Sunday, August 21, 2011

Does Ichiro Belong in the Hall of Fame?

In 2001 Ichiro came over from Japan and immediately took over the MLB by storm. He doesn't have power but what he does contribute is amazing. He has incredible speed, gets on base and has an amazing arm. Has he done enough to get into one of the most prestigous clubs ever though? Let's find out.

In his first season as a Mariner he was about as good as you can be. His OBP was .381 which is just what you want for your leadoff hitter. His .369 wOBA was also excellent. Ichiro demonstrated a great eye at the plate, striking out only 7.2% of the time but only walking 4.1% of the time. His .102 ISO wasn't a big deal because well that wasn't his game. His .369 BABIP was very high but Ichiro is an extreme groundball hitter and groundball hitters tend to have higher BABIPs. His GB% for his rookie year was 55.1%. He had an exceptional 130 wRC+ which would actually be the second highest of his career so far. His highest is 134 which he posted in 2004. Once Ichiro gets on base you can bet he'll steal, in his first season he swiped 56 bags. Not only did all of that result in a 6.1 WAR, he also received rookie of the year honors and MVP.

His career numbers are just as good. He walks 6.2% of the time for his career and strikes out only 9.2% of the time. His .371 OBP and .349 wOBA are both solid career numbers as well. Like I've said he doesn't hit for much power, he only has a .095 ISO but he more then makes up for it. His career BABIP is unusually high, .352 but that can be contributed by his career 55.9 GB%. His career WAR is 52.4, I doubt he'll reach 60 WAR but he came when he was 26 years old. If he played an extra 3-5 years earlier he would easily have been past 60 WAR by now.

Ichiro's defense is what's really remarkable. His career UZR is 103.6! He's had 5 years where he's had more then 10 UZR.  If you've ever seen him play you would know those numbers are no fluke.

Some of you still may be wondering if those are hall of fame numbers. Let's take a look at two hall of famers and one potential hall of famer. Here's a WAR graph comparing Ichiro to Kenny Lofton, Tony Gwynn and George Sisler.

Besides struggling this year, Ichiro compares pretty well to all of those guys. By looking it looks like he compares the best to Kenny Lofton. I made a spreadsheet on google docs comparing all of four of them as well. I can't figure out how to get it on here so you'll have to click this link.

Ichiro vs Others

Based on all of this information even though Ichiro has only played for 10 years and has accumulated under 60 WAR he still should be honored in the hall of fame. He is truly a unique player but also an excellent one and should be honored as such.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Was Barry Bonds Better Then Babe Ruth?

Now I know you must be thinking that Barry Bonds shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as The Babe due to his supposed steroid use. The fact of the matter is though Bonds was never found to have used steroids, some of you might remember how people speculated that he used items like the cream and other things to hide the use but we still don't know. I did some research and even if he did use steroids, they haven't been proven to help hit home runs, only hit them farther. I also discovered that steroids typically help upper body strength and home runs usually come from ones lower body strength. Even if Bonds did take steroids starting in 1998 he was still putting up numbers that were ridiculous. If he did take them I don't believe they helped his power, honestly I'm not sure they did anything at all. Babe Ruth wasn't a goody two shoes either. In 2008 baseball historians found 53 bats belonging to Babe Ruth. Every single bat was corked. A corked bat shifts the center of a bats mass to the handle and makes the bat lighter, thus increasing the distance a ball is hit.

Besides the controversy that surrounds both players you also have to factor in the era that both players played in. Do we know if Babe Ruth would have faired better during the time Barry Bonds played? What about Barry Bonds, maybe he would have done better during Ruth's era. If you really wanted to you could break down all of the statistical data and find out for yourself.

You also need to weigh other factors. Ruth struck out during a period where strikeouts weren't something that were tolerated and he struckout a good portion of the time. Did he make up for that with his defense and power? Maybe.

One more thing, besides their overall career stats you also want to compare their peak years. Those years are generally last between the age 27 and 32 season.

Babe Ruth is quite possibly the greatest player to ever play the game. He would hit monster home runs and has put up some of the best seasons of all time. He also was a pretty good pitcher too. Was he the greatest player of all time though?

Barry Bonds, was equally impressive. He was an incredible 5 tool player who could hit the ball, play exceptional defense and possessed solid speed.

Babe's career WAR is 177.7, which is the greatest all time. Who's in second you may ask? Barry Bonds at 168.2. 10 times in Ruth's famed career he had a WAR over 10. Ruth's career ISO was .340 which is ridiculous, a testiment to his power. Two stats that really jumped out to me were his career .474 OBP and .510 wOBA. Over a career you just don't see those numbers. It's no secret pitchers feared Ruth, he walked 19.4% of the time and struck out only 12.5% of the time. During his career Ruth averaged a 197 wRC+, that number is staggering. To put in perspective Jose Bautista has a 193 wRC+. Ruth averaged more then that for his career! Ruth did have a pretty high career BABIP, .340 to be exact. I'm not sure exactly what caused that but if I had to guess I would assume playing at the Polo Grounds had something to do with it.

His best season was easily in 1923 when he totaled a 15.4 WAR, one of the best single season WARs. During 1923 Ruth posted the best OBP and wRC+ of his career. His OBP was a staggering .545 and his wOBA was .566. His ISO was a robust .372 and he also had the highest BABIP of his career, .423.

During his time period no one would hit home runs, much less as much as Ruth did. Who knows though how much can be contributed to corked bats. Less then 100 years later the closest thing to a modern day Ruth arrived.

And his name was Barry Bonds. Barry wouldn't just hit home runs. He would crush them. No one would hit home runs into McCovey Cove unless your name was Barry Bonds. Unlike Ruth, Bonds did it all. He hit, was an exceptional fielder, had a great arm, speed. The whole package.

His career numbers were fantastic, amassing a 168.2 career WAR. He went over 10 WAR 6 times, his best was 12.9 in 2001. Bonds' career numbers were nothing to laugh at either. He had a .309 career ISO, not exactly Ruthian but pretty darn good. His .444 OBP and .439 wOBA weren't too far off Ruth's. Like Ruth, pitchers feared Bonds as evidence of his 20.3 carrer BB%. He also had a good eye at the plate, striking out only 12.2% of the time. His 175 career wRC+ isn't as good as Ruth's but still pretty darn good. His .285 career BABIP was much more reasonable then Ruth's.

If you compare their peak years Ruth has the advantage even though his WAR when he was 30 was low. You can see how Ruth dominated those 5 years then slowly started to fall of the table. Bonds was good too but that spike when he was 35 is ridiculous. Still, Ruth had the way better peak.


Without question Bonds' best season was in 2001 when he had a .536 ISO. That is insane. His .515 OBP and .539 wOBA were also incredibly high as well. His wRC+ really jumped out at me though. It was 236! Not even Ruth had that good of a wRC+ although he was close, coming in at 235 in 1920. The scary thing is that wasn't even his career high. His career high came in 2002 when he had a 245 wRC+. He walked in over 25% of his at-bats, 26.7% to be exact and only struck out in 14% of them. He was hit with a low BABIP of .266 so one wonders if he could have had an even better year, which is scary to think about.

Let's see how they match up now.

BB%: Bonds

K%: Bonds

BABIP: Bonds

ISO: Ruth

OBP: Ruth

wOBA: Ruth

wRC+: Ruth

WAR: Ruth

I wasn't sure what to do with the BABIP but I gave it to Bonds because it was a more sustainable number but that interpretation can be left to you. Overall Ruth was the better player, his BB and K% weren't to far off Bonds and he was superior in career ISO, OBP, WAR, wOBA and wRC+. While both may have cheated the game both were still amazing players. Based on WAR Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds are the two best players in baseball and both should be in the hall, not just Ruth. Bonds was hall of fame bound before people believe he started juicing in 1998. Whether he did or not we may never know but if Ruth and his corked bats are allowed in the hall then so should Barry Bonds.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weekly Prospect: Travis d'Arnaud

Travis d'Arnaud came over to the Blue Jays in the trade that sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies. Last year he had an OK season in A+ ball but this year in AA he's really starting to take off.

d'Arnaud is posting a very solid .232 ISO, he's always had solid power but this year it's really starting to come on. His .393 OBP is above and beyond what one would ask out of him, as is his .420 wOBA. He could improve his eye at the plate, his BB% is 7.9%. If he could bring it up 2% or so that'd be ideal. His 20.4% K% isn't awful as long as he still supplies power. d'Aranaud's 161 wRC+ is 61% better then his league's average, a crazy number that probably isn't sustainable. It's no secret that he's had help based off his .383 BABIP so regression to the mean is definitely expected.

d'Arnaud is only 22 so he has a little more room for improvement but at the pace he's at he could potentially see time on the big league club in 2012 and if everything goes right he should be the starting catcher in 2013.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Appreciating Jim Thome's Career.

Last night in the 7th inning Jim Thome hit his 600th career home run off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Daniel Schlereth. That should all but make it a lock on Thome's hall of fame career. Let's take a look at just how good his career was.

Thome's first 3 seasons can be ignored due to injuries, he only played 114 games and had 1 WAR overall. In '95 he really started to take off, posting a .243 ISO, .438 OBP, .431 wOBA, 159 wRC+ and a 6.3 WAR. Thome had a pretty ridiculous prime, posting absurd numbers from 1996 to 2002. In that tme frame he posted 38.1 of his 71 career WAR. That averages out to 5.4 WAR per season. His ISO in that span was .302, another ridiculous number. His BB% during that time was generally between 15% and 20%, it's understandable that pitchers feared him due to his crazy power. His K% was a little high, floating between 22% and 28% but he more then made up with it due to his power. He also had some high BABIP numbers throughout his career, his highest being .369 in '95 but during his career his BABIP has tended to be higher, his career BABIP is .321.

Thome's best season is without a doubt his '96 season when he posted a career best 7.9 WAR. That season he put up a .301 ISO, .450 OBP, .449 wOBA, 61.6 wRAA and a 163 wRC+. Like always he had an extremely high BB% that season, walking 19.3% of the time. His K% was a respectable 22.2%.

While he had a excellent prime, his career stats are just as good. He has a .281 ISO, which is good for 9th all-time. To put that in perspective he's ahead of the likes of Micky Mantle (20), Willie Mays (21) and Joe DiMaggio (22). Not bad if you ask me. He also has a career .403 OBP to go along with a career .406 wOBA. His career wRC+ is 145, another solid number. Like I mentioned before his career BABIP is .321, at this point in his career that shouldn't change at all. Thome is also walking 17.1% of the time and striking out 24.5% of the time, both great numbers, all things considering. We know he wasn't much of a defender so most of his value comes offensively, the majority from his power.

To me this says hall of famer right off the bat. There's one guy who had a similar career to Thome who isn't in the hall of fame who should be. His name is Jeff Bagwell. Let's check out this graph and since all three had similar careers and career WAR I put in Frank Thomas too.

As you can see, all have had very similar careers. It's a crime that bagwell isn't in but that may be a post for another day. The bottom line is Jim Thome is a Hall of Famer and the other two are as well.

Again, congrats on number 600 Jim Thome. I will always remember watching you reach history in a Minnesota Twins uniform.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Joe Torre = Mark McGwire.

In terms of career WAR at least. Both of have career WARs of 70.8 and I can't say I wasn't surprised. I'm only a teenager and not the greatest baseball history buff so when I looked at their career WARs I couldn't believe what I was seeing. We all know McGwire was good, he may have had some extra help but that's besides the point.

In 17 years Torre put together some pretty impressive numbers. He had a career .155 ISO which is slightly above league average, he finished with 252 career home runs. He also had an above league average .365 OBP and a .363 wOBA. Torre also had a good eye at the plate, walking 8.9% of the time and striking out only 12.4% of the time. He did a good job at creating runs, posting a 129 wRC+. Since wRAA can fluctuate year to year there isn't an average calculated for players but over his career Torre had 344.9 total wRAA. His BABIP was .318, a number that can be stable depending on park factors. From 1963 to 1971 Torre had the best years of his career posting 51.3 WAR. That averages out to 5.7 WAR per season. Not too bad if you ask me. Fangraphs doesn't have UZR data for that time so based on fielding percentage he was .990 as a catcher, not bad.

Mark McGwire was a power hitter in every sense of the word. His ISO was .325 for his career, an absurd number. He had a crazy .394 OBP to go with a .415 wOBA. Every pitcher and their mothers feared Big Mac, he walked in 17.2% of his at bats. He struck out in only 20.8% of them. His career .255 BABIP shows he may have been pretty unlucky in his career but he still had monster numbers. His career wRC+ was 158 and he acclimated 562.5 wRAA. Both ridiculous numbers. On defense he was an exceptional first basemen posting a .993 fielding percentage. The jury is still out about his drug use but it's pretty obvious what he did if you just look at his career numbers and his body during the tail end of his career.

Still, I would have never guessed that Joe Torre and Mark McGwire would have been identical in WAR. For the visual reader here's a WAR graph.

Adios Delmon Young.

Today the Twins sent Delmon Young to the Tigers for a minor league pitcher and a PTBNL Delmon Young is awful but I wasn't expecting him to be traded/non-tendered until after the season. The players the Twins got in return won't amount to much but all that matters is that Delmon Young is gone. I was hoping OF prospect Joe Benson would get the call but of course that didn't happen. Instead Rene Tosoni got promoted. Bill Smith and the Twins actually made a good move and for that I commend them.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Did Trevor Cahill Deserve his Contract Extension?

Last season MLB analysists were talking about Trevor Cahill as a Cy Young candidate for some strange reason. He only had a 2.2 WAR, hardly above replacement level. I assume they were in love with his 18 wins and 2.97 ERA. The thing is though, he isn't very good at all. Last year most of his success came from an absurdly low BABIP of .236, not sustainable at all. His 4.19 FIP indicated that he wasn't that good at all and his 3.99 xFIP tells us that his ERA will more likely be closer to that then his 2.97 ERA. His ERA- was 74 but his FIP- was 104 meaning his FIP was 4$ worse then league average. His xFIP was 95 though meaning it was 5% better then league average. He isn't a strikeout pitcher, only striking out 5.4 per 9 innings and walked 2.88 per 9.

Fast forward to this year and his .290 BABIP is a much more realistic number. His ERA is 3.92 so his xFIP last year was right on the money. His FIP is 3.98 and his xFIP is 3.80 so as we go on in the future I think this is the Cahill we can expect. This year Cahill's ERA- 103, his FIP- is 104 and his xFIP- is 96. These numbers just make it a little easier to see how his peripherals have caught up to him. This year he's increased his K/9 as well as his BB/9. He only has a 1.9 WAR and by the end of the season he shouldn't be too far off his 2.2 WAR of last season. He's striking out 6.61 per 9 but walking 3.7 per 9 which is slightly concerning.

In the end I think Oakland will regret giving Cahill the 5 year, $30.5 million dollar contract. From what we've seen he's pretty much a league average pitcher. He's only 23 but I believe they jumped the gun when offering the deal.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bill Smith Should be Fired.

He is a horrible GM and this season would be a good reason to fire him. Yes the team has been dessimated by injuries and poor pitching but there were moves that Smith could have made this season that would have been benificial for next season. He's also made some pretty awful moves in the past. He traded Jason Bartlett and Matt Garza for Delmon Young in 2007 which has been a flat out awful deal. Bartlett wasn't a fan of Gardy and besides '09 when he posted a 5.4 WAR he's been awful. Garza on the other hand has been quite solid. Since the trade he's posted an 11.1 WAR, this year he is currently at 3.2 WAR which matched his total of last season.

Delmon Young, oh Delmon Young. He's awful. Plain and simple. Since he arrived he's posted a 1.8 TOTAL WAR. He's posted a negative WAR twice. His defense is absolutely brutal, he has a total UZR of -39.7 meaning he's cost his team 39.7 runs based on his outfield play.

Then there's the glorious Santana trade. While Johan hasn't been the healthiest since the deal the Twins could have gotten Jon Lester or MVP candidate Jacoby Ellsbury. Let's take a look at what they got. Carlos Gomez, one of the worst offensive players I've seen. Exceptional defense though. Phil Humber, was absolutely brutal as a Twin but has managed to be solid for the White Sox this season. Kevin Mulvey, he's a reliever, wasn't anything special. Deolis Guerra, only player left on the team and has stunk it up in the minors. One benifit, if you can call it a benifit was that all the players that are gone, besides Humber helped get key players that helped the Twins make the postseason last year. Besides that, that deal was awful.

I will give him one benifit of the doubt when he traded J.J. Hardy for Jim Hoey and someother reliever who's probably stinking it up. Hardy's having a bounce back year, posting a 2.8 WAR, keep in mind he had a 2.5 WAR last year in MN. Hardy's always had exceptional defense but this year his power's returned, as his .257 ISO indicates. Hoey was brutal in his time in the bigs.

Smith also deserves the can because of what he DIDN'T do. He should have taken advantage of Cuddyer's hot first half and dealt him for some pieces that could potentially help next year. Cuddyer has been playing above his true talent level anyway based on his .315 BABIP, he was due for regression and hasn't done much since the all-star break. It's not like we couldn't offer Cuddy a contract during the off-season but Smith somehow thought we had a chance at the postseason.

Even though Kubel was hurt for a good while he was in demand and Smith should have flipped him too, the Pirates were calling as well as other teams I would guess and we could have gotten something to help the future of the squad. Kubel isn't that good anyways.

Overall, Smith has been a brutal GM, I guess that's what happens when you major in french. I'm sure I could have gone on and on but this year would be an excellent reason to can Billy.

Where's Shane Victorino's Recognition?

Shane Victorino is having a breakout year and I never see anyone talk about him. He currently has a 5.8 WAR, .227 ISO, .407 wOBA and a 158 wRC+. His  .328 BABIP is slightly above his .304 BABIP but not much should change from now to the end of the season. He's also produced a 29.1 wRAA, another career best. Victorino also has a good eye at the plate, walking 9.7% of the time and striking out only 10.4% of the time. He's also a quality defender, posting a 7.3 UZR for the year. The Philles also are getting a good amount of value out of Victorino this year as he's been worth $25.9 million dollars worth of value.

In this graph I compared Angels OF Torii Hunter and Victorino. For the most part they stack up pretty well and Hunter has always been recognized as one of the game's better outfielders. While Victorino will most likely never be a hall of famer he's still a darn good player, arguably an MVP candidate and deserves the recognition.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Who's Your Franchise Player?

If you can pick one player to start a franchise who would you take? A stud shortstop in Troy Tulowitzki? How about a young outfielder in Justin Upton? In this piece I will take a look at some of the young stars of today and determine who the best player would be to start a franchise.

Troy Tulowitzki: Tulowitzki is really, really good. He's only 26 years old, already has complied a 24.4 career WAR and is technically just starting to enter his prime. This year Tulowitzki is on pace to put up his best season of his career, already posting a 6 WAR. He has a .238 ISO, a .389 wOBA, 28.3 wRAA and a 138 wRC+. His BABIP is .299 so one would think he'll remain consistent but his career BABIP is .315 so he could see a slight increase in his numbers. He has a really good eye at the plate, striking out in only 10.8% of his at-bats this year and walking in 10.8 of them.

His career numbers are just as good as this years numbers but are skewed due to his 2008 season. His career ISO is .211 but that's slightly skewed because of his injury plagued 2008 season where he posted a .138 ISO.  His career wOBA is .371, a wRC+ average of 119, again, skewed due to 2008. He's always had a good eye, only striking out 15.9% of his at-bats and walking 9.5% of the time.  UZR rates him as an above average defender, posting a 15.2 in 2007, .1 in '08, 2.4 in '09, 7.1 in '10 and 11.4 so far this season. In his career Tulowitzki has already given the Rockies $104.8 million dollars worth of value and should continue to contribute in Colorado for a long time after signing a huge $134 million, 7 year deal last season. Let's see how Tulo ranks against one of the best SS of all-time in Cal Ripken Jr., another power hitting SS.

When you first look at the graph you may think no way does Tulo compare but remember that dreadful '08 seasn he had. In Ripken's second and third season he also put up crazy WARs of 8.8 and 10.3. After that he put one more double digit WAR then started to hover around the upper 4 to 6 WAR. Ripken is one of the game's best and who knows if Tulo will ever be that good but he's off to a nice start as he begins to enter his prime and is an excellent piece if you want to start a franchise.

Justin Upton: The younger of the Upton's is starting to come into his own, on his way to a career year, on pace to post over 6 WAR. So far this year he's at 5.5. Upton is an all around stud, posting good power, an exceptional eye, good speed and all around defense. This season he has a career high .248 ISO, a ridiculous .398 wOBA, 33.1 wRAA and a 148 wRC+. His BABIP is pretty high at .332 but his career BABIP is .342 so he should remain stable. His eye is exceptional, walking 8.5% of the time and striking out 17.9%.

His career numbers are just as good. Due to his poor season last year they are a little lower then what we should expect for the rest of his career. He has a solid .210 career ISO but that should increase as the years go on.  His .365 wOBA is solid and his 119 wRC+ is ok but again skewed do to last year. His career BB% is solid, 10.2% but his K% is a little high, 24.1% but has improved this year. In his 3 full season he has a 13.7 WAR and remember he's only 23 years old and the sky's the limit. Let's take a look at how he compares to one of the best OF ever in Ken Griffey Jr.

Both started off with similar power numbers, KGJ had slightly better wOBA numbers but the WAR numbers aren't too far off. In Griffey's third season he posted a 7.4 WAR, if Upton turns it on in the last month and a half he could push 6.5 WAR but Upton's only 23 and will continue to get better. UZR tells us that Upton is an above average defender, posting a 13.2 career UZR.

Upton has given the DBacks $60.4 million dollars worth of value and will be producing in Arizona for quite some time and is an excellent choice to start a team with.

Evan Longoria: Longo has been a stud since his arrival in the big leagues. He's been hurt this year so his numbers so far aren't at his true playing level. He has a 3 WAR, .220 ISO, a disappointing .340 wOBA, 7.1 wRAA and a 117 wRC+. His BABIP is an abursdly low .233 so he should expect an increase in his stats before the season's over. He has a keen eye, walking 11.8% of the time and striking out 16.8% of the time.

His career stats are more along what you can expect. He has a .234 ISO, .370 wOBA and a 131 wRC+. His career BABIP is also .305, much more sustainable. He walks 10.6% and strikes out 20.3% which is solid.

UZR likes him a lot, posting a 15.2 in 2008, 17.7 in '09, 11.1 last year and 5.4 so far this year. Really solid numbers.

He's also given the Rays $102.2 million dollars worth of value. Not bad for someone who has a 7 year, $16.5 million dollar contract. Let's see how he stacks up against George Brett.

Wow, they are almost identical in WAR when they were 25 years old. Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves now but Longoria will be good for along time as he begins to enter his prime.

I only gave you 3 examples in this post but you could also look at Dustin Pedroia, Matt Kemp, Felix Hernandez. Personally I would choose Tulo. It's rare that you find a power hitting shortstop who also plays excellent defense and is just about ready to enter his prime. Any 3 that I presented would be an excellent choice.

*Edit: Click graphs to make them larger*

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ben Zobrist is a Star.

Over the past 3 seasons Ben Zobrist has been really good. He's posted 17.9 WAR, averaging a 5.9 WAR per season. He's not only versitile, being able to play a handful positions but also plays above average defense at each position. Oh yeah, he can hit too.

In 2009 Zobrist posted a HUGE breakout year, posting a 8.6 WAR, .246 ISO, .408 wOBA, 39.3 wRAA and a 151 wRC+. All of those numbers are way above league average. Zobrist was also walking at a 15.2% rate and only striking out 17.4% of the time. His .326 BABIP was slightly high but he is posting a .318 BABIP this year so going forward a BABIP in the upper .315 seems sustainable. Zobrist was getting paid the league minimum in 2009 but his production gave the Rays $38.8 million dollars worth of value which is nothing short of incredible.

In 2010 Zobrist got hit with a low BABIP of .276 and a 10.8 IFFB%. He still had a 3.7 WAR but his ISO fell to .115 and his wOBA all the way to .323. His wRC+ also took a hit, only being 102 overall. His wRAA was 1.1, also disappointing. A few bright spots were his 14% BB% and his 16.3 K% so he still had a keen eye at the plate. He still gave the Rays $15 million dollars worth of value last year.

This year though is closer to his true playing level. He has a 5.6 WAR, a .213 ISO, .376 wOBA, 23.4 wRAA and a 141 wRC+. His .318 BABIP is a little lower then his 2009 BABIP but like I mentioned earlier it seems sustainable. Zobrist is creating runs just like he was in '09 so it looks like last year was a fluke. So far he's generated $25.3 million dollars worth of value for the club. B the time the season's over he could push a 7 WAR.

One thing that makes Zobrist so good though is his defense. UZR really likes him at second base, 19.7 career UZR and right field, 24.7 UZR. Some of the innings aren't a huge number so it may be a small sample size but he's still a really good defender.

Based on what I've shown you I'm scratching my head as to why Zobrist isn't considered a star. He can play good defense and produces on offense. Eventually though, he will get his dues.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weekly Prospect: Miguel Sano

I was talking to one of my friends the other day about my blog and he gave me a few ideas to spice up the blog. One of the ideas that I really liked was a weekly prospect post so here it is! To kick it off I will tell you about a Twins prospect by the name of Miguel Sano.

The Twins signed Miguel Sano as an 18 year old shortstop in 2009 out of the Dominican Republic for a record $3.15 million dollar bonus. Sano is 6'5" and weighs 195 lbs according to . I imagine he won't be a SS but rather a 3B or possibly RF when he reaches the big leagues.

So far this season in rookie ball Sano has demonstrated his power potential, posting a .293 ISO and 10 home runs. His .389 wOBA is quite impressive and he's creating runs 34% better then league average. Sano has also produced a 9.3 wRAA. His K% is a little high, 24.9% but has a solid 9% BB%. Sano's .336 BABIP is a little high so he should expect a slight regression as the season goes on. His numbers are much better then last year's when he was at two different levels of rookie ball. If you are curious as to what they are follow this link because I'm not sure how to distinguish the two.

If Sano keeps it up he should get the call to A ball before the season's over and could begin to make an impact on the big league club during the 2014 season.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jose Bautista is the Best Player in Baseball

Over the past two seasons Jose Bautista has practically taken over baseball. Last year he posted 6.9 WAR and this season he's on pace to surpass it, posting a 6.8 WAR.

Last year most of Bautista's value came from the long ball, hitting 54 home runs, 38 more then his previous career high. He had a .357 ISO, which is insane to go along with a .422 wOBA. His HR/FB% shows us that he was hitting home runs 21.7% of the time, a solid number that gives you a good testement of his power. All of those are insane numbers. The number that stud out to me though was his .233 BABIP which is significantly below league average. League average typically hovers between .295 and .300. Bautista also contributed 55.6 runs last year, which shows by looking at his wRAA. He was also worth $27.5 million dollars to the club last year, which is ridiculous. Let's see what his splits have to say about last year.


BABIP: .216

BB%: 16.4%

HR/FB%: 26.2%

ISO: .438

K%: 13.1%

wRAA: 38.9

wRC+: 196

wOBA: .465

By looking at these stats you can tell that Bautista was amazing at home, most players are since you play half the year though but still. His .438 ISO is just insane and his 26.2 HR/FB% is ridiculous as well. The Rogers Centre is known for giving up home runs but Bautista went above and beyond. He was creating runs 96% better then league average at home, a 196 wRC+ is crazy wherever you play though. By looking at his BABIP though you should be able to tell that he just ran into bad luck last year even though he had one heck of a season. Let's see how he faired on the road.


BABIP: .250

BB%: 12.9%

HR/FB%: 17.1%

ISO: .281

K%: 20.7%

wRAA: 16.7

wRC+: 138

wOBA: .381

Bautista wasn't quite as good on the road but he still put up solid numbers. His  .281 ISO would still be one of the best in the league and his .381 wOBA would fall just below the 90th percentile. Not too shabby. He still created runs 38% above average and contributed 16.7. Again he had a low BABIP of .250 so he should have been even better then he was. One little cause of concern though was the increase in strikeouts on the road but he was so good it didn't even matter.

You can see why pitchers feared Bautista, he has insane power and seems to create runs at will. One of the main reasons for his huge turn around is hs new swing, it's much better then that ippercut last year. How does he compare this year? To be blunt, he's miles upon miles better.


BABIP: .336

BB%: 20.5%

HR/FB%: 27.1%

ISO: .369

K%: 16%

wRAA: 27.3

wRC+: 217

wOBA: .489

I don't think you can get much better then this. His BABIP is slightly high but he has a ridiculous .369 ISO, .489 wOBA and a 217 wRC+! I know I mentioned the effect the Rogres Centre has but those numbers are just sick. He's hitting home runs at an unprecedented rate, 27.1% of the time and walking 20.5% of the time. I guess you can say pitchers have learned their lesson. The 27.7 runs he's contributed to hasn't been to shabby either. To reiterate what I said earlier, Bautista has just been on a tear this season and I don't see him slowing down.


BABIP: .289

BB%: 18.4

HR/FB%: 21%

ISO: .302

K%: 14.8%

wRAA: 23.1

wRC+: 176

wOBA: .430

Bautista has been excellent on the road this year as well. His .430 wOBA and .302 ISO are both well above average and pitchers fear him on the road just as much as at home as his 18.4 BB% indicates. Bautista's 176 wRC+ is excellent and a solid increase above his road wRC+ of 138 last year. Bautista has just been an all around stud this year. The main point of the article was to prove how Bautista has been the best player in the game the last two seasons so let's see how he stacks up against the player most have been considering the best the past decade in Albert Pujols.

I realize Pujols has missed time this season and started off slow but he's rebounded quite nicely.

Pujols 2010:

BABIP: .297

BB%: 14.7%

HR/FB%: 18.3%

ISO: .284

K%: 10.9%

WAR: 7.5

wRAA: 55.4

wRC+: 165

wOBA: .420

Bautista and Pujols were pretty much even last year, both posting solid numbers across the board, I would still give the edge to Bautista even though Pujols had a higher WAR because he posted excellent numbers but was still affected by an absurdly low BABIP, Pujols' had a BABIP of .297 so he was right at his true playing level.

Pujols 2011:

BABIP: .254

BB%: 8.7%

HR/FB%: 19.1%

ISO: .255

K%: 8.7%

WAR: 3.5

wRAA: 23.3

wRC+: 144

wOBA: .382

One look at Pujols' stats and you think obviously Bautista is better but Pujols' started off really slow and missed time to do injury. Pujols isn't having a horrible season at all. His BABIP indicates he should see an increase in his stats. He has a solid wRC+, his ISO is good and he could still amass a 5 WAR.

Bautista was rewarded with a 5 year $65 million dollar contract last off-season, so far he has earned $30.8 million dollars based on his play this year, the Blue Jays should easily get way more value then they are paying Bautista making that deal a steal. Based on all the facts, Jose Bautista is the best player in baseball and if he keeps it up he could reach 35 career WAR which would be crazy based on him being a late bloomer.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What's Wrong With Carlos Gonzalez?

Last year Carlos Gonzalez had a monster season for the Colorado Rockies, posting a 6.6 WAR, .416 wOBA, 151 wRC+, 48.4 wRAA and a .241 ISO. One number that really stuck out though was his .384 BABIP which is extremely unsustainable. Now it's no secret that Coors Field is a hitters dream so let's look closer at some home and away splits and see how Gonzalez faired at Coors and away from home last year.


BABIP: .391

HR/FB: 27.7%

ISO: .357

wRAA: 44.1

wOBA: .487

wRC+: 199

As you can see Gonzalez simply dominated Coors last year, posting a robust .487 wOBA, a .357 ISO among other numbers. At Coors, everytime Gonzalez is hitting a flyball it ends up in the seats over 25% of the time, to put it in perspective Albert Pujols had a HR/FB rate of 15% at home last year and 21.4% on the road and he's one of the best power hitters in the game.  Those numbers just don't happen. I want you to take a look at his BABIP though. It's .391 which is absolutely ridiculous, no way is that sustainable through a whole season. Let's take a look at what Gonzalez did last year when he was on the road.


BABIP: .375

HR/FB: 11%

ISO: .164

wRAA: 4.5

wOBA: .339

wRC+: 100

All I can say is wow. His BABIP was still high but his other numbers were awful. His wRC+ is right at league average, his wOBA is in roughly the 65th percentile, his wRAA is slightly above average and his ISO is slightly above average as well. That HR/FB is what really surprised me though. Only 11%, last year league average was 10.6%. To simply put it, Carlos Gonzalez was average on the road last season. That just shows you how much Colorado hitters gain from playing in the mile high city. Let's take a look at Carlos Gonzalez this year.

So far he has a 2.2 WAR, .365 wOBA, 122 wRC+, 15.5 wRAA, .196 ISO and a .325 BABIP. Right off the bat his BABIP tells me he finally regressed closer to his true playing level but let's take a look at his splits and see what we can come up with.


BABIP: .352

HR/FB: 15.9%

ISO: .234

wRAA: 17.8

wOBA: .414

wRC+: 155

Like I mentioned before it looks like Gonzalez is experiencing natural regression this year, last year's .391 BABIP has come down to .351 and has brought all of his other stats down with it. One thing I didn't post earlier is his IFFB% which is infield fly ball percentage or popouts as we call them. Last year his IFFB% at Coors was a crazy 5.3% and this year it's increased roughly 10% as it sits at 15.9% right now so that definitely hurts. On the road it's decreased about 1%, going from 13.7 to 12.9 so not much can be taken from that. I do realize Gonzalez was hurt a little this year but to me, it just seems like Gonzalez is going through natural regression at Coors. Let's see what we can get out of his away splits.


BABIP: .282

ISO: .143

HR/FB: 16.1

wRAA: -2.1

wOBA: .299

wRC+: 77

Wow. Gonzalez has been flat out bad on the road this year. His wOBA is about as bad as it gets. He's cost the Rockies 2.1 runs and has created 23 runs below league average. His BABIP isn't even that far below league average so that is kind of worrisome. Like I said he's been just flat out bad.

Gonzalez has been a huge disappointment this year even though he's in a very hitters friendly park in Coors Field. Will he rebound to last years' success or is this the Gonzalez we will contiue to see. I guess we'll find out next year, in the mean time he hasn't been living up to the expectations.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stephen Strasburg to Make Start

One of the most anticipated college players ever is on his way to returning to The Show. Stephen Strasburg is set to pitch one or two innings for the Washiongton Nationals A team today, 11 months after getting Tommy John surgery. Before he hurt his elbow he was dominating hitters left and right.

In twelve starts before the surgery Strasburg already had accumulated a 2.6 WAR, if he had pitched a whole season and remained healthy he would have had a WAR of over 6 in his first season. That's pretty insane. Some numbers that really jump out at you though are his 2.08 FIP and his 2.04 xFIP. His FIP- was 52, meaning his FIP was 48% better then league average which is ridiculous. Those numbers are crazy for anyone but the fact that he was in his first season shows you how good ths guy is. Strasburg was also striking out a robust 12.18 batters per nine innings and walking only 2.25. Keep in mind he was only 22 years old! He was only giving up .66 HR/9, we'll see if he can maintain that as he gets healthy but that's a crazy number. His .319 BABIP isn't all that concerning at all, we still don't know what type of BABIP numbers he'll post but a .305 BABIP would be slightly more sustainable. Besides striking batters out he's also able to induce a good amount of groundballs, getting groundballs 47.8% of the time.

Pitch f/x data shows that his fastball was averaged at 97.3 MPH, pair that with his 82.4 MPH curve and 89.7 MPH changeup then you got one heck of an arsenal. We'll have to see if he loses any velocity after Tommy John but he should still be one heck of a pitcher.

In those twelve starts that he made he already accumulated $10.4 million dollars worth of value. If he had pitched a whole season he would have accumulated close to $30 million dollars worth of value! That means in order for the Nationals to replace the value he supplied they would have had to pay $10.4 million dollars in free agency to get the production Strasburg gave them before the injury.

I did get to see him once, his major league debut in fact and he was flat out nasty. His fastball is sick but that curveball of his is unfair. He makes batters look like fools. Hopefully he comes back strong after the surgery because he has all the talent in the world to be something special.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's Time to Extend Mike Stanton

Marlins OFer Mike Stanton is putting up a solid year and just might be in line for a nice new contract. He has a 3 WAR, .1 more then all of last year but the thing that really stands out about Mike Stanton is his massive power. Last year in 100 games Stanton hit 22 home runs to go along with a .248 ISO. His wOBA of .355 was solid for a rookie and this year he's brought that up to a .370 wOBA which is typically in the seventy fifth percentile. His strikeout rate was a little concerning last year, striking out 31.1% but if he can bring that down and still supply good power numbers, a good ISO and wOBA then it shouldn't be too concerning.

This year he's doing much better. He has 25 home runs in 106 games, his ISO is twenty three points higher, currently at .271 which is good for fifth in baseball and second in the National League. Stanton's wOBA is fifteen points higher then last year, sitting at .370 like I mentioned before. He's brought his strikeout percentage down to 27.3%, if he can bring it down to around 25% that would be ideal but again other factos make up for it. His wRC+ of 133 is fifteen points higher then last year putting him in around the seventy fifth percentile. Offensively about the only thing Stanton won't give you is stolen bases but that isn't a big deal.

So far he's posted solid UZR numbers, posting a 8.7 UZR this year and a 2 UZR last year. That's only from one and a half seasons though so the sample size is still small and not much should be taken from those numbers yet.

Based on dollar values Stanton has been worth $13.3 million this year and $11.4 last year giving the Marlins over $24.7 million dollars of value.

Based on all this information the Marlins need to give Stanton a contract similar to Longoria's 5 year $16 million dollar deal that he signed in 2008. The contract can be worth up to 44 million dollars as it has a few uption years but it's easily the most friendly contract in all of baseball. If the Marlins want to sign Stanton cheap they'll need to do it before he hits superstardom.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Alex Gordon is really good.

For those that don't know Alex Gordon is having a really good season for the Kansas City Royals. Everyone knew Gordon has all the talent in the world and expected him to be a stud right away. Obviously that didn't happen but he finally may be starting to put it together if this year is any indication.

So far Gordon has produced a 4.9 WAR, putting him at 13th overall in the league for batters. Not only is he putting up a solid WAR, he's also posting a .384 wOBA good for 20th overall and 10th in the American League. His wRC+ is a solid 142 meaning he's created 42% more runs then league average, good for 22nd overall.

Gordon also has a good eye at the plate, striking out only 19.1% of the time and walking 9.4% of the time. His BABIP is a little concerning as it currently sits at .368 which is clearly an unsustainable number so he could see his numbers take an little hit but that doesn't take away the fact that he's been very solid. His .194 ISO is also something good to see. UZR isn't a huge fan of him in the infield but in the outfield he seems to be better posting a 1.5 UZR last year and a 5.7 UZR this year. That's still a small sample size and UZR is best looked at in 3 year intervals.

Overall, Alex Gordon is a very solid player and if he can keep it up as he enters his prime then the Royals will have a nice veteran presence with all of their young studs slowly making their way to the majors. The Royals future looks bright if they can put it together.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The 2011 NL CY Young Race

In the National League there are four guys who will contend for the CY Young. Three of them play for the same team. They are Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Clayton Kershaw.

4) Cliff Lee got robbed from the CY last year and this year he's on a mission to get what's his. He currently has a 4.1 WAR, not quite as good as the last 3 seasons but solid. He has an above average FIP of 2.80, the second best of his career. His .305 BABIP indicates that he's pitching right at his talent level so he shouldn't expect any regression. Like the others he's doesnt give up the long ball, only .81 HR per 9 innings. He's striking out an impressive 9.23 batters per 9 and walking only 1.86. He's having a solid season by any standard but not solid enough for the CY unless he makes a late push

3) Kershaw is finally becoming what we all hoped he would be. He has a 4.7 WAR, .1 less then all of last year and is finally cutting down all of the walks, which was a main problem last year. He has a 2.51 FIP, .57 better then his FIP in 2009 which was 3.08. His BABIP is .278, about .12 under the league average but he's always had a low BABIP for his career. He's doing a very good job at keeping the ball in the park, only giving up .61 HR/9 but in his short career he's shownhe can prevent the long ball. His 9.87 strikeouts per 9 are not only impressive but also a career best. Like I mentioned earlier though are the walks. He's walking 2.34 batters this year, 1.23 less batters per 9 then last year. He's making a strong push for the CY but it might not be strong enough.

2) Cole Hamels is having a career year, posting a 4.7 WAR which is already the best for his career and the season isn't even done yet. He's posting a 2.57 FIP which is the lowest that it's ever been. His BABIP is a little low at .262 but for his career he has a .282 BABIP so not much regression should occur. One main reason why he's having such success is because he's doing such a good job at keeping the ball in the ballpark. He's only giving up .51 HR per 9 innings pitched. He's striking out 8.26 batters per 9 innings and only walking 1.77 which is a career best. Hamels is having a career year and is worthy of a CY Young but the problem is so is one other and that other guy is pretty good.

1) Roy Halladay. This guy is supposed to be on the downside of his career not attempting to post one of his best seasons ever. He has a 5.9 WAR and an incredible 2.20 FIP! He's 34 and has a 2.2 FIP. Unreal. His BABIP is even .300, you won't be seeing any regression at this rate. He's striking out 8.45 every 9 innings and walking only 1.06. Did I mention he doesn't give up home runs? Only .48 home runs every 9 innings! This guy is simply a horse and there's no way he doesn't win the CY at this rate.

How I think it should happen:

1) Doc Halladay

2) Cole Hamels

3) Clayton Kershaw

4) Cliff Lee

How I think it will happen:

1) Doc Halladay

2) Cliff Lee

3) Clayton Kershaw

4) Cole Hamels

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

AL CY Young Race 2011

It's that time of year again. With roughly 2 months left in the season pitchers are starting to seperate themselves as CY Young candidates and the rest. In my opinion the top 5 candidates are C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Dan Haren, Jered Weaver and Felix Hernandez.

5) Number five is where Felix Hernandez sits at this point in time. He's currently producing a 3.7 WAR and could see that end up at about a 5 WAR or so by season's end. His statistics are pretty much at league norm. He has a solid 3.16 FIP which is slightly higher then his 3.04 FIP last year but nonetheless it's still solid. His FIP- is 81 so his FIP is 19% better then league average. He's striking out 8.51 batters per 9 innings and only walking 2.89 per 9. He has a BABIP of .296 so he's pretty much pitching at his true talent level. Overall he's having one heck of a year but not quite CY level worthy.

4) Sliding in at number 4 is the Angel's Dan Haren. Haren is quitely putting together a very solid season in LA. He currently has a 4.8 WAR to go along with a 2.68 FIP. His FIP- is an incredible 68, this means his fip is 32% better then league average! He's striking out 7.29 batters per 9 innings and only walking 1.34 batters every 9 innings. His BABIP is a little low at .267 so he could see a slight increase in his numbers. He has a .290 career BABIP so like I said the increase shouldn't be major. Haren is putting up CY numbers but the problem is so are 3 others.

3) Dan Haren's teammate, Jerded Weaver comes in at number 3. Weaver is sporting a 5.1 WAR to go along with an impressive 2.62 FIP. His xFIP of 3.58 shows that he could see a sligh increase in his 1.88 ERA but that remains to be seen. One look at his .245 BABIP and you might be wary but his career BABIP is .277 and FB pitchers tend to have lower BABIPs. He has a 7.62 K/9 to go along with a 2.04 BB/9 which is right around is career norms. Normally with a 5.1 WAR he'd be leading the race for the CY but not this year.

2) At number 2 I have C.C. Sabathia. Last year many thought C.C. should have won the award but he only produced a 5.1 WAR compared to Felix's 6+ WAR, still, a solid season nonetheless. Anyway, this could be the year that Sabathia grabs the award. He has a 5.8 WAR to go along with a 2.52 FIP. Both are excellent numbers. His BABIP is .293 so no regression is expected in the near future. He's striking out 8.25 batters every 9 innings and walking a solid 2.29. His FIP- is 62 making his FIP 38% better then league average. He's as good as it gets but there's been one pitcher in the AL who's been slightly better.

1) This year the award belongs to Justin Verlander. He's pitched one no-hitter this year and the other day he almost got his second. This guy is crazy good and unfortunetly being a Twins fan I get to see him more often then I'd like. He has a 5.5 WAR, .3 less then C.C. but he's been simply unreal. One pitch he can throw a 92 MPH fastball, then he'll give you a 100 MPH fastball. He's unreal. His FIP is at 2.68 and his FIP- is 67, 33% better then league average. His BABIP is .232 but it's been low all season, I don't expect much of a change. He's punching 8.85 batters per 9 and walking an incredinle 1.79. This year the award belongs to Verlander. Like I said he's been so nasty this year and has the stats to back it up.

How I think it should happen:

1) Justin Verlander

2) C.C. Sabathia

3) Jered Weaver

4) Dan Haren

5) Felix Hernandez

How I think it'll happen:

1) Justin Verlander

2) C.C. Sabathia

3) Felix Hernandez

4) Jered Weaver

5) Dan Haren

Tomorrow I will get the NL CY Young race up. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ubaldo Jimenez to the...Indians?

Wow. When I first saw this I thought what can the Rockies be thinking. This is the same Ubaldo Jimenez that posted a 4.3 WAR, 5.7 WAR and a 6.3 WAR in the last 3 years. Or is it. According to pitch f/x data Ubaldo has lost an average of 3 MPH on his fastball. That could easily be a cause of concern or it could be nothing at all. That still doesn't justify trading a starting pitcher who has an amazingly team friendly contract through 2013 with an option for 2014. By getting traded Ubaldo can either exersise or decline the option.

The Rockies did get two very nice pitching prospects in Alex White and Drew Pomeranz. This year in Cleveland's triple A White has posted a 2.27 FIP, his .295 BABIP shows that his dominance is quite real. He's striking out over 10 batters every 9 innings and walking only 1.9. It is a small sample size, only 23.2 innings but still very incouraging. In 3 starts in the majors this year White showed potential but still struggled, posting a 5.66 FIP. It was only 15 innings so remember thats still a really small sample size. Currently he's on the DL with a finger injury. Pomeranz has been rediculous in A ball and double A ball this year. In 15 games in A ball he's posted a 2.36 FIP. He struck out 11.1 batters per 9 and walked 3.74. He did such a good job that the Indians brought him up to double A and did the same thing. In 3 starts he posted  a 2.99 FIP and struck out over 10 per 9 whle walking a little over 3. Remember though, small sample size.  Both project as top of the rotation starters in the majors. I'm not sure if that is enough for Jimenez if he indeed turns out to be healthy. The other prospects, 1B Matt McBride and SP Joe Gardner are mid-level/lower-level prospects. I don't know much about either to be honest.

While the loss in velocity is a concern all his other numbers aren't too far off career norms. His 3.55 FIP is consistent with his career averages as is his xFIP. His K% and BB% are in line with his career averages as well. While his BABIP is a little high it's nothing to be worried about. If Ubaldo turns out to be fine then Cleveland got a very good pitcher.

Denard Span is staying

One of the many rumors that popped up during the trade deadline had the Minnesota Twins sending Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for closer Drew Storen, outfielder Roger Bernadina and minor leaguer Stephen Lombardozzi.  Thankfully that didn't happen.

The Twins do have a glaring weakness in the bullpen but you just don't trade an above average center fielder for a closer. Since Span arrived on the big league club in 2008 he has posted a WAR of 12.6. By year it has looked like this: 2008 3.2, 2009 4.1, 2010 2.6, 2011 2.6. This year Span should post at least a 4.0 WAR, if he hadn't gotten hurt he could have been looking at a 5.0 WAR. League average WAR is 2.0, Span is putting up above league average.

Being a leadoff hitter one would expect Span to post an above average OBP and Span does just that. So far this year he's getting on base at a .361 clip which is pretty much right at his career norm. He also posts a very low K%, striking out only 10.2% of the time. He does exactly what you want your leadoff hitter to do.

Besides being a solid leadoff guy Span is also solid in the field. Since 2008 he has posted UZRs of -3.2, -5.4, 4.4 and 9.9. Traditionally it's best to look at UZR in 3 year intervals but as you can see he's turning into a quality defender as he enters his prime.

I haven't even talked about what makes Span so valuable though. It's that very team friendly contract he signed last year. The contract was for 5 years $16.5 million with a 2015 club option. That's about as team friendly as it gets. This year alone Span has already been worth $11.9 million dollars. 1 WAR is worth roughly $5 million dollars. Through the life of his deal let's say he reaches a 3.5 WAR in 2012, a 4.0 WAR in 2012, a 3.5 WAR in 2013 and a 3.0 WAR in 2014 he should be worth roughly $75 million dollars. Geez, talk about team friendly. The Twins signed him for $16.5 mil and he could potentially be worth $75 mil when his contract is up.

You can see why Span is so valuable to the Twins.

There's not much to say about Storen. He's a reliever. Relievers are a dime a dozen. He's put up .2 WAR this year, has a 3.84 FIP, a .228 BABIP so his ERA will see an increase. It's currently at 2.87. There's not really much to write about. Lombardozzi is a solid prospect who's hit very well in the minors but he doesn't justify trading an above average center fielder/leadoff hitter. Bernadina is just meh.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the Phillies got Hunter Pence from the Astros for 2 top prospects and 2 mid-level/lower-level prospects. Since '08 Span has produced only .9 WAR less then Pence. Span easily can bring in more then that measley offer the Nats gave.