Consensus Top 50 Players
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comparing the 2007 list with 2008's.

Aaron Harvey produced a consensus top 50 players for a 2007 Both Leagues start-up Scoresheet League

Aaron Harvey conducted another Top 50 Most Valuable Scoresheet Baseball Players poll this year culling votes mainly from the most well known “expert” members of scoresheet-talk and mcscoresheet. The enthusiasm level over this project has waned somewhat. The process was the same, but the freshness was gone. Both the voter turn-out and the discussions regarding the voting were down from last year. I don’t think we ever agreed concretely to what exactly we were voting for – a start up team? Probably so. A mock draft? Not quite. That we were never able to get past that vagueness I think annoyed some of the experts. The rules for nominating players to vote upon were haphazard. Even how we voted players into the list seems due for refinement. The debate over what makes a baseball player valuable in Scoresheet was squelched. And, this year there was no sign of Nate Silver or Joe Sheehan to give the list its celebrity expert caché.


By each player ranked I added a code describing the accuracy of each 2007 ranking as by evidenced by their 2008 place on the list. These codes are limited to “D”  for “down” or a disappointment, “S” for “same” or not surprising, “U for “up”  if the player exceeded expectations, or “*”  if the player was not even considered last year.


Just to see if there is any pattern by age or position as to whom the experts and I over-rated or under-rated, I made a three dimensional chart with age, position, and rating change as the three axes. By position, starting pitchers and first-basemen – DH types faired the worse. The DH-1B disappointments lend a tiny bit of credence to the theory that players with older player skills do not mature as well as players with younger player skills. Or, does it indicate those are just players who most relied on performance enhancers and are no longer getting their benefits? Admittedly that is a long stretch and in either case, there was not nearly a large enough sample to make any such conclusions. Who is to say whether those were matters considered already by the voters in the first place?


Oddly, while the largest cluster of disappointments were among the 24 to 25 year old pitchers, the only age-position combo which had two nice surprises were 26 year old pitchers: Sabathia and Haren. Plus, there was one surprisingly good 25 year old starter: Jake Peavy. (Keep in mind more players rated or considered for ranking in 2007 were disappointing than surprisingly good.) Perhaps, this helps confirm that pitchers are more unpredictable than position players. Safe injury nexus? Of the eight pitchers (including one reliever) aged 28-31, only one was upwardly moving in perceived future value (Bedard), one stayed the same, and the rest were disappointing.


Regarding the unforeseen new stars, using their 2007 season ages, I counted three 21 year-olds, one 22 year-old, five 23 year-olds, two 24 year-olds, one 27 year-old and one 29 year-old. The two mature players were both starting pitchers: Josh Beckett and Aaron Harang. Only two other starting pitchers were in this “new star” group, while all the other positions were represented once or twice except first-base and designated hitter.


I give you Aaron Harvey’s Experts’ Top 50 for 2007 & 2008:

2007 Consensus Rankings
1) Albert Pujols      1B 27 S
2) Johan Santana      SP 28 D
3) Miguel Cabrera     3B 23 S
4) Joe Mauer           C 23 D
5) Grady Sizemore     CF 24 S
6) Alex Rodriguez     3B 31 U
7) Chase Utley        2B 28 S
8) Carlos Beltran     CF 30 S
9) David Wright       3B 24 U
10) Brian McCann       C 23 D
11) Ryan Howard       1B 27 D
12) Mark Teixeira     1B 26 S
13) Travis Hafner     DH 29 D
14) Brandon Webb      SP 27 S
15) Miguel Tejada     SS 32 D
16) Andruw Jones      CF 29 D
17) Lance Berkman     1B 31 D
18) Roy Oswalt        SP 29 D
19) David Ortiz       1B 31 S
20) Vladimir Guerrero OF 31 S
21) Chris Carpenter   SP 31 D
22) Jake Peavy        SP 25 U
23) Jose Reyes        SS 23 S
24) Jason Bay         OF 28 D
25) Roy Halladay      SP 29 D
26) Vernon Wells      CF 28 D
27) Victor Martinez    C 28 S
28) Alex Gordon       3B 23 D
29) Felix Hernandez   SP 20 S
30) Ryan Zimmerman    3B 22 S
31) Carlos Zambrano   SP 25 D
32) Jeremy Bonderman  SP 24 D
33) Manny Ramirez     OF 34 D
34) Derek Jeter       SS 32 S
35) Ben Sheets        SP 28 D
36) Daisuke Matsuzaka SP 26 D
37) CC Sabathia       SP 26 U

38) Hanley Ramirez    SS 23 U

39) John Lackey       SP 28 S

40) Scott Kazmir      SP 23 S

41) Justin Morneau    1B 25 D

42) Adam Dunn         OF 27 S

43) Alfonso Soriano   OF 31 S

44) Stephen Drew      SS 24 D

45) Robinson Cano     2B 24 S

46) Justin Verlander  SP 24 S

47) Howie Kendrick    2B 23 D

48) Garrett Atkins    3B 27 S

49) Aramis Ramirez    3B 28 S

50) Chipper Jones     3B 34 S


Receiving votes on the last ballot were:

3v) Michael Young     SS 30 D

2v) Bobby Abreu       OF 33 D

2v) Carl Crawford     OF 25 S

2v) Rich Harden       SP 25 D

2v) Dan Haren         SP 26 U

2v) Matt Holliday     OF 27 U

2v) Derek Lee         1B 31 S

1v) Matt Cain         SP 25 S

1v) Todd Helton       1B 33 D

1v) Chris Young       CF 23 S

1v) Delmon Young      OF 21 S


On the last ballot Aaron included all the players with nominations:

Carlos Guillen        SS 31 S

Phillip Hughes        SP 20 S

Derek Lowe            SP 33 S

Jimmy Rollins         SS 28 U

Ichiro Suzuki      OF-CF 33 S

Jered Weaver          SP 24 D

Dontrelle Willis      SP 25 D


American Leaguers I feel are more possibly deserving than some who were nominated or voted for:

Erik Bedard           SP 28 U

Curtis Granderson     OF 25 U

Adam Kinsler          2B 24 S

Adam Lind             OF 23 D

Nick Markakis         OF 23 U

Joe Nathan            RP 32 S

Francisco Rodriguez   RP 25 S

B.J. Ryan             RP 31 D


2008 Consensus Rankings
Pujols, Albert     1B 28 S
Rodriguez, Alex    3B 32 U
3. Wright, David      3B 25 U
4. Cabrera, Miguel    3B 24 S
Sizemore, Grady    OF 25 S
Santana, Johan     SP 29 D
7. Utley, Chase       2B 29 S
Peavy, Jake        SP 26 U
Ramirez, Hanley    SS 24 U
Fielder, Prince   1B 24 U
Holliday, Matt    OF 28 U
12. Teixeira, Mark    1B 27 S
Beltran, Carlos   OF 31 S
14. Webb, Brandon     SP 28 S
Tulowitzki, Troy  SS 23 *
16. Reyes, Jose       SS 24 S
Zimmerman, Ryan   3B 23 S
Granderson, C’rts CF 27 U
Mauer, Joe         C 24 D
20. Braun, Ryan     3B-OF 24 *
Guerrero, Vlad    OF 32 S
22. Sabathia, C.C.    SP 28 U
23. Martinez, Victor  C 29 S

24. Beckett, Josh     SP 28 *

25. Rollins, Jimmy    SS 29 U

26. Howard, Ryan      1B 28 D

27. Kazmir, Scott     SP 24 S

28. Hernandez, Felix  SP 22 S

29. Ortiz, David      DH 32 S

30. Hamels, Cole      SP 24 *

31. Upton, B.J.       OF 24 *

32. McCann, Brian     C 24 D

33. Martin, Russell   C 25 *

34. Ramirez, Aramis   3B 30 S

35. Cano, Robinson    2B 25 S

36. Verlander, Justin SP 25 S

37. Oswalt, Roy       SP 30 D

38. Bedard, Erik      SP 29 U

39. Longoria, Evan    3B 22 *

40. Dunn, Adam        OF 28 S

41. Haren, Dan        SP 27 U

42. Berkman, Lance    OF 32 D

43. Lackey, John      SP 29 S

44. Markakis, Nick    OF 25 U

45. Pence, Hunter     OF 25 *

46. Young, Chris B.   OF 24 S

47. Harang, Aaron     SP 30 *

48. Gallardo, Yovani  SP 22 *

49. Cain, Matt        SP 23 S

50. Lincecum, Tim     SP 24 U


Receiving votes on the last ballot were:

3v. Pedroia, Dustin   2B 24 *

2v. Carmona, Fausto   SP 24 *



On the last ballot Aaron included all the players with nominations:

Nick Swisher       OF-1B 27 *



American Leaguers I feel are more possibly deserving than some who were nominated or voted for:

Javier Vazquez        SP 31 *

Jamie Shields         SP 26 *

Carlos Pena           1B 30 *

Travis Hafner         DH 31 D

Aaron Hill            2B 25 *

Jacob Ellsbury        OF 24 *

Jon Papelbon          RP 26 *

Joe Nathan            RP 33 S


John Carter - featuring the Top 50 list produced by Aaron Harvey