Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.
Projecting: Some Notable Bill James Projections for 2012
As noted by Dark Overlord David Appelman on Monday, we’ve posted the 2012 Bill James Handbook Projections on the player pages. As noted later by that same Dark Overlord, James projects an average wOBA of .334 for a player set that averaged a .325 wOBA as a group in 2011 — and so, on average, these projections are likely about .009 points higher than one might expect from 2011’s run environment.
Below are some of what I’ll call “need-to-know” projections, presented in the order I looked them up. (Note: there are no park or league adjustments in these projections. Proceed with due caution.)
Player: Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL
Projection: 125 PA, .277/.312/.429 (.294 BABIP), .319 wOBA
Notes: This would mark a 60-point improvement over Blackmon’s 2011 wOBA (in limited PAs).
Player: Tom Milone, LHP, WAS
Projection: 10 G, 10 GS, 52.0 IP, 8.31 K/9, 1.21 BB/9, 0.69 HR/9, 2.70 FIP
Notes: Whatever methodology James’s projections use, it appears convinced that Milone is more than a soft-tossing left-hander.
Player: Mike Trout, OF, LAA
Projection: 301 PA, .290/.363/.478 (.343 BABIP), .374 wOBA, 23/29 SB
Notes: Please permit me, in concert with this projection, to sound my barbaric yawp.
Player: Yuniesky Betancourt, SS, FA
Projection: 546 PA, .259/.285/.388 (.274 BABIP), .290 wOBA
Notes: By way of comparison, here’s the projection for Ramon Santiago: 380 PA, .249/.310/.351 (.286 BABIP), .291 wOBA. And Luis Rodriguez: 221 PA, .241/.320/.352 (.256 BABIP), .299 wOBA.
Player: Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARI
Projection: 632 PA, .266/.367/.516 (.322 BABIP), .382 wOBA
Notes: By way of comparison, here’s Brandon Belt: 602 PA, .266/.358/.482 (.319 BABIP), .363 wOBA. And Freddie Freeman: 592 PA, .286/.350/.459 (.332 BABIP), .350 wOBA. And Eric Hosmer: 653 PA, .311/.362/.494 (.333 BABIP), .369 wOBA.
SCOUT Leaderboards: Venezuelan Winter League
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter League (VWL). SCOUT represents an attempt to derive something meaningful from small samples and is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the VWL mean in three important (and regressed) stats: walk rate, strikeout rate, and home-run rate. (Click here for more on SCOUT. SCOUT leaderboards for the Arizona Fall League appear here on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Leaderboards for the Venezuelan and Dominican Winter Leagues appear on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.)
• After making his debut on the SCOUT leaderboard last week, Caleb Gindl climbs up to the second-overall spot this week. Since we last looked at the VWL, Gindl has a 6:2 BB:K and two home runs in 21 plate appearances. Gindl hasn’t posted a walk rate below 10% since rookie-level ball in 2007; however, that skill doesn’t always translate to the major leagues particularly well.
• The board has seen considerable turnover in the past week, even as plate-appearance totals surpass the 100 mark. Bryan LaHair (second last week), Gregor Blanco (third), Seth Bynum (fifth), Josh Satin (eighth), and Alberto Gonzalez (ninth) all depart from the top 10; meanwhile, Luis Maza, Vinny Rottino, Mike Wilson, Luis Nunez, and Alexi Amarista enter it — although, only Wilson for the first time.
For pitchers, SCOUT is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the VWL mean in (regressed) strikeout and walk rate.
Mets minor-leaguer Dylan Owen, 25, retains his spot atop the SCOUT pitching leaderboard. Since last Tuesday, Owen has pitched 11.0 innings, posting an 11:3 K:BB over that span. Notably, Owen has posted a 1.91 GO/AO in the VWL — which suggests something in the vicinity of a 50% ground-ball rate over an estimated 143 batters faced (where ground-ball rate typically becomes reliable at 150 batters faced). Per StatCorner, his minor-league ground-ball rates have generally rested in the high-30s. Clearly, this isn’t enough information on which to make any conclusions about Owen; nevertheless, it gives us a reason to follow his 2012 with some interest.
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