FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Actually, as a White Sox fan I’m reading this and thinking,”oy.”

    Comment by MikeS — March 15, 2013 @ 11:26 am

  2. 2013 Cool Name Power Rankings: Third Base
    1. Mike Moustakas
    2. Lonnie Chisenhall
    3. Pedro Ciriaco
    4. Steve Brock Holt
    5. Steve Mike Olt
    6. Pablo Sandoval
    7. Kevin Youkilis
    8. Eric Sogard
    9. Trevor Plouffe
    10. Will Middlebrooks
    11. Evan Longoria
    12. David Freese

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — March 15, 2013 @ 11:27 am

  3. I’m a bit shocked the Braves duo is ranked ahead of anyone.

    Comment by busch — March 15, 2013 @ 11:27 am

  4. Much like most of the other posts.

    Comment by TKDC — March 15, 2013 @ 11:33 am

  5. You should have cut it at 10, and #2 is too high – good list though.

    Comment by TKDC — March 15, 2013 @ 11:34 am

  6. Marlis have 3/4 last place finishes thus far! I’m guessing Gregorius and Stanton bring them out of the cellar for at least a couple other positions.

    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — March 15, 2013 @ 11:38 am

  7. I’m pretty sure the time to retire the extremely weakly supported “Dusty loves veterans” cliche was at least one hundred years ago.

    Comment by gweedoh565 — March 15, 2013 @ 11:41 am

  8. Man, the Marlins are going to be awful this season.

    Comment by Will — March 15, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  9. Catcher: Worst
    1B: 5th worst
    2B: Worst
    3B: Worst

    And it’s not getting any prettier at SS, LF and CF….

    Comment by Will — March 15, 2013 @ 11:48 am

  10. I thought Seager et al might rate higher. I’m also not adjusting well to the 2 WAR main player putting a position in the bottom quartile much of the time.

    Comment by Bookbook — March 15, 2013 @ 11:55 am

  11. For the Orioles, if Betemit is the sub for Machado at 3B, they’d be better off with a piece of cardboard with a glove. His defense is the reason why Machado made the jump from AA last year. Or at least most of the reason

    Comment by Dave in GB — March 15, 2013 @ 11:57 am

  12. David Wright is probably one of the tougher players to project. There’s a 1.3 difference in WAR between ZIPS and Steamer (1.0 if you normalize both to 630 PA), which is probably one of the larger differences, especially if you don’t count prospects. He’s had an odd few seasons and he’s tough to project on both the offensive and defensive side.

    Comment by Izzy Hechkoff — March 15, 2013 @ 11:57 am


    Comment by The Theory — March 15, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

  14. If Francisco gets the lion’s share of the playing time, he ought to be passable. His offensive game is kind of ugly, but the power is there, and he’s probably a better fielder than Chipper was last year.

    If Chris Johnson starts getting a lot of PAs, that’s a problem.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 15, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

  15. Who’s Gregorius?

    Comment by Ivan Grushenko — March 15, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

  16. This list really takes a turn towards dumpster land after #18.

    Comment by Josh M — March 15, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

  17. I’m surprised that Matt Dominguez’s defense is rated so poorly. When he was coming up as a prospect, the scouting buzz was that he was an elite fielding third baseman, but his bat was iffy. Also, is Luiz Cruz’s defense really that good? The Fan Scouting Report has him at about average, but the numbers show that he is excellent.

    Comment by Scott — March 15, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

  18. How does Juan Francisco aka Fat Juan not make this list?

    Comment by Wil — March 15, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

  19. 3rd base isn’t exactly a position with a ton of super stars. If Juan plays the majority of the team he will probably play close to league average 3rd base offensively and defensively.

    Comment by Wil — March 15, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

  20. Are you still day dreaming about Scout+ leaderboards?

    Too many Northern white names: Macier Izturis > David Freese, Emilio Bonifacio > Eric Sogard, Alberto Callaspo > Mike Olt, and, natch, Lombardozzi* > everyone. Seriously, say them out loud, the Latin group makes you think of love, spring, 4 course meals in flowered court yards and the second group makes you think of tramping through cold fog in bearskin.

    You whiffed on Stephen Paul Lombardozzi; the Lombards ruled all of northern Italy for, like, 300 years, and still awe those who think about such things.

    I concede that this list was tough, third basemen last names might be better than second basemen, and that you have done yoeman’s work to date.

    Comment by King of the Byelorussian Square Dancers — March 15, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

  21. Wow. That’s an extreme OBP projected for Miggy Cabrera. I sure hope he plays like it, he’s an awesome player.

    Comment by BubbaNoTrubba — March 15, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

  22. When he was coming up, Dominguez was compared to Mike Lowell. Both had soft hands, good arm, good instincts but both also had well below average speed. That decrease in range probably isn’t factored into defense as much as it should in scouting reports. Lowell was known as a defensive wizard but finished only 8.4 runs above replacement for his career. Dominguez

    Comment by Rob — March 15, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  23. *Dominguez could very well be only a couple runs above average defense.

    Comment by Rob — March 15, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

  24. Tigers are looking pretty good so far based on these…

    C: #6
    1B: #3
    2B: #17
    3B: #1

    Will probably have a top 5 CF and the #1 rotation too

    Comment by Timeghoul — March 15, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

  25. So, if there were 4 teams last season with negative WAR. Why aren’t there any this season?

    Comment by Jason — March 15, 2013 @ 1:31 pm

  26. That wasn’t a daydream, it was a sleepdream.

    I already ranked Maicer Izturis elsewhere! I think Emilio Bonifacio and Steve Lombardozzi have excellent names, but “Sogard” has a ring as well. “Lombardozzi” forms an excellent shape on the back of a uniform.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — March 15, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

  27. Nicknames are excluded, with the exception of Gerald “Buster” Posey.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — March 15, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

  28. I think the concerns about Panda’s playing time are overblown. This may sound like a joke, but seriously, he’s out of hamate bones to break. That’s the only injury to keep him off the field for any significant amount of time.

    Comment by Brett — March 15, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

  29. I can’t see how you’d have the Mariners with Kyle Seagar at 24th. Sure he was a surprise last year, but he was 9th in defense, 8th in WAR, 10th in wRC+ in 2012. Plus he did it on a .286 BABIP, which seems a little low for him. I think he is no more than an average starter at 3rd, but you’ve got him in the middle of the pack of the bottom 3rd.

    Comment by Kazinski — March 15, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

  30. It’s not that extreme. He’s got a career .395 rate and hasn’t been below .390 since 2008.

    Comment by Jeff — March 15, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

  31. It seems like just yesterday Chisenhall was a top-25 prospect, but the bar has been lowered significantly after a 2012 season that saw him lose a spring training battle to Hannahan.

    He projects at 1.8 WAR for 490 PA. Isn’t that league average?

    He’s a league average ML 3rd baseman. Isn’t that fine for a top 25 prospect?


    What is the replacement level for 3B? I ask because it seems if you play a full season at 3B and hit near a little below league average, while being below average in BR and FLD, that you’re a 2 WAR 3B.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 15, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

  32. Look at the projections, there are essentially 23 or 24 3B’s projected to be “league average” (or better), or “average starter”. LOts of guys in the 1.7 to 2.6 range.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 15, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

  33. Where does 2/3 of a season of Giancarlo Stanton put them?

    Comment by MikeS — March 15, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

  34. I like Chisenhall at 18 as a post-hype sleeper. This will only be his age 24 season.

    Comment by wobatus — March 15, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

  35. He was never great production-wise in the minors despite the high BA prospect rankings, but I think he may be ready to break out.

    Comment by wobatus — March 15, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

  36. EVE HOLT!

    Comment by Greg — March 15, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

  37. So far these projections have the catcher position producing 104.3 WAR across baseball, with 1B at 77.7, 2B 82.1, and 3B 99.6. Shouldn’t these be close to equal? Does the replacement at catcher need to be adjusted?

    Comment by Kyle — March 15, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

  38. they cannot specifically guess which players, whom normally don’t get injured, are going to be the ones that suffer major injuries this year

    Comment by cody k — March 15, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

  39. “at this point it seem highly unlikely that Rodriguez is going to be a major contributor to the 2013 Yankees.”

    Based on what?

    Comment by Ted Nelson — March 15, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

  40. Mean projections. The same reason why no individual team is likely to win 100 games but there probably will be one team that does so.

    Comment by Izzy Hechkoff — March 15, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

  41. Some of these guys have fantastic full names…

    Brock Wyatt Holt
    Pablo Emilio Sandoval
    Kevin Edmund Youkilis
    Eric Sidney Sogard
    David Dick Freese

    Comment by MDL — March 15, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  42. “Mr. Freese” does have a certain flair to it…

    Comment by KCDaveInLA — March 15, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

  43. Brain fart on my part. For some reason I was thinking Didi Gregorius is on the Marlins instead of the Diamondbacks. I wish there was an edit button here.

    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — March 15, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

  44. Thing was that he was 3.6 WAR last year as 25 year old in is first full season. And I don’t see why he wouldn’t keep improving at least a little. There is nothing in his stats indicate that it was a fluke. The 20 home runs were a surprise, but he had 15 on the road, and 5 at home, and they are moving the fences in at Safeco. Although that should benefit RH more that LH, but he shouldn’t have much of a problem matching that this year.

    Regress is 3.6 back to around 3.0 and he should still be up to 14-15.

    Comment by Kazinski — March 15, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

  45. I’d say based on age, declining performance and being on the DL.

    In fact I think the only thing that will keep Yankees out of the cellar in the AL East is the health of the Red Sox pitching staff.

    Comment by Kazinski — March 15, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  46. Everybody……………… chill.

    Comment by Arnold Schwarzenegger — March 15, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  47. Based on the fact that he’s old and has a degenerative hip condition?

    Comment by maguro — March 15, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

  48. Lombardozzi “could not handle lefties at all” — isn’t he a switch hitter? If he’s so bad from the right side, maybe they should just convert him to batting lefty full-time (as the Rockies considered with Dex Fowler when he was yo-yoing between AAA and MLB)…

    Comment by rustyspatula — March 15, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

  49. The best case is he returns after the all star break (~70 games)

    1) Put in some projection factor that he doesn’t return under the best case scenario.
    2) Factor in he won’t be playing 3rd base fulltime when he comes back
    3) Factor in whatever his normal injury risk factor is over those 70 (or fewer based on #1) games.

    Comment by Hank — March 15, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

  50. Chipper’s last three seasons, according to UZR: 0.1, -8.0, -0.1. He wasn’t great, but he was definitely still holding his own at the position. It’s such a shame that his last game involved a very significant and uncharacteristic bad play.

    I suspect that Juan Francisco is going to have a UZR lower than -3.0, so yes, he actually is probably a worse fielder than old, beat-up Chipper Jones was.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 15, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

  51. You realize nobody is making any subjective projections or rankings, aside from playing time, right?

    Comment by david h — March 15, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

  52. If Luis Cruz does poorly, the Dodgers could slide Ramirez to third and put Punto at short. Punto doesn’t have any bat but he still plays plus defense and previous seasons suggest he can easily be a league average player.

    As a fan of Nick Punto, I hope this happens.

    Comment by Ruki Motomiya — March 15, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  53. Thanks Rob, interesting stuff.

    Comment by Scott — March 15, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

  54. If Donaldson would stop being all over the damn place with his BABIP, he’d project much better. Not saying he’s a star, but a 100 wRC+ with above average defense would be awesome, considering the black hole 3rd has been for 6 years. If his BABIP is somewhere around .280, with his bat control and middling power, I don’t think a line around .260/.330/.400 is out of the question over a full season.

    Comment by Blofkin — March 15, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

  55. WHAT!!?? You mean there’s a third base combo WORSE than the Cubs? Who knew??

    Comment by skmd — March 15, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

  56. When you take those factors into consideration I don’t think you get 35 PAs, granted he might be listed in the DH section too.

    Comment by Ted Nelson — March 15, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

  57. Yeah, except that he’s not ancient by any means and the doctor said that the operation may leave his hip in better shape than it ever was in during his prime.

    Comment by Ted Nelson — March 15, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

  58. Great, thanks for the insightful explanation!

    I’d say all the talent on their roster is keeping them out of the cellar, and in contention for the playoffs.

    Comment by Ted Nelson — March 15, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

  59. He’s played roughly 70% the last 3 years…

    70% of ~70 games = ~50 games.
    Assume a few off days… 45 games.
    Assume 1/2 time at 3rd base ~22-23 games. Even that might be optimistic depending on Youkilis’ health.

    So that’s 100 PA’s, assuming he comes back right at the all star break – which is far from a certainty. If he doesn’t than it drops further or he plays more at DH that # drops.

    At this point you are talking an extra 0.2-0.4 WWAR which is noise in an analysis this high level. Given the uncertainty and the author pretty clearly stated he said he was ultra-conservative, I don’t see the big deal. At this point I think ~100 PA’s at 3rd base this year would be pretty optimistic.

    Comment by Hank — March 16, 2013 @ 2:39 am

  60. If all their talent on their roster could get on the field I would agree with you, at least in terms of being in contention. But starting the season with Texiera, Granderson and Rodriguez all on the DL, and then losing and not replacing Swisher and Martin is going to put a hurt on their chances. Add to that Ichiro and Jeter are both 38 and their best days are behind them, including Jeter coming off a major injury, their one big addition, Youklis, is also well off his prime. And the pitching has as many questions as the offense. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rivera stuggles coming back from his ACL, and Soriano is long gone too.

    The Yankees are basically down to one healthy allstar caliber position player, and one allstar caliber starting pitcher, and that is probably not enough to get it done.

    Comment by Kazinski — March 16, 2013 @ 3:30 am

  61. Is that how that works?

    Comment by majnun — March 16, 2013 @ 8:55 am

  62. * To paraphrase loosely Rickey Henderson: “I cheer for the Diamondbacks, so that’s 38 right there!”

    * Diamondbacks Nation already hates the Justin Upton trade.

    Comment by Diamondbacks Nation — March 16, 2013 @ 10:14 am

  63. Spoiler alert: the Tigers do not have the #1 rotation.

    Comment by will — March 16, 2013 @ 11:29 am

  64. Not aware what the Cubs’ plan was at third, I take it?

    Comment by Jack Weiland — March 16, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  65. I’m not a Tigers fan and I disagree with you.

    Comment by the tourist — March 16, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

  66. Good graph. I figured the Cubs would be a the bottom. However, Junior Lake and Javier Baez are potential future options at 3rd. And, Vitters is far from done.

    Comment by Givejonadollar — March 16, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

  67. League average WAR for starters is much higher than 2. It is closer to 3.

    Comment by Baltar — March 16, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

  68. Why should they be close to equal?

    Comment by Baltar — March 16, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

  69. And Trevor “Effing” Plouffe!

    Comment by Babe Plouffe — March 16, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

  70. Make that 39

    Comment by bgburek — March 16, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

  71. uh oh, you talked bad about arenado, i’m shocked angry rockies fans haven’t stormed the comments section

    Comment by jim — March 16, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

  72. Who would you rank above the Tigers for rotation? I cant think of anyone as good 1-5, the only issue is depth.

    Comment by tommy — March 16, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

  73. Who would you rank above the Tigers for rotation? I cant think of anyone as good 1-5 the only issue is depth.

    Comment by casey — March 16, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

  74. What’s with the 20/36 point loss from Chris Johnson’s ’12 numbers?? That type of regression doesn’t typically strike in a player’s prime when they’re platooning.

    Comment by Nathan P. — March 17, 2013 @ 12:33 am

  75. I certainly have been on the “Fire Dusty Baker” bandwagon since the day he was hired. But years of familiarity have rubbed the sharp edges off of my once crystal clear loathing.
    What I mean to say is I don’t think Dusty is gonna job out Frazier for Hanahan. He gave Cozart, Frazier and Stubbs tons of chances last year. I think he likes his bench crusty and veterany, but he seems to have been won over by the young guys who can actually play.

    Comment by Lou Doench — March 17, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  76. Because the doctor would say the opposite if it were true, right?

    Comment by Jason B — March 17, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

  77. Who would you rank above the Tigers for rotation? I cant think of anyone as good 1-5, the only issue is depth.

    Comment by timmy — March 17, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

  78. Yeah, he doesn’t have any more hamates left. They were both freak injuries.

    Comment by Naveed — March 17, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

  79. Also, Lowrie is going to be too busy playing SS to play 3b. Sizemore or one of the utility guys would slide over to third if Donaldson busts.

    But he really looked like he had figured it out last Aug-Sept. And while his ST numbers look bad, reports from people actually watching the games indicate he’s lined out to a lot of people. (And lost 2 HRs to a rainout.)

    I think he’s a really good breakout candidate. Plus defense with an above average bat (mostly from his power).

    Comment by Hecubot — March 17, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

  80. I disagree with the ranking of Longoria over wright (and the associated projections). The systems are basically expecting the rebound from non permanent injuries that wright finally experienced last year.

    Also, if you look at their WAR graphs the year by year similarity is quite eerie, but most people at this point would not guess that wright is and has been having the better career.

    Comment by Jesse — March 17, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

  81. If Middlebrooks goes down later in the year and the Sox are in contention I think we’re far more likely to see them give Bogaerts a shot.

    Comment by Nick — March 17, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

  82. you could argue the blue jays (dickey, morrow, buehrle, johnson, romero/happ) tampa (price, moore, hellickson, niemann, archer/cobb) washington (strasburg, gonzalez, zimmerman, haren, detwiler). those teams might have a bit more depth, but yes the tigers are one of the best 1-5.

    Comment by Kevin — March 17, 2013 @ 11:54 pm

  83. i’m wouldnt predict total collapse cause their rotation is still quite strong, but i think jays and rays finish 1-2 in the AL East, and the yankees take 3rd. their infield defense is awful and their offensive production seems to be on the decline from texeira, arod, granderson, and maybe jeter too after such a devastating injury. losing swisher probably is offset by getting gardner back, but the catching situation was not remedied and is close to league worst. with baltimore relying on pixie dust 2.0 and boston relying on middling free agents and bounce back hopefuls i think the yankees will be ok, but not great.

    Comment by Kevin — March 18, 2013 @ 12:10 am

  84. Not sure it makes a difference but you have the wrong Carlos Sanchez projected for the white sox.

    Comment by Tomas — March 19, 2013 @ 2:46 am

  85. I realize it’s easy to look in hindsight and judge, but oh my gosh does your analysis of Manny Machado look ridiculous now!!!! Wouldn’t surprise me if he gets 10 gold gloves or more in his career.

    Comment by BatGirl — September 1, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

  86. Yup, the projections on him ended up being really light. Even the FANS weren’t as optimistic as reality turned out to be.

    Comment by Paul Swydan — September 1, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

  87. Yeah, it’s been a heck of a season for him defensively. I certainly wouldn’t have called it either, but it’s sure a joy to watch.

    Comment by BatGirl — September 1, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

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