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  1. Minor nitpick: Heisey should probably be on the depth chart for the Reds. Teh reality is that, barring injury, Bruce will get pretty much all of the at bats, but Heisey is regarded as a strong defender and has floated around to the different OF positions a fair bit in the last few years.

    Comment by Jason461 — March 8, 2012 @ 8:38 am

  2. I thought Francisco was a RH hitter?
    Maybe previous drafts had Snider or Thames as the backup and that wasn’t switched?

    Comment by lexomatic — March 8, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  3. Thames played a bit there last year when they tried Jose at 3B. But Jose’s pretty much every day now and Snider / Thames are both challenging for the LF spot. Will probably be a bottom 5-10 rank in LF (the Jays that is).

    Comment by Geoff — March 8, 2012 @ 8:55 am

  4. The Giants ranking is a little surprising. I do think Belt will eventually force his way onto the major league team, but I’d be surprised if he ended up in RF. The Giants have made a lot of noise about how first base is “his position”. I can see them benching Schierholtz, moving Melky to RF and playing Huff in LF before they install Belt in right.

    Comment by jp_on_rye — March 8, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  5. Pence can’t realistically repeat? Kind of like in 2007 when he was even better? I think the ZiPS projection is too low for a guy entering his prime.

    Comment by some guy — March 8, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  6. Zobrist should be on the list for RF for the Rays.

    Comment by deadeyerr — March 8, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  7. Seeing Denorfia listed as a better fielder than Venable is a bit surprising. It’s not much of a difference, but I still wouldn’t have expected it.

    Comment by Drakos — March 8, 2012 @ 9:33 am

  8. “…it seems doubtful Harper or Werth will be good enough this year to warrant placing them in front of teams with a more concrete situation at the position.”

    Immediately followed by Nate Effin SchierWHO?

    Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — March 8, 2012 @ 9:42 am

  9. To be fair, his wRC+ in 2007 was 131 compared to 141 in 2011, so after adjusting for ballpark and league he probably wasn’t better, and he only played in 108 games in 2007. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think he won’t repeat his 2011 numbers since there are 3 full seasons of previous play preceding 2011 where he was worse in all categories.

    Comment by Santos — March 8, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  10. Nick Swisher is going to be just as valuable (if not more so) than Hunter Pence?

    … *challenge flag*…

    Comment by novaether — March 8, 2012 @ 10:07 am

  11. I think it’s more accurate to say that they’re immediately followed by Brandon Belt. Unless the Giants bury him again.

    Comment by Drakos — March 8, 2012 @ 10:14 am

  12. He was much better in fielding those 3 years, or are we only considering hitting all of a sudden?

    Comment by some guy — March 8, 2012 @ 10:22 am

  13. And Heyward at the #6 spot after his disaster of a season?

    Comment by some guy — March 8, 2012 @ 10:23 am

  14. Jose, Jose, Jose!

    Comment by AL Eastbound — March 8, 2012 @ 10:24 am

  15. “Minor nitpick” – Every Fangraphs commenter should get a keychain or bumper sticker with that text.

    Comment by kid — March 8, 2012 @ 10:50 am

  16. I think Ichiro rebounds and has one last great season

    Comment by Kevin — March 8, 2012 @ 10:54 am

  17. I don’t think it’s a sure thing that Allen Craig is going to miss at least a month. He’s personally said many times that he’ll be ready for opening day, though the team has said they’ll take it slow. We’ll see about that I guess.

    I’m really surprised to see Cruz ranked above guys like Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and Corey Hart. I can at least somewhat understand placing him above Beltran if you think Carlos will miss significant time due to injury (though he topped Cruz by over 3 WAR last year) but Hart and Pence are still young and have had much better, more consistent careers than Cruz.

    I feel like people tend to overrate Cruz due to his raw power. I the playoffs people were saying he was “the greatest #7 hitter of all time” despite his posting a lower regular season wRC+ than his World Series’ opponent’s #7 hitter, Yadier freaking Molina.

    Comment by Jibb — March 8, 2012 @ 11:02 am

  18. Your comment is correct, as far as it goes. Moore seems to have joined the fraternity of national writers who confuse what the Giants should do with Belt with what they actually will do.
    The Giants comments and hints on Belt so far indicate that, to the extent that he plays at all, he will place 1B. If he does play in the outfield, it will be in LF, not RF. However, the Giants see Huff, not Belt, as their 4th OF.
    I know it makes no sense at all, but don’t blame me. When the Giants decide to play Belt, he will be at 1B, Huff will play LF, and Cabrera will play RF.
    Thus, this high rating for the Giants in RF is totally unjustified.

    Comment by Baltar — March 8, 2012 @ 11:25 am

  19. Not sure how the Braves are ahead of the Cards here when they’re only projected for 4 WAR and the Cards are projected for 4.5, the same as the Reds and Rangers, who are #4 and #5?

    Comment by johnorpheus — March 8, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  20. I stopped reading after the part where you projected Ichiro for 1.5 WAR.

    One bad season out of 11 and you’re ready to expect barely average ML production? From someone who’s only had two sub-4.5 WAR seasons in the majors (2005 and 2011, and 2005 was 3.4)?

    38 or no, I’m not going to believe he’s suddenly going to take terrible routes, slow down on the basepaths and field, or not make his switch to line-drive hitting work, until I see it myself this season.

    Projection systems always hate Ichiro. Analysts typically underestimate him. He still produces. I think he’s capable of one more solid season.

    Whether the M’s should risk seeing a true decline with another 3 – 5 year contract, now that’s debatable…

    Comment by Snowblind — March 8, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  21. Zobrist should be on every list for the Rays.

    Comment by TFINY — March 8, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  22. If Belt plays over Schierholtz then Melky will slide over to right field and Belt would play left. Belt is not gonna play right field.

    Comment by Mike — March 8, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  23. Duda has some impressive power if you watch him play and with the walls moving in at Citi he could have a pretty good year and maybe, and that’s a big maybe, be a top 15 RF

    Comment by ror0071619 — March 8, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  24. I’m not really sure which fielding metrics you’re pointing towards. FG has him FLD ~12 for 08 and 09, but way down to 1.4 and -4.8 the last two years. I don’t think that those numbers are definitive on his value as a defender, but it definitely doesn’t point towards excellence

    Comment by Kellin — March 8, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

  25. Read the first sentence of this article, then do it before you comment. Moore is required to use the ZiPS and Fans projections.

    Comment by Baltar — March 8, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

  26. This is because the projections are based on ZIPS and fan scouting on defense, while the rankings are the authors’ personal opinions.

    Also, I’m wondering if the opinion that J-Hey will get only 550 at-bats is injury related or Fredi related?

    Comment by TK — March 8, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

  27. Schierholtz + Belt is a more concrete RF than Werth + Harper???

    ZiPS is not going to be accurate here. It’s not gospel.

    Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — March 8, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

  28. Where did you produce a fielding of +2 runs for Harper? Just wondering since he has no fans projection. (which, by the way, I would love to get for the sake of crowd sourcing play time and seeing just how wildly optimistic fans are about him.)

    Comment by philosofool — March 8, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

  29. And ZIPS hates, and has always been wrong about, Ichiro.

    Comment by Snowblind — March 8, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

  30. Nick Swisher last 2 years 7,9WAR
    Hunter Pence last 2 years 7.9WAR

    Clearly it’s nuts to think the performances this year will have similar value; nevermind Pence’s .361 BABIP last year (>30points over his career average)

    Comment by Tom — March 8, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

  31. I know Boston’s offense is good…. but 800 PA’s from their RF’s, while everyone else is projected at 700?

    I assume their is a typo? (maybe Kalish getting 50 instead of 150?) Does that drop the projected WAR and their spot in the rankings?

    Comment by Tom — March 8, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

  32. I agree and think ZIPS underrates Duda, maybe because it didn’t take fence moving in into consideration, but also his minor league track record suggests his number last year weren’t all that flukey. Also, while he won’t be great in right, since he never played it in the miniors I think he can improve.

    Comment by wobatus — March 8, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  33. Why are the pirates not ahead of oakland and Detroit . You have the pirates at 2.5 war and oak and det at 2 war. My pirates suck enough no need to cheat us

    Comment by Matt — March 8, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  34. Only way to move the Red Sox up in the rankings is to give them 15% more PA and WAR.

    Comment by pft — March 8, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

  35. As others said, I think Zobrist goes on this list. The plan is supposed to be that he shifts to RF in a platoon with Joyce, with Keppinger playing 2B on those days.

    Comment by Randy — March 8, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

  36. Andruw Jones… 100 PA’s, .780 OPS, slightly above average fielding = 0.5 WAR
    Ben Francisco… 50 PA’s , .744 OPS, average fielding = 0.5 WAR
    Eric Hinske….. 50 PA’s, .720 OPS, below average fielding = 0.5 WAR

    What’s the point of looking at backups when almost everything spits out 0.5 WAR? One would think twice the PA’s with better offense and better defense would end up differently (and there are many inconsistencies like this not just in this article, but many of the position articles). Even accounting for some generous rounding the example above doesn’t make sense (especially when 0.25 is used with some players)

    Comment by Tom — March 9, 2012 @ 2:30 am

  37. I agree, and wonder if (and how much) it would change the Rays ranking if he were credited with a 150+ PAs there. And would it also affect the ranking of the Rays 2B?

    Comment by Bob R. — March 9, 2012 @ 9:46 am

  38. “Josh Hamiltion inexplicably gets placed in center field.”

    Uh, that’s the Rangers BEST line-up. You’ll see it again, come October.

    Comment by John — March 9, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  39. Why are the Pirates rated so poorly? Does Nate subtract from Tabata’s Value? I have a hard time agreeing that the Red Sox should have been ranked higher than the Bucs.

    Comment by JROSS — March 9, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  40. Pence ZiPS: .281/.334/.450
    Pence career: .292/.343/.485

    Should we still call someone’s career BABIP a fluke after 3,100 plate appearances?

    Pence has averaged 4 WAR per year 650 PA over his career. I think that’s where you should put him if your projection is based on regression to career norms.

    Comment by Phils_Goodman — March 10, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  41. I don’t think it’s fair to chalk up Pence’s BABIP to luck without looking at his batted ball profile. You’ll notice his LD% spiked in 2011. That in and of itself may have been luck, but I also think it’s just as likely that an increase in LD% for a player in his prime is not necessarily due to external factors. It may show real improvement.

    Comment by Harry — March 12, 2012 @ 8:10 am

  42. I was also surprised by the blurb about Duda. “he doesn’t have the power nor the on-base ability to hide it”. If you only followed his career through 2009, then that makes sense. If you paid attention over the last two years, it doesn’t make a lick of sense. He got off to a pathetic start at the MLB level (something like 1-33). Aside from that, he’s hit for power and displayed nice patience over the last two years. He’s basically been a 300/400/600 hitter at AAA the last two years, and he hit 292/370/482 in a bad hitter’s park last year. I’m not expecting greatness, but it’s not like he doesn’t have power or patience.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 12, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

  43. You’re assuming Bruce Bochy is sane.

    Comment by jerbear1985 — March 12, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

  44. He has a good defensive rep, that’s why. He’s possibly the best prospect in baseball, so it’s fair to say there’s plenty of info available for him.

    Comment by jerbear1985 — March 12, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

  45. Defense matters, too. He’s more suited for a corner outfield spot, and it’s the best bet for keeping him healthy.

    Comment by jerbear1985 — March 12, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

  46. I can’t just can’t believe that Swisher is a +2 fielder while Beltran is a -4 fielder.

    Comment by Why do you call me Phantom of the Opera? — March 16, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

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  48. I am trying to determine line drive % and batting average in play for Ichiro Suzuki both for the past two years and his career.

    Can you provide and help?



    Comment by tony attanasio — July 16, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

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