LEVEL THREE ROOKIES
There were 19 level Three rookie seasons this past year, including Mitch Haniger. It's POSSIBLE to rank as a Level Three based on youth and speed score. Regular PT and excellent hitting aren't requirements for this level; we're not talking Level 8. In fact only 18% of these Three rooks got 100 games or more, Maniger NOT being one of them at 96 games. LOL.
He finished at .282/.352/.491 with a 126 OPS+ and with Dr. D's unretracted Best Bet status. Based on the idea that he's going to be a plus fielder, that with his speed he doesn't have to hit specially to get 3 WAR, but that we love his chances to hit very well. Love his strike zone.
The kid suffered a whale of a serious injury for somebody who opened the bidding at .491. From Sept. 9 to Oct. 1, 21 games and 100 at-bats, he hit .333/.362/.633. I'll take 'im if you don' wan' im. We've hung with players who DIDN'T slug .491 their first few times round. Like Jesus Montero, and stuff.
LEVEL FOUR ROOKIES
You're talking about doubling-tripling a player's chances to star. There were 9 such rooks last year, one being Ben Gamel. I'll give you three Ben Gamels for one Mitch Heredia, but still.
Now we've gotten to a 7% chance at the HOF, which is wayyyy up there. As top o' the deck draws go you don't want to miss yer turn. This year there were Moncada, Benintendi, and Difo.
LEVEL SIX and SEVEN
We'll skip these section just to encourage your three singletons a month. Pete Rose is in it, though, with Kris Bryant.
Let's staple one thing in here for those who bore with us this long, however. James had earlier caught the pattern that a Level One rookie has a 1:1,000 chance to be a great player, to make the Hall of Fame. When he does, he is a catcher. The only Level Ones who went on to the HOF were Mike Piazza, Rick Ferrell, Roy Campanella and Monte Irvin.
Oh yeah! And Edgar.
James' system is self-awarely tough on old, slow rookies who don't hit that great and who don't hit for power. He seeks assistance with finding the exceptions. I sent in Heredia. You know another prime candidate for this? Dan Vogelbach.
The Mariners have historically had their share of Level One rookies - those who came up kinda old, played kinda meh - who went on to do big things. Jay Buhner, Raul Ibanez, Tino Martinez, guys who didn't seem special at the time. (Well, jemanji got his share of arguments on Bone, including from Jim Lefebvre.)
I've got a real sneaking suspicion that Vogelbach is going to go somewhere, have a kinda mini-Youkilis career, and it's going to be real obvious after the fact. Dan Vogelbach has ZERO issues with slingling pitches around a baseball diamond, as Chris Snelling did not.
88 of these rookies ever existed, of which 86 went on to quality big league careers. None played in 2017.
Included the single such 2017 player, Cody Belllinger. Of the 47 such lifetime rookies, only four did not make 3,000 PA's... do you remember the name Mitchell Page?
James reveals the five "nearly perfect" rookies ever: Joe Jackson, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Vada Pinson, and Mike Trout.
Expand that out to 25 .... the last two rookies to make level 10 were Trout and Harper in 2012 .... until Aaron Judge did it in 2017. Right before him was Jason Heyward, who "may have the most disappointing career of any super-rookie ever."