Stat geeks rejoice, as a fourth major projection system, TangoTiger’s Marcel, has released its 2010 numbers, joining Bill James’, which has been around since the 2009 season ended; Replacement Level’s SG’s CAIRO system; and Sean Smith’s CHONE projections.
Now that we have four systems to compare, we may be able to get a clearer idea of what to expect from our starting nine this year. I’m going to look at wOBA, my stat du jour, because I like stats that try to accurately encapsulate a player’s entire offensive performance. I’ll also include 2009′s actual wOBA along with career wOBAs for a frame of reference. For the pitchers, which I’ll probably post later today or tomorrow, we’ll use my other favorite stat, FIP.
So far this offseason I’ve primarily been looking through the prism of the James numbers simply because they’d been the most readily available, but it’s no secret that James’ projections tend to be wildly optimistic. This also won’t be a completely true comp because James’ version of wOBA includes stolen bases (and it looks like a few of the others do, too) — which somewhat accounts for his inflated numbers — but it’s better than nothing.
Anyway, here are the projected wOBAs for the Yankees’ projected starting lineup:
And for kicks, here’s Damon:
A couple of things jump out at me. For starters, the top seven batters in the Yankee lineup put up wOBAs of .370 or better in 2009. We all know they were an offensive juggernaut, but sweet Jesus.
Marcel seems to be the most bearish of the projection systems. While another .390 campaign is unlikely, I’m somewhat surprised that all four systems feel Derek Jeter won’t even match his career wOBA. Nick the Stick should be good for somewhere in the neighborhood of a .370 wOBA. Tex and A-Rod look like they’ll continue to be absolute beasts. Posada, turning 39 this season, seems primed for a bit of a regression, although people have been expecting Posada to decline every year for the last several seasons and he keeps defying the odds, so hopefully we can get a mid-.360s wOBA out of catcher.
Cano should better his career wOBA, although no one has him matching the glorious high of last year’s .370 mark. Swisher will likely experience a slight regression after a terrific 2009. All four systems have Granderson rebounding from his weak 2009. And if Grit Gardner can actually manage somewhere in the .340s, I think we’d all take that.
With the exception of James, who has Damon out-wOBAing Gardner by a mere 0.001, Damon looks to be anywhere from a 0.017 to 0.023-point wOBA upgrade in left. As examined on Wednesday, the difference between Gardner and Damon on the offensive unit as a hole seems pretty negligible, and this data generally bears that out as well.
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