The Value of Ramos

I, like everyone else, am intrigued by Wilson Ramos' future. So I wanted to see what previously touted catching prospects have done in their career. So I went to the BA Top 100 lists, and found all the catching prospects that have listed.  There were 31 names, 2 of which I threw out since they were highly touted since before they were drafted.  Those two are of course Joesph Patrick Mauer and Matthew Wieters.  That left 29 names.  Here is what they have done.

Victor Martinez - He made two appearances on the BA100, in the 90's and then jumping into the top 20 in '03. He has obviously been a very good player.

Brian McCann - Didn't walk a whole lot before he made the majors, which means he was never ranked as an elite prospect. He topped out at #44 in '05.

Jayson Werth - Changed positions and became an all-star. Was ranked as the 48th best prospect in 2000.

Brandon Inge - Another that changed position. Ranked 67 in 2001.

Russell Martin - Had three very good years. Since has slowed down and looks more like a solid everyday player.

Kenji Johjima - An underrated player when he was stateside, he accumulated 8 Wins Above Replacement before he went back to Japan.

Soto - After turning a corner, he was ranked 47 in 2008 and became the Rookie of the Year in 2009.

Kurt Suzuki - Solid solid player. Fringe all-star caliber.

Kelly Shoppach - Full of power. Not really given a huge chance, but regardless, not a great catcher.

Chris Ianetta - One of two players in this grouping that could become an all-star yet. Hasn't been given a starting position which he would be an adequate everyday player.

John Buck - I don't think he's made an all-star team. At least he shouldn't have. He has less than 5 WAR and his career is winding down.

Dioner Navaro - Actually was an all-star, but it seems like it was a fluke. The man has a 76 OPS+ and 4.3 WAR in his career. Is in a platoon with Kelly Shoppach.

Josh Phelps - 4 WAR career. Done. Let's move on.

Miguel Montero - The second player in this grouping that I actually like. Like Ianetta he hasn't been given an everyday position, but he was on the verge of one before he got injured this season. He could accumulate a lot of value the next four years.

That is 14 players out of 29.  Each have had different levels of success. Now onto the less than successful players.

Matthew Lecroy - A Twin! I attended a game he hit 2 HRs. His bat was actually pretty decent, but he couldn't handle the defense. He was a platoon player, pinch hitter at his best.

Jarod Saltalamachia - I don't know if I spelled it right, but who cares. He was highly touted in '06 as the 19 best prospect in the land. He was the centerpiece in the Mark Teixeira deal. Now he looks like a nobody.

Taylor Teagarden - How fitting that he should be mentioned with his teammate. The poster children for catching prospect busts. Of course, they are both young and one of them might have a late career surge, but who's counting on it?

Jeff Mathis - Defensive specialist, trouble with the bat. Nothing special

4 more.  Three of which are able to add to their legacy but look to be fringe major leaguers. That leaves 11 more players; Quiroz, Patrick, Walker, Lamasney, Towles, Huber, Sardinha, Christianson, Lawrence, House, Clement.

Breaking this down by cost controlled year, the average WAR per year of control was 0.5/1.3/0.9/1.1/1.3/1.0. So we can project Wilson Ramos to be worth about 6 Wins Above Replacement under team control.  But what will we have to pay him? Not knowing how the market is going to be 6 years from now, lets just say he would be paid, 0.5/0.5/0.5/2.0/4.0/6.0 and each win is $4M in cost. That would mean we'd be paying for 3 Wins.

In conclusion:

A) Wilson Ramos right now, can be valued as a 3 WAR excess commodity.

B) BA has been listing more and more catchers in their 100.  From 2000-2007, they averaged 5 catchers.  In '08 they listed 7, '09 they had 12, and '10 they had '11.  Just something interesting.

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