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A lot can be said about slow starts, but now we’re well into June. Enough with the excuses for traditional power house players. Maybe it’s time too that we start looking at how “for real” Russell Branyan, Raul Ibanez and Brandon Inge could end up being. Here’s a look at the pace of these players given that all of them finish with 560 at bats.

Catcher

Victor Martinez 95R, 24 HR, 100 RBI, 0 SB (also eligible at first base)
Brandon Inge 104 R, 37 HR, 113 RBI, 3 SB (also eligible at third base and outfield)
Geovany Soto 43 R, 8 HR, 55 RBI, 0 SB
Russell Martin 68R, 0 HR, 59 RBI, 21 SB (also eligible at third base)

Notes

  • VMart is going to get more than 560 at-bats, so he’s more likely to come close to 30 HR.
  • Soto had an encouraging game yesterday going 3 for 5.
  • I love Inge as a “catcher” because he doesn’t take every fifth game off.

First Basemen

Adrian Gonzalez 117 R, 61 HR, 120 RBI, 3 SB
Derrek Lee 74 R, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 0 SB

  • I tweeted about this yesterday, but 2/3 of Gonzalez’s homers happen on the road. Ryan Howard also hits 2/3 of his homers away. Go figure with that one.

Second Basemen

Aaron Hill 77 R, 29 HR, 90 RBI, 4 SB
Marco Scutaro 109 R, 12 HR, 64 RBI, 14 SB (also eligible at shortstop and third base)
Ben Zobrist 109 R, 43 HR, 128 RBI, 23 SB (also eligible at shortstop and outfield)

  • Zobrist has one less home run in 23 June at-bats than Scutaro has all season. Scutaro hasn’t homered since April.
  • Zobrist is walking a healthy 16% of the time.
  • Hill has been near the top in hits all season, but hasn’t recorded a multi-hit game since May 29.

Shortstops

Jason Bartlett 111R, 24 HR, 104 RBI, 49 SB
Jimmy Rollins 81R, 9 HR, 46 RBI, 23 SB
Rafael Furcal 80R, 5 HR, 35 RBI, 11 SB

  • Furcal and Rollins have been moved down in the order so their run projections should be adjusted accordingly. Rollins will be hitting lead off again, Furcal will not.
  • I would take the under on Bartlett reaching 40 steals. Ankle injuries can reoccur, plus he was reaching base at a rather lucky rate (.411 BABIP).

Third Base

Mark Reynolds 100R, 40 HR, 98 RBI, 32 SB (also eligible at first base)
Russell Branyan 102R, 40 HR, 80 RBI, 6 SB (also eligible at first base)
Garrett Atkins 62 R, 15 HR, 59 RBI, 0 SB (also eligible at first base)

  • Under the 560 at-bat pace, Reynolds is the only player in baseball who will be in the 30/30 club.
  • That noise you hear is Colorado GM Dan O’Dowd slamming his head on his desk. He traded the wrong guy over the winter.

Outfielders

Adam Jones 113R, 29 HR, 99 RBI, 11 SB
Nelson Cruz 96R, 46 HR, 113 RBI, 24 SB
Raul Ibanez 118R, 50 HR, 138 RBI, 10 SB
Johnny Damon 118R, 31 HR, 87 RBI, 13 SB
Adam Lind 89R, 29 HR, 109 RBI, 2 SB
Shin-Soo Choo 95R, 22 HR, 92 RBI, 24 SB
Vladimir Guerrero 51R, 6 HR, 45 RBI, 6 SB
Lance Berkman 85R, 32 HR, 97 RBI, 3 SB

  • Ibanez moving from Safeco and last place Seattle to Citizens and World Champion Philadelphia should have led to him being in much greater demand. Similar to Gonzalez though he has hit most of his home runs on the road.
  • Cruz will be discussed more with a Texas Rangers blogger later this week.
  • Berkman’s run total will probably be under the 85 pace he’s on now since he’s been moved to fifth in the order.

Utility

David Ortiz 53R, 8 HR, 67 RBI, 0 SB

  • He’s been swinging the bat much better lately, but he’s still under .200 with the batting average. He showed his frustration pretty well yesterday when he popped out on a good pitch to hit. It’s a positive sign that he wasn’t satisfied with just the one home run he hit in the 2nd inning.

4 Responses to The Projection Game

  1. Matthias @ Mopupduty.com says:

    What do you think Zobrist will do the rest of the year? His minor league numbers showed virtually no power, yet a high average and decent command of the strike zone.

  2. Schruender says:

    I think he will be a decent player the rest of the way although obviously maintaining the pace he is on now will be tough to do. Last season between AAA and Tampa he hit 16 home runs in about 270 at-bats, so the power wasn't entirely absent. I've also read on a Tampa Rays blog that Maddon doesn't want to play him everyday, but those plans are changing by the day as he continues to rake.

    Assuming he takes over Akinori Iwamura's job everyday I think a line of .290-33HR-102RBI-87R-14SB is realistic for the season. He was moved recently to hit 5th in the order which will prop up the RBI and bring down the runs.

  3. matthias @ Mopupduty says:

    My bad, I should have specified. I meant his original minor league stint (with Houston and then Tamap). In 2005 he hit 5 minor league HR in 490 PA. 2006 he hit 3 HR in 463 minor league PA. Very few players go from these initial stats to the power numbers that he's shown in the past year, year and a half. Can it keep?

  4. Schruender says:

    Yeah I see what you mean. It's definitely happening out of nowhere, but he can keep it. He is 6 foot 3 inches, so you can see where the power comes from.

    In terms of the sudden power it is unusual, but isn't unprecedented for a guy to suddenly "get it." Kevin Youkilis never hit more than 8 home runs in any season in the minors and last year raked 29 and will probably get into the 30s this year. Another guy who is suddenly accelerating who you are much more familiar with is Aaron Hill. He hit one home run every 43.5 at-bats in his best minor league season. This year he is up to one every 18.5 at-bats.

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