Well, well… it just so happens that today, as we’re all furiously rosterbating over the new pieces that the Jays have somewhat-miraculously added to the club, FanGraphs has added the brand new Bill James Handbook projections for 2013 to their player pages (courtesy Baseball Info Solutions).
So… uh… let’s have at it, shall we? And by “it” I, of course, mean, “a not-arbitrary but not wholly predictive look at what one might reasonably expect, production-wise, from a bunch of baseball players next season, being careful to remember that James’ numbers are usually a little bullish on hitters and that it’s ridiculous to put any stock in these numbers having anything resembling pinpoint accuracy.”
I also mean: not relievers, because why?
Obviously the first players we’re going to want to take a look at are the ones heading to Toronto in the massive deal that was consummated yesterday, and– as of the time of this writing– has still yet to be made official. Now, seeing as I don’t really give much of a shit about projection systems, except as a larf, I have no idea if these would need to be adjusted for a move to the American League or the Jays’ cookie-cutter stadium layout. They probably would, right? Whatever…
The Newly Acquired
Jose Reyes: 39 SB, .295/.352/.434 (.339 wOBA). An ever-so-sleight improvement on his 4.5 win “down year” in 2012, but not quite the guy he used to be. I still completely love this trade, though.
Emilio Bonifacio: 45 SB, .275/.336/.350. (.304 wOBA). Closer to his injury-riddled 2012 that his three win 2011, but splitting the difference nicely enough.
John Buck: .219/.298/.384 (.292 wOBA). This would be an improvement on last year. No, really. And James even has Buck hitting a pair of additional mistakes into the seats, bringing his HR total to 14… assuming he actually played a full year (which would be insane, at this point).
Josh Johnson: 3.21 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 196 IP. Not so much the absolutely dominant guy we saw in 2010 (and 2011 when healthy), but very close to his 5.6 win 2009, and I will take the living fuck out of that every day of the week.
Mark Buehrle: 3.78 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 205 IP. The “Mark” of consistency (see what I just did there?), those numbers look just about the same as last year, and entirely in line with his… everything. And why not?
Jose Bautista: 39 HR, .259/.377/.529 (.387 wOBA). An improvement on the line and weighted on-base from his injury-shortened 2012, which is somewhat tempered by the fact that last year’s numbers were skewed a bit by his awful start. Not 2010 or ’11, but it doesn’t have to be.
Edwin Encarnacion: 31 HR, .271/.359/.504 (.364 wOBA). Quite a step down from EE’s spectacular, breakout 2012, splitting the difference between that and his previous two years. Not exactly the kind of bullish forecast that we’ve been told to expect from James (eleven fewer homers?), but it wouldn’t be a disappointing season either.
Brett Lawrie: 18 HR, 21 SB, .289/.342/.465 (.348 wOBA). This Lawrie– the Lawrie the realists among us probably expected to see this season– would go a long way to helping off-set the projected slippage from Edwin, and combined with his defence at third would make for a pretty damn terrific age-23 season, even if it’s not quite the MVP-level stuff some were led to believe was coming.
Brandon Morrow: 3.47 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 187 IP. Not quite a return to Morrow’s FIP outperforming his ERA, but not the reverse we saw in 2012 either. A better FIP and similar HR/9 to each of the last two seasons, and if he hits it, with the innings, you’re probably looking at a guy pushing four wins. Sold.
Ricky Romero: 4.43 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 185 IP. Well, who knows, really? Hopefully the surgery helps, but even if it only helps as much as James projects, it’s still Romero’s second-worst season by ERA and FIP. Looks better pitching as the club’s four, and maybe he’ll remember it as quickly as he lost it, but still…
The Old(ish) Guard
Colby Rasmus: 23 HR, .237/.312/.427 (.317 wOBA). This, sadly, is that old Jamesian bullishness, as the projection has Rasmus topping his previous two seasons in average (by 12 and 14 points), on-base (by 14 and 23), and slugging (by 36 and 27). Ugh. Still hope!
Adam Lind: 22 HR, .272/.329/.460 (.340 wOBA). You want to talk bullish? The projection on Lind here is nuts. It would be the second best season of his career to date– after you-know-when– and easily better than his three previous. Not sure how the hell that’s supposed to happen if he’s facing lefties, but… sure, whatever.
JP Arencibia: 22 HR, .232/.278/.451 (.311 wOBA). Not a whole lot different than each of the last two years, and… yeah. He is what he is. Will run into enough mistakes to not be completely useless, but doesn’t offer a whole hell of a lot consistently, except a strikeout per game.
Rajai Davis: 25 SB, .259/.313/.360 (.290 wOBA). Here we see Davis’ OBP creep up towards his career norm, and yet he’s still… Rajai Davis. He’s so Rajai Davis, in fact, that the projection– as you can tell from the stolen base totals– has him as a part-time player. That sounds about right.
JA Happ: 4.30 ERA, 4.25 FIP, 161 IP. Pretty much exactly what you’d expect from Happ, and not a bad return for a fifth starter, or– fingers crossed– a sixth. Uh… you know what I mean.
Anthony Gose: 46 SB, .253/.324/.369 (.307 wOBA). A somewhat substantial bump from what we saw in his first taste of big league action, though the numbers are not quite as impressive as the on-base and SLG we saw when he returned in September. And… um… ten points of wOBA below Colby Rasmus? With a better average and OBP? Things might actually get interesting if Gose starts tearing it up in Buffalo– because the club sure as shit can’t carry both.
David Cooper: .278/.343/.437 (.339 wOBA). It’s only in a part time spot, but James has Cooper with a better on-base than Adam Lind, and virtually the same wOBA. For all the rope Lind has been given, Cooper has been given the… uh… whatever the opposite of rope is. And I know which of these two I’m more confident hits his projection this year– not that I think he can hit lefties either, but with Lind gone he might stop trying to win people over with his bat and take a damn walk at least.
Travis Snider: .278/.345/.468 (.352 wOBA). Because I had to, here’s what James sees in the cards for Not Brad Lincoln, in a part time assignment in Pittsburgh– assuming he even stays there, seeing as he’s out of options and would likely be claimed on waivers should the Bucs attempt to demote him. This line looks an awful lot like Brett Lawrie’s projected one, which… it damn well better not be.
Image via the Lawrence Journal-World.