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The 2009 Replacement Level Position Players

Okay, so, now that we’ve gone through all eight positions and looked at what the CHONE projections expect from the guys who are signing minor league contracts this winter, let’s put together a roster and see what it would look like. We’ll fill out 13 spots with position players, allocate playing time, and come up with a projected offensive and defensive level for these freely available talents.

Starting Catcher: Toby Hall – 375 PA, .292 wOBA, -5 defense
Starting 1B: Josh Phelps – 600 PA, .355 wOBA, -15 defense
Starting 2B: Chris Burke – 600 PA, .318 wOBA, +10 defense
Starting SS: Ivan Ochoa – 600 PA, .300 wOBA, +5 defense
Starting 3B: Jose Castillo – 600 PA, .299 wOBA, +0 defense
Starting LF: Corey Patterson – 600 PA, .304 wOBA, +10 defense
Starting CF: Chris Duffy – 600 PA, .313 wOBA, +0 defense
Starting RF: Laynce Nix – 600 PA, .338 wOBA, +0 defense

Backup Catcher: Jamie Burke – 275 PA, .282 wOBA, +0 defense
Backup IF: Brad Eldred – 350 PA, .321 wOBA, -5 defense
Backup IF: Omar Vizquel – 350 PA, .278 wOBA, +5 defense
Backup OF: Trot Nixon – 250 PA, .337 wOBA, -5 defense
Backup OF: Ryan Langerhans – 300 PA, .330 wOBA, +0 defense

Totals: 6,100 PA, .314 wOBA, +0 defense

A .314 wOBA would translate to about 81 runs below average, or ~650 runs scored over the course of a full season. Now, there’s a pretty good case to be made that these guys wouldn’t perform as well in full-time play as they do as part-timers (especially guys like Phelps, who would then be subject to facing a lot of RHPs), so a .314 wOBA is probably too optimistic. If we knock 10 points of wOBA off for all the guys we’re projecting as starters, that brings us down to a .307 wOBA, or 117 runs below average.

So, replacement level position players, we’d be looking at something like 620 to 650 runs scored with league average defense. You could adjust this roster a bit to go more offense/less defense (stick Jonny Gomes in LF, for instance) if you’d like, but this gives you a pretty good picture of what a league minimum, freely available talent roster for 2009 would look like.