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Welcome to Protrade‘s Market Movers, the first in a 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.

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And now, Protrade’s biggest price movers since Feb. 1, 2007:


MLB Market Movers
Rk
Player
Ticker
Team
Price Feb. 1 Change
1. Bernie Williams BERNIE Yankees $76.04
$125.11 39.22%
The biggest mover on the Protrade market since early February, Williams’ uncertain roster status has sent investors running for the short-sell button faster than college hipsters flock to a Decemberists concert. Trading at $76 a share, a pessimist might see a continued shorting opportunity here, as BERNIE has yet to find a home.
2. Daisuke Matsuzaka DICEK Red Sox $286.74
$224.12 21.84%
Is he the Japanese Sidd Finch? In a way, yes: DICEK comes to Boston surrounded by so much hype that it’s hard to believe that anything less than a Cy Young Award will seem like a disappointment. Despite questions surrounding his ability to adapt to a heavier workload and a five-man rotation, the Protrade market is expecting the Japanese Roger Clemens to be the best mortal pitcher in the game.
3. David Wright DAVIDW Mets $336.12
$268.49 20.12%
Protrade’s market analysts forecast Wright to duplicate his .311/26/114/96/20 season almost perfectly, but investors see more growth potential than that. Currently trading 25% higher than his December IPO price, DAVIDW is one of the few blue-chip stocks that has a good chance of meeting earnings expectations.
4. Jon Papelbon JPAPE Red Sox $185.78
$152.75 17.78%
A role change for any pitcher can spell trouble, but moving backwards from the bullpen to the rotation poses a particularly difficult proposition. Of course, if there’s any pitcher in the game who can successfully triple his workload and still prove effective from the mound, it’s a young arm like Papelbon, who spent his minor league career embarrassing hitters as a starter. The market sees this, and is betting that JPAPE ends the year as one of the better full-time hurlers in the AL.
5. Alfonso Soriano ASORI Cubs $345.60
$288.38 16.54%
Fine, I’ll admit it: Soriano will probably have a better career than D’Angelo Jimenez. His contract might be a long-term albatross, but in the short-term, ASORI looks to be one of the better producers in the game. Sporting improved strike-zone control and dangerous power to all fields, Protrade investors are banking on the coziness of the Friendly Confines and a healthy Derrek Lee to provide more home runs, RBI, and runs scored than you can shake a $136 million, jewel-encrusted stick at.
6. Delmon Young DELMON Devil Rays $196.71
$165.38 15.93%
As improbable as it would seemed a year ago, Young has fallen off the prospect radar a bit, overshadowed by shooting stars like Philip Hughes and Alex Gordon. But unlike Scooter Libby, Protrade investors don’t forget all those important words that were spent on last year as BP’s No. 1 prospect: Young has shot up the ranks since Groundhog Day, as investors look for him to improve on that tidy .317/.336/.476 line that he posted with the D-Rays as a 20-year-old.
7. Endy Chavez ECHAV.A Mets $90.47
$77.65 14.22%
Priced at the bottom end of position players likely to amass more than 300 at-bats in 2007, Protrade investors are making a value play on Chavez, betting that even an empty .250 batting average and a dozen steals will be enough to exceed his bare-bones projection.
8. Bobby Crosby BCROS Athletics $116.73
$100.67 13.76%
Remember him? Once rated as one of the better middle-infield prospects in the game, Crosby enters 2007 with a lot to prove. It seems unlikely that he’ll be able to outplay his Oakland predecessor, Miguel Tejada, over the rest of the decade, but investors seem confident that BCROS’s true ability level is higher than the .229/.298/.338 line he put up last year in just 96 injury-plagued games.
9. Nick Johnson NJOHN Nationals $193.35
$223.70 11.26%
There aren’t too many 28-year-olds coming off a .290/.428/.520 season you’d want to bet against, but NJOHN is apparently one of them. Always in the process of recovering from or sustaining a new injury, Johnson’s current affliction–a broken femur–could have him out till June. Because no one’s ever lost money betting against The Stick to return on time and being ready to play, traders are selling him short like it’s going out of style. You’d be wise to do the same.
10. Robinson Cano RCANO Yankees $217.88
$199.10 11.04%

Was that the quietest .342 season from a Yankee in the history of pinstripes? Still just 24, Cano is similar to überprospect Howie Kendrick in many ways, but different in one: the left-handed-hitting New Yorker has already shown he can contend for a batting title at the major-league level. Protrade investors like his chances to repeat that effort in 2007, and are betting on even more ABs for the son of former Astros pitcher Jose Cano.

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