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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. 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 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 top five market gainers and losers since August 16, 2007:

MLB Market Movers
Rk Player Ticker Team Price Aug. 16 Change
1. Brian Bannister BBANN Royals $106.13
$90.47 17.30%

No one’s confusing Bannister for a front-rotation starter, but Protrade investors are happy all the same to take advantage of the former Met’s tremendous luck, which has produced 10 wins and a 3.28 ERA in 134 1/3 innings for an otherwise-hapless Kansas City ballclub. He doesn’t miss enough bats, but if Bannister can keep the smoke flowing and the mirrors reflecting, he might just find himself finishing in the top 10 among AL hurlers in ERA–he ranks seventh at the moment.

2. Carlos Silva CSILV Twins $86.84
$76.47 13.56%

Everyone knows that Silva relies on pinpoint control for success, but people might not know that he’s just as dependent on Minnesota’s spacious grounds for keeping runs off the board. The owner of a career ERA that’s more than 1.2 runs lower in Garrison Keillor’s home state, Silva is repeating that theme in 2007 by allowing 3.38 runs per nine at home but a whopping 5.05 runs per game on the road. It should come as no surprise that in his recent five-start run, 29 of those innings have come in the Metrodome.

3. Nook Logan NLOGA Nationals $72.74
$65.64 10.81%

Logan certainly has his limitations as an everyday player, but they’re easy to ignore when he goes on a streak like this. Batting .389/.423/.478 since the end of July, Nook capped his tear with a five-for-six night against Astros on Monday while grabbing a stolen base in the process (and his ninth since July 25). Protrade investors are jumping on his stock with reckless abandon, as his season-long earnings begin to quietly catch up to his bargain basement price.

4. Jarrod Saltalamacchia SALTY Rangers $58.98
$53.36 10.53%

Like a yo-yo, Salty bounces onto our Market Movers list once more, largely on the strength of his four-hit, 10 total-base day against the Orioles. Batting just .219/.260/.425 since joining the American League, Saltalamacchia has yet to garner too much attention with the bat, but at least he can point to his .206 ISO with a sense of pride, as he’s managed to hit with just enough power to keep his long-term supporters beaming with joy.

5. Troy Tulowitzki TULO Rockies $159.25
$145.44 9.49%

While his season line of .293/.365/.463 might not look terribly impressive for a Coors Field product–naturally, his park-adjusted OPS is nearly twice as good at home as on the road–the 22-year-old can at least point to the improvement he’s shown over the course of the season, as he’s batting a robust .320/.382/.533 since early July. Sure, his defensive wizardry might not count for much in fantasy scoring systems, but it’s indicative of a well-rounded skill-set, and shows just what type of player he can be at his peak, provided he continues to improve his approach at the dish.

1. Marcus Giles MGILE Padres $89.29
$160.19 44.26%

Petco Park is a pitcher’s paradise, but this is ridiculous. Batting just .245/.303/.333 on the road this year, Giles has underwhelmed even the most conservative of projections, and will likely need a Roy Hobbs-style late in life miracle to reverse the trajectory of his downward-sloping career. A price correction on Giles was a long-time coming; investors who sold him short before the avalanche profited from their pessimism.

2. Nick Punto NPUNT Twins $64.28
$104.96 38.76%

Reason #1,549 why Twins fans should be filling the streets, pitchforks in hand, and headed towards Terry Ryan’s house. There’s no reason why any major league team should tolerate a .199/.290/.258 season for 376 at-bats, let alone at a corner spot like third base. Absolutely no reason.

3. Matt Morris MAMORR Pirates $81.38
$127.99 36.42%

Who’d have thunk it: put Matt Morris in front of a porous Pirates defense, and watch those runs roll in. The owner of a 5.40 ERA and more walks than strikeouts since joining Pittsburgh for no discernible reason, Morris can’t be too happy with his change of scenery, and a look into the crystal ball only reveals a bleaker future. Savvy Protrade users jumped on this short-sell quickly, and have benefited mightily from the former Cardinal’s struggles.

5. Stephen Drew SDREW Diamondbacks $104.98
$142.51 26.34%

Should we have been more skeptical of Drew’s prospects coming into the season? Sure, his 2006 line looks just fine and dandy, but his home/road split was brutal, and he’s simply played down to the lower of those two levels in 2007. Even his most gushing of supporters look to be abandoning ship at this point. The only question left is if he can show enough growth between now and next season so that he doesn’t play himself out of a job.

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