2010 projected leaders: Runs scored & RBI

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Over the next several days, I’ll be dipping into my 2010 projections and presenting some leaderboards.
Runs
1. Ryan Braun – 113
1. Albert Pujols – 113
1. Alex Rodriguez – 113
4. Dustin Pedroia – 112
5. Jose Reyes – 110
5. Jimmy Rollins – 110
7. Mark Teixeira – 109
8. Derek Jeter – 108
8. Hanley Ramirez – 108
10. Chase Utley – 107
11. Jacoby Ellsbury – 106
11. Grady Sizemore – 106
13. Carl Crawford – 103
13. Brian Roberts – 103
– On a per at-bat basis, Joe Mauer would be in the top five. I have him scoring 100 runs in 526 at-bats.
– With two exceptions, everyone in my top 28 for runs scored is projected to finish with at least a .360 OBP. Ellsbury comes in just south of that at .356. Rollins, on the other hand, isn’t even close. I have him at .327. Last year, he scored 100 runs despite getting on base at a .296 clip.
RBI
1. Ryan Howard – 133
2. Mark Teixeira – 125
3. Prince Fielder – 124
4. Albert Pujols – 122
5. Evan Longoria – 121
6. Alex Rodriguez – 119
7. Matt Holliday – 117
8. Miguel Cabrera – 116
9. Justin Morneau – 114
10. Mark Reynolds – 111
11. Ryan Braun – 110
12. Jason Bay – 109
12. Carlos Lee – 109
14. Adam Lind – 108
14. Nick Markakis – 108
– If a .360 OBP is the cutoff for the first list, a .500 slugging percentage fills the role here. The lowest mark in the top 15 is Markakis’ .501, though Lee (.510), Reynolds (.512) and Morneau (.514) don’t come in a whole lot higher. Everyone in the top 28, though, is projected with at least a .500 SLG. Victor Martinez is the highest player in the rankings to fail to reach the mark. Since he’ll be batting behind Ellsbury and Pedroia, I have him driving in 99 runs with a .468 SLG.

What happens with all the players the Braves lost yesterday?

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Yesterday’s unprecedented sanctions leveled on the Atlanta Braves hit them pretty hard, but it also turned a dozen players into free agents. What happens to them now? Who can sign them? When? And for how much?

First off, they get to keep their signing bonuses the Braves gave them. It wasn’t their fault the Braves messed up so it would make no sense for them to have to pay the money back. As for their next team: anyone can, theoretically, sign them. As far as team choice, they are free agents in the most narrow sense of the term.

There are limits, however, because as young, international players, their signings are subject to those caps on each team’s international bonus money which were imposed a few years back. Each team now has a “pool” of finite dollars they can spend on such players and, once that money is spent, teams are severely limited as to what they can offer an international free agent. Each summer the bonus pools are reset and it starts anew.

Which, on the surface, would seem to create a problem for the 12 new free agents, seeing as though a lot of teams have already spent much if not all of their July 2017-18 bonus pools. The good news on that, though, is that Major League Baseball has made a couple of exceptions for these guys:

  • First, the first $200,000 of any of the 12 former Braves players will not be subject to signing pools, so that’s a bit of a break; and
  • Second, even though these players will all likely be signed during the 2017-18 bonus pool period, teams have the option of counting the bonus toward the 2018-19 period. They can’t combine the money from the two periods, but they can, essentially, put off the cost into next year for accounting purposes.

Which certainly opens things up for clubs and gives the players more options as far as places to land go. A club can decide whether or not the guys on the market now look better than the guys they’ve been scouting with an eye toward signing after July 2018 and get a jump on things. Likewise, teams don’t have to decide whether or not to take a run at, say, Shohei Ohtani, burning bonus money now, or instead going after a former Braves player. Ohtani’s money will apply now, the Braves player can be accounted for next year.

The new free agents are eligible to sign during a window that begins on December 5 and ends on Jan. 15. If a player hasn’t signed by then, he can still sign with any club but cannot get a bonus. If a player hasn’t signed anywhere by May 1, 2018, he has the option of re-signing with the Braves, though they can’t pay the guy a bonus either.

Ben Badler of Baseball America has a rundown of the top guys who are now free agents thanks to the Braves’ malfeasance. Kevin Maitan is the big name. The 17-year-old shortstop was considered the top overall international free agent last year, though his first year in the Braves minor league system was less-than-impressive. There are a lot of other promising players too. All of whom now can find new employers.