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MLB's 2016 First Half Best Values

MLB's 2016 First Half Best Values
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With the All-Star Break now upon us, we'll take a moment to look back at the unofficial first half of the 2016 MLB season and calculate which players from each position are worthy of the "Best Value" tag.

As always our valuations are determined by utilizing linear mathematics (z-scores, standard deviations), to calculate how a player's statistics stack up against players of the same position, versus that player's compensation in comparison to players of that position. The result is a "True Value Score", allowing us to rank each player at any given time throughout the year. The below report shows the Top 3 Best values at each position through July 10th.

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The Indians currently carry the 25th biggest payroll into the break. Add that into 52 wins and they're easily the best value team in the league. The Cubs and Nationals are both winning with young players (for now).

Player Record Current Payroll TVS
Cleveland Indians 52-36 $107,557,479 96.34
Chicago Cubs 53-35 $173,008,268 90.94
Washington Nationals 54-36 $160,460,339 86.74

» View the complete Best Value Team Rankings

Starting Pitchers

Despite a nagging bone spur and a recent fatigured arm, Syndergaard was nearly unhittable for most of the first half. Bumgarner's $7M salary doesn't hold him back from consideration as a "best value", with 10 wins, a sub 2 ERA, and nearly 150 strikeouts. The Tigers acquired Fulmer from the Mets in the Yoenis Cespedes deadline deal last summer. He's made an immediate impact on their rotation this season.

Player Team 2016 Salary Status TVS
Madison Bumgarner SF $7,000,000 Signed thru 2019 98.84
Noah Syndergaard NYM $535,375 Controlled thru 2021 98.62
Michael Fulmer DET $507,500 Controlled thru 2021 97.97
Jose Fernandez MIA $2,800,000 Controlled thru 2018 97.59
Steven Wright BOS $514,500 Controlled thru 2020 97.33

» View the complete Starting Pitching Rankings

Relief Pitchers

Colome has posted 39 Ks and 11 BBs across 32 innings for Tampa, accounting for 19 saves while holding a steady 1.69 ERA. Gomez has allowed 12 ER over 41 IPs, but has found a way to 24 first half saves in Philly. While Jeremy Jeffress carries an impressive 28 K/9 BB line over 38 innings, accounting for 23 saves in Milwaukee.

Player Team 2016 Salary Status TVS
Alex Colome TB $521,700 Controlled thru 2020 99.45
Jeanmar Gomez PHI $1,400,000 Controlled thru 2017 99.18
Jeremy Jeffress MIL $519,100 Controlled thru 2019 99.06

» View the complete Relief Pitching Rankings


The Brewers have gotten all they've asked for from Lucroy over the past few seasons, and he appears ready to head off to a contender. While Wilson Ramos is contending with teammate Daniel Murphy for th NL batting title in Washington. Realmuto's breakout season (.317, 90 H, 17 2B) is a big reason for the Marlins being right in contention in the National League thus far.

Player Team 2016 Salary Status TVS
Jonathan Lucroy MIL $2,200,000 Signed thru 2017 92.43
Wilson Ramos WAS $5,350,000 Pending UFA 90.71
J.T. Realmuto MIA $532,500 Controlled thru 2020 84.82

» View the complete Catcher Rankings

1st Basemen

The Will Myers project appears to finally be coming to fruition, as the now 25 year old appears to have found a home in San Diego (.286, 19 HR, 60 RBIs). Former Padre Anthony Rizzo is now a mainstay at the middle of a strong Cubs lineup (.295, 21 HR, 63 RBIs), and Paul Goldschmidt is just doing what he always does (.297, 15 HR, 58 RBIs).

Player Team 2016 Salary Status TVS
Wil Myers SD $523,900 Controlled thru 2019 98.48
Anthony Rizzo CHC $5,857,143 Signed thru 2021 96.64
Paul Goldschmidt ARI $6,400,000 Signed thru 2019 94.96

» View the complete 1st Basemen Rankings

2nd Basemen

No surprise here. Altuve is on pace for 225 hits, 25 HRs, 50 SBs, and 100 RBIs. He continues to be one of the most impactful players in the game. Odor is having a breakout season in Texas, and is a major reason for their early success (.275, 16 HR, 46 RBIs). While Jonathan Schoop has quietly made himself into a top 2B in the league (.304, 14 HR, 52 RBIs).

Player Team 2016 Salary Status TVS
Jose Altuve HOU $3,125,000 Signed thru 2019 99.45
Rougned Odor TEX $522,700 Controlled thru 2020 96.91
Jonathan Schoop BAL $522,500 Controlled thru 2019 93.59

» View the complete 2nd Basemen Rankings


Bogaerts is one of many Red Sox players who are greatly outperforming their team controlled pay in 2016 (.329, 117 hits, 56 RBIs). Trevor was the Story for much of the first two months of the season (.260, 21 HR, 57 RBIs). While more than a few teams have incquired about Villar's availability in Milwaukee (.298, 21 2Bs, 31 SBs).

Player Team 2016 Salary Status TVS
Xander Bogaerts BOS $650,500 Controlled thru 2019 95.56
Trevor Story COL $507,500 Controlled thru 2021 95.02
Jonathan Villar MIL $512,900 Controlled thru 2020 91.29

» View the complete Shortstop Rankings

3rd Basemen

It didn't take long for Kris Bryant to show he was worth the hype. He's on track to be very good, and very well-paid for quite some time (.286, 21 2Bs, 25 HR, 65 RBI). Lamb has been a nice surprise for the DBacks, posting 20 HRs, 20 2Bs, 61 RBIs while batting just over .290 over the first half. While Nolan Arenado is quickly becoming one of the Top 5 defensive AND offensive players in all of baseball (.284, 24 2B, 23 HR, 70 RBI).

Player Team 2016 Salary Status TVS
Kris Bryant CHC $652,000 Controlled thru 2021 98.94
Jake Lamb ARI $520,300 Controlled thru 2020 94.28
Nolan Arenado COL $5,000,000 Controlled thru 2019 88.21

» View the complete 3rd Basemen Rankings


It's good to be young and in Boston right now, as Mookie Betts currently holds the Best Overall Value in MLB (.304, 23 2B, 18 HR, 59 RBI, 15 SB). He and teammate Jackie Bradley Jr. appear to be feeding off each other's 2016 success (.296, 22 2B, 14 HR, 55 RBI). The Astros slow start has been combatted by the explosive rise of Springer, who should be a player to watch down the stretch (.262, 19 HR, 51 RBI). Bryce Harper cooled a bit after tearing up the first two months of the season, but with Daniel Murphy in front of him, should continue to get pitches to hit (.256, 19 HR, 52 RBI, 15 SB).

Player Team 2016 Salary Status TVS
Mookie Betts BOS $566,000 Controlled thru 2020 99.65
Jackie Bradley BOS $546,500 Controlled thru 2020 97.52
George Springer HOU $522,400 Controlled thru 2020 96.96
Bryce Harper WAS $3,750,000 Controlled thru 2018 94.93
Stephen Piscotty STL $512,500 Controlled thru 2021 94.56

» View the complete Outfielders Rankings

Designated Hitters
The Indians' rise to the top of MLB is due in large part to a combination of timely hitting, power, and flexibility. Carlos Santana full embodies this mantra (.497 SLG, 18 2B, 20 HR, 49 RBI). Encarnacion nears free agency with his usual 22 2B, 23 HR, 80 RBI first half, while David Ortiz appears poised to walk away from the game while still a top producer (.332, 34 2B, 22 HR, 72 RBI).
Player Team 2016 Salary Status TVS
Carlos Santana CLE $4,200,380 Signed thru 2017 92.68
Edwin Encarnacion TOR $9,666,667 Pending UFA 91.65
David Ortiz BOS $16,000,000 Pending Retirement 87.04

» View the complete Designated Hitter Rankings