Bill James calls Dodgers #11 in Young Talent Inventory

It seems these days that everyone ranks top talent, but Bill James is obviously someone who has been doing it for quite some time. He put Matt Kemp #11 on his list of the top 20 young big leaguers and ranked the Dodgers #11 overall.

See below for the full release

Bill James names Matt Kemp
among top 20 young talent in baseball

Calls Dodgers #11 in Young Talent Inventory

In the third year of his newly developed “Young Talent Inventory,” groundbreaking baseball analyst Bill James names Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp #11 on his list of the top 20 young major league ballplayers. In the just-published Bill James Gold Mine 2010, James also judges the Dodgers to have the eleventh-best overall young talent in Major League Baseball, up two places from last year and just below the Marlins but above the Phillies. The Tampa Bay Rays were ranked #1.

James rates all of the young talent on each of the thirty major league teams. The Dodgers are rated #11 overall: “Despite the presence on their roster of Kemp, Ethier, Martin and Loney, the Dodgers are actually fairly near the bottom of the list in young position players. They rank first in young pitching, however,” he says. “Their top six: Kemp, Billingsley, Ethier, Broxton, Loney and Kershaw. (If the system worked perfectly, Kershaw would rank ahead of Loney.)”

James lists the 20 “most valuable properties” among young players in the majors (with ages in parentheses):

Felix Hernandez, Seattle (23)
Prince Fielder, Milwaukee (25)
Hanley Ramirez, Florida (25)
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee (25)
Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco (22)
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco (25)
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay (23)
Justin Upton, Arizona (21)
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit (26)
Nick Markakis, Baltimore (25)
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers (24)
Dustin Pedroia, Boston (25)
Zack Greinke, Kansas City (25)
Ryan Zimmerman, Washington (24)
David Wright, New York Mets (26)
Joe Mauer, Minnesota (26)
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado (24)
Adam Lind, Toronto (25)
Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta (23)
Mark Reynolds, Arizona (25)

As James has noted often, “Competitive teams don’t have as much room to let young players thrash around, and consequently most of the top teams don’t show as having a lot of young talent. They may have the young talent; it just isn’t in the lineup yet.” That having been said, here are his rankings of the Young Talent Inventory of all 30 teams (with their rankings last year in parentheses):

Tampa Bay Rays (3)
Colorado Rockies (8)
Minnesota Twins (1)
Arizona Diamondbacks (2)
Boston Red Sox (10)
San Francisco Giants (22)
New York Yankees (29)
Texas Rangers (19)
Chicago White Sox (25)
Florida Marlins (4)
Los Angeles Dodgers (13)
Philadelphia Phillies (20)
Atlanta Braves (9)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (11)
Kansas City Royals (5)
New York Mets (16)
Chicago Cubs (26)
Seattle Mariners (18)
Milwaukee Brewers (6)
Baltimore Orioles (24)
Oakland A’s (12)
Toronto Blue Jays (28)
Washington Nationals (23)
St. Louis Cardinals (14)
Pittsburgh Pirates (17)
Cleveland Indians (7)
Cincinnati Reds (15)
Detroit Tigers (27)
San Diego Padres (21)
Houston Astros (30)

For more information information on The Bill James Gold Mine 2010,
go to or call Andrew Yankech at 800-397-2282.



I’ll bet Andre has a better year than Pablo, David Wright and Prince.

I suppose it’s because Dre isn’t considered young any more 🙂

I am going to try to draft Andre and Kemp in baseball fantasy team but I know it will be hard.
Just ordered entra Opening day tickets and could not get two or more in the Top Deck. I got Reserved level tickets and one top deck. Top Deck came out for $24 after the extra charges. Wow! Big, big difference from my season tickets.

Great list Josh!!!

Hi everybody
Not a bad listing, except the Dodgers should be at least 8th
and Kemp will move up.
First in young pitching means more than anything else.
This doesn’t hinder their chances of going all the way.

Jhall, I agree with you. While I hope they don’t have to, I feel the Dodgers can overcome a Manny meltdown much easier than a declining Furcal. I am a bit more optomistic about Bills bouncing back since he had a taste of success and is another year wiser.

Thanks again Josh for all your efforts. Great job!!! Thank god we are on the eve of actually playing. I’m very optimistic about our team and ability to take the NL West. I do think it will be a dogfight as I think all the teams in our division will be better this year. We will go as far as Furcal, Manny, Martin, and Billz!!! The rest of the bunch will continue to perform and make us competitive. These four will determine how far we go!!!! JMO!!!

We’re really going to need Furcal to light the offensive candle!!! I think he is our biggest question mark. Billz, right behind him. What do you all think?

Jhall ~ I’d say Furcal is probssbly a good choice because he will lead off. However, I think Russell really has to return to the form of two years ago. I’m hoping last year for Martin was just an off-year and not a sign of the future. I also think Billz has to be awesome this year.

red pen *probably

Hey Jhall!! How ya doing? I am sooo looking forward to baseball starting up again.

We had the number 2 ranked system when McCourt took over to not parlay a number 2 farm into overall greater outcome 5 years later worries me alot. I’m telling you guys. We should have already added young talent to our young talent, not traded away alot of our young talent for crap. Should have added two younger centerpiece free agents and not all this old garbage an should have already been rolling with a young hungry club. I was bitching about Ethier not playing the day before they signed Luiz Gonzales. Loney the year before with Nomar. Tomko taking starts from billinsgley..etc. Etc..Being 11th is cute but three of our division rivals are above us. 2 teams with huge payrolls and a win now attitude are above us (which we say we have!! is why i make the point, u can do both you know) and what isn’t written here is we have now about the 20th ranked farm system, maybe worse we will see soon.

The Dodgers rank #11 in young talent?? And Matt is #11 out of 20?? I don’t know if I agree. Silver Slugger, Golden Glove.

Heavy sigh!! 185!!! Well said Jungar!! Hi’Ya Trumom and Nelly!!!

Billz had a great start last year. I am sure he will improve his stats of the second half.
Is good to see the Rays rank #3 I always like the way they fiercely compete with the Yankees & Red Sox. This is the 13th season in the league.
Thanks for the list Josh! God willing, I’ll see you and the boys in Blue in Arizona this weekend.

jungar – very well said once again

The thing about the Dodger’s farm system is lack of depth at the triple A level. Most of our talent seems to be in the lower leagues, not too much unlike a few years ago when the current crop of young “studs” tore it up at Jacksonville. However, other than Edwin Jackson, who obviously is a late bloomer and just was not ready while wearing Dodger blue, and Jayson Werth, who had injury issues, what other young talent has the team traded away who is making a big impact on a major league roster?

I don’t think any of us are under the illusion that this club is run by baseball people.

Unfortunately birk, they have to have draft picks and be willing to sign young talent to replenish the farm, two things we’ve seen this year that they’re unwilling to do.

You’re right about the Andys and the Delwyns they’ve traded so far. I’d imagine a lot of those trades have to have Logan’s blessing.

If only we, the average Dodger fan, had the organizational skills and the tenacity to boycott every Dodger game (hey, there’s still TV!!!) until Frank is FORCED to sell, based not only on zero incoming revenue but on the enormity of the message sent. Sure, the corporations will still fill their pricey seats…but imagine the glory of a COMPLETELY empty upper deck, reserved deck and vacant bleachers. The visual would make CNN world wide!!!! Bud Selig would probably collapse, as well. My disgust for the McCourts as owners grows daily. Anyone up for a 14-game mini plan (in this economy, no less) for the “honor” of seeing the Yankees? The great Dodger in the sky must be weeping…it HAS been a very wet February….

Kahli, if you want to know what that image might really look like, you should have seen Dodger Stadium Sunday when UCLA played SC (won by UCLA I am happy to say). I was not there but from the images on TV, the field level seats had a lot of people by design while the upper decks and the outfield were purposefully left emply.

By the way, watching that game reminded me of one of the worst sports sounds not caused by accidents, crashes, collisions or anything which causes bodily harm: the sound of the ball off an aluminum baseball bat.

The “honor” of seeing the Yankees, heheheheh. Good stuff. As if Bristol doesn’t cram those pinstripes down our throat any chance they get.

The Dodgers don’t need to leach off the crumbs and leavings of the Yankees to fill seats… must be a Bostonian thing. Then again, our coaching staff is filled with ex-Yankees, but I’d put them in the “Would love nothing more than to give 3 Steinbrenners fits in October”.

Yes, October… The “Rivalry” can never be renewed in June. I don’t care if our Manager’s Reggie Jackson and theirs is Steve Garvey, this is a World Series rivalry. These are just 3 interleague games. Three very interesting interleague games, but interleague nonetheless. The franchise didn’t have any illusions of a rivalry being renewed when I saw the Dodgers in Oakland in the first season of Interleague back in ’97, even with Canseco (“Tan seco”) AND Mark McGwire on the other side.

Then again, our owners, in their infinite wisdom, leach off the “legacy” of the Cubs in Spring Training, why not the Yankees during the season?

Because anyone with a sense of “Dodger Tradition” wouldn’t be leeching off the Yankees, that’s why. I doubt there’d be tumbleweeds in the Ravine that weekend without a mandatory 14-game buy-in.

Get a Boston owner, inherit a “Yankee Inferiority Complex”.

Y.I.C. is what we’ve got, Northstateblues!

Now! Now! Folks…..calm down…..Breathe deep….. and release…
The Dodgers aren’t going anywhere, they are in good hands!!!
I believe the team on the field will be very competitive this season….I agree with jhall that some of the veterans need to produce to their capabilities, such as driving runners in, setting the table, and capturing the momentum in times of need. The season will take more than just that however, it will take a repeat performance from all the good we had last season, such as the bull-pen, the 1st inning run production, the 7Th inning and on game changing dramatics. The ability to hang on in close games and find a way to win. It will take a solid performance from everyone, just as it did last season when everyone wanted to participate and be a contributor. I believe that these guys are fighters….I believe that these guys are proud…..I believe that these guys have the ability to get it done….there will be some ups and downs along the way…..If the boys can manage to stay healthy, and have fun on the field, we will as well. If not we are all just going to have too adjust to the times and endure…….We know where we want to go……we just have to have the determination to get there….

Well said, North 🙂

what other young talent has the team traded away who is making a big impact on a major league roster?

None. Maybe Santana here soon. Maybe LaRoache soon. Maybe Abreau soon. But that’s not how to look at it. Lot’s of young players that people though were gonna be great who never were are traded for good players who make impact.

So trading Jackson (22 at the time) for a 34 year old reliever who isn’t on our roster even a year later hurts us. It hurt us last year simply because Jackson would have been our best starter in the first half last year and 2nd best at age 25 for the season overall. Maybe we then don’t trade for Padilla and resign him..So just like for Padilla it cost about 10 million to have made that trade. the 5 million we paid Baez and the 5 we pay Padilla. I am not saying not to make trades, but jackson was regarded highly and ee could have gotten alot more for him just in term of talent let alon getting a guy, older who produced far less for the dodgers than Jackson would have.

Hey all, it’s been way too long, but we’re starting to ramp up to the season! I hope you are all doing well!

Wow, it has been a long time Peumike. Great to see you again!!!

Thanks tru! Great to see you too! Been busy, but have kept up on the news of the team, and will get back in the groove. 🙂

I can’t wait for ST! I’m so tired of the cold weather. Got some new Dodger shirts and jewelry, of course, and am ready to hear, “Play Ball”!

I don’t think its a matter of who’s being traded, its who’s doing the trading. Any competent GM WOULD get more. Then there’s Frank’s financial restrictions of not wanting to add salary. You have to trade talent to get talent. In that respect, this management team sorely lacks the tools to get back what it gives.
And no one please cry Manny either because he was given to Frank on a silver platter. Ethier is the only trade that’s truely worked out to our advantage, and I’m still convinced Beane thought he put one over on ol’ Ned at the time.
Jackson’s a tougher one though. He’s now with his third team since being traded. That means two other teams didn’t think enough of his talent to keep him either.

Well, let’s just hope the players we have now have the fight in them to get it done this year. The ownership seems to be heading into very shakey ground, and yes, we may have Matt, Andre and Brox for two years, but who else will be here a year from now. Just like Andre had to prove he deserved that outfield job the past two years (and to him even now), the Dodgers, as a team of players, will have to have that same motivation to prove they can do this without owners who “seem” to care about the future of this ball club.

I think we will see alot of determination from this club this year just on pure motivation alone. The motivation that they can overcome the adversity this divorce is sure to bring their way throughout the season. Similar to what happened when Manny served his 50 day suspension, they, as a team of players, had the motivation to prove to themselves they can win with or without Manny and they did. Now, it’s not a matter of proving you can win without Manny, it’s a matter of proving you can win with all the odds against you because your owners are idiots.

I have faith they can. It’s the young core’s year to prove why we believed in them…………why we called them the Young Gun Dynasty three years ago.

Hey Mr. Pianoman!!! It’s so good to see you!!

Speaking of pianos (hey Peru!), I think with Ned’s stockpile of crap, I mean players, we’re going to see an interesting DL list of “injuries” again this season.

Thanks nelly! Great to see you too! It’s been busy, and now crazy the last few day!

Great posts by all this evening. All thought provoking to say the least.

Well enchanted, I spent the offseason polishing up the pianos, so just let me know if you need one!

LOL enchanted!!!!

I think we will need a truck load, Perumike!

Oh…………..I am sure enchanted has his list handy if you haven’t already seen it – LOL!!!!

I’ll admit Nells there’s a slight possibility that at some point during the season I may become disgruntled with a PVL or two.

I’ll have a train load of pianos on call!

which is also the point enchanted. he was traded three times now and His upside was most when we had him…and we got the least for him. The Rays and now the Tigers both got good young players in return. Jury is still out. Our return is no longer near DS and wasn’t any good when he was.

And the fact is, no matter what the GM’s thought of his ability, last year he pitched better than Randy Wolf for about 400,000 bucks. We could have used that.

No doubt jungar. Not saying he wouldn’t be nice to have now, especially considering what we got for him, but that speaks volumes for Ned’s inabilities to get value in return. It also seems to be this management teams MO that if a youngster doesn’t produce right away (LaRoche, Repko, maybe even McDonald), they become expendable for “known commodities.” Its just a pisspoor way to run a club. How is it the Yankees and Sox can spend the money they do, trade prospects like they do, yet still have a deep young talent pool? It ain’t because they got NedCo working for them. I wonder if Kersh didn’t pitch as well as he has his first two years if he’d be gone now for some crappy vet. My guess is yes.

I completely agree with jungar and enchanted on their points about young players. The “known commodities” point especially strikes a chord for me. When I was a kid, I would make fun of my friends that were Angels fans because if we didn’t know what team an old, aging veteran had gone to in the offseason, I would comment that they were probably an Angel now because it seemed like the Angels would always sign “known” guys way past their prime. Now, though, the Dodgers sign and trade for those types of guys. Very frustrating for me to witness and believe me, my Angels buddies let me know about it too.

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