FanPost

2010 WAR Projection for the DBacks - Batters

For the last couple of days, I've been trying to do a WAR based preview of 2010 for the DBacks based on the CHONE projections. However, the CHONE linear weights are a bit different than those used to calculate WAR on Fangraphs and they really sold our batters short.

Well, today I found out Fangraphs will be implementing WAR projections for 2010, so all that's left for me is to list our players, add up their values and present it here. So far we only have WAR projections for batters, so there will be a second part where I look at pitcher WAR.

What you need to know about WAR is that while it's a good place to look at your team's talent in a vacuum, the correlation between WAR and actual wins is 0.83, which means it's a solid but not great predictor (for example, for pythag it is 0.91). If you want to know more, read this, and of course, if you want to know more about WAR in general, check out the FanGraphs glossary.

So let's get started. After the jump, I go position by position, assuming around 700 plate appearances to equal a full season. I'll list the CHONE projected numbers in table format, listing the number of plate appearances, the triple slash stats, Runs above average (Batting), Defense projection according  to TotalZone, Replacement level (set to 20 runs per 600 PA), positional adjustment, RAR (batting + defense + replacement + position) and WAR (10 runs = 1 win).

Catcher:

You might think Montero will get more PA than this and he might well, CHONE is not an expert on playing time. If you want me to run the number with different playing time projections, I'll try to do it.

PA

Triple slash

Batting

Defense

Replacement

Position

RAR

WAR

Miguel Montero

398

.276/.342/.456

6.4

-8

13.3

9.3

21

2.1

Chris Snyder

352

.233/.335/.403

0.2

2

11.7

8

22

2.2

 

4.3 WAR from the catcher position is great.

First Base:

I have no idea how we'll play the whole first base mess. There are plenty of question marks here, like will Conor Jackson play first, will Jeff Bailey make the team, will Brandon Allen hit well enough to play full time, or will he hit well enough to platoon against righties. I'll just list all the projections and take a wild guess about who will play and how much.

PA

Triple slash

Batting

Defense

Replacement

Position

RAR

WAR

Conor Jackson

469

.276/.358/.425

7.3

-2.3

15.6

-9.3

11.3

1.1

Jeff Bailey

417

.258/.360/.444

8.8

0

13.9

-8.7

14

1.4

Brandon Allen

460

.256/.317/.441

0.5

-3

15.3

-10.6

2.3

0.2

 

It appears that Jeff Bailey is projected to hit much better than Allen, who looks suspiciously like a replacement level player at this point in time. Again, this is just a projection, and if I'm trying to get the best team based on these, I'll give Bailey most of the playing time. If we figure Bailey gets 417 PA and Allen gets the rest, we have 1.5 WAR from first base.

Second base:

PA

Triple slash

Batting

Defense

Replacement

Position

RAR

WAR

Kelly Johnson

485

.273/.351/.443

8.1

5

16.2

2

31.2

3.1

Ryan Roberts

405

.262/.353/.403

3.2

-4

13.5

1.8

14.5

1.5

Tony Abreu

415

.293/.337/.434

2.6

-1

13.8

1.8

17.2

1.7

 

The reason Johnson isn't projected for more playing time is last year's injury. Let's agree with CHONE there, and give the remaining at bats to Abreu. That should give us 4 WAR for the season.

Shortstop:

PA

Triple slash

Batting

Defense

Replacement

Position

RAR

WAR

Stephen Drew

597

.271/.328/.431

1.8

0

19.9

6.7

28.4

2.8

 

Since we're probably not going to carry Ojeda on the roster, the remaining 100 or so at bats at short will also go to Abreu, and prorating his projected WAR and adding it to Drew results in 3.2 WAR for the year.

Third base:

PA

Triple slash

Batting

Defense

Replacement

Position

RAR

WAR

Mark Reynolds

556

.260/.345/.498

16.9

-5

18.5

2.2

32.6

3.3

 

Mark is projected for 556, but since he's been a true ironman for us, I'll pencil him in for 630, which would bring his projected WAR to 3.7. If we give the remaining at bats to Roberts, he should get us to 4 WAR.

Left field:

PA

Triple slash

Batting

Defense

Replacement

Position

RAR

WAR

Conor Jackson

469

.276/.358/.425

7.3

1

15.6

-5.6

18.4

1.8

Gerardo Parra

520

.288/.338/.406

-1.8

3

17.3

-6.7

11.9

1.2

Eric Byrnes

448

.251/.308/.411

-3.8

6

14.9

-5.1

12

1.2

Cole Gillespie

441

.253/.342/.402

1

5

14.7

-6.1

14.6

1.5

 

Looking at this, Jackson should get most of the at bats at left field. If we pencil him in for the projected 469 and fill up the rest with Ryan Roberts, left field should give us 2.5 WAR.

Center field:

PA

Triple slash

Batting

Defense

Replacement

Position

RAR

WAR

Chris Young

387

.229/.320/.387

-4.9

-3

12.9

1.9

6.9

0.7

 

Yeah, this is terrible. Our two candidates for center field, Parra and Young, are both projected to be bad next year, Parra a little bit less so. If we give Parra 430 PA and give the rest to Young, the final prorated tally gets us to 1.5 WAR from center field. Bad, but not like last year.

Right field:

PA

Triple slash

Batting

Defense

Replacement

Position

RAR

WAR

Justin Upton

511

.296/.372/.515

23.2

4

17

-6.3

37.9

3.8

 

Upton battled some injuries in the last couple of years, but I don't think there's a reason we can't expect him to give us 600 PA, which would bring his WAR to 4.5. Even if we get no value above replacement for the remaining 100, that's a good total.

So, according to CHONE projections and my playing time guesstimates, we can expect around 25 WAR from our batters. Of course, we need to let our pitchers bat, and looking at the last few years, that's good for about -3.5 WAR. Let's see how that stacks up with numbers from the last few years.

Year

Batter WAR

2009

15.6

2008

10.6

2007

10.8

2006

12.1

2005

13.5

 

It's a significant increase. The MLB average for the last five years is just under 19.5, and if you look at last year, only nine teams eclipsed 21.5 WAR. Six of them were playoff teams.

Look out for my pitcher WAR article next week, but as a preview I can tell you that if our pitchers repeat last year's 17.9 WAR, it would mean CHONE projects us (with the aforementioned playing time guesstimates) to win almost 90 games next season.

I'd appreciate all kinds of input in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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