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July 27, 2007

Protrade Market Movers

The Ten Most Volatile Players

by Jeff Ma

Note: Protrade's newest Baseball Propspectus Challenge begins on August 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 for the Challenge today!

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. Our virtual sports stock market helps capture the wisdom of these 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 July 19, 2007:

MLB Market Movers
Rk Player Ticker Team Price July 19 Change
1. Ben Sheets BSHEE Brewers $153.73
$194.69 21.04%
Despite his All-Star appearance and fine ERA, Sheets was already displaying some warning signs, as his ability to miss bats has once again dropped to league-average levels, and his control is as unwieldy as it's been since 2002. That he's gone for at least a month with an injury to the middle finger on his pitching hand just gives traders the excuse they're looking for to get out from his stock.
2. Andrew Miller MILLER Tigers $96.28
$82.21 17.11%
One of Protrade's newest IPOs, traders have been riding the wave on Miller, who has gotten good enough results but isn't exactly wowing anyone out of the gate. Allowing a surprisingly high 1.5 baserunners per inning, he's likely to see a drop once that ERA begins to match his peripherals, but for now he's a flavor of the week, as traders focus more on his long-term value than his mild rookie struggles.
3. Andruw Jones AJONE Braves $194.74
$168.23 15.76%
While we might not agree with Jayson Stark about Andruw's status as the most "overrated" center fielder of his generation, it's been tough to watch his 2007. Nevertheless, there's been some reasons for encouragement lately, and chances are those positive indicators are going to carry through the second half. After all, Jones' BABIP is finally starting to reach acceptable levels--where in the first half he was getting on base roughly 21 percent of the time he put bat on ball (and a horrendous 14 percent of the time in June), that number has been much closer to 30 percent in July, where he's hit .271/.382/.576 with seven homers and good strike zone control (14 BB vs. 20 K).
4. Milton Bradley MILTON Padres $65.81
$57.11 15.22%
Bradley's rise on our market has less to do with superior potential than it has to do with a full-scale correction following his being DFA'd by the A's. A solid contributor when he's healthy (and motivated, natch), Bradley might not feature the ideal skill set for playing half his games in the cavernous Petco Park, but he's certainly an upgrade over some of the Padres' other options. And given that he's batting a robust .340/.431/.580 since coming to San Diego, well, that just makes traders' decisions all that much easier.
5. Curtis Granderson CGRAN Tigers $186.36
$162.61 14.60%
After a relatively disappointing 2006, Granderson has shown why so many prospect mavens thought so highly of him. He leads the AL in extra-base hits with 56, and leads AL outfielders in isolated slugging at .274, while also stealing 10 bases without being caught. His presence at the top of the Tigers' lineup has helped them score the most runs in the majors, while his production across the board (.299/13/70/45/10) has been a boon to fantasy owners who picked him up around the 14th round.
6. Jonny Gomes JGOME Devil Rays $77.46
$89.77 13.72%
After jumping all over Gomes' stock in June when he hit .322/.359/.661 with five homers, traders are abandoning him in July. Whether this comes from an extreme price sensitivity or an understanding that players who strike out in more than 30 percent of their plate appearances are prone to streakiness is yet to be seen. Regardless, it's probably a wise move, as Gomes has rarely shown an ability to please the D-Rays management for more than a month at a time. With trade rumors involving his name beginning to die down, it seems likely he'll be headed back to the bench sometime before The Bourne Ultimatum gives up its No. 1 spot at the box office.
7. Matt Garza MGARZA Twins $64.59
$56.67 12.00%
Too little, too late. While Garza has been fine since joining the Twins' rotation, it's obviously been something of a lost season for him, toiling in Rochester when he could have been with the big club, taking away innings from Sidney Ponson and the like. Traders have been reasonably excited about his return, but with only two months of earnings potential ahead, expectations are pretty far down from April, when he made regular appearances on this list and looked to be a solid mid-rotation contributor for the full year.
8. Matt Kemp MKEMP Dodgers $100.59
$90.87 10.69%
Matt Kemp has put up numbers in bunches since rejoining the Dodgers. Of cours he's not going to hit .382, primarily because his BABIP is a ridiculous .467, but he should continue to be a productive hitter, with decent pop and speed. The gaudy production early was imperative because it will force the Dodgers to get him in the lineup more often (where he belongs), which makes him an attractive fantasy option. Why did Ned sign Juan Pierre again?
9. Howie Kendrick HOWIE Angels $123.07
$135.91 9.45%
It would be easy to dismiss Kendrick as another over-hyped and underperforming Angels prospect. With another trip to the DL, his season will largely be viewed as a disappointment. He can still hit, however, with an excellent June (.333/.350/.475) before his latest injury serving as further proof. He's a hitting machine, but clearly not the fantasy force that some people were hoping he'd be, not right out the door.
10. Chris Carpenter CCARP Cardinals $31.26
$34.65 9.22%
Stiffness and swelling in his surgically-repaired elbow will prove to be the last straw in Carp's lost season. While his stock crashed after hitting the DL earlier in the season, traders maintained some hope that the former Cy Young winner could return. The last of the optimists have now jumped ship. Isaac Brock might say that their investment was dead before it even sank. See you next September.

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 by clicking here.

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