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The Bill James Handbook 2009

ACTA Sports was kind enough to share with us some previews of the Bill James Handbook 2009 edition.

This was sent to me in an email yesterday and today the topic is young talent.

Making James’ list of the top 25 young players in order were:

 1. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman, age 24 
 2. Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins shortstop, age 24
 3. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants pitcher, age 24
 4. David Wright, New York Mets third baseman, age 25
 5. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder, age 24
 6. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox second baseman, age 24
 7. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder, age 23
 8. Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels pitcher, age 26
 9. Jose Reyes, New York Mets shortstop, age 25
10. Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles right fielder, age 24
11. Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals pitcher, age 24
12. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals third baseman, age 23
13. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, age 24
14. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies shortstop, age 23
15. Felix Hern! andez, Seattle Mariners pitcher, age 22
16. Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox pitcher, age 24
17. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, age 22
18. John Danks, Chicago White Sox pitcher, age 23
19. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres first baseman, age 26
20. James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman, age 24
21. Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop, age 25
22. Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves catcher, age 24
23. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers first baseman, age 25
24. Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians center fielder, age 25
25. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds first baseman, age 24

Personally if you were to ask me who I would rather have on my team, Prince Fielder or Hanley Ramirez it wouldn't take a nano second of thought -- it would be Hanley.

I'm sure Mr. James ran it through whatever algorithms he uses and came up with his list and his system analysis has definitely change the way some think about the game, but that doesn't mean I can't disagree.

ACTA Sports were also kind enough to send James' list of overall young talent on the big league squad.

James also listed teams in order of overall young talent currently on the big league squad:

 1. Minnesota Twins 
 2. Arizona Diamondbacks 
 3. Tampa Bay Rays
 4. Florida Marlins
 5. Kansas City Royals
 6. Milwaukee Brewers
 7. Cleveland Indians
 8. Colorado Rockies
 9. Atlanta Braves
10. Boston Red Sox
11. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
12. Oakland A’s
13. Los Angeles Dodgers
14. St. Louis Cardinals
15. Cincinnati Reds
16. New York Mets
17. Pittsburgh Pirates
18. Seattle Mariners
19. Texas Rangers
20. Philadelphia Phillies
21. San Diego Padres
22. San Francisco Giants
23. Washington Nationals
24. Baltimore Orioles
25. Chicago White Sox
26. Chicago Cubs
27. Detroit Tigers
28. Toronto Blue Jays
29. New York Yankees
30. Houston Astros

This what he had to say about the Marlins:

James lists the Marlins as the #4 team in all of baseball for young talent, just below the Twins, D'Backs and Rays: “Jorge Cantu, who has been up and down several times already in his career, is still only 26 years old, 27 in January. The Marlins have six good young players (Hanley, Cantu, Hermida, Ugly Dan Uggla, Mike Jacobs and Cody Ross) plus at least four good young pitchers (Nolasco, Olsen, Volsted, and Kevin Gregg. OK, Gregg is not really “young”). If Andrew Miller figures it out, the Marlins could make some noise again.”

I don't think Gregg is going to be with us next season.  I guess he could, but I sincerely doubt it.

I do like the fact Cody is included in the list of good young player.  It seems to me his contributions are often overlooked.

James went on to say this:

As James has noted often, “Competitive teams don’t have as much room to let young players thrash around, and consequently most of the top teams don’t show as having a lot of young talent. They may have the young talent; it just isn’t in the lineup yet.”

Now, I'm not sure what definition of "competitive" Mr. James is using but it seems to me that the top four teams on the list of young talent on the current big league squad were very competitive.

As if the above wasn't enough of a preview, they also sent along Bill James' projections for 2009 of the Marlins players.

Starting Monday we will cover the pitchers.  And on Tuesday, the hitters.

Something to look forward to.