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Diamondbacks Community Projections, Part One: Infield

Five weeks today. Opening Day, so we had better get on with the Community Projections for the 2010 Diamondbacks. If you've joined us since last year, this is where we project numbers for the players on the team - all entries are welcome, and you can do as many or as few players, and as many or as few statistics as you want [so if you are only comfortable doing BA, HR and RBI, that's cool]. At the end of the year, we look back at the numbers and see how close we got - or, more likely, laugh uncontrollably at how wide we were.

We'll be starting today with the infield, then on subsequent Monday, doing the outfield, starting rotation and bullpen - the final round, the week before Opening Day, is the "How many wins?" thread. For each player, we've given their actual performance in 2009, and also the numbers from each of the four main projection systems publicly available, which may or may not be a help [NB: I'm using the updated CHONEs, not the old numbers off fangraphs.com]. Then there's some commentary, and I'm throwing my hat into the ring first. I'm largely covering only the starters, with a couple of exceptions (Snyder and Parra), but if you fancy taking a stab at Augie Ojeda or Ryan Roberts, be my guest.

After the jump, we'll start with the infield.

C. Miguel Montero

BA OBP SLG OPS HR RBI
2009 .294 .355 .478 .832 16 59
Bill James .275 .344 .458 .802 18 69
CHONE .273 .339 .450 .789 14 54
Marcel .276 .344 .456 .799 15 55
ZIPS .275 .342 .451 .793 12 56


Commentary
Montero is the frontline catcher for the first time in his career, after a break-out 2009, when opportunity came knocking for him. He was hitting .300 as late as Septemer 18; though he fell short, it was still one of the most productive seasons at the position by a Diamondback. I would expect a slight fall-off in batting average, but his power numbers should remain around the same, and a few more starts will help his counting stats. He may end up batting clean-up, especially against RHP, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a significant jump in his RBI total.
AZ SnakePit: .280/.340/.470 = .810 OPS, 16 HR, 70 RBI

C. Chris Snyder
BA OBP SLG OPS HR RBI
2009 .200 .333 .352 .685 6 22
Bill James .236 .344 .418 .762 9 34
CHONE .233 .335 .403 .738 12 48
Marcel .240 .343 .427 .770 12 44
ZIPS .238 .340 .431 .771 11 49


Commentary
Recovered from back surgery, Snyder will still see his share of playing time, mostly seeing opposing lefties, though he may remain as Brandon Webb's personal catcher. Still, I would be surprised if he starts more than about sixty games in 2010, but will see action off the bench. His strength will remain getting on-base: Snyder's career OBP is exactly 100 points above his BA, a number surpassed only by Jorge Posada's 102 among active catchers (min. 1,500 PAs). Definitely better than the usual back-up, but also definitely better-paid...
AZ SnakePit: .237/.337/.407 = .744 OPS, 7 HR, 30 RBI

1B. Adam LaRoche
BA OBP SLG OPS HR RBI
2009 [in ATL/BOS/PIT]
.277 .355 .488 .843 25 83
Bill James .271 .348 .485 .833 26 91
CHONE .272 .345 .482 .827
24 80
Marcel .269 .344 .473 .817 22 77
ZIPS .287 .363 .520 .883 26 109


Commentary
The offensive acquisition of the Arizona off-season, LaRoche has been consistent the past couple of seasons, with an OPS+ of 122 and 25 HR each year. There's no reason to think it'll be much different this season, and surprising no-one thinks he'll match last year, even in a more hitter-friendly environment. I've a feeling some projections were made before Arizona signed him - when CHONE revised his numbers, they were bumped by 38 OPS points. Hence, I took his 2009 line, and upped BA by 15, OBP by 15 and SLG by 25, to account for park factor here in Phoenix.
AZ SnakePit: .287/.370/.513 = OPS .883, 27 HR, 88 RBI

2B. Kelly Johnson
BA OBP SLG OPS HR RBI
2009 [in ATL]
.224 .303 .389 .692 8 29
Bill James .274 .354 .445 .799 14 62
CHONE .273 .351 .443 .794 13 56
Marcel .266 .345 .432 .777 10 46
ZIPS .279 .352 .472 .824 14 64


Commentary
The unanimous consensus is that Johnson is primed for a rebound season, with an OPS between 85 and 132 points higher than his disappointing 2009. That's what the D-backs will be banking on, and with a career OPS of .777, plus departure from pitcher-skewing Turner Field, a hundred points seems to be reasonable enough as an increase. ZIPS loves both him and Braves team-mate LaRoche, but I wouldn't quite go that high, personally. I'd settle for something close to Johnson's career line, with a little extra power in the dry desert air.
AZ SnakePit: .264/.346/.445 = .791 OPS, 15 HR, 60 RBI

SS. Stephen Drew
BA OBP SLG OPS HR RBI
2009 .261 .320 .428 .748 12 65
Bill James .275 .335 .456 .791 10 71
CHONE .271 .328 .431 .759 7 63
Marcel .269 .330 .444 .774 8 59
ZIPS .265 .324 .444 .768 16 77


Commentary
Drew is the anti-Eric Byrnes, in that he gets better in the second-half of the year - 73 OPS points over the entire season. Hence, these estimates will probably seem woefully optimistic at the end of May [to which point, Drew is a career sub-.700 hitter], then he'll gradually reel his numbers back towards them. I'm beginning to give up hope that Drew will quite live up to our hopes; he'll be 27 this month, and seems more likely he'll be a competent and reliable player, rather than a superstar. I'm playing it safe and simply regurgitating his career line.
AZ SnakePit: .270/.326/.445 = .771 OPS, 14 HR, 62 RBI

3B. Mark Reynolds
BA OBP SLG OPS HR RBI
2009 .260 .349 .543 .892 44 102
Bill James .268 .356 .551 .907 40 103
CHONE .260 .345 .498 .843 30 83
Marcel .260 .342 .503 .845 31 85
ZIPS .258 .341 .509 .850 33 106


Commentary
A great breakout season for Reynolds, can he repeat it in 2010? The projections don't think so, but they usually need multiple cases to convince them, and Reynolds did almost match his 2007-08 combined HR total last year. But he is no longer a stealth slugger, intentionally walked just three times last year - only one NL player has hit as many homers and been IBB'd less since they started counting in 1955 (Eddie Matthews, 46 HR, 2 IBB in 1959). Expect more of that, and more breaking balls, for Mark in 2010.
AZ SnakePit: .260/.360/.500 = OPS .860, 33 HR, 96 RBI