Projecting The Two Retirees

Recently, the game lost two prominent outfielders to retirement: Gary Sheffield and Jim Edmonds. Although these two players will certainly invoke some heated Hall of Fame debates – Dave already covered Sheffield’s Hall angle last week – I am personally more interested in how the two players would have performed in 2011.

Naturally, a question of future player performances brings us to projections. Gary Sheffield did not play at all in 2010, which effectively limits our available resources to Marcel. The Marcel system is also limited by the lack of recent information from Sheffield, as without a 2010 season the Marcels will only be using Sheffield’s 2008 (.225/.326/.400 in 482 PAs with Detroit) and 2009 (.276/.372/.451 with the Mets) seasons as its inputs. With that information as well as Sheffield’s advanced age of 42, Marcel spits out a .315 wOBA and a .235/.320/.392 triple slash line. With Sheffield’s defensive liabilities, that probably wouldn’t make him worth a roster spot and almost certainly not worth more than a minor-league deal.

With Edmonds, on the other hand, we have a bit more information. Edmonds did sit one of the last three seasons out, but unlike Sheffield, that was the 2009 season, not the 2010 season. As a result, Edmonds is projected in the latest version of ZiPS. Dan Szymborski’s projection system is actually quite enamored with Edmonds, projecting a .251/.329/.479 triple slash line. Marcel doesn’t expect quite as much on the power side for Edmonds, projecting a .333 wOBA on a .245/.322/.436 triple slash. As Edmonds showed he could still play the field last season – at least when he was able to play – it appears that Edmonds would have been worth a roster spot. St. Louis was willing to give him that shot, but Edmonds was happy with his career and didn’t want to risk permanent damage to his ailing Achilles’ tendon.

I’ve left out one projection system that I would be interested in seeing, and that’s the Fan Projections that we have here on this site. Neither player has enough projections to show up on the player pages yet, and that’s where I would like your help. Disagree with ZiPS and/or Marcel? Think Sheffield still has some life? Think Edmonds would’ve flamed out? Tell us.

Click here to project Jim Edmonds and Gary Sheffield.




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10 Responses to “Projecting The Two Retirees”

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  1. Al Swedgin says:

    Hi Jack,

    It’d be cool if you would also make a short Projection Target post linking readers to the projection ballots for the following closer candidates who do not yet have 15 ballots submitted yet (there may be others I am neglecting). If I remember correctly, closers lagged behind other players last year as well.

    Joe Nathan
    Francisco Cordero
    Chris Perez
    Kevin Gregg
    Octavio Dotel
    Leo Nunez and Clay Hensley
    Jake McGee and Kyle Farnsworth

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  2. Telo says:

    Wow. I guess I never realized how good of a hitter Edmonds was. At CF that’s a hell of a bat. He peaked strangely late too. Crazy…

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  3. Patrick says:

    Jack,

    Just an FYI, Marcel does NOT take age in to account, at all. Marcel is just a weighting of the last three years of play. No aging curves. Marcel doesn’t know Sheffield is 42. Oliver over at THT is an adjusted version of Marcel… And it DOES use aging curves.

    Otherwise, I like the article!

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    • KJOK says:

      Marcel does take age into account, not for rates, but for playing time. Players over 29 get a slight deduction in playing time, and players under 29 get a slight boost in playing time projection.

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  4. gnomez says:

    I have a feeling Jim Edmonds may yet be back.

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  5. B N says:

    Having seen Sheff play in 2009, he was actually quite good at the plate- good eye, quick bat, still had power. I’m somewhat surprised to see his hitting projection ring in SO much worse than Edmonds. I’d expect maybe a slight slip in K rate and BB rate, but even an 11% walk rate would make a productive bat at the plate. With that said, Sheffield’s defense and knees are SO bad, he’d have to do it as a DH and I would have had trouble thinking of anybody wanting to sign him to probably play half a season as DH while putting up slightly above replacement level stats.

    Also, does anybody else find it weird that the WAR calculator for estimates still takes defense into account if you list someone as a DH? Just for reference, I listed my assessment of Sheffield’s defense into his estimate and was surprised to see it actually alter the result. Apparently, being a -20 defender is so bad it even hurts the team from the DH spot. Somebody should have warned the White Sox, Dunn will be giving them a serious surprise if this holds true. ;)

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  6. Chad says:

    The White Sox are aware, why do you think they played Kotsay at DH? Defense wins games!

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