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Twins Mid-Season Elias Rankings

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From MLB Trade Rumors on Sunday night:

Eddie Bajek of Detroit Tigers Thoughts reverse-engineered the Elias Rankings last year.  Eddie's incredible work was made possible in large part due to information provided by ESPN's Keith Law.  Eddie is now providing the rankings exclusively to MLB Trade Rumors.  Today's snapshot covers the beginning of the 2008 season through July 11th of 2009.  So the rankings will obviously change over the next few months.

I'll give you the link for a comprehensive list of all MLB, but first we'll review where some of your Twins sat.

Catchers Score Type
Joe Mauer 94.470 A
Mike Redmond 41.935 None
Jose Morales 32.488 None

The highest ranking catcher in all of baseball, by a sizeable margin, this really isn't a surprise.  There really isn't much more you can say about it, other than mentioning that his 94.47 score is the second highest anywhere on this list.  Only Roy Halladay tops it.  For catchers the cutoff between Type A and Type B players was somewhere between 72.120 (Jason Varitek) and 75.115 (Dioner Navarro).  The cutoff between Type B and no type at all is 53.456 (Miguel Olivo) and 50.961 (Kenji Johjima).

1B/OF/DH Score Type
Justin Morneau 84.12 A
Jason Kubel 68.33 B
Delmon Young 53.01 None
Denard Span 52.19 None
Michael Cuddyer 51.92 None
Carlos Gomez 36.99 None

A few more surprises here, some bigger than others.  Morneau, for example, gets the highest score in this category in the American League.  Then there's the close cluster of Young, Span and Cuddyer...which, like Elias rankings can do from time to time, confuses the hell out of me.  Span and Cuddyer's part-time duties in '08, for one reason or another, is a likely cause of these rankings.  I know playing time counts in the eyes of Elias, although Cuddyer's .699 OPS last season has to be a part of it as well.

Here, the split between Type A and Type B is 72.05 (Carlos Quentin) and 71.64 (Xavier Nady).  Between Type B and no type is 57.67 (Jacoby Ellsbury) and 56.58 (B.J. Upton).

2B/SS/3B Score Type
Brendan Harris 57.74 None
Joe Crede 52.38 None
Nick Punto 48.21 None
Brian Buscher 41.16 None
Matt Tolbert 20.30 None

I think Crede is close enough to the Type B cutoff that he could play himself into that position if he stays healthy the rest of the season.  Harris is the top-ranking player without a designation, so if he can get regular playing time and hit a bit better he should be able to attain B status as well. Mike Lowell (74.15) is the bottom of the Type A's, with the highest Type B being Chone Figgins (73.47).  Directly above Harris, hanging on to his Type B status, is Alex Gordon (58.50).

Starting Pitchers Score Type
Scott Baker 78.860 A
Nick Blackburn 74.035 B
Kevin Slowey 73.509 B
Glen Perkins 64.123 B
Francisco Liriano 44.298 None
Anthony Swarzak 20.263 None

Even with that start Baker pulls off a strong score here, ranking 14th among starting pitchers in the American League.  Blackburn's golden first half gives him a strong boost, and he's the highest ranked Type B on the list coming about .350 short of a Type A.  If Perkins and Slowey can come back after the Break and simply turn in performances they're capable of, they should be able to maintain.  It's Liriano, who comes in roughly ten points short of Type-B status, who has the longest road ahead of him to change his designation.  Not that it really matters anyway, since he's not a free agent at the end of the year anyway.

Relief Pitchers Score Type
Joe Nathan 86.842 A
Matt Guerrier 59.153 B
Jose Mijares 54.729 B
Bobby Keppel 52.174 None
Boof Bonser 39.359 None
R.A. Dickey 37.681 None
Brian Duensing 34.554 None
Pat Neshek 32.456 None

There's no Jesse Crain on this list, but I can't imagine he'd be much higher than the bottom rung of a Type B after the season he's started with the Twins.  Nathan's score is the second highest for relievers, second to (naturally) Mariano Rivera (87.109).  Keppel has pitched well in his brief stint with the team, thus his respectable score.  Darren Oliver (66.514) is the lowest rated Type A, just above Joba Chamberlain (65.217) and the Type B's.  Mijares is the lowest rated B status bullpen arm.

Of course, none of this matters.  Everything will change by season's end, and for most of these players it won't matter anyway.  Only Crede and Redmond are potential free agents, everyone else is either still under team control or under contract.  But it's still interesting to see where people rank.

Here's the complete list.