As noted elsewhere Dave Cameron finally unveiled the final part of his MLB trade value series today with 1-10 going up. Let's look at the Rays representiation:
29 James Shields
23 Scott Kazmir
11 B.J. Upton
1 Evan Longoria
Yes Longoria was rated the number one asset at the top level of MLB. Entering this season we knew each of those four were pretty good, but I'm not sure if I would've ranked all four within the top 30 assets in the league. Something I found interesting is just how similar Upton/Longoria are with the exception of B.J. not quite having Evan's power.
|2008 - Evan Longoria||78||286||44||81||22||1||16||53||33||73||6||0||.283||.354||.535|
|2008 - B.J. Upton||85||310||56||86||19||2||6||44||61||74||26||10||.277||.391||.410|
Go a little further and you'll discover both see right around 4.03 P/PA and even their strike breakdowns aren't too far apart. Evan with 27% strikes looking and 17% strikes swinging and B.J. with 31% strikes looking and 15% strikes swinging. Both have upper 70% contact rate and neither is all too eager about swinging at the first pitch more than 35% of the time.
What this means more than anything is the Rays have two early-twenties positional players with incredible plate discipline at the beginning of their careers. I'm not being rhetorical, but is there a better young duo in the league?