June 22, 2007
Protrade Market Movers
Week of June 14, 2007
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Welcome to Market Movers, Protrade's report 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. We're 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 the best baseball players are worth roughly the same in Protrade Dollars (PT$) 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.
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And now, Protrade's biggest price movers since June 13, 2007:
MLB Market Movers
|| June 13
One of our newest IPOs, Braun has stepped right in to the heart of the Brewers lineup to show why he's one of the top hitting prospects in baseball. His numbers are fairly solid across the board, but he has benefited from a very high .373 BABIP and isn't walking nearly enough (5.9%). He has the capability to be a difference-maker for the Brewers come September, but he must get back to the plate discipline he demonstrated in the minors--he had a 11.4% walk rate in Triple-A--to help the team improve upon its .330 OBP.
||New York Yankees
Reports of the Yankees' demise were greatly exaggerated. In the midst of a 14-5 stretch highlighted by a nine-game win streak, their much-maligned run prevention has been the catalyst for the turnaround, allowing fewer than three runs per game in the nine-game tear. Despite a sweep at the hands of the Rockies, the Yankees can now look realistically at divisional and wild card possibilities. Apparently that's what happens when you bring in one of the best pitchers in baseball history and a new, improved ...
||New York Yankees
...Chien-Ming Wang! In some ways, Wang's improved ability to miss bats isn't surprising--his velocity hangs in the low-90s on even his worst nights. Nevetheless, seeing his strikeout rate climb into near-average range still comes as a shock, and has a significant impact on his overall valuation. In the wake of his ten-strikeout performance, traders have taken notice, sending his stock higher than it's been since returning from the DL.
||Los Angeles Dodgers
Did the Giants know more than we thought? Schmidt has always been worked hard, so this injury shouldn't be coming as a complete surprise. Headed under the knife, traders have been short-selling his shares into oblivion before he goes off the market.
||New York Mets
Absolutely dreadful for the last month and a half, traders were optimistic enough about Beltran to hold on for a while, but with no end in sight to his slump (he has one home run in June and is batting .145), some are getting out when they can. When he doesn't run, Beltran becomes that much more of a real-world than fantasy asset, so this doesn't portend well for his long-term value. When choosing between investments, it's tough to forget a stretch like this.
The price surge is a result of increased opportunity, but Billingsley has been nothing short of spectacular. His K/9 is over 10, while his K/BB is over three. The latter is particularly encouraging given his struggles throwing strikes last season. Nothing in his peripherals suggests the success is a mirage, save for a low home run to flyball rate, but that's primarily due to the friendly environment of Chavez Ravine. If Chad can produce similar stats as a starter, his price will continue to soar.
||Ken Griffey Jr.
Griffey has done nothing but rake in 2007. In 279 plate appearances, he's clubbed 19 homers and 44 RBI while posting a stellar .285/.384/.566 line. His success can in part be attributed to his increased patience at the plate, as he is walking at the highest rate since 2000, his debut with the Reds. When healthy, Griffey has had little problem putting up big numbers, but has not appeared in over 150 games in a season since leaving Seattle. Now that we've acknowledged his fine first half, look for a season-ending catastrophe by week's end.
Repeat after me, class: Batting average is a volatile mistress. IPO'd lower than any player on our market, traders who gambled on the former Twin are cleaning up so far, as Guzman has gone all Jack Wilson (2004 vintage) on the league, putting up his best offensive year since 2001. He no longer possesses the wheels that produced double-digit stolen bases in five consecutive seasons, but he is on pace to post the highest walk rate of his career. If investors are smart and get out on Guzman soon, he'll be on the opposite end of this list by summer's end.
Marshall's talent has rarely been questioned--it's the injuries that have kept him out of the limelight. Now healthy after an early-season DL stint, he's striking out almost two more batters per nine than last season while also lowering his BB/9 by more than 40 percent. Unlike Jason Marquis, who has been drinking the Explicable Career Resurgence Kool-Aid, Marshall's performance suggests that his blistering start is not just a fluke.
Yes, Jones' BABIP is among the lowest in the league, but what's significantly more disconcerting for owners is his dip in the power categories--his ISO is the lowest it's been since 1997, and he's on pace for his lowest season home run total since '98. Priced above $200, traders are beginning to short-sell Jones with a vengeance, as it looks like the prospect of contract year won't be resurrecting his performance to 2005 levels after all.
Protrade Live is the next generation in baseball play-by-play on the web that combines live fan opinions and advanced analytics with the traditional box score for an entirely new experience. Check it out now at www.ProtradeLive.com.