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  1. Singleton could factor in for the Astros.

    Comment by ALEastbound — March 14, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

  2. Fredy Freeman is projected too field 0.5 winz worse then Miek Napoli!! Ahhh!!

    Comment by RMD — March 14, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

  3. Does anyone outside of the Seattle front office believe in Smoak?

    I believe in Justin Smoak! And hey, if he still sucks he’s not getting 500+ plate appearances anyway!

    Comment by ThundaPC — March 14, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  4. While their projections probably aren’t that different, and Freeman is the driver here, Chris Johnson is slated to be the backup 1b in Atlanta, not Juan Francisco. Francisco hasn’t played there for Atlanta at all, and Johnson has been seeing some time at 1b in spring training.

    Comment by Rob — March 14, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  5. How many more years in a row does Fielder have to be better than Pujols to start being ranked ahead of him?

    Comment by Dan — March 14, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  6. Man the Rays are going to be horrible this year. 28th best catcher. 30th best first base situation. They should probably just pack up their balls and go home.

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — March 14, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

  7. 2013 Cool Name Power Rankings: First Base
    1. Yonder Alonso
    2. Darin Ruf
    3. Brandon Belt
    4. Albert Pujols
    5. Mark Trumbo
    6. Brett Pill
    7. Lucas Duda
    8. Lance Berkman
    9. Mike Carp
    10. Brent Lillibridge

    This is an unusually weak group. Only two or three top-calibre names.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — March 14, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

  8. Hard for me to look at the Giants and Brandon Belt at #9 and not think there’s something fishy with the projections… Cherry picking his 2011 ISO and his improved 2012 BB% and K% a little too much. I understand why, it just doesn’t sit well with me. For a guy with zero in the way of real competition for the position, he sure didn’t garner much support from one of the better managers in the game before this Spring. He’s unproven and I don’t think they deserve to be ranked in the upper third of baseball ahead of teams with proven, consistent players like Konerko and LaRoche. Just one guy’s opinion, Belt might turn out to be above average, I’d just like to see it on the field first.

    Comment by Sarge — March 14, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  9. The Braves with Freddie Freeman seemed to be rated way too low. He played most of last season through a thumb injury and had problems with eyes yet still had a decent season. With expected improvement from a 23 year old he should be even better in 2013.

    Comment by JT — March 14, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

  10. I was also shocked at the high rating for Belt and the Giants.

    Comment by JT — March 14, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

  11. I use a shorthand reference for the Mariners depth at 1B: Smo Mo Mo. It’s too bad Jack didn’t make a play at trading Smoak for Morrison.

    Comment by rustydude — March 14, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

  12. There’s nothing fishy with the projections. You can disagree with the outputs without thinking that they were rigged.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — March 14, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  13. You guys need to chill with the Ryan Howard hate. Below Garret Jones? Stop it.

    Comment by Heisenberg — March 14, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  14. Still time to bring in Larry Jones and Curly Ogden

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — March 14, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

  15. It’s about time people started recognizing Allen Craig’s performance and talent.

    Seriously look at the list of players and prospects he has performed better than and is projected to perform better than.

    Guys like Allen Craig, Jon jay, and David Freese are key reasons as to how the Cardinals have done so well while having an “old team” with “no prospects”. (Obviously that’s no longer the case in regards to prospects).

    Allen Craig is projected to produce one win fewer than Albert Pujols, for about 22 fewer million dollars.

    If Craig does go down, I wonder if Holliday/Beltran rather than Carpenter would play 1B, and Tavares play OF?

    Anthony Rizzo’s projection?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 14, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

  16. You’re splitting hairs if you’re mad about that him being ranked below Garret Jones. Ryan Howard has 2.1 WAR over the last 3 years (2.5 seasons really) and the dude is 34. He’s a terrible defender and is coming off of a season where he struck out 33% of the time. It’s not Fangraphs that’s hating on him as much as it is the projection systems out there.

    Comment by Caveman Jones — March 14, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

  17. Except Ryan Howard isn’t below Garrett Jones. Howard is predicted to produce slightly more WAR. The Phillies are lower than the Pirates due to their backup options, not Howard.

    Comment by sewf — March 14, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

  18. A -1 WAR most reason season will certainly affect the projections. While it is difficult to think that Howard is “as valuable” as Logan Morrisson, they may be the case.

    Howard’s WAR over the last 3 years: 1.4, 1.7, -1.

    What would you project for 2013? What do other 1B’s get for projections using the same system that was used for Howard?

    The projections actually project Howard having one of his best defensive and baserunning seasons.

    I’ve defended Howard in the past (not the contract per se), but it’s time to recognize that the Ryan Howard we knew is gone.He may never hit 40+ homers again, which is pretty much what he has to do to put up significant WAR (between league average and all-star levels, IMHO).

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 14, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

  19. Phils fan here. I hate that contract but I really feel as if WAR misses something when it comes to Howard. Not close to living up to that contract, of course.

    Comment by Mike N — March 14, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

  20. Re: the Helton summary. Rockies actually have a pretty good group of young position players developing: Cargo, Fowler, Colvin, Pacheco, Rutledge, Rosario, EY jr, Arenado.

    Comment by rockymountainhigh — March 14, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

  21. A 3 WAR season for 23yo 1B, ranking #11 out of #30?

    Just where do you think he should rate? What do other 1B’s get with the same rating system you use for Freeman?

    I’m asking because you can’t just give Freeman some “recovery points” and “development points” without doing the same thing to other 1B’s.

    His injuries and ailments factor into future projections. Nobody gets a “he’ll be completely healthy all season” projection.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 14, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

  22. Considering he’s been better than Pujols for two seasons, which is the least number of seasons that could be described as “in a row”, maybe at least one more?

    Comment by bballislife17 — March 14, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

  23. Dude, you are talking to a computer algorithm. Stop it.

    Comment by maguro — March 14, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  24. Rizzo being projected at more Bat Runs than AGonz?

    Should I classify this under the “I’ll believe it when I see it” type thing or is this a difference between batting/playing in Dodger Stadium/NLWest and Wrigly/NLCentral? I was under the impression that projections were pretty much “context neutral? Is that the case?

    I’m asking because that projects Rizzo at far greater talent/value than I would have thought, and am willing to change my opinion.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 14, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

  25. I really enjoy this series of articles. The only suggestion I have is that the order be 30-1 rather than 1-30. For the catcher article, I read it as it was written, but for this one I immediately scrolled to the bottom and read from bottom to top.

    I found it to be a better experience going down to up. You start with the tragic/comical, and end with the awesome. I’d prefer to finish with Votto, Pujols and Fielder than with Wallace, Smoak and Loney. Anyway, keep up the good work!

    Comment by Mike — March 14, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

  26. Are you seriously confident enough in James Loney to dispute their ranking on this list? The Rays are a good team, but if they win the East it will be despite an awful 1B situation.

    Comment by daveabbruz — March 14, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

  27. I was surprised by his ranking as well. I’d easily take Ike Davis over him. Davis put up 3.5 WAR in 2010, 1.4 WAR in less than 1/4 of the season in 2011, and 2.6 WAR in the last 4 months of 2012. Unless you think he’ll get Valley Fever, lose all of his energy and $hit the bed in April/May again (-1 WAR), then I’d think he’s at least 3.5 WAR.

    Sure, Belt might play that well – but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 14, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

  28. I think Morneau either figures out lefties and hits far better than that, or gives up on lefties and hits far better than that in significantly fewer PAs. Even the Twins have to recognize that continuing to send him up hitting like last year is a bad idea.

    Comment by Tim — March 14, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

  29. Not sure how likely Mike Carp is to actually make the Red Sox roster. It’s vaguely possible that he could if Ortiz and one or two others start the season on the DL, but even then he’s fighting for the job with Lyle Overbay, who seems to be the team’s preferred backup at this point. If DL stints don’t open up a spot, Nava has been playing a lot of first so he can be part of the weird shifting platoon thing in LF and 1B with Gomes and Napoli. Odds are good that he gets designated before the season starts.

    Comment by AS — March 14, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

  30. If Gattis makes the team, he’ll probably backup 1st as well.

    Comment by Wil — March 14, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

  31. Just throwing this out there, but perhaps you (of the royal variety) can’t frame just how bad he is defensively and on the bases.

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — March 14, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

  32. There’s also that pesky decade of complete and utter baseball destruction on Pujols’ resume..

    Comment by Oh, Beepy — March 14, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

  33. FWIW, all of the projection systems are pretty high on Rizzo. My agg projection that combines, the Fans, Steamer, PECOTA, Oliver, Zips, and CAIRO have him putting up a .360 wOBA with a .269/.340/.496 triple slash. Here’s more if you want to see the methodology behind this and the rest of his projections:

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — March 14, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

  34. The Rays are doomed. If you don’t have a slugging 1B to anchor the middle of your lineup then you’re just not a team. Ship these bums to Brooklyn so that they can someday hope to have a mashing 1B.

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — March 14, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

  35. Some perspective from a Giants fan here. In short, the projections are backed up by the eyeball test.

    For as much as Bochy does right, his fetish for playing veterans over young players is probably his biggest flaw. The fact that Huff got so much playing time over Belt last year is a problem with Bochy, not Belt. Giants fans everywhere were pining for Bochy to #FreeBelt.

    Belt has always shown great walk rates and ISOs in the minors, so it’s not abnormal to think that he will improve both as he matures as a big league hitter. The projections aren’t calling for anything dramatic, just the normal improvement you hope/expect to see out of a young hitter. As an excellent article here pointed out (, Belt’s approach and results were much better in the second half of the season. If he comes even close to the success he had in the second half, he’ll easy hit and surpass the projections.

    If Belt is a 120 wRC+ 1B with average fielding, and I think that’s a conservative projection, that’s easily 2-3 WAR. If he hits like he did in the second half or if his fielding improves (average by advanced metrics, plus by fan scouting reports), he could be in the 3-4 WAR range no problem.

    Comment by Brett — March 14, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

  36. Freddie Freeman has the same name as Captain Marvel, Jr. That alone makes it cooler than Brent Lillibridge, yes?

    Comment by K26dp — March 14, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

  37. The image of the man works against his name, but if I came across an olde-timey report of a ‘Prince Fielder’ leading the local nine, I would deem it a quality moniker.

    Also, Mike Olt has a certain brutalist appeal.

    Comment by Eric — March 14, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  38. I’m confused about the BsR column. is it wins or runs? neither seems reasonable for e.g. fielder at -2.5
    OTOH, pujols at -0.5 seems like it should be wins, last year he was -6 runs or so.

    Comment by brendan — March 14, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

  39. Minor note, but Matt Adams is definitely 3rd on the depth chart for 1B. Honestly I have no idea why we gave Wigginton that contract, last I checked you usually don’t pay $5 million for a righty bench bat that’s 35 with average power and horrible defense.

    Oh, and he has an OPS of .399 in 37 Spring PA so far. Woo.

    Comment by TheLoLgen — March 14, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

  40. I should have said “too low” rather than “way too low”. IMO, the Braves and Giants should be switched. Freeman is younger than Belt and has proven a lot more.

    Overall, this was a great ranking. I was just puzzled by the Braves ranking below the Giants. I know the back-ups play a part so I guess that’s it. Freeman definitely won’t have a good back-up unless Gattis can play there.

    Comment by JT — March 14, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

  41. The fact that they have a top 5 rotation, a top 5 3B, a top 5 bullpen, Ben Zobrist (who defies classification) and a top OF prospect doesn’t make their situation at catcher and 1B any better…

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — March 14, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

  42. Yeah, Prince Fielder should have at least a 65 name grade.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — March 14, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

  43. Smoak starting over Morales at 1b? I don’t think thats the case. Smoak is in an option year and may as well start in AAA, especially if the team insists on carrying Ibanez and Bay.

    Comment by Matthew Swinkey — March 14, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

  44. I am mad at myself for AGAIN believing in Smoak. Why? Why do i do this.

    Comment by CascadeConcrete — March 14, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

  45. @Sandy, or perhaps the fact that Howard has consistently had an RE24 well above his wRAA suggests a genuine skill at driving in runs that just isn’t captured in a context neutral stat, leading him to be undervalued if you (of the royal variety) only look at the surface numbers.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — March 14, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

  46. He doesn’t have a single AB at AAA, and he’s going to start the season with a 50 game suspension. You’d think they’d at least give him 200 AB’s before a call up, so I doubt he sees significant time in the bigs.

    Comment by Preston — March 14, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

  47. Fielder IS ranked ahead of him (or maybe not, who can tell). These are team rankings. The Angels backup 1b’s provide more value (and won’t Fielder get a few PAs at DH?)

    Comment by Bookbook — March 14, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

  48. For a contender, the Rays look God awful on these first two lists.

    Comment by DD — March 14, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

  49. And that Craig’s “injury-prone” status is almost completely the result of a bare concrete wall in Houston (since padded) that cut short the end of his 2011 and delayed his 2012 start to May.

    People look at his PA’s in a vacuum and seem to assume, “huh, the guy just can’t stay healthy.”

    Comment by salvo — March 14, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

  50. If Allen Craig gets hurt, Matt Adams gets his call.

    Comment by Quadstriker — March 14, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

  51. I did something similar with combining projection systems to make player ratings for rosters for MLB12: The Show last year.

    The systems are projecting Rizzo for 30+ HR, which given his projected PA that may be a reasonable number. I cannot say how reliable projections are for younger players and including minor league numbers.

    The problem could also be with my knowledge and awareness of Rizzo. I was just surprised that he was as valuable (projected) as Adrian Gonzalez.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 14, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

  52. I thought so too, but Wedge has adamantly stated that Smoak is the first baseman. We’ll see if Smoak’s Aug/Sept 2012 and 2013 ST carries over to the 2013 regular season.

    Comment by Brent — March 14, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

  53. Try being a Mariner’s fan. Will there be a single position not in the 20′s?

    Comment by Brent — March 14, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

  54. I tend to think that Mike Olt has a certain “someone failing to remember Mel Ott’s name” feel to it.

    Comment by John Thacker — March 14, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

  55. 700 PA vs 640 for catchers? Why the disparity? Just curious.

    Comment by That Guy — March 14, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

  56. You all need to remember that the reigning NL MVP’s numbers are included with Belt’s. That’s a major reason that the Giants 1B position is in the top ten. If you look only at Belt and his 2.6 WAR, he’s in a cluster with Laroche, Konerko, Ike Davis, Freeman, etc. I think that’s pretty reasonable, especially when you take Belt’s good defense and decent (for a 1B) baserunning.

    Comment by Scott — March 14, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

  57. Maybe in general, 1B hit higher in the lineup than catchers, and catchers are presumably pinch hit for more often than 1B. I’m not sure if that would account for the entire difference, though.

    Comment by Scott — March 14, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

  58. Catchers get, on average, about 60 PA less per season than other positions. That’s likely due to batting order effects — most catchers hit 7-9 — and pinch-hitting/pinch-running. Every other position will get 700 PA per team.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — March 14, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

  59. It seems that the Rays are constantly in this position with 1B primarily because they make every trade in terms of absolute value and not out of need. They have consistently needed a 1B/DH type and have traded Edwin Jackson, Matt Garza and James Shields without getting one in return. This will help them remain competitive in the long run since players like Matt Joyce, Hak Ju Lee and Wil Myers have more positional value, but netting a lesser player at a position of need would have maybe allowed them to have a better shot at actually hoisting the trophy one of these seasons.

    Comment by Preston — March 14, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

  60. Do you think Morales’s ankle is still an issue? He wasn’t overly athletic before, maybe he’s a DH only guy now.

    Comment by Preston — March 14, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

  61. One might think that the A’s are going to do some more of the smart platooning that worked so well for them in 2012, but no, both Moss and Barton are left-handed hitters.

    Barton’s career splits:

    vs, LHP: .368 wOBA (533 PA)
    vs. RHP: .315 wOBA (1368 PA)

    He probably has a neutral split rather than a reverse one. But that still works for a platoon, as he projects to be a better hitter than Moss vs. LHP.

    Comment by sam — March 14, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

  62. “…by moving Morales to first and move Morse from left field to DH … Of course, that would also potentially mean a two-headed Jason Bay/Raul Ibanez monster in left field.”

    By all rights it shouldn’t, if the M’s had a healthy Guti and an ounce of sense. Wells-Guti-Saunders in the outfield, please. Ibanez for pinch hitter / 25th man, if one must. Bay… I don’t know, we run out of roster room quickly. Shouldn’t have brought him in, in the first place, even for so cheap.

    Comment by Chris from Bothell — March 14, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

  63. Kyle Seager should definitely be in the top half of the league at 3B.

    Comment by Preston — March 14, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

  64. I can’t help but feel more bullish on Loney than the projections – last year seems to have been babiptically unlucky and anomalous in terms of his career numbers. He’s also still on the right side of 30; I’d go on record as predicting somewhere around a .325 wOBA/1.5 WAR for him this year (assuming no injuries, and he’s been pretty durable).

    Comment by Ben — March 14, 2013 @ 7:49 pm

  65. Good 1B’s likely require more in trade (because they tend to excel at traditional numbers like HR-RBI), so getting more value in trade by acquiring non-1B position players likely nets the Rays more overall value in their trades.

    Carlos Pena’s decreased production (except as a Cub) also hurts. 1B was a strong position for them not too long ago.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 14, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

  66. Except (as noted in the article) the ranking doesn’t take into account Molina’s pitch framing, which if you agree with Mike Fast’s method, could be worth something like 3 wins if Molina gets into 100 games. If you want to go conservative (i.e. make up a smaller number, in this case), even 1.5-2 wins would push them into the top 15.

    Comment by Fjord — March 14, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

  67. although I guess nobody has pitch framing included, so others might get a bump too…

    Comment by Fjord — March 14, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

  68. as per dave in the other (catcher) thread, these are BsR runs.

    fielder has averaged about -7 runs over the past 5 seasons, but steamer projects -4.5, zips -1.0 — anyone know why they are so optimistic?

    -2.7 is the max here, -1.7 was the max negative value for catchers.

    Comment by brendan — March 14, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

  69. Not saying you’re wrong, but right now Carp is listed ahead of Overbay (as is Mauro Gomez) on the team depth chart. Presumably that’s why he’s listed as the primary backup here.

    Comment by Ian R. — March 14, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

  70. Who?

    Mike Olt!


    Mike Olt!

    Comment by matt w — March 14, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

  71. I guess I take more issue with the fact that the only thing that has been platooned here is the playing time. If you’re only going to give James Loney 490 PA then why wouldn’t you make just about every single one of them against a righty? In his career, Loney has hit righties to a .341 wOBA and lefties at .291. This gives him a platoon split of .152 and we can regress that using Bojan’s Harmonic Mean method to get an adjusted platoon split of .122. That’s wide.

    Using my agg projection that I’ve bandied about more than once we get an overall wOBA figure of .312 assuming equalish playing time against lefties and righties. Against just righties you would then expect Loney to have a .322 wOBA. If you expect league average to equal last years .316 then he would be worth 2.5 batting runs over 490 PA. That’s much better than the -4 he’s slated to get above. This puts Loney closer to 1.3 WAR as his contribution in the platoon. We can perform a similar thought experiment with Sean Rodriguez, another player with a large observed and regressed platoon split.

    I get an agg projection of .305 for Rodriguez, but that would be .325 against lasdgfeftasdfies and .295 against righties. At .325 over 105 PA then Roddy would be worth roughly .75 wRAA instead of the -1 penciled in above. Let’s say that he adds a modest .3 WAR to this equation. You’re now talking about 1.6 WAR from the two main contributors. It might not sound like a lot, but acknowledging efficient platooning just doubled what they were getting from the position and moves them up closer to the 25th spot than dead last by a nice margin. I guess my bigger beef is that if you’re going to put all the work into this thing why half ass some of the easier stuff? It’s not like regressed platoon splits are something that’s on the horizon that we can’t do right now. Heck, my method is built primarily from what Devil Fingers showed us only a couple of years ago.

    I appreciate the effort, but as a wise man said, “Go the distance.”

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — March 14, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

  72. Not sure what happened there but the gibberish should read “lefties”

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — March 14, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

  73. ZIPS only has two M’s with a WAR above 2 (Ackley, Seager)and Steamer adds Montero to that list. Even if we manage to get 3rd base out of the 20′s (by WAR Zips has Seager 19th, Steamer 15th), I don’t see an M’s position player getting in the top half.

    We’ll see.

    Comment by Brent — March 14, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

  74. Not to make any mention of Rule 5 1B, Nate Freiman, who they have to roster all year or give back to SD.

    Comment by — March 14, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

  75. What about the .050 drop in ISO with a quarter of the season taking place in a friendlier home park. Was that BABIP unluckiness too?

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — March 14, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

  76. Howard’s healthy for the first time in a couple years. And he’s looked good this spring (FWIW.) I expect a bounce-back year for him. Not MVP, but certainly better than 1.4 WAR.

    Also, I agree with the comment that he seems to show good ability to hit with runners in scoring position.

    He’s bad defensively. He can’t hit lefties. He’s a flawed, overpaid player. But I think he’s almost underrated at this point.

    Comment by Tim Lemke — March 14, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

  77. Minor nitpick, but If Beltran or Craig go down Matt Adams will get the majority of the time at 1st for the Cardinals. Craig to RF if Beltran goes down.

    Craig can absolutely mash. Could easily slot in in front of Rizzo if hes healthy this year. Look at the numbers despite missing the month of April last season.

    Comment by Matt — March 14, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

  78. I’ve been seeing a lot of hype about Rizzo. I like him, but I’m not sure he deserves such a high ranking. However, after scrolling down I realized that 1B is actually a fairly weak position. I had thought it was much better until reading this article. So maybe Rizzo deserves that ranking afterall.

    Comment by Randy — March 14, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

  79. Are they gonna do relievers?

    Comment by GoateesOnly — March 14, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

  80. OOH DH! that could easily be in the top 15.

    Comment by GoateesOnly — March 14, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

  81. And yet he also posted a career high line drive rate and the second lowest strikeout rate of his career. I just think it is too early to write him off entirely, because he has a decent track record outsidde of last year.

    Comment by Fjord — March 15, 2013 @ 12:50 am

  82. Yes, the backups play a small role. The backup 1B for the Giants is some guy named Buster Posey.

    Comment by That Guy — March 15, 2013 @ 1:04 am

  83. Issue with the Rays rant is that these are projections. The Rays most likely disagree with your projections, or at least are willing to take the chance Loney outperforms them (and on a limited budget that might be as good as it gets going into the season). Your model might not be accurate, or it might be as accurate as possible but the Rays are going on a more qualitative assessment (or they just have their fingers crossed).

    Comment by Ted Nelson — March 15, 2013 @ 1:22 am

  84. Problem with this analysis: Daric Barton has a huge reverse platoon split. He hits lefties a lot better than righties, despite being a leftie.

    Comment by Ruki Motomiya — March 15, 2013 @ 2:02 am

  85. “A few” indeed. In 2012 Fielder had exactly 11 PA at DH.

    Comment by Big Daddy V — March 15, 2013 @ 2:21 am

  86. He’s a 1B who doesn’t walk or hit for power.

    He’s Casey Kotchman except he hits .280 instead of .260.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — March 15, 2013 @ 3:07 am

  87. Maybe I’m not as up to date on 1B defense as I should be, but I watch a lot of game and it seems like Freeman is always digging balls out and stretching. A 1B shouldn’t really be judged on range that much at all. They are involved with nearly every infield play and most of which, they aren’t fielding, but receiving the throw. Their ability to scoop and stretch helps out the other fielders and every play. If I’m just being a homer and don’t know that they do measure this and Freeman sucks at it, please let me know.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — March 15, 2013 @ 3:12 am

  88. I would be curious to see each team’s final WAR rank from last year. For instance Oakland had 3.7 WAR from 1B last year
    (which would put them at #6 on this list). The best guy (Moss) is going to play twice as much yet it’s projecting a total of 1.5 WAR total this year dropping them twenty spots to #26. If we’re doing an over/under on Oakland at #26, I’m taking the under on that one.

    Comment by Scott — March 15, 2013 @ 3:47 am

  89. With Brett Pill{Who isn’t very inspiring} Belt should maybe get about 550 PA to see what is there….Maybe he breaks out, maybe he wont but even so that ranking is way too high for a group thats inconsistant at best…Posey wont play enough first for him to have an impact on this ranking….

    Comment by 4233 — March 15, 2013 @ 3:57 am

  90. Your C and 1B rankings for the Mariners are just unrealistic. Get a new computer, algorithm or projection sources.

    Comment by maqman — March 15, 2013 @ 7:49 am

  91. Even the article itself says that, “Buster Posey might get some time at first base….”. That doesn’t sound like the back-up should matter all that much.

    It just seems like the computer sputtered on this ranking. Belt simply isn’t very good, or at least he hasn’t been so far.

    Comment by JT — March 15, 2013 @ 9:38 am

  92. you’re stupid, you’re dumb, you’re moted.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — March 15, 2013 @ 10:18 am

  93. Lucas Duda has by far the coolest name

    Comment by vivaelpujols — March 15, 2013 @ 10:23 am

  94. Isn’t CAIRO already an aggregate projection system?

    Comment by vivaelpujols — March 15, 2013 @ 10:26 am

  95. Amazing that the Astros got all the ex-Oakland 1b except Dan Johnson. Brandon Allen might still be available, though.

    Comment by gdc — March 15, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

  96. No way. If he were actually any good, every opposing fan base would turn his name into Lucas Doody. His the Tony Romo of baseball player names.

    Comment by TKDC — March 15, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

  97. Not sure how a new computer would change things.

    Comment by TKDC — March 15, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

  98. ^^This. Well said.

    Comment by Jason B — March 15, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

  99. Posey had 113 PAs at 1B last season, and he’ll probably get close to that amount this season as well. ~100 PAs of a wOBA around .370 (projected) can definitely matter. It’s kind of lazy writing by the author to suggest that he “might get some time”, because he clearly will, based on what Bochy has said.

    Comment by Scott — March 15, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

  100. Assuming the A’s even carry a backup 1B. It’d be pretty easy to argue against keeping Barton or someone when you’ve got Lowrie and Jaso who can slot in there, and I’m pretty sure Seth Smith has taken some reps there this spring. If flexibility is the name of the game with this A’s team, why carry a guy with limited defensive opportunity when you could instead keep another guy who can play multiple infield positions, like Green, Rosales or Parrino.

    Comment by Blofkin — March 15, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

  101. I was thinking the same thing!
    That batting line DOES look pretty optimistic for Justin Smoak.

    Comment by Blofkin — March 15, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

  102. Come on, he clearly meant fishy as a euphemism for shitty. He was being polite, in his way.

    Comment by majnun — March 16, 2013 @ 8:37 am

  103. Great analysis, Sandy. There’s a good chance that the Rays will do something like that. There’s also a good chance of a change when Myers comes up, e.g. Zobrist to 2B and Johnson to 1B or Joyce to 1B.
    Either way, Loney isn’t likely to get that many PA’s at 1B if he doesn’t hit better than projected.

    Comment by Baltar — March 16, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

  104. Yes, and Posey will probably play more 1B than projected here.

    Comment by Baltar — March 16, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

  105. Garrett Jones — off the top of my head — had the eighth best wOBA versus RHP last year among all ‘qualified’ 1B.

    In a platoon with Gaby Sanchez, who is light years better than Jones against LHP, is a pretty good idea.

    Such a good idea I’m doing it in Scoresheet.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — March 16, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

  106. I like it the way it is. I read the first ones most thoroughly and less so as it goes on.

    Comment by Baltar — March 16, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

  107. I’m not blaming FanGraphs, as the reasons are complex, but the Rays won’t fare that badly at these 2 positions, although they are 2 of their 3 weakest (2B won’t look great either). Molina’s fantastic framing ability is not tanken into account and, unless Loney hits much better than projected, the Rays will find some creative solution at 1B. See Sandy Kazmir’s comment above

    Comment by Baltar — March 16, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

  108. 2B will look weak until Myers comes up and Zobrist moves there. I see this series already has Zobrist there for at least half the season.

    Comment by Baltar — March 16, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

  109. How could Votto have only played in 111 games but yet had 630 plate appearances?

    Says that above but it doesn’t seem to make much sense?

    Comment by Yoko Ono — March 16, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

  110. Apologies as I see now that the stats above are just projections – my apologies.

    Comment by Yoko Ono — March 16, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

  111. excellent troll work, sandy

    Comment by jim — March 16, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

  112. as long as there will be projections, there will be people who do not understand them

    Comment by jim — March 16, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

  113. his “skill” at that is a result of having hit with runners on base in a LHB-friendly park for years

    Comment by jim — March 16, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

  114. I think you’re misreading things a bit. He played 111 games last season, but he’s projected for 630 PAs this coming season.

    Comment by Blofkin — March 16, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

  115. I agree, and I would take Morrisson over Howard right now as well as for the future.

    Comment by Baltar — March 17, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

  116. This will be Howard’s first year fully recovered from injury.
    He’s been working with the greatest third baseman in history, and best slugging third baseman, Mike Schmidt, on making more contact. So far, the results look good. I don’t know how Howard will age from this point forward but my bet is on one last really great season.

    Comment by Fossilrabbit — March 17, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

  117. Jim,

    1) CBP hasn’t helped Howard, and

    2) he has been among the most efficient in baseball at driving in runners, i.e. ROI%

    Comment by schmenkman — March 17, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

  118. Brandon Belt should have much higher defensive projections. He’s a far better defender than Posey who shows up as far superior in this ranking. Side bet – Brandon Belt will end the 2013 season with a higher Fangraphs WAR total than Anthony Rizzo. Any Cubs fans want to take me up on that one?

    Comment by fergie348 — March 26, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

  119. I never said he wasn’t, merely that I believe he has a reasonable chance to provide more value than projected, meaning that the Rays’ 1B situation could end up average at best.

    Comment by Fjord — March 26, 2013 @ 6:52 pm

  120. Do you disagree with that?

    Comment by Fjord — March 26, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

  121. ISO is babip dependent.

    Comment by Actaeon — June 25, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

  122. So yes.

    Comment by Actaeon — June 25, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

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