2014 Cubs: PECOTA Hitters

In Commentary And Analysis, Projections by dmick8928 Comments

It's projection season and though I've not covered them in as much detail as I have in the past, I still enjoy it. We took a look at the Cubs PECOTA pitcher projections last week and they were unimpressive. Particularly unimpressive for Jeff Samardzija, but I don't buy it. 

Instead of adding commentary at the end, I'll do it before I post the projections. 

Not surprisingly, Anthony Rizzo is projected to provide the most WARP and hit for the highest wOBA (calculated by me). Starlin Castro is just behind him at 2.7 WARP and then Ryan Sweeney and Welington Castillo are next at 1.7. 

Baseball Prospectus is higher on Mike Olt than I am and if they're correct, he should be starting at 3rd over Luis Valbuena. Move Valbuena to 2nd base. These aren't the overall projections that you'd expect to see on a contender, but nobody, not even the front office, is trying to contend. You already know the Cubs aren't among the favorites for contention in the National League. 

I thought GW made a good point the other day that while it's nice to have guys like Rizzo and their projected values, we're all going to be disappointed if they don't get noticeably better than they have been. This is a really big year for Castro. He needs to bounce back after his awful 2013 season and we'd all like to see Rizzo take a step forward. 

The Cubs have been avoiding free agents and counting on young guys from within the system. Two of them are obviouisly Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. I don't know what it will take to make you happy, but I don't thinka  .340ish and .320ish wOBA is going to make me too happy with either player. I don't think it helps the Cubs chances of contending in the near future and I don't think the Cubs front office does either.

Guys like Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and maybe others aren't far behind, but they were meant to be added to a core that already included a very good Rizzo and Castro. If the Cubs don't get that, they're chances of contending in the next few years takes a big hit. The Cubs are investing a lot in their success. It's not necessarily in the money owed each player since both signed team-friendly extensions, but that investment lies in the long-term success of this organization. They need both of them to be better than projected. And they also need to get lucky with additional young players. 

Anthony Rizzo 631 145 28 57 131 .258 .332 .472 .346 2.9
Starlin Castro 651 170 11 31 98 .280 .318 .411 .317 2.7
Ryan Sweeney 402 100 6 32 61 .273 .332 .398 .325 1.7
Welington Castillo 511 114 17 42 126 .249 .323 .414 .325 1.7
Nate Schierholtz 584 136 17 37 104 .254 .306 .418 .315 1.2
Justin Ruggiano 337 77 13 28 85 .250 .315 .437 .330 1.2
Darwin Barney 546 127 6 28 66 .251 .294 .349 .284 1.1
Mike Olt 261 51 12 30 78 .224 .314 .424 .323 1
Kris Bryant 250 53 10 13 71 .229 .275 .405 .292 0.7
Luis Valbuena 307 64 8 32 61 .233 .315 .382 .314 0.4
Junior Lake 541 124 12 25 145 .247 .286 .378 .291 0.4
Matt Szczur 250 56 3 16 46 .245 .298 .341 .284 0.3
Donnie Murphy 68 14 3 4 18 .237 .298 .446 .300 0.3
George Kottaras 122 22 4 16 29 .220 .325 .390 .311 0.3
Chris Coghlan 108 26 2 9 17 .261 .329 .392 .328 0.2
Javier Baez 66 15 4 2 19 .243 .280 .476 .317 0.2
Josh Vitters 32 8 1 2 7 .241 .288 .400 .324 0.1
Logan Watkins 393 81 7 35 89 .234 .304 .357 .295 0.1
Arismendy Alcantara 61 13 1 3 15 .242 .282 .375 .261 0.1
Christian Villanueva 61 13 2 2 15 .235 .277 .393 .279 0
Brett Jackson 32 6 1 3 11 .205 .285 .355 .280 -0.1

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  1. srbutch5

    It’s amazing how high scouts and stat projectors are on Olt after the last 2 seasons. I really hope they are right…but goodness there are some real questions (eyes) that need to be answered.

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  2. Like You Care


    I’d be ecstatic with this draft:


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  3. Edwin

    @ Like You Care:

    Depends if you think they need an upgrade at QB, and whether it’s better to upgrade QB or go DE/WR/TE early and draft a project QB later in the draft. Otherwise your list of needs looks good.

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  4. Like You Care

    As usual, this is what I would do based on the team’s needs and my player values:

    14 DT AARON DONALD PITTSBURGH – This pick will be Donald, Ealy, Mosley or Pryor every time.
    51 S JIMMIE WARD NORTHERN ILLINOIS – Poor man’s Earl Thomas. Very rangy FS.
    82 DE MARCUS SMITH LOUISVILLE – Very good pass rusher, but similar to two undersized DEs they already have on the roster. Not sure what the plan is on defense going forward.
    113 S CRAIG LOSTON LSU – The opposite of Conte at SS.
    144 CB AARON COLVIN OKLAHOMA – If he comes back healthy, this is a steal. The perfect CB for that defense.

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  5. Like You Care

    @ Edwin:

    I think Glennon’s at least earned another year, but I’d consider taking a late flyer on a QB.

    7 OT GREG ROBINSON AUBURN – I cannot overstate how much potential I think this kid has. If he stayed in school (he’s a RsSo), I think he’d be in the running for first overall pick next year. He’s second only to Clowney on my big board.

    That said, (1)I don’t think he’ll be there at 7 and (2)I think TB should consider trading back in the first and picking up an extra 3rd since they don’t have one. Rounds 2-4 are LOADED this year.

    38 TE JACE AMARO TEXAS TECH – If Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski had a baby with a perfect average of their skills (with the killings), it’d be Amaro.
    100 DE JACKSON JEFFCOAT TEXAS – Technically nearly there. With an NFL off-season, should be starting by the fall.
    131 WR JOSH HUFF OREGON – Perfect slot WR to go with Jackson and Williams.

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  6. Like You Care


    This is a good year for teams who need to fix their secondaries.

    10 CB DARQUEZE DENNARD MICHIGAN STATE – My favorite CB in the last three drafts. Tough, physical and perfect for that division.
    45 WR ALLEN ROBINSON PENN STATE – Physical WR that will pair well with Megatron.
    76 CB PIERRE DESIR LINDENWOOD – Rising CB has length and hips that might make him unavailable at this spot.

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  7. Like You Care

    @ Berselius, Cubs #12 prospect:

    Went a different route this time…

    21 TE ERIC EBRON UNC – I know the defense sucks, but this is bpa and need. Stories are emerging that he’s added weight to be a better blocker. If he shows to the combine looking like he lost the athleticism that makes him stand out, he’ll drop for me.
    53 S ED REYNOLDS STANFORD – Reminds me of Dashon Goldson. Good in coverage, but can handle Peterson and Forte one on one.
    85 ILB YAWIN SMALLWOOD UCONN – Good complement to Hawk. Can run the seam with Bennett.
    117 DT CARAUN REID PRINCETON – Not a great fit (more of a 3T), but a good rotational DT. Smart and active.
    149 QB TAJH BOYD CLEMSON – The more I watch, the less I like him. The ability is there to be the best QB from this draft, though. And which team provides the best environment for him to grow into that QB? No. The correct answer is GB.

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  8. Like You Care

    The more I think about it, the more I think TB needs to consider QB early. They have a really talented roster that could compete for the division this year with better QB play.

    First round: Bridgewater, Bortles, Manziel – If these guys are there, TB should take one…unless Clowney falls.

    Second round: Carr, Garoppolo – Both have questions, but are possible franchise QBs, imo.

    Third round: Mettenberger – Last chance for a legit QB and it’s only because of his ACL injury. You can say a prayer and hope to find Tom Brady on Day 3, but this is their best shot at a QB. I’ll run the draft sim again with this in mind.

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  9. Like You Care

    Reality is that the first-round guys will likely be gone by TB’s pick. So unless TB thinks Derek Carr is worth the No. 7 pick (they might, but I don’t), they should consider trading up or back. If STL doesn’t want a QB, the No. 2 pick will certainly be available. You might have your pick of the QBs at that spot.

    Trading back is more likely, though. They’d be wise to try to add another Day 2 pick and draft Mettenberger, who was looking like a late first rounder before he hurt his knee.

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  10. GBTS

    Like You Care wrote:

    So unless TB thinks Derek Carr is worth the No. 7 pick (they might, but I don’t), they should consider trading up or back.

    If they want him, and it’s their turn to draft, they should just take him.


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  11. Like You Care

    @ GBTS:

    Jake Locker and Christian Ponder come to mind. TEN and MIN wanted their guys and either couldn’t move out to get them where they were valued or just valued them that highly.

    TB is in a pretty good spot because either one of the big 3 QBs or at least two elite players will be there at No. 7. If a QB doesn’t fall into their laps, trade back.

    Or they’ll just Cubs and take Hayden Si– Derek Carr.

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  12. BVS, my dad drank Hamms

    @ GBTS:
    Conte really doesn’t play shortstop well at all, so I assume Loston will be pretty good. Not sure when Ryno started looking at baseball draft though. I thought that was GW’s job. LSU does produce good baseball players though, to wit: Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot

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