Guide rates Markakis 16th-best 'young talent'

The Baltimore Sun

The Bill James Handbook 2008, to be published Nov. 1, includes a section called "Young Talent Inventory." And in it, he rates Nick Markakis No. 16 among players younger than 29.

James defines "young talent" as players younger than 29 in 2007 and uses runs created for position players and runs allowed for pitchers as a basis for comparison.

Here's what he writes about Markakis: "A beautiful left-handed stroke, sort of in the mold of Paul O'Neill, Mike Greenwell or Garret Anderson as a hitter, possibly even Billy Williams."

He also refers to Markakis as "a decent right fielder," which I say is a gross understatement.

James rates the Orioles as having the 22nd-best overall young talent in the majors, which isn't very encouraging. He places them just below the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers, and just above the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox. He cites Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera and Jeremy Guthrie as the only additional young talent on the team.

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