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March 30, 2007

Protrade Market Movers

The Ten Most Volatile Players - Week of March 30, 2007

by Jeff Ma

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Note: Protrade.com's newest MLB-themed Challenge begins April 1 at midnight. It's free, it's fun, and it's an easy way to test your knowledge against the smartest sports fan community in the world, including BP authors! Click here to sign up now.

Welcome to Market Movers, Protrade's series of reports covering how sports fans from around the world are valuing Major League Baseball stocks in the world's only 24/7 virtual Sports Stock Market.

For those unfamiliar with Protrade, we are a next-generation fantasy sports experience centered around a community of passionate fans who trade players and teams like stocks. Our virtual sports stock market helps capture the wisdom of these sports fans by enabling them to display their reactions and generate a market response to every event in sports news; every at-bat, every rumor, and every injury report can be factored into the value of an athlete or team. Equalized across all sports so that in Protrade Dollars (PT$) the best baseball players are worth roughly the same as the best football and basketball players, our prices are set by market analysts before the beginning of every season with a "season IPO," and then move based on a combination of on-field performance and buy/sell pressure.

For more information on how our market works, check out Protrade's FAQ. You can register for FREE by clicking here.

And now, Protrade's biggest price movers since March 22, 2007:

MLB Market Movers
Rk Player Ticker Team Price Mar. 22 Change
1. Zack Greinke ZGREI Royals $114.12
$90.00 26.80%
One of Protrade's most recent IPOs, Greinke's stock has shot up faster than Neil Peart goes through a drum solo. Part of this has to do with our model's price projection, which was, at $90, deliberately low, thanks to his much-publicized disappearance from the major league club in 2006. Of course, this is more than just a value play for investors--the Royals' former No. 1 pick has looked strong in 19 spring innings, reminding fans why he was so well-regarded coming out of high school in 2002, and why the Bret Saberhagen comparisons didn't seem so ridiculous just 30 months ago. Trading at $115 per share after a quick spike, our market currently likes Greinke for about 160 innings of 4.20 ERA ball with good control.
2. Alex Gordon AGORD Royals $238.22
$192.00 24.07%
What's not to like about Gordon, the best hitting prospect in baseball? With former third baseman Mark Teahen relocated to the outfield, there's literally nothing standing in the way of this Nebraska Cornhusker from beginning a Mark Teixeira-type career path. Trading at just a touch under $240 per share, investors like Gordon to be one of the 10 best hitters in roto value at his position. With opportunity now in front of him, the sky is the limit for the player we like to call "Commissioner."
3. Matt Garza MGARZ Twins $122.64
$147.55 16.88%
Rumors giveth, and news taketh away. A week ago, traders speculated that Garza might make the Minnesota rotation after all, in light of the dearth of viable options for the fifth spot (Carlos Silva, Sidney Ponson, a bag of peat moss). Today they're selling him shorter than Frank Costanza stops, hoping to capitalize on the once-optimistic belief that Terry Ryan & Co. would actively push his team toward a championship rather than away from it.
4. Jorge Julio JJULI Marlins $100.09
$88.00 13.74%
Plucked from Arizona to close under new manager Fredi Gonzalez, Julio can be electric when he's throwing strikes, but what Protrade's investors care more about is context: Now that this 28-year-old is Florida's official closer and not hidden behind Jose Valverde, his market value takes a nice bump.
5. Erik Bedard EBEDA Orioles $199.82
$175.98 13.55%
Bedard took his lumps in May of last year (28 IP, 17 BB, 17 K, 7.85 ERA), but he was nothing short of stellar the rest of the season, posting a 3.10 ERA in the second half with a K rate that was trending in the right direction. With just 476 major league innings under his belt (and weighing on his shoulder) coming into this spring, traders love this former sixth-round pick to put up Jeremy Bonderman-like numbers in 2007.
6. Chone Figgins CHONE Angels $200.76
$226.79 12.25%
It's hard to find a player who exploits the difference between fantasy and reality more than Figgins. Despite a career OBP resting in the mid-.340s and power that couldn't jump-start a tricycle, he's a valuable commodity in rotoworld, thanks to lots of stolen bases and positional eligibility that reminds traders of a Bert Campenaris publicity stunt. Sidelined for a month with a broken finger, traders have unloaded Figgins for the time being, praying for a Brandon Wood IPO like the Aztecs prayed for rain.
7. Mike Piazza MPIAZ Athletics $167.70
$151.81 10.47%
PECOTA thinks little of Piazza's chances, but traders have been bullish, citing his excellent road numbers last season (.332/.372/.564) and the fact that play-by-play data suggests he was pretty unlucky at the plate in '06, losing about 20 points of batting average and 60(!) points of slugging percentage to bad fortune. He won't spend any time behind the plate this year unless Jason Kendall disappears down a bottomless pit (like Ozzie Smith was wont to do), so he'll need to hit as well as his supporters think just to cover his position. He's no Frank Thomas, but then again, he doesn't need to be to provide value to Protrade investors.
8. Gary Sheffield SHEFF Tigers $205.47
$188.07 9.25%
We'll admit that Sheff's projection looks a little tepid, but that's what happens when you're 38 and coming off an injury-marred season where you only notched 11 extra-base hits in 166 PAs. This is likely a value play for investors, who are betting that Vintage Sheff, with a bat that whips through the zone faster than ironic teenagers run to a midnight screening of Grindhouse, can make one more appearance before heading off into the sunset.
9. Taylor Tankersley TTANK Marlins $107.69
$118.61 9.21%
Like Kevin Gregg before him, Tankersley falls victim to his team's most recent acquisition. If 100% healthy, he'll be a solid set-up man, waiting in the wings for another shot to close. But until that day comes, his market value takes a hit. As location is to real estate agents, so is context to major league relievers on the Protrade market.
10. Brady Clark BCLAR Dodgers $96.59
$88.82 8.75%
Just the latest obstacle between Matt Kemp and a regular major league job, traders aren't expecting Clark to light the world on fire, but with playing time nearly guaranteed in his new home, his stock provides almost guaranteed gains in the short term and a decent bet in the long.

Protrade.com's newest MLB-themed Challenge begins April 1 at midnight. It's free, it's fun, and it's an easy way to test your knowledge against the smartest sports fan community in the world, including BP authors. Click here to sign up now.

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