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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
.