SOSA Projections: Byron Buxton and Francisco Lindor

Byron Buxton and Francisco Lindor were called up for the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians respectively. Both players are 21 years old, Buxton in the outfield and Lindor at shortstop. SOSA doesn’t officially project players that didn’t play last season in the MLB — I have to manually input data for projections.

One major difference between Buxton and Lindor is that Buxton was called up straight from AA. SOSA calculates its MLE’s (Minor League Equivalencies) by comparing the minor-league level the player is coming from to the MLB. Systems like Oliver directly link them, other systems chain their projections.

Despite both hitting around .280 in the minors, Buxton takes the bigger hit. Because he’s coming from AA his numbers are brought down further. SOSA has Buxton slashing .204/.283/.372 at the Majors, with Lindor slashing .217/.295/.306 with Cleveland. The discrepancy? While Buxton has a worse batting average and on-base percentage, he’s projected for a better slugging percentage than Lindor.

While Lindor is projected for eight more doubles and four more home runs than Buxton, Lindor is projected for 280 more at-bats. With the young outfielder coming up earlier than expected, he can likely outperform his projected four doubles, seven triples, and four home runs. Buxton already had twelve triples and twenty stolen bases; with speed transferring well to the majors, Buxton could find a solid role with the team that his batting average doesn’t accurately represent.

The talented Cleveland shortstop’s projection is considered more accurate. He’s projected for a solid 469 at bats, producing a wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average) of .266, near the bottom of the pack in what I called top-tier prospects this off-season. With projections for twelve doubles, three triples, and eight home runs, Lindor’s offensive value does exist, but he has much to prove at the big-league level

So while Buxton and Lindor’s offensive value doesn’t match that of some prospects called up earlier, they’re both above-average defenders, and they will find ways to contribute to their teams. If you have questions about Minor League Equivalencies, SOSA, or stats feel free to hit me up on twitter @AthleteInvictus.

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Cubs fan, statistician, creator of the SOSA projections system. Twitter: @AthleteInvictus

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