As was done in days of yore, dm and I are rolling out projection posts going into the season. We are not doing anything too complicated – just doing some simple averaging of the systems out there with some tweaks of our own if we see them. There will be inherent flaws in this – each system presumably makes different less than obvious assumptions, whether in terms of playing time, league environments, time spent at various positions, etc. But it is good enough to get an idea of what the systems expect and spark some conversation. The players' 2015 numbers are also included at the top of the table.
We'll kick this off with the easiest position to figure out roster-wise, one of only two that is likely to see the same guy get more 95% of the starts.
|Anthony Rizzo||2015 Stats||701||163||38||3||31||78||105||17||6||.278||.387||.512||.384||-8.9||1.9||5.5|
It's nice to see the projection systems rosy on Rizzo's defense, a year after fangraphs seemed to be knocking him for it. Which is strange, because according to FG's own advanced stats panel Rizzo was +10 by DRS and +3.4 by UZR, but ended up with a -8.9 defensive rating. Looks like it is a weird position adjustment thing. But why the hell would that not be baked into defensive numbers for a specific position?
Since we are going to hit all the players in these posts, we might as well kill two birds with one stone and remind ourselves of their contract situations. Rizzo will be paid $5m this year, which I am going to go out on a limb and say is a bargain. If I am counting right, this would have been Rizzo's second arb year. He is guaranteed another $25m total over the next three seasons (2017-2019), and the Cubs have team options that can keep min around in 2020 and 2021 for $14.5m each (or $2m buyouts). It is easy to forget how amazing that extension has worked out.
Baez seems to be Rizzo's unofficial backup right now, though if he got any DL time I think that we would probably see Schwarber or maybe Bryant picking up some starts here, due to playing time logjams elsewhere on the roster, if not a Vogelbach callup. Not that the projection systems have a particularly rosy view of Vogey
After some quick googling, injuries seem to be the main excuse for his relative power outage last year in AA, but his power numbers in general are a lot lower than I thought. He slugged only .450 in 500 PAs in A ball in 2013, .429 in 560 PAs in high A in 2014, and .425 in 313 PAs last year. The walk rates are amazing, but I never would have guessed that his power numbers were so low. It is not just a batting average thing, his ISOs have been in the 150-160 range. Weird.