgar Martinez could play 3B

Edgar could play 3B in the sense they could write “3B” next to his name on the scorecard. Thats about it. lol

Shauncore
Member
Member

Bryce Harper doesn’t have any value added because his fallback is a pitcher.

No team is going to play Ohtani in the outfield. Ability to play and actual any realm of possibility to play are different. No single team is going to add to the cost to acquire Ohtani because there’s a remote chance they could use him as an outfielder.

And Ohtani hasn’t played the outfield in five years, since he was a teenager. I don’t think if you put him out there tomorrow he is automatically an average outfielder without spending time playing.

Not to mention we are arguing over what amounts to like…10 runs over a full season (~1 win). It’s not like we are saying Ohtani could maybe play SS. Right field is still a negative positional adjustment, so even if he were an average right fielder it would just be less bad than being a DH.

carter
Member
carter

I would bet money he plays the field during his MLB career. Baseball is changing, and I think the Angels will see he isn’t being utilized as a DH/ SP.

Shirtless George Brett
Member
Shirtless George Brett

Not to mention we are arguing over what amounts to like…10 runs over a full season (~1 win).

The positional difference alone is worth 10 runs (DH is -17.5 and RF is -7.5) if Ohtani is actually good (there is no reason to think he couldn’t be) out there it could be another 1-2 wins on-top of that. Plus you would also have him hitting 500+ times a year as opposed to 350ish. So no, it’s not what amounts to 1 win.

Ohtani is only a DH out of precaution. Any team that acquired him could say to hell with him pitching and instantly have a top 10-15 OF. I’m not sure why you are so admanant on arguing what is a pretty obvious idea.

carter
Member
carter

I think his speed is much faster than the 60 grade they have on him. He has posted faster home to 1st than plenty of guys who are just in the MLB for their legs (Dyson, Gore, Lopez, Allen) and his split times consistently run him in the top 50 in the MLB, with top 15ish home to 1st. They will eventually change his usage, and I think this whole regression in his bat thing seems very weird. He is still new to stateside baseball. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stay as he is, a top 10-20 hitter. Assuming that happens, as I think it will, I think they will use him as a dh/rp, or a of/rp. There is no reason for them to continue to start him imo.

Angelsjunky
Member
Angelsjunky

This actually solidified my view that he should be higher.

BROD
Member
BROD

“He has no positional value in the field other than DH (has he ever played the field other than pitching?)”

I don’t know if you are serious or not.
But anyway —- Ohtani is a SP, which means that he’s at the very top of the defensive spectrum, and thus can accrue more defensive value than any of the other defenders on the baseball field even while pitching only once a week.

Are you suggesting that he should start everyday?

Furthermore, Fangraphs’ positional adjustment for Ohtani is simply messed up; it’s currently constructed to give Ohtani, a two-way player (a hitter+pitcher, which is much more valuable than a hitter+shortstop or a hitter+catcher, for example), the DH adjustment even when he’s playing both ways despite the fact that he should get easily the highest positional adjustment of any player in baseball, not to mention that it also doesn’t consider the value for his team of getting a front-line starter and a middle-of-the-order bat out of one roster spot.

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

No, that’s the correct adjustment, since he is replacing a DH and not a pitcher in the lineup. If he was replacing a pitcher he’d be much higher.

(You could argue that for the Angels specifically it should be higher because the Angels have terrible options at DH, but it’s not easy to account for the sunk cost fallacy in wins above replacement, especially since he might not have that for whatever team traded for him)

For this reason, I think it’s pretty clear the best route to maximizing his value would be for him to be a part-time 1B and full-time pitcher in the National League, but that point seems to be moot.