Daily Notes: Best Players per Steamer Without Starting Roles

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. The Best Players per Steamer Without Starting Roles
2. Mostly Unhelpful Video: Bobby Scales, Defensing

The Best Players per Steamer Without Starting Roles
Last week, the author used his unparalleled capacity for “sorting through leaderboards” to identify the top forecasts for rookie-eligible players, according to the ZiPS and Steamer and FAN projection systems — where “top” was equivalent to “highest projected WAR” and nothing else.

What follows is the product of a very similar exercise — except for, instead of identifying the top rookie-eligible players, the author has identified the best field players per Steamer who are currently without a starting role.

Below are the 14 players (because there was a considerable tie for seventh place) who most aptly fit that description. Below that are some brief comments by the author to give the impression that he has not merely assembled a Table of Numbers.

First, though, five notes:

1. “Best” in the context of this exercise is equivalent to “projected WAR per every 650 plate appearances.”

2. It’s possible (although, considering the list, it doesn’t seem to be entirely problematic) that players with pronounced platoon splits might benefit from the definition of “best” being used here — which is to say, they would be unlikely to produce over 650 plate appearances what they would over a fewer, more carefully selected number of plate appearances.

3. Players eligible for this exercise are those who are projected to have no kind of starting role with their team, according to MLB Depth Charts. Both everyday starters and those who are likely to be deployed in a platoon have been excluded.

4. Because (a) their WAR projections per plate appearance are naturally higher and (b) the author didn’t care to prorate those WAR projections to, say, 500 plate appearances or whatever on his sexy spreadsheet, catchers have been excluded from consideration for this exercise.

5. Steamer playing-time projections are based on crowdsourced figures from the FAN projections. For players not covered by the FAN projections, Steamer has assigned a default playing time of 100 plate appearances (minimum) for hitters. There are now 5,379 pitcher and 4,136 hitter projections for Steamer at the site.

# Name Team PA AVG OBP SLG BsR Fld WAR WAR/650
1 Eric Chavez D’backs 205 .266 .335 .440 -0.6 -0.1 1.1 3.5
2 Matt Carpenter Cardinals 317 .259 .345 .396 -0.2 -0.2 1.6 3.3
Russell Branyan FA 100 .234 .322 .439 -0.4 0.0 0.5 3.3
Mauro Gomez Red Sox 100 .257 .309 .442 0.0 -0.1 0.5 3.3
5 Travis D’Arnaud* Mets 242 .241 .290 .415 0.0 0.0 1.1 3.0
6 Mike Olt Rangers 170 .231 .313 .413 0.0 0.0 0.7 2.7
7 Jackie Bradley Red Sox 173 .255 .334 .384 -0.1 0.0 0.7 2.6
Kevin Kouzmanoff Marlins 100 .267 .307 .438 -0.1 0.0 0.4 2.6
Brock Bond Giants 100 .275 .349 .358 -0.1 0.0 0.4 2.6
Bobby Scales Retired 100 .241 .332 .377 -0.2 0.0 0.4 2.6
James Darnell Padres 100 .235 .315 .402 0.0 -0.2 0.4 2.6
Chad Tracy Nationals 100 .256 .319 .408 -0.3 0.1 0.4 2.6
Jeff Baker Rangers 100 .258 .310 .407 -0.1 -0.1 0.4 2.6
Donnie Murphy Brewers 100 .232 .293 .410 -0.1 0.0 0.4 2.6

*Travis D’Arnaud is obviously a catcher, which sort of player the author expressly noted he would NOT include on this list.

• Here’s who Brock Bond is: a 24th-round pick in 2007 by the Giants out of the University of Missouri who has now compiled over 2,000 minor-league plate appearances. He missed almost the entirety of the 2011 season with what appears to be concussion-related difficulties. He played second and third base almost exclusively at Triple-A Fresno last season.

• Here’s where infielder Bobby Scales played following his last major-league appearance, in 2010, with the Cubs: for the Iowa Cubs and Nippon Ham Fighters in 2011, and then the (Triple-A Mets affiliate) Buffalo Bisons and Orix Buffaloes in 2012. He was hired as director of player development for the Angels this offseason.

• Six players here — Mauro Gomez, Travis D’Arnaud, Mike Olt, Jackie Bradley, Brock Bond, and James Darnell — retain rookie eligibility to begin the season.

Mostly Unhelpful Video: Bobby Scales, Defensing
Here’s mostly unhelpful footage of Bobby Scales making a nice defensive play in 2009:

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Keep an eye on the Matt Carpenter 2nd base experiment. It is very possible he starts there for the Cardinals.