Last week, FanGraphs CEO and founder David Appelman announced that the ballots for the 2014 FAN Projections are now available for the tender ministrations of this site’s readership. With a view to ensuring that all notable players are addressed sufficiently — and also to producing content while managing editor Dave Cameron is away this week on a pleasure vacation — the present author is highlighting certain players who are lacking in ballots.
Before casting a ballot, don’t forget this note from Appelman’s announcement post:
Please note that everything this year is a rate stat. You’re projecting 2B+3B, HR, SB, and Fielding as a measure of 150 games (basically a full season). The player’s previous stats are shown per 150 games in the projection ballot too. This will make changing playing time projections much easier as you’ll only have to change the games played portion.
Now, here are five players for the reader’s consideration — all of whom are both rookie-eligible and also candidates to make some manner of contribution in the majors leagues this year:
Player: Japhet Amador, 27, 1B/DH
2013 Line: 449 PA, .368/.419/.693, 8.5% BB, 13.1% K, 168 wRC in Mexican League
Notes: Signed by Houston after seven seasons in Mexican League. Also recorded (limited) plate appearances at Triple-A and in Arizona Fall League. Likely to begin season at Triple-A.
Player: Matt Davidson, 23, 3B
2013 Line: 500 PA, .280/.350/.481, 9.2% BB, 26.8% K, 117 wRC+ at Triple-A
Notes: In addition to line above, recorded 87 plate appearances with Arizona last year, posting a 108 wRC+ (.306 BABIP). Traded to White Sox this winter in deal that sent Addison Reed to D-backs. Early favorite to start at third base for Chicago this year.
Player: Thomas La Stella, 25, 2B
2013 Line: 323 PA, .343/.422/.473, 11.5% BB, 10.5% K, 163 wRC+ at Double-A
Notes: Eighth-round pick out of Coastal Carolina in 2011. Lacks notable tools but possesses excellent control of strike zone. Candidate to challenge Dan Uggla for starting second-base job in Atlanta.
Player: Josmil Pinto, 25, C
2013 Line: 453 PA, .308/.411/.482, 14.1% BB, 15.7% K, 152 wRC+ at Double-A
Notes: Also played at Triple-A and in majors last season. Posted 169 wRC+ (.440 BABIP) over 83 plate appearances in latter. Following Joe Mauer‘s move to first base, is likely (at this point) to begin 2014 as Minnesota’s starting catcher.
Player: George Springer, 24, CF
2013 Line: 323 PA, .297/.399/.579, 13.0% BB, 29.7% K, 174 wRC+ at Double-A
Notes: Also recorded 266 plate appearances at Triple-A Oklahoma City, producing 175 wRC+ there. Overall, hit 37 home runs and stole 45 bases (in 53 attempts) between Double- and Triple-A. Definite candidate to start in Houston outfield this year, although acquisition of Dexter Fowler adds some uncertainty to short-term future.