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.