In my once a year post (we’ll see if we can change that, but no promises) I thought I’d spill some ink on the Jim Bowden generated (insider content)  Oscar Taveras for Jurickson Profar potential swap.  I examined the WAR output for what I consider the relevant positions under the scenario where the Birds don’t make the trade and under the scenario where they do not.  As inputs to the process I averaged the Steamer and Oliver WAR projections found on Fangraphs.  First the “don’t make the trade” scenario 

Player PA 2013 Player PA 2014 2015 2016
SS Kozma 600 1.0 SS Kozma 600 1.5 2.0 2.0
Rep 100 0.0 Rep 100 0.0 0.0 0.0
LF Holliday 650 4.4 LF Holliday 650 3.9 3.3 2.8
Adams 50 0.1 Adams 50 0.2 0.2 0.2
CF Jay 600 3.4 CF Jay 600 2.9 2.4 1.9
Rep 100 0.0 Tavares 100 0.6 0.7 0.8
RF Beltran 575 2.7 RF Tavares 500 3.1 3.5 3.9
Adams 125 0.3 Adams 200 0.6 0.8 0.8
1B Craig 600 3.2 1B Craig 600 2.7 2.2 1.7
Adams 100 0.2 Adams 100 0.3 0.4 0.4
TOTAL WAR 15.4 15.8 15.6 14.5

and then the scenario where they make the trade

Player PA 2013 Player PA 2014 2015 2016
SS Profar 600 2.4 SS Profar 600 2.9 3.4 3.9
Rep 100 0.0 Rep 100 0.0 0.0 0.0
LF Holliday 650 4.4 LF Holliday 650 3.9 3.3 2.8
Adams 50 0.1 Bench 50 0.1 0.1 0.1
CF Jay 600 3.4 CF Jay 600 2.9 2.4 1.9
Rep 100 0.0 Bench 100 0.2 0.2 0.2
RF Beltran 575 2.7 RF Craig 600 2.7 2.2 1.7
Adams 125 0.3 Bench 100 0.2 0.2 0.2
1B Craig 600 3.2 1B Adams 600 1.9 2.4 2.4
Adams 100 0.2 Bench 100 0.2 0.2 0.2
TOTAL WAR 16.7 15.0 14.5 13.4

As you can see, under the assumptions I made its a trade of wins now (upgrading at SS this year) for wins later (a worse future bench).  Clearly this is a very assumption based (how good is Kozma, what bench player would be acquired to fill the top bat off the bench role?) analysis, but there’s probably nothing overly outlandish that I’ve done.  All in all the analysis ends up in the place that most people would have guessed… it’s darn close.


As I write this, Matt Adams hits another home run…

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Steve gave his Top 7 Cardinal prospects earlier today
. You didn’t think the godfather of FR was going to sit idly by and not chime in, did you? Without further adieu -

1. Shelby Miller – One year removed from high school, Shelby Miller struck out 32% of the batters he faced in the Midwest League while posting a walk rate under 3 per 9. That’s tremendous. He predominantly threw his fastball, which may account for some of his .366 BABIP. As he gets more of a feel for his breaking stuff and as luck corrects itself, I have a feeling that number will drop. I’m glad the Cardinals were careful with his workload.

2. Zack Cox – I really liked the Cox pick, and I’d like to believe there’s a good chance that he’s the everyday third baseman of the future. My only concern is the lack of power in his sophomore season at Arkansas, but from what I read about Cox, it seems like he has the aptitude to make adjustments. I’ve read mixed reviews about his glove, and I almost can’t help but wonder if he’s not Brett Wallace 2.

3. Carlos Matias – I’m going to go bananas here and buy into the the hype. 99 MPH with control? I need some oxygen. The Dominican Summer League isn’t somewhere to look for reliable statistical information, but 78 K’s in 59 innings is pretty good.

4. Lance Lynn – I seem to remember a period when Lynn was getting consistently hammered, but truth be told, he put together a pretty solid season. Triple-A has swallowed up some other Cardinal pitching prospects in the past in their first go (Ottavino, Hawksworth), but Lynn posted decent walk, strikeout and ground ball rates in his first season in Triple-A. There’s nothing really spectacular about Lynn, but he’s gotta be at least a win (maybe two better) than the monster that is Lohssan.

5. Seth Blair – I saw him pitch in the College World Series, and his change-up is a sight to behold. His fastball velocity wasn’t at the as-advertised range of 94-95; it was more in the 89-91 range, but I’m willing to chalk that up to fatigue for now.

6 . Eduardo Sánchez – I’ve fallen into the trap of rating relievers too high in times past, but Sánchez continued his success in the higher levels of the minors. He should be a solid set-up man, and could possibly be the closer of the future.

7. Matt Carpenter – He fell to the 13th round as a senior in last year’s draft, but has done nothing but produced. He has a line-drive, contact oriented type of swing and doesn’t have a ton of power, but that’s OK so long as he continues to walk at a good clip. I’ve seen him on one occasion and from what little I could gather, his glove was a plus.

Personal cheeseballs: Oscar Taveras, Tommy Pham, Joe Kelly. Oscar Taveras and Pham are cut from a similar cloth, while Taveras is the hype of the day while Pham has been languishing until this past season. Both have tools out of the ying-yang, power, speed and arm strength. Taveras probably has better power, while Pham has shown the ability to take a walk.

Joe Kelly is a ground-ball machine with his 93-96 MPH sinker of his, and he has a good slider. His numbers at the QC were a little underwhelming, but this was his first full season starting since high school, and if all else fails, he should do well in relief.

Just missed: Dan Descalso, Tyrell Jenkins.

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