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2021 Commerce Worth: #41 to #50

As is the annual custom at FanGraphs, we’re utilizing the week after the All-Star Sport to take inventory of the highest 50 gamers in baseball by commerce worth in anticipation of subsequent week’s commerce deadline. For a extra detailed introduction to this yr’s train, in addition to a take a look at these gamers who fell simply in need of the highest 50, make sure to learn the Introduction and Honorable Mentions piece, which will be discovered within the widget above.

For many who have been studying the Commerce Worth Collection the previous couple of seasons, the format ought to look acquainted. For each participant, you’ll see a desk with the participant’s projected five-year WAR from 2022-2026, courtesy of Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections. The desk will even embrace the participant’s assured cash, if any, the yr by way of which their crew has contractual management of them, final yr’s rank (if relevant), after which projections, contract standing, and age for every particular person season by way of 2026, if the participant is underneath contract or crew management for these seasons. Final yr’s rank features a hyperlink to the related 2020 publish. Thanks are resulting from Sean Dolinar for his assist in creating the tables in these posts. On the backside of the web page, there’s a grid exhibiting all of the gamers who’ve been ranked up up to now.

With that out of the way in which, let’s get to the primary batch of gamers.

5-Yr WAR +10.9
Assured {Dollars}
Workforce Management By 2024
Earlier Rank #40
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 30 +3.1 Arb1
2023 31 +2.8 Arb2
2024 32 +2.3 Arb3

I’m glad McNeil is fiftieth on our remaining record, as a result of he was the participant I used most frequently as a measuring keep on with resolve if somebody merited consideration for the record. If somebody was an unquestionably worse worth than McNeil, they didn’t belong. In the event that they had been unquestionably higher, they had been possible within the high 30. If I couldn’t make a fast choice, they went proper into the soup. McNeil has remained on that dividing line by way of all our revisions to the record.

Hitting a ton is a helpful talent (I’ll be stuffed with helpful insights like this all record lengthy), and McNeil has finished nothing however hit his complete main league profession, not less than till an injury-plagued 2021. He doesn’t stroll a lot, and he doesn’t hit for a ton of energy. However he aggressively targets pitches to hit, makes a ton of contact, and punches line drives everywhere in the discipline. I have a tendency to consider gamers with low stroll charges as OBP sinkholes, however McNeil checks in at a profession .377 mark as a result of that aforementioned excessive contact fee comes with impressively low strikeout charges.

Ought to he be increased on the record? Clearly, I believe not. He performs a number of positions, however none nicely, and he’s headed into his first yr of arbitration. Bat-first nook sorts aren’t briefly provide, and although McNeil can deal with second, he principally suits into that bucket, which limits his worth in commerce — not sufficient to maintain him off the highest 50, however sufficient that he serves as a wonderful litmus check for who deserves to be in. – BC

5-Yr WAR +12.0
Assured {Dollars}
Workforce Management By 2024
Earlier Rank
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 26 +2.6 Arb1
2023 27 +2.6 Arb2
2024 28 +2.4 Arb3

This one may look foolish in a couple of weeks as a result of López is at the moment on the Injured Listing with a shoulder problem. It appears to be largely a precautionary keep, as he’s more likely to blast by way of his profession excessive innings pitched, but when it’s a serious harm that clearly modifications issues. If it’s nothing season-ending, although, López may maintain the title of essentially the most under-appreciated pitcher within the recreation. He’s been unimaginable over the previous two years, including strikeouts whereas sustaining his wonderful command of the strike zone. He attracts chases at a top-10 fee, one thing you absolutely wouldn’t have anticipated when he got here up as a changeup-first pitcher. His new cutter actually has one thing to do with that, and his changeup remains to be spectacular. Three years of arbitration for an above-average pitcher is a good deal, however the new-ness of his strikeout stuff and the final riskiness of pitchers stored him from shifting up the record any additional. – BC

5-Yr WAR +13.1
Assured {Dollars}
Workforce Management By 2026
Earlier Rank
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 26 +2.9 Pre-Arb
2023 27 +2.9 Pre-Arb
2024 28 +2.6 Arb1
2025 29 +2.5 Arb2
2026 30 +2.3 Arb3

We’d appear to be fools years from now for placing Garcia this low. On the similar time, we’d appear to be fools for placing him on this record in any respect. Garcia was all the time seen as a good-but-not-great prospect, and whereas he ranked fifth on the Astros’ record this spring, he was by no means seen as High 100 worthy. But right here we’re, with Garcia simply in need of being one of many high 50 pitchers in baseball when it comes to WAR. He isn’t a free agent till 2027 and if this model of him is what he actually is, then he’s a fringe high 10 candidate, although with all of 16 massive league begins underneath his belt, it’s too early to place him there with any form of assuredness.

It’s additionally robust to ensure this type of continued success with Garcia’s questionable fastball high quality. He has 4 plus or higher secondary choices, with an particularly harmful cutter and slider, however the 92-95 mph heater will get hit and there are worries that hitters will regulate to his type and strategy, although there’s additionally no assure of that occuring both. As such, few gamers on this yr’s record have extra variability as to the place they’ll stand when it comes to this mission 12 months from now. – KG

5-Yr WAR +11.1
Assured {Dollars} $9.5 M
Workforce Management By 2024
Earlier Rank
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 29 +2.8 $9.5 M
2023 30 +2.7 $12.5 M
2024 31 +2.4 $14.0 M

I’m glad I’m not attempting to elucidate how Anderson does it, as a result of I don’t suppose I may. For 3 straight years, he’s slashed and sprinted his option to above-average batting strains regardless of an strategy that would charitably be described as voracious — he swings early and infrequently, searching pitches he can put in play with authority, which places a cap on his walks and a flooring on his strikeouts. It really works, although, and it’s been lengthy sufficient that betting on it to all of the sudden cease appears foolish. He’s additionally cleaned up his protection, with solely 11 errors in his final 1,050 innings (2020 and ’21) after 26 within the earlier 1,050.

One factor holds Anderson’s worth down: groups are inherently conservative skeptics who need reductions after they commerce for gamers who don’t match the way in which they anticipate manufacturing to look. If Anderson is a four-win participant who your mannequin persistently says is a two-win participant, you’ll most likely ask for a cut price in an try to amass him. That doesn’t imply he’s not a four-win participant, but it surely does really feel as if the White Sox must settle considerably in the event that they tried to maneuver him — which, to be clear, they received’t. – BC

5-Yr WAR +18.0
Assured {Dollars} $80.0 M
Workforce Management By 2025*
Earlier Rank #49
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 29 +4.5 $20.0 M
2023 30 +4.2 $20.0 M
2024 31 +3.7 $20.0 M
2025 32 +3.1 $20.0 M
2026 33 +2.5 **$20.0 M

*Bogaerts can choose out after 2022. **2026 vesting possibility.

Xander Bogaerts is without doubt one of the greatest gamers in baseball as a hit-first shortstop who has spent the final 4 seasons proving he’s a .900-plus OPS kind of bat. He could make $20 million a yr by way of 2026 (he has a vesting possibility that yr) if he stays wholesome, and for the form of participant that he’s, that’s a cut price. On the similar time, no person negotiates more durable for opt-out clauses than Scott Boras, and that’s simply what he did in Bogaerts’ case: inside the extension he signed previous to the 2019 season is a clause that enables him to develop into a free agent after 2022, with Boston’s flexibility hampered by a full no-trade clause that lately kicked in when Bogaerts reached seven years of service time.

If Bogaerts continues to be Bogaerts, he’ll nearly assuredly select free company simply as he’ll nearly assuredly do considerably higher than the three years and $60 million (or 4 years and $80 million, assuming well being) that may stay on his present deal. Quickly it is going to be time to debate sliding the massive man over to the new nook (had been it not for Rafael Devers, we may be there already), however nothing in his statistical profile or underlying metrics recommend that the middle-of-the-order run manufacturing is altering anytime quickly. – KG

5-Yr WAR +12.4
Assured {Dollars} $15.3 M
Workforce Management By 2024
Earlier Rank #39
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 29 +3.3 $6.8 M
2023 30 +2.9 $8.5 M
2024 31 +2.6 $10.0 M

It’s robust to wrap your head round Kepler. He’s not a star, however he’s an above-average producer on the plate and a strong defensive outfielder, and he’s signed by way of 2024 whereas slated to make simply over $25 million over the following three seasons. The makes him a extremely sought-after participant, and the trade usually expects extra of him than he’s proven; his 2019 marketing campaign, when he was a 4.4 WAR participant, is his solely season the place every thing got here collectively for him.

Kepler’s statistical profile and underlying metrics create appreciable challenges for an correct analysis. He’s a low-average hitter with a superb variety of walks and strong energy, however he’s put up sub-.250 BABIPs every of the previous 4 years, which is both an incredible run of dangerous luck or alerts one thing unusually intrinsic to him as a participant. However that’s not the one oddity in Kepler’s profile. He’s each hitting extra balls arduous than ever earlier than and hanging out greater than ever. In the meantime, his exit velocities proceed to slip and he’s misplaced a step on the bottom paths. There’s consolation available in what’s in entrance of you when it comes to Kepler’s identified value and what he can do, however there’s additionally nonetheless an opportunity for extra. – KG

5-Yr WAR +11.4
Assured {Dollars}
Workforce Management By 2026
Earlier Rank
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 25 +2.4 Pre-Arb
2023 26 +2.5 Pre-Arb
2024 27 +2.3 Arb1
2025 28 +2.1 Arb2
2026 29 +2.0 Arb3

With an intact hamstring, Madrigal would definitely be a bit increased on this record, although not considerably so — when it comes to skill, he’s what he’s, and whereas what he’s is sweet, he’s not a celebrity, and there are few paths to that stage for a participant along with his profile. On tempo for a four-win marketing campaign earlier than the season-ending harm, Madrigal’s skillset, which revolves round excessive contact skill, ought to present super year-to-year stability, and barring an sudden deal, he must be a fixture on West thirty fifth Road by way of 2026.

Whereas his protection has been much less superlative than anticipated, that is nonetheless a 23-year-old participant with only a half season underneath his belt and the entire instruments for him to be a strong, and perhaps even plus, defender at second base. He might be among the many greatest bets in baseball to hit .300-plus yearly, and even when it’s a little bit of an empty-average profile with an OPS ceiling within the .800 vary, the assuredness of Madrigal’s worth offers super consolation when it comes to roster development. – KG

5-Yr WAR +15.8
Assured {Dollars} $12.0 M
Workforce Management By 2026
Earlier Rank
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 26 +3.6 $2.5 M
2023 27 +3.4 $3.7 M
2024 28 +3.1 $5.7 M
2025 29 +2.9 $8.0 M
2026 30 +2.8 $8.0 M

I might have arm-wrestled Kevin for the Peralta blurb if he hadn’t kindly supplied it to me. Peralta has lengthy felt like he’s one adjustment (or one fortunate wholesome season) away from breaking by way of, and this yr has been precisely that. Does he nonetheless stroll too many batters? Completely. However he strikes the world out, throws two wonderful breaking balls, and misses a frankly ludicrous variety of bats along with his fastball. Swing-and-miss stuff is the foreign money of recent pitching, and Peralta has it in spades.

Oh yeah — his contract is as team-friendly because it will get. He’s owed $28 million over the following 5 years, and two of these years are even crew choices. It certain seems like he must be increased on the record — and for those who may assure that this yr’s Peralta would present up, he could be. However groups are rightly hesitant to commerce for starters with sturdiness points, and Peralta’s 98 innings to this point this yr are essentially the most he’s thrown since 2016. He’s additionally in need of stature and wild, and his skill to go deep into video games isn’t but settled — that is his first yr of full-time beginning since he was within the minors. The potential right here is fearsome, however so is the uncertainty, one thing groups detest. – BC

5-Yr WAR +13.4
Assured {Dollars}
Workforce Management By 2026
Earlier Rank HM
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 23 +2.6 Pre-Arb
2023 24 +2.7 Pre-Arb
2024 25 +2.8 Arb1
2025 26 +2.6 Arb2
2026 27 +2.6 Arb3

I hate leaning on lazy stereotypes, however Carlson is such a Cardinals-y high prospect. His 2021 line doesn’t soar off the web page, and the underlying batted ball knowledge doesn’t both. He’s not a barrel monster, and doesn’t have top-of-the-line uncooked energy. He simply hits and has a sophisticated grasp of the strike zone for a 22-year-old, one which we expect will develop with time. He’s miscast in heart, the place he’s performed this yr with Harrison Bader injured, however his plus velocity ought to assist him when he settles right into a nook. Plus, he’s solely 22 and received’t attain arbitration till the 2024 season.

His first full season within the majors makes it much less possible that he’s a mega-star in ready, but it surely additionally makes it apparent that he belongs within the massive leagues. Even when he doesn’t develop into extra — and ZiPS thinks he’ll — a median hitter with good velocity on a long-term deal is one thing each crew is searching for. He’s not increased up the rankings as a result of, as we said within the introduction, that’s not an awesome standards for commerce worth, but it surely does imply the Cardinals would don’t have any scarcity of suitors in the event that they made the unusual choice to eliminate one among their greatest younger gamers. – BC

5-Yr WAR +19.4
Assured {Dollars}
Workforce Management By 2026
Earlier Rank
Yr Age Projected WAR Contract Standing
2022 24 +4.1 Pre-Arb
2023 25 +4.2 Pre-Arb
2024 26 +3.8 Arb1
2025 27 +3.7 Arb2
2026 28 +3.7 Arb3

Like Garcia seven slots beneath him, Rogers is an thrilling younger pitcher who we may simply rank increased however who additionally lacks the mandatory massive league monitor document. He has extra of a pedigree than Garcia, as a former thirteenth total choose, however there’s additionally one high quality to his arsenal that units him aside: he’s in possession of one of many best-performing fastballs within the recreation, a full of life mid-90s heater that may both set-up his excellent changeup or just be used as an at-bat finisher in and of itself.

Rogers’ detractors level to not the incredible fastball, however quite to the sub-standard breaker. He solely throws his low-spin slider about 15% of the time and has slowly backed off that utilization because the season has worn on. It’s arduous to outlive at this stage with no high quality breaking ball, however loads of starters have begun to show that depth of arsenal can take a again seat whenever you’re in possession of two simply plus or higher choices, and Rogers has simply that. – KG

2021 Commerce Worth, 41-50

Rk Pv Participant Age 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
41 Trevor Rogers 23 +4.1
Pre-Arb
+4.2
Pre-Arb
+3.8
Arb1
+3.7
Arb2
+3.7
Arb3
42 HM Dylan Carlson 22 +2.6
Pre-Arb
+2.7
Pre-Arb
+2.8
Arb1
+2.6
Arb2
+2.6
Arb3
43 Freddy Peralta 25 +3.6
$2.5 M
+3.4
$3.7 M
+3.1
$5.7 M
+2.9
$8.0 M
+2.8
$8.0 M
44 Nick Madrigal 24 +2.4
Pre-Arb
+2.5
Pre-Arb
+2.3
Arb1
+2.1
Arb2
+2.0
Arb3
45 39 Max Kepler 28 +3.3
$6.8 M
+2.9
$8.5 M
+2.6
$10.0 M
46 49 Xander Bogaerts 28 +4.5
$20.0 M
+4.2
$20.0 M
+3.7
$20.0 M
+3.1
$20.0 M
+2.5
$20.0 M
47 Tim Anderson 28 +2.8
$9.5 M
+2.7
$12.5 M
+2.4
$14.0 M
48 Luis Garcia 34 +2.9
Pre-Arb
+2.9
Pre-Arb
+2.6
Arb1
+2.5
Arb2
+2.3
Arb3
49 Pablo Lopez 25 +2.6
Arb1
+2.6
Arb2
+2.4
Arb3
50 40 Jeff McNeil 29 +3.1
Arb1
+2.8
Arb2
+2.3
Arb3

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