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  1. What about the James projection? He has him down for raking the ball in his projection.

    Comment by Mike Ketchen — November 24, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  2. I’m fairly new to Bill James’ projections, but he seems to be awfully optimistic with some of his projections for youngsters. I understand that Matt Weiters is a stud prospect but his BJ projection is off the charts.

    Comment by Isaac — November 24, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

  3. For players with such limited major league samples such as Cruz, Marcel is mostly worthless. The guideline is to basically ignore Marcel for any player with a reliability score below 0.6 – Cruz is at 0.67, so he’s barely above that threshold.

    Comment by David Cameron — November 24, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

  4. I have to agree with David. I’m not a fan of Marcel in the case of young players. Marcel I have always looked at more as a baseline that players will be at their worst. They are low with PA/AB/R/RBI?etc.

    Comment by Troy Patterson — November 25, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  5. I wouldn’t go that far, Troy. In a comparison of projection systems, Marcel is pretty close in accuracy to all the other, more complicated systems. It doesn’t have a bias to understating player performance. However, because it doesn’t include minor league data, it doesn’t do well with inexperienced major leaguers.

    Comment by David Cameron — November 25, 2008 @ 10:05 pm

  6. It’s not like Cruz has ever had too much of a chance to prove himself at the majors. Sometimes players take even a full season (all at the same time) to adjust and start hitting well at the majors. If you want to talk about his 2006 campaign as something profoundly meaningful then you’ll have to talk about 2008 the same way, because he only got 130 at bats in 06. His walk rate nearly doubled in 08. Maybe it’s a fluke, but maybe it is a sign of an improved batting eye. The rate remained relatively constant between 06 and 07. One more thing: It is a small sample size, but his LD% was way up over both his previous seasons, another good sign.

    Comment by Jim — November 26, 2008 @ 9:07 am

  7. I certainly don’t think it’s impossible that Cruz proves me wrong here, but I just don’t see much of a reason to expect more than a .250-.260ish hitter with just mild control of the strike zone. That’s somewhat useful, but my main point was just to not expect TOO much based on a little more than 100 at-bats.

    Stranger things have happened, though.

    Thanks for reading, guys.

    Comment by David Golebiewski — November 26, 2008 @ 9:43 am

  8. I wrote a piece on Cruz last season when he was just given a chance again by the Rangers and I asked some of the same questions.

    http://www.baseballguys.com/index.php/rookie-report/what-does-the-future-hold-nelson-cruz.html

    I don’t think it was just a 100 AB stint as you mention in your article. There are some things distinctly different about Cruz’s discipline at the plate. He doubles his BB/K ratio last season from previous years and he drew more walks to go along with his increasing power. His career 72% contact rate jumped up to 78% as well. Something was different about his approach to the plate and he brought it with him to the major leagues. He continued to make decent contact.

    I don’t expect him to maintain a .388 BABIP, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t hit above .280 with 30+ HR power if he is striking out 23% of the time like say a Jason Bay.

    He has continued to rake in Winterball as well with a .362-8-30-19-5 line in 105 AB’s. I think he is moving past the AAAA level. If he bats 4th next year as the Rangers have given early indications that he will, then he could be next year’s biggest surprise.

    P.S.- Why does James only forcast a limited number of games? Seems like he should be able to play a decent amount if Bradley is walking and Cruz has a full-time gig. 28 HR’s becomes 33 if he plays in 150 games.

    Comment by Larry Yocum — December 24, 2008 @ 12:34 am

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