Here we are at the beginning of the year arguing about Mark Kotsay, as usual. But did you know that according to my rankings method—see last year’s inaugural post—Mark Kotsay isn’t actually one of the best players in baseball anymore? Here are the 30 players who beat him out. (Rankings accomplished by my patented Math + Massage technique. The working document is here. Per last year’s post, “3-yr W. TR Avg.” is a weighted average of the player’s last three years on Bill James’s Total Runs leaderboard.)
Notes about the list:
- Next 10 mathematically were Marte, Heyward, Kipnis, Freeman, Cruz, Herrera, Belt, Yelich, Frazier, and Miguel Cabrera. I would have re-ordered them significantly, I’m sure.
- I would like to exclude Dee Gordon from the list, but the system won’t let me. Damn the man! Save the Empire!
- Players who made the top-30 mathematically but I cut because of a lack of playing time include Corey Seager, AJ Pollock, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a bunch of other schmoes
- I had never heard of Adam Duvall before undertaking the list this year. I’m still not sure I’ve heard of Adam Duvall.
- Hell of an era for third base.
- Hell of an era for…Ian Kinsler?!
- Rough year for Harper, McCutchen, Heyward, and Stanton. I don’t know if anybody thought they’d all disappoint.
- Everybody look out if the Rockies figure out how to pitch.
- Who’s the best player over the next five years out of Betts, Bryant, Lindor, Correa, and Machado? Answer: Probably Dansby Swanson.
Happy New Year, everybody! May the Braves actually land a player on this list next off-season.