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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15 Responses to “Daily Notes: Best Players per Steamer Without Starting Roles”

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  1. Anon says:

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

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  2. Caveman Jones says:

    Watch for Mauro Gomez to see a lot of time at 1B for the BoSox as Napoli wastes away on the DL. And watch for him to hit some bombs too.

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  3. Drakos says:

    It’s interesting that steamer is high on Darnell but low on Venable and Denorfia considering that both of them have averaged over 3 WAR/600 plate appearances for their careers as Padres.

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  4. kujoep says:

    Speaking of Carpenter, I am considering selecting him with my first round FA pick in a 3-round draft. I am needing an infield UTIL guys (think backup 1b/2b/3b) type for my team. Available guys are Keppinger, Kelly Johnson (assuming he gets enough starts at 1b/of), and Carpenter. Also, assuming Carp gets 2b elig, is he worth taking? So far the experts have said, “not over Keppinger” due to questions about PT. What say you FG nation?

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    • Cards2WS says:

      For sure I’d say take Carp. There is a good chance Freese, Craig, Holiday, or Beltran get hurt for an extended period at some point, and Matt Carpenter is a strong candidate to step in and get a lot of at bats. Beltran is also going to be rested more frequently with Carpenter getting most of the fill in starts. I can easily see a scenario where he gets 400 at bats or more.

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    • SKob says:

      If Keppinger looks healthy, I might take his .300 average and guaranteed starting gig.

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  5. Baltar says:

    I seriously doubt that anyone at “FG nation” cares whom you pick.

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  6. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Anybody else listening to Dirk Hayhurst do commentary on Red Sox v. Blue Jays? Knuckleballer and famed author R.A. Dickey faces off against knuckleballer and famed comic Steven Wright.

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    • jwise224 says:

      Thanks for the heads up, Well-Beered. I just finished The Bullpen Gospels on Saturday, so this seems like apt timing to hear him in action for the first time.

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      • Well-Beered Englishman says:

        Dirk Hayhurst just used “stat modifier” and “synergistic” in the same sentence!

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  7. Marcus Andrews says:

    Maybe I’m just missing something that’s obvious, but isn’t Travis D’Arnaud a catcher and didn’t you say catchers were excluded?

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  8. jfree says:

    Yes but D’Arnaud is also one of the Three Musketeers and French – so he’s really more of a catcheur.

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  9. matt w says:

    “Here’s who Brock Bond is:”

    The villain of Vineland. FTFY.

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