Reader John Wood writes:
“It would be fun to see what is an acceptable slash line for positions and batting orders. For example, for 1B, is .275/.340/400 considered good? For a leadoff hitter, what about .290/.380/.395? Where do our boys fit?
Thanks for the question, John. I’m going to answer it semi-scientifically. What I’m going to do here is look at the 2010 average triple slash for each position while comparing that to a projected (CAIRO) slash line for each of the Yankees’ starting nine. I’ll do the same tomorrow, though I’ll replace position with lineup spot. Before I start, though, Moshe wanted me to pass along this “disclaimer” of sorts about projections:
Projections assume performance by players will tend to regress towards the mean, such that there will be a smaller spread between good and bad performances. Therefore, some players at the top end may be sold short, while those at the bottom end may see a statistical bump.
So, please, keep that in mind as you read this article.
Let’s start with the backstop.
2010 Average AL Catcher: .245/.312/.374/.686
2011 Russell Martin CAIRO: .263/.362/.380/.742
If Martin reaches that projection, or even comes close to it, I’ll be ecstatic. That’s a pretty high projection that looks even better when we see how the average AL catcher performed in 2010. That low slash line is to be expected, though, from what’s primarily a defensive position.
2010 Average AL First Baseman: .259/.345/.443/.788
2011 Mark Teixeira CAIRO: .276/.377/.515/.892
No surprises here: first basemen are good hitters (that .788 OPS as a group was the second highest OPS among AL position players) and Mark Teixeira is poised for a rebound-season. Even Tex’s down year (.846 OPS) was better than the average first baseman, so that shows how good a hitter can be.
2010 Average AL Second Baseman: .264/.328/.391/.719
2011 Robinson Cano CAIRO: .306/.355/.511/.866
That line for the average second baseman is actually a little higher than I expected it to be, but it’s nothing crazy. Cano, even if he has a worse year than that projection, is a near lock to beat what the average second baseman puts up.
2010 Average AL Third Baseman: .261/.315/.414/.729
2011 Alex Rodriguez CAIRO: .281/.372/.526/.898
Another corner player, the average AL 3B is our second best hitter so far, but again, we see a Yankee player projected to beat it comfortably. Like his mate across the diamond, A-Rod beat out the average guy at his position, even in a down year.
2010 Average AL Shortstop: .258/.312/.357/.669
2011 Derek Jeter CAIRO: .290/.360/.406/.766
The AL SS in 2010 was the worst hitter in the league which, again is at least vaguely predictable. I would’ve thought the catcher would be worse, but it was a down year with the bat for shortstops in 2010. CAIRO sees a modest rebound from Derek Jeter, and I can definitely get on board with that line. As we’ve noted previously, Derek Jeter‘s career worst year still had a pretty sizable OPS advantage on the average SS. That’s what still makes him valuable at that position–at least at the plate.
2010 Average AL Left Fielder: .273/.338/.430/.786
2011 Brett Gardner CAIRO: .270/.358/.372/.730
Ah, our first “loser”, so to speak. Gardner had a breakout year in 2010 and CAIRO doesn’t see him repeating it, projecting him to lose 32 points of OPS. We see here what we should expect to see when comparing Gardner to other left fielders: he’s got better on base skills than the average bear, but his power pales in comparison to the competition. This doesn’t tell the whole story, obviously, because we’re not taking defense into consideration here. Gardner plays CF quality defense which helps bump his value quite a bit. He’s the opposite of Jeter here: he hits below his position’s average player, but he’ll field circles around that guy.
2010 Average AL Center Fielder: .262/.322/.403/.725
2011 Curtis Granderson CAIRO: .252/.335/.462/.817
Curtis’s biggest advantage over the average center fielder is his great power (.210 IsoP to .141). He also features better on-base skills (.083 IsoD to .060). That line is pretty close to what Curtis did last year and I’d be happy with it, though I might want to sacrifice a few points of slugging for a few points of on-base percentage. Bottom line: Curtis is likely to be better than average at his position.
2010 Average AL Right Fielder: .276/.350/.441/.791
2011 Nick Swisher CAIRO: .260/.354/.470/.824
It may’ve been a down year for offense in 2010, but American League right fielders did not get that memo. They hit greatly as a group and will likely continue to do so. Swisher (.870) beat the average RF and projects to do the same in 2011, but we’ve got to remember: the average right fielder is a damn good hitter.
2010 Average AL Designated Hitter: .252/.332/.425/.758
2011 Jorge Posada CAIRO: .267/.358/.458/.826
That’s a typical Posada line, no? Okay average, good on base skills and good power. What’s not typical is to whom he’s being compared. We’re used to Posada blowing away the competition at his position since he’s been such a great hitting catcher for so long. He’s a good enough hitter that he’ll probably outhit the average DH, but we must note that this gap is likely to close with Jorge moving to DH.
I keep parroting this line about the down year at the plate in 2011 so it’s worth noting a few things. Obviously, let’s keep in mind what Moshe said leading off this post. Second, it’s at least a little likely that offense rebounds a bit and the average line for each position could be higher than what it was in 2010. Even if that happens, I think the Yankees are in good shape. Brett Gardner is the only guy who projects to be below average at his position with the bat, but like I said, he’ll make up for it in other ways. If anything, this should remind us that if there’s one thing NOT to worry about for 2011 regarding the Yankees, it’s the offense.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees