Nate Silver’s Top 50 Franchise Players

Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA master Nate Silver has put together his third annual Ultimate Fantasy Draft, which ranks the top 50 players you’d want if you were building a franchise from scratch. Which players would you want to build around "if your goal was to win as many championships as possible over the medium-to-long-term?"

#1-25 are here.
#26-50 and Honorable Mentions are here.

A couple of notes about our teams. The Yanks have two players on the list. Joba comes in at #28, ranked higher than any of the team’s young pitching phenoms. The Yanks have a total of three players on the list, if you count Robinson Cano’s Honorable Mention. A-Rod, of course, makes the list at #8. He is the only player over the age of 30 who makes the Top 25.

Two Boston players make the top 50. Beckett places at #22 and Dustin Pedroia is the second ranked AL second baseman at #40. Silver and PECOTA have not lost the faith in Clay Buchholz who earns an Honorable Mention. And Jon Papelbon is the only closer listed as an Honorable Mention. If it were my list, I’d probably include Jon Lester, but my guess is that PECOTA and scouts think his upside is limited to a #2.

Other notes: The highest ranked pitcheris is CC Sabathia, so PECOTA and Siilver seem to like his durability going forward, even though Ned Yost is attempting to render him useless after this season. Also, Baltimore has three young positional players on this list. They could be a factor next year and beyond.

So what do you think of the list. Who are your Top 25?

12 comments… add one
  • Does this list include injury risk as a factor or are is it done for a hypothetical land where injuries don’t exist?

    SF August 22, 2008, 11:39 am
  • i’d assume it does include injury risk. It’s largely based on PECOTA, which I think does factor in injury risk, and there’s also a subjective scouting aspect. One of the reasons A-Rod is so high, even at the age of 32, is that he’s proven to be durable…I think.

    Nick-YF August 22, 2008, 11:48 am
  • Im happy to see Hanley at #1; I’d take him first if I was starting from scratch.
    This makes me want to start a dynasty league. Anyone know where you can start one, and is anyone interested?

    Atheose August 22, 2008, 12:14 pm
  • Injury is mentioned in explaining why Pujols is 3. CC Sabathia is also mentioned as not being an injury risk.
    Where is Beltran?

    DR August 22, 2008, 12:20 pm
  • I would take Hanley, Lincecum, Felix Hernandez (how is he still only 22?), Scott Kazmir and Grady Sizemore. After that it’s all a wash.

    Atheose August 22, 2008, 12:38 pm
  • Beltran is #45. He was #12 last season.

    Nick-YF August 22, 2008, 12:44 pm
  • Nice to see Curtis Granderson ranked so highly. Not entirely sure why, but I love that dude. He really stands out on a pretty unappealing Detroit team, although I also have a perverse appreciation of Sheffield, who is the exact point-for-point opposite of Granderson.
    Amazing how many players the Mets have in the top 25 (3), especially given that they could have had even more [Kazmir, cough, cough].

    stuck working August 22, 2008, 12:47 pm
  • Why isn’t Kevin Cash on the list?

    SF August 22, 2008, 1:40 pm
  • Holy sweet moses, Pavano is starting on Saturday!

    Atheose August 22, 2008, 1:44 pm
  • Well, there’s still time for a freak injury between now and tomorrow. We should start a pool guessing what it is and how many minutes before first pitch it happens.

    rootbeerfloat August 22, 2008, 1:59 pm
  • I say early tomorrow morning between 2:00am and 3:00am. Tragic rolling-over-in-bed accident.

    Atheose August 22, 2008, 2:11 pm
  • I can’t believe they wouldn’t have Lester on there (over Clay anyway). Of course, I seem to be a fanboy for Lester, but still…

    dw (sf) August 22, 2008, 2:15 pm

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