You might be forgiven for thinking otherwise, in the wake of the Strasburgmania which has swept the nation since his debut in June 2010 [or June 0, After Strasburg, as it will hence be known]. But a Sports Business Daily survey of sports business execs and media personalities found that the most marketable player in baseball is still Derek Jeter. He also topped the company's previous surveys, in 2003 and 2005, and saw his percentage of first-place ballots rise to 83%.
Albert Pujols from the Cardinals was second, with Minnesota's Joe Mauer coming in third and Stephen Strasburg fourth, despite being able to draw crowds to any game in which he pitches. Such as Florida on Friday, where 27,000 showed up - about 30% more than when the same two teams met on Friday, earlier this season. Five World Series rings or not, Jeter just doesn't have that kind of pull.
It's interesting to note the relatively-wide range of teams mentioned at the upper-end of the table - the top ten, which actually includes 11 players, due to a tie in 10th spot - includes players from ten different teams, with only the Yankees having two representatives. Their second is A-Rod, in ninth, but that's seven spots lower than he was in 2005, before the specter of steroids raised their head. Interesting to break down the thirty players listed by division:
- AL East: 11*
- NL East: 9
- NL West: 4
- NL Central: 3
- AL West: 2
- AL Central: 1
* = including the retired Cal Ripken, with Baltimore
It's clear that if you want to be "marketable", you need to be in the East, which had two-thirds of all those mentioned in the survey. In contrast, the two Central divisions combined to have fewer players listed, than the Yankees, all by themselves. Apart from Mauer and Pujols, the others to get votes were Ryan Dempster of the Cubs, and Ryan Braun from Milwaukee.