SI goes on a bit of a team-building frenzy this month. In addition to the fawning Sizemore profile, Tom Verducci picks 10 players to start a franchise with, and Baseball Prospectus' Nate Silver updates his Top 50 Most Valuable Properties in the game today.
Verducci's list puts Sizemore at #2, behind only Miggy Cabrera, and Joe Mauer at #6. The rest of the AL Central is shut out, although two Royals make the three-man "needs more time" list.
Silver's "properties" ranking is based on projections of performance over the next five seasons, as per the well regarded PECOTA system. It does not take into account contract value, e.g., the fact that A-Rod will make ten times more money than Sizemore, just value on the field. Mauer and Johan Santana have moved up into the #2 and #3 spots. Sizemore has jumped from #14 to #5, and the Pronk from #33 to #21. C.C., unranked last year, debuts on the list at #17 with this glorious prose:
Jhonny Peralta headlines the "dropped off the list list," having been slotted at #15 a year ago, joining other partly faded young stars like Michael Young and Eric Chavez. (Silver notes that Jhonny's 2007 resurgence is "inconclusive," which it is, based on sample size, but then oddly notes his low batting average as the reason, as though he doesn't know about peripherals.) On a similar note, I think Silver would say that a year ago, he expected Andy Marte to crack the list this year, but it hasn't happened. And Barfield, for all his charms, is not quite on the same talent level as the other players here.
The SI.com baseball blog "Fungoes" also suggests -- strictly tongue-in-cheek -- that Travis Hafner demand a trade, lest he fall prey to the slump afflicting the division's best hitters. The blog entry notes that even Victor Martinez, who has not been in a slump, did a stint on the Disabled List -- which, of course, he didn't.