A new year is upon us and soon, a new baseball season will be upon us. We’re going to have expectations with certain players, as we always do. We have to think of realistic expectations, though. For this post, I’m going to look at each player still on the Yankees from the 2010 team, examine his 2010 wOBA and see if that’s a reasonable expectation for 2011.
Robinson Cano, .389 wOBA
Last year was a career year for Robinson. He ripped the cover off the ball and everything seemed to click for him on offense. He ripped righties and lambasted lefties. He hit for a high average. He hit for power. Expecting another year like that would be unfair, but, Cano is in his age-based-prime and clearly has an incredible talent for hitting. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a .389 wOBA from him again. Somewhere in the .375-.385 range seems right for Robinson.
Nick Swisher, .377 wOBA
Cutting the fat, yeah, I think this is definitely do-able. His 2009 wOBA was .375, just two points off of last year’s career high mark. He had basically the same year production-wise, he just did it differently. I’m confident that Swisher can definitely put up a .370+ woBA again in 2011. What I’m not sure of is if it will look more like 2009 with a lot of walks and a lot of power or if it will look like 2010, with similar-but-slightly-diminished-power and a higher average.
Mark Teixeira, .367 wOBA
I have no problem saying this: Mark Teixeira will have a wOBA higher than .367 in 2011.
Alex Rodriguez, .363 wOBA
I have no problem saying this: Alex Rodriguez will have a wOBA higher than .363 in 2011.
Brett Gardner, .358 wOBA
This is the most interesting case. Obviously, Gardner proved himself in 2010. He survived the entire year and hit much better than we all expected him to. His super-plus defense made him a huge value for the team . Part of me thinks that Gardner can do it again. Part of me doesn’t. If I’m setting an over/under for Gardner’s wOBA, I’m going to say .340.
Jorge Posada, .357 wOBA
Posada’s another catch-22 of sorts. In one way, we should expect equal or worse performance from Posada in 2011 because he’s getting old. Older players, especially catchers, tend not to hit at .357 wOBAs with regularity. On the other hand, Posada is a good hitter who’s stayed above average in terms of offense for a while. As a full time DH, he’ll be without the physical burden of catching. Because of that, we could see a rise in offense from Jorge. I think .357 is a fair over/under and I think Jorge will be over. I may be in the minority there.
Curtis Granderson, .346 wOBA
Curtis Granderson’s season was a bit odd, wasn’t it? There were some good things–10% walk rate, .221 IsoP–but some bad things as well (most of the season against LHP). All together, it added up to an above average, but not spectacular, .346 wOBA. Call me an optimist, but Granderson will out do that .346 wOBA. I’ll put the over/under at .355 and take the over.
Derek Jeter, .320 wOBA
I have no problem saying this: Derek Jeter will have a higher wOBA than .320 in 2011. Jeter may be getting older and 2010 may’ve been a career worst year, but there’s no way he can hit that poorly again. At least, I hope there’s no way he can hit that poorly again.
Francisco Cervelli, .315 wOBA
This is fair and I expect him to do that again. If he does, with less playing time, I’ll be happy.
Russell Martin, .306 wOBA
His 2009 wOBA was .307 after a .351 wOBA in 2008. Martin’s bat seems to be trending downwards, which is troubling. Despite a super low wOBA though, he was able to put up over 2 fWAR in 2010, thanks to his defense. In the last two years, Martin has had a low BABIP despite relatively high LD%s, so maybe 2011 is when he gets a BABIP rebound. That would definitely cause a wOBA rebound. Given the last two years, I think we should expect around a .310-.315 wOBA for Martin, but he could easily out perform that.
Ramiro Pena, .233 wOBA
Same as Cervelli.
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