May you stay forever young

Statistician extraordinaire Bill James is publishing his annual Handbook on Nov. 1, and it once again includes a “Young Talent Inventory.”

According to James, the Indians rank seventh in all of baseball in regard to their stockpile of young talent (with “young” being defined as players under 30 in 2008). James takes into account runs created for position players and runs allowed for pitchers, then adjusts according to injuries and the number of years a player should be at his peak performance.

This is what James had to say about the Indians: “One of the Cleveland announcers during the postseason said that the Indians had missed their moment, and their opportunity was getting away from them. Our analysis suggests that this is untrue, and the Indians, despite their injuries and the loss of Sabathia, are still well stocked. … I think the Indians are still very capable of challenging the Twins and the Royals for the future of this division.” 

James is particularly enamored with Grady Sizemore. He ranks No. 24, appropriately, as the 24th-best young player in baseball. Here’s the complete list:

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 Hernandez, ! 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

For more information on the Bill James Handbook, visit



Hmm. I don’t see him on here. Must have been overlooked. On a side note, Pedroia might be the oldest looking 24 year old in the history of the universe. I honestly thought he was in his 40s.

Any chance that the Nats shop Zimmerman? I thought he looked pretty good last year but didnt realize he had that much potential… seeing as how the Nats dont have much else would they be interested in swapping for Marte?

I have to admit, I sort of agreed with the idea that the Indians window was closing and that Shapiro either needed to all in this year, or make some moves to help the next wave of talent in 2010 or 2011. But I guess this is good news as obviously Bill James studies thist stuff like crazy. It will be an exciting time when the Royals, Twins and Indians battle it out for the central. I do think the Royals potentialy have a bright future, but hopefully the 2008 Rays don’t make all the Royals’ and Pirates’ of the world think anything is possible.

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