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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2008 ZiPS Projections - New York Yankees

ZiPS sees no reason to believe that the Yankees won’t be one of the top teams in baseball again in 2008.  With one of the top young pitching troikas in Hughes/Chamberlain/Kennedy, I’m not holding my breath for the Orioles to make a grand charge at a playoff spot.  Losing A-Rod is huge, but the Yankees have enough money to remedy that situation somewhat and the pitching may very well be better if the young starters don’t blow out an arm-part.


Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Alex Rodriguez       3b 32 .305 .410 .583 159 590 127 180 30 1 44 151 93 132 16 3
Jason Giambi*        dh 37 .241 .398 .482 110 340 58 82 13 0 23 77 75 86 0 0
Bobby Abreu*        rf 34 .284 .391 .445 156 573 106 163 37 2 17 111 99 117 22 7
Hideki Matsui*        lf 34 .290 .368 .476 142 544 95 158 33 4 20 106 67 71 2 2
Jorge Posada#        c   36 .283 .380 .447 133 452 67 128 29 0 15 78 66 92 2 0
Derek Jeter         ss 34 .308 .386 .435 151 616 106 190 33 3 13 83 66 106 15 5
AVERAGE 1B/DH—————1b——.279 .357 .475—————————————————————
Robinson Cano*        2b 25 .308 .349 .488 149 584 87 180 41 5 18 98 34 73 3 4
AVERAGE LF——————- lf——.277 .349 .456—————————————————————
AVERAGE RF——————- rf——.277 .346 .458—————————————————————
AVERAGE 3B——————- 3b——.274 .343 .449—————————————————————
Wilson Betemit#      3b 26 .259 .335 .462 131 301 42 78 17 1 14 46 34 86 1 1
Melky Cabrera#        cf 23 .286 .352 .419 159 580 83 166 29 6 12 89 59 65 13 4
Doug Mientkiewicz*    1b 34 .272 .356 .412 82 250 33 68 15 1 6 35 29 41 0 0
Johnny Damon*        cf 34 .279 .348 .408 130 519 93 145 25 3 12 67 54 73 17 4
AVERAGE CF——————- cf——.272 .336 .425—————————————————————
AVERAGE 2B——————- 2b——.276 .337 .414—————————————————————
Noah Hall           lf 31 .260 .345 .407 102 339 47 88 19 2 9 46 36 58 7 4
Shelley Duncan       1b 28 .242 .311 .469 117 405 45 98 18 1 24 74 38 103 1 2
AVERAGE SS——————- ss——.274 .329 .407—————————————————————
Erubiel Durazo*      dh 34 .252 .347 .366 39 131 12 33 6 0 3 15 18 28 0 0
AVERAGE C———————- c——.260 .321 .403—————————————————————
Jose Cruz Jr.#        rf 34 .236 .333 .376 91 271 38 64 15 1 7 29 39 69 3 1
Brett Gardner*        cf 24 .269 .347 .331 113 417 73 112 15 4 1 27 49 87 28 9
Andy Cannizaro       2b 29 .255 .320 .341 107 349 50 89 21 0 3 31 29 47 3 2
Bronson Sardinha*      rf 25 .234 .299 .372 128 449 47 105 19 2 13 60 40 105 4 2
Kevin Reese*        lf 30 .238 .310 .356 102 382 46 91 17 2 8 45 34 77 5 3
Eric Duncan*        1b 23 .223 .290 .389 109 386 30 86 23 1 13 54 34 79 1 2
Mike Kinkade         3b 35 .240 .307 .341 87 296 41 71 16 1 4 33 17 55 3 2
Angel Chavez         3b 26 .251 .286 .376 123 439 48 110 20 1 11 62 19 85 5 2
Alberto Gonzalez       ss 25 .261 .306 .340 125 418 51 109 19 4 2 40 22 47 5 4
Austin Jackson       cf 21 .240 .296 .342 123 450 56 108 21 2 7 38 32 127 18 10  
Juan Miranda*        1b 25 .204 .278 .354 117 407 34 83 24 2 11 71 33 112 1 1
Jose Tabata         rf 19 .251 .302 .314 96 350 35 88 13 0 3 38 18 76 7 5
Jose Molina         c   33 .242 .275 .340 71 194 17 47 10 0 3 23   8 44 2 0
Mitchell Hilligoss*    3b 23 .248 .283 .316 113 424 49 105 18 1 3 35 19 62 15 6
Jamal Strong         cf 29 .224 .305 .273 97 304 38 68 8 2 1 21 30 54 7 3
Raul Chavez         c   35 .199 .232 .252 70 226 15 45 9 0 1 19   6 36 1 0

Name           CThr 1b 2b 3b ss lf cf rf
Rodriguez               Av        
Giambi*            Pr            
Abreu*                        Fr
Matsui*                    Fr    
Posada#        Fr                
Jeter                   Pr      
Cano*              Vg          
Betemit#            Fr Av Pr      
Cabrera#                  Vg Vg Vg
Mientkiewicz*        Av            
Damon*            Av       Av Av  
Hall                     Vg   Fr
Duncan             Av       Av   Av
Durazo*            Pr            
Cruz#                    Vg Pr Vg
Gardner*                  Vg Vg  
Cannizaro             Av Av Fr      
Sardinha*                  Fr   Fr
Reese*                    Av Fr Fr
Duncan*            Av   Pr        
Kinkade           Av   Pr   Fr   Fr
Chavez               Fr Av Fr      
Gonzalez             Vg   Av      
Jackson                     Av
Miranda*          Fr            
Tabata                         Fr
Molina         Av                
Hilligoss*              Av Fr      
Strong                     Av Fr Av
Chavez         Vg   Fr   Fr        

* - Bats Left
# = Switch-Hitter

Player Spotlight - Melky Cabrera
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Optimistic (15%)  .306 .376 .464 162 591 96 181 34 7 15 108 66 59 17 3
Mean         .286 .352 .419 159 580 83 166 29 6 12 89 59 65 13 4  
Pessimistic (15%) .260 .321 .358 117 427 52 111 18 3 6 50 38 53 6 4

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Bernie Williams, Coco Crisp

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Mariano Rivera         38   2.40   8   1 67   0   75.0   65   20   3   14   66
Roger Clemens         45   3.59 10   6 25 25   148.0 144   59 13   43 101
Chris Britton         25   3.69   4   2 56   0   78.0   74   32   9   22   67
Philip Hughes         22   3.70 12   5 26 26   141.0 136   58 13   40 106
Chien-Ming Wang       27   3.91 15   8 30 30   200.0 213   87 13   53   87
Luis Vizcaino         33   3.93   6   4 72   0   71.0   67   31   6   33   55
Kyle Farnsworth       32   4.02   3   1 69   0   65.0   60   29   9   27   64
Andy Pettitte*        36   4.06 16   9 35 33   213.0 228   96 20   62 141
LEAGUE AVERAGE RELIEVER———4.21———————————————————————-
Ian Kennedy           23   4.38   9   7 27 26   148.0 158   72 16   42   94
Ron Villone*          38   4.43   3   2 62   0   67.0   65   33   7   35   53
Joba Chamberlain       22   4.43   9   8 24 24   134.0 136   66 19   33 121
Kevin Whelan         24   4.50   5   3 47   6   78.0   77   39   9   39   60
LEAGUE AVERAGE STARTER———- 4.57———————————————————————-
T.J. Beam           27   4.61   5   4 50   1   82.0   86   42 10   28   62
Mike Mussina         39   4.74 11 10 30 29   171.0 195   90 21   41 112
Edwar Ramirez         27   4.78   3   2 49   0   64.0   64   34 11   27   65
Humberto Sanchez       25   4.87   8   7 19 18   109.0 117   59 14   45   80
Carl Pavano           32   4.94   4   4 14 14   82.0   94   45 13   14   48
Charlie Manning*      29   5.09   4   5 48   1   76.0   80   43 10   39   52
Darrell Rasner         27   5.13   4   6 23 19   114.0 135   65 15   27   54
Jose Veras           27   5.16   4   4 54   0   61.0   67   35   9   25   41
Kei Igawa*          28   5.20   9 10 27 26   168.0 188   97 29   53 114
Sean Henn*          27   5.30   5   6 32 12   90.0 101   53 11   43   55
Brian Bruney         26   5.31   3   4 62   0   61.0   62   36   8   37   48
Ross Ohlendorf         25   5.33   7   9 27 23   162.0 198   96 24   42   81
Matt DeSalvo         27   5.39   7   9 26 25   137.0 148   82 16   81   82
Ben Kozlowski*        27   5.54   5   6 35 15   117.0 136   72 20   44   66
Jeffrey Marquez       23   5.62   9 12 25 25   141.0 175   88 22   37   63
Alan Horne           25   5.63   7 10 28 28   147.0 170   92 23   62   97
Jeff Karstens         25   5.68   9 11 28 26   160.0 190 101 30   49   91
Chase Wright*        25   5.98   7 11 32 23   149.0 177   99 27   69   69
Steven Jackson         26   6.00   6 10 27 22   147.0 186   98 24   55   61
Tyler Clippard         23   6.18   7 12 28 28   147.0 173 101 33   62   95

* - Throws Left

Player Spotlight - Chien-Ming Wang
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Optimistic (15%)  3.18 20   6 34 34 229 223   81 11   51 120
Mean           3.91 15   8 30 30 200 213   87 13   53   87  
Pessimistic (15%)  4.67 10   9 25 25 162 186   84 14   51   63

Top Near-Age Comps: Danny Cox, Dock Ellis

Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2008. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 
This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in
the offseason. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.49 ERA and the NL having a 4.40 ERA.

Nationals Projections

Blue Jays Projections

Rangers Projections

Rays Projections

Cardinals Projections

Mariners Projections

Giants Projections

Padres Projections

Pirates Projections

Phillies Projections

A’s Projections

Yankees Projections

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:18 PM | 122 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Willie Mayspedes Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:29 PM (#2601550)
Shouldn't Wang's projection match the mean projection from the spotlight? Also thanks for all the hard work.
   2. HowardMegdal Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:34 PM (#2601558)
I'd bet the over on Melky.
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:35 PM (#2601559)
Oops, that's last year's projection.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:35 PM (#2601560)
The Yanks better keep Posada. Still, that's a kick ass line up even without Mr. R, though I have to think there's a lot of risk of collapse.
   5. Sparkles Peterson Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:35 PM (#2601561)
Shelley Duncan is going to be the Yankees' leading HR hitter next year!
   6. Paul The Paranoid Android Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:42 PM (#2601567)
The Yanks desperately need Posada to come back.

The Bernie Williams near-age comp for Melky makes me very happy.
   7. Cowboy Popup Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2601570)
If Giambi puts up that line, it will be a big help.

Look at Melky!

Robinson blows that line (which is just below the average FIRST baseman's line!!!) away next year.

Dan, you've got Wang's line wrong. David Gassko assured me he's a 5 ERA pitcher and anyone who says otherwise is a blind fanboy. Is ZIPs predicting Wang will take up acid?

ZIPS is pretty high on the young guns huh? I like it.
   8. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2601571)
Is A-Rod really the only person in this group to project to a .500 SLG? Wow.
   9. Juan V Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:49 PM (#2601573)
Jose Cruz Jr? Long time no see....
   10. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:53 PM (#2601578)
Six guys who project to hit better than an average 1B? And all of them really believable. Holy smoke.
   11. nycfan Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:55 PM (#2601587)
yeah, this is still a really good team even without A-Rod. I see no reason they shouldn't be wildcard favorites next year.
   12. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2601592)
Six guys who project to hit better than an average 1B? And all of them really believable. Holy smoke.

Two of those guys aren't currently on the team although Cano's right there as well.

Even if they sign Posada, there's a good chance they don't have a guy hit 25 homers next season. That has to be somewhat worrisome.
   13. James Darnell's #1 Fan Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2601598)
The Tigers, Indians, Twins and White Sox say hi.
   14. Greg K Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2601603)
White Sox, really?

I think the Jays have a better shot at the wild card than Chicago
(Should be clear in that I don't think either of them have anything better than 5%)
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2601606)
Carl Pavano 32 4.94 4 4 14 14 82.0 94 45 13 14 48

82 innings?!?!? Shyea right!

Just kidding Dan, I know you don't project playing time.
   16. Cowboy Popup Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:07 PM (#2601614)
Hmm, new lineup...

Melky
Jeter
Cano
Posada
Giambi
Abreu
Betemit
Matsui
1st base

Could swap Cano and Abreu, but I think Cano will be better.

They need another right handed bat.

The Tigers, Indians, Twins and White Sox say hi.

The Twins have huge holes and the White Sox aren't very good.

I think the Jays have a better shot at the wild card than Chicago

If they pitch like last year and their hitters remember how to hit, the Jays could be dangerous.
   17. Mister High Standards Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:08 PM (#2601616)
Six guys who project to hit better than an average 1B? And all of them really believable. Holy smoke.


And the 5 who are likly to be on the team next year are all miles worse than the averge 1b defensivly.

It's funny I look at that team I say, well - yeah if things break right... otherwise they are an 85 win team.

I'll take the under on Melky.

And I certainly don't see Cano "Robinson blows that line up". That is exactly what I see from him, I don't see where his skills continue to improve. He is very advanced, and likly at his actual "true talent" level right now.
   18. Juan V Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:08 PM (#2601617)
Quick (and probably stupid) question: When calculating the positional averages, do you consider all players? If now, how many?
   19. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:11 PM (#2601621)
The Twins could be scary depending in how good Liriano is coming back from injury. The guy had a 1.92 ERA in 16 starts in 2006. That 1-2 punch could be amazing.
   20. Cowboy Popup Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:12 PM (#2601625)
He is very advanced, and likly at his actual "true talent" level right now.

I don't see how you come to that conclusion. He spent the first half of the season hitting well below his production level from last year and half the year way above. Unless you think he's going to be consistently incosistent. There was a huge change in his approach at the plate last year that led to a pretty large improvement at the plate, I see now reason to see why he would stagnate now.
   21. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:18 PM (#2601641)
Quick (and probably stupid) question: When calculating the positional averages, do you consider all players? If now, how many?

All PA at position, both leagues, 3-years.
   22. AROM Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:38 PM (#2601676)
Wilson Betemit# 3b 26 .259 .335 .462


A very good reason to ignore Mike Lowell and not give away draft picks to the Red Sox. Though if Cashman's on his game he'll fake interest and ddrive the price on Lowell up a bit.
   23. AROM Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:41 PM (#2601681)
Oh, and for the power/lack thereof:

Yankee Homerun leader by year:

1996 Bernie 29
1998 Tino 28
1999 Tino 28
2000 Bernie 30
   24. John S Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:45 PM (#2601690)
As much as MHS is just firestarting he sort of brings up a good point, although not the way he intended I'm sure. Next year, this year, etc, offense is not the Yankees problem, even without A-Rod. It's still pitching and defense. As to the pitching prong, the Yankees are trying to solve that internally and have had some success so far. Even the vaunted Red Sox have holes in their offense. A hole in the offense is a hell of a lot easier to hide then a black hole in your rotation every five days; or for a good part of this year two to three holes. Defense, who knows? Maybe Jeter moves, probably not, but maybe he would be no better at 3rd. Melky is fine in CF once he quits taking plays off. Damon has potential in LF, at least moreso than center. Cano is getting better. They aren't a great defensive team, but they are already better than two years ago.
   25. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2601691)
He spent the first half of the season hitting well below his production level from last year and half the year way above.

I definitely disagree - at least wwith you use of selective endpoints to try and make your point. He struggled in the 1st half, he was better in the second. It's a fools errand to try and use in-season trends to make a point about a player future. There just isn't any predictive value in doing so.

.310/.350/.490 seems about right. He may have spike seasons (like last year) where he randomly hits .340 or something, but there's not tangible evidence that he's going to improve further, let alone "blow away" the projection above.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2601697)
That's some great OBP. No help near ready on the farm though. ZIPS loves Betemit but doesn't seem to realize that Joba's already an HOFer. :-)

It's quite possible that next year's Yanks will win more than this year's ... one more nail in AROD's "loser" coffin.
   27. AROM Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2601705)
Next year, this year, etc, offense is not the Yankees problem, even without A-Rod.


They outscored the Red Sox by 100 runs this year. Even without A-Rod, they will be fine there, though losing Posada and A-Rod would really hurt. Where the Red Sox have an advantage is pitching. Both teams have some very good kids in the rotation. Both have solid middle of the rotation types - Pettite, Wang, Dice-K, Wakefield. But who do the Yankees match up with Beckett?

Maybe they'll just have to accept 2nd place and be patient.

Yankees should work towards improving the defense and in two years heading the rotation with Johan Santana and Jake Peavy.
   28. John S Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:58 PM (#2601707)
I think it is very possible that the Yankees win more games next year, too. It depends on what they do with the rotation: can they really have the three kids in it with innings limitations? If not, what do they do? Six man rotation with Mussina, Kennedy in the bullpen or AAA, Joba in the bullpen, expect the kids to go on the DL at some point and start them all in the rotation? (All of this is assuming they retain Andy). Any of these options is better than what occurred to start out 2006.
   29. Mister High Standards Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2601709)
I don't see how you come to that conclusion. He spent the first half of the season hitting well below his production level from last year and half the year way above. Unless you think he's going to be consistently incosistent. There was a huge change in his approach at the plate last year that led to a pretty large improvement at the plate, I see now reason to see why he would stagnate now.


Players, are inconsistant by nature. Trying to gain insight from in season split is mostly a fools errand. Look at the most represenative sample, regress and then determine which aspects of his physical performance may improve or decline.

Last year he hit .310/.350/.490 in 650 PA's. His career mark in 1700 PA's is .310/.350/.490. His Zips is .310/.350/.490. Not all players who are young improve, with age. In fact, if you look at young players who are in fact very good at a young age, they rarely peek at the standard ages 27-29. They in most scenerio's peak younger, does that mean I think Cano's best years are behind him? Not really, but it's a leading indicator that he is a fully formed player. He might be better or worse due to random variation, but I have little reason that he has additional growth. Unless there is reason to believe his specific skills have further room to grow I just don't see it. His hands are quick, his plate coverage is good, his pitch identification is fine, I just don't see a place for a dramatic increase in skill to say he will "blow that projection out of the water". The only place you might see some growth is in his isolated walk rate, but that is often more of a gradual thing rather than a lightbulb going off.

He is a very good player.
   30. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:01 PM (#2601712)
1996 Bernie 29
1998 Tino 28
1999 Tino 28
2000 Bernie 30


The 1996 team only had a pythag of 88-74 and were probably a little lucky to get into the playoffs.

The 2000 team only made the playoffs because the AL East was a joke that year.

The 1998 team had Strawberry who hit 24 homers in less than 300 AB, 8 guys who hit 17 or more homers, another who hit 10 in ~70 AB, and three starters with ERA+ of at least 124 in at least 141 IP.

The 1999 team had 7 guys with 17 or more homers and a dominant bullpen and Cone who finished second in the AL in ERA that season.
   31. Mister High Standards Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:05 PM (#2601717)
Even without A-Rod, they will be fine there, though losing Posada and A-Rod would really hurt.

Even if Posada returns, which is pretty close to a lock IMHO, they are losing his production, unless you think the 154OPS+ Posada is what we are likly to see.

I think it is very possible that the Yankees win more games next year


As I've said previously, its unlikly. There just aren't enough openings/good players to makeup for the loss of Arod unless they can swing a big deal. Which doesn't seem likly.

They should still be good, just not 90 win good, at least right now.
   32. Cowboy Popup Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:09 PM (#2601718)
He struggled in the 1st half, he was better in the second. It's a fools errand to try and use in-season trends to make a point about a player future. There just isn't any predictive value in doing so.

His approach changed, his walk rate went up, his contact rate went up and his ISO went up. This isn't a case of him just hitting 70 points better in one half. It's not like he's a 27 year old who got hot after the All-Star break, this is a 24 year old with a track record of success who took serious steps forward next year.

.310/.350/.490 seems about right. He may have spike seasons (like last year) where he randomly hits .340 or something, but there's not tangible evidence that he's going to improve further, let alone "blow away" the projection above.

His career line, that's his age 22-24 seasons, is .314/.346/.489. So Cano is done developing as a player now? That's what your saying. Just please confirm that, so I'm clear.
   33. Cowboy Popup Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:13 PM (#2601725)
The only place you might see some growth is in his isolated walk rate, but that is often more of a gradual thing rather than a lightbulb going off.

I think he has a very real opportunity to turn all those XBHs (top ten in doubles two years in a row, top ten in triples last year) into more balls over the wall in the near future. I do see where you're coming from, I probably have a different perception of his power potential.
   34. Mister High Standards Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2601726)
His career line, that's his age 22-24 seasons, is .314/.346/.489. So Cano is done developing as a player now? That's what your saying. Just please confirm that, so I'm clear.


Done developing? No that is too strong. Most of his development is done. Most young players who are this good, do not get appreciably better for their "prime" seasons. The research clearly shows this.
   35. rfloh Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2601727)
#32

Some people were saying the same things about David Wright, even into this season, before he exploded.
   36. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:20 PM (#2601732)
Five above average starters plus Mussina looks pretty good.
   37. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:22 PM (#2601737)
It's important to note that ZiPS isn't saying the 2008 Yankees leaders will have less than 25 home run or a .500 SLG, ZiPS is saying that there's no individual player who's a 50/50 proposition or better to hit 25 home runs or a have a .500 SLG.

With players with projections of .482, .476, .488, .469, and .462, the odds are strongly in favor of someone slugging .500 for the Yankees. With 5 players projected to hit between 15 and 25 home runs, a 6th in possibly returning Posada, and a 7th in Betemit who has a low AB projection, the odds are strongly in favor that the leader of the Yankees will hit more than 25 home runs.
   38. JPWF13 Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2601743)
Most young players who are this good, do not get appreciably better for their "prime" seasons. The research clearly shows this.


What research?
Seriously, most research I've seen referenced puts the end of appreciation so to speak a little older than Cano is now.

I'm biased because I'm a Met fan- and for the last 5 years I've repetitively heard from non-met fans (who admittedly are probably sick of Mets fans overhyping guys like Jay Payton) that
1: Reyes has 1000 MLB PAs, his OBP is under .300, after that many PAs his age doesn't matter, he's not going to improve enough to be an average let alone good player.
That pretty much ended after 2006.
2: Wright is as good as he's going to get, his age doesn't matter he's maxed out his skills, 2006 was no better than 2005, yada yada yada.

It's quite possible than Cano will never be any better than he is now. It's possible, players peak at all sorts of times, 19-21-23-25-27-29-31....
On the otherhand I see a player whose ability to drive the ball is improving, and his plate discipline/pitch selection, while still quite poor IS IMPROVING

He could easily be an absolute monster in 2-3 years.
   39. aleskel Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2601744)
that's a pretty optimistic projection of Hughes, IMO. Anybody else think he and Joba will end up closer together?
   40. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2601746)
His approach changed, his walk rate went up, his contact rate went up and his ISO went up.

And I'll say it again...in-season trends have next to zero predictive value. Do you have toher evidence of a "different approach" besides parsing the numbers to make your point?

So Cano is done developing as a player now? That's what your saying. Just please confirm that, so I'm clear.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm saying. Maybe he turns a few of those doubles into homeruns? Maybe gradually add a few walks, as MHS suggested. But yeah, I think what you see is what you get. Not every 25 year old improves significantly.

I mean, do you really think he's going to turn into a .330/.390/.550 hitter?
   41. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:26 PM (#2601751)
Haven't RTFT, so I hope I'm not repeating, but could we get projections for Alan Horne (SP) and Austin Jackson (CF)?
   42. AROM Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:30 PM (#2601756)
With 5 players projected to hit between 15 and 25 home runs, a 6th in possibly returning Posada, and a 7th in Betemit who has a low AB projection, the odds are strongly in favor that the leader of the Yankees will hit more than 25 home runs.


Good point, but I really don't care if there homerun leader hits 24, 29, or 31.

The 1998 team had Strawberry who hit 24 homers in less than 300 AB, 8 guys who hit 17 or more homers....The 1999 team had 7 guys with 17 or more homers


The 2008 Yankees look to have the balanced power that the late 90's team had. Now the question is can they prevent runs like those teams did. Its going to take some real optimistic development from their kids and at some point big name additions. And maybe Jeter replacing Giambi as a fulltime DH in 2009.

I have seen the future through my MLB06 The Show game. In 2013 the Yankees made Jeter the DH, he got his 3,000th hit, and the team won the world series.
   43. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:31 PM (#2601757)
Some people were saying the same things about David Wright, even into this season, before he exploded.

You realize his "explosion" was about a half dozen singles and a bump in his walk rate (which, if you look at Wright's minor league numbers, should have been expected to happen one of these years).
   44. aleskel Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:31 PM (#2601758)
Hmm, new lineup...

Melky
Jeter
Cano
Posada
Giambi
Abreu
Betemit
Matsui
1st base


I'll go with:

Damon LF
Jeter SS (*gulp*)
Abreu RF
Posada C
Matsui/Giambi DH
Cano 2B
Betemit 3B
1st base
Melky CF

I'm assuming one of Matsui or Giambi is going to miss time, otherwise they split time at DH with some spot starts in LF and 1B
   45. Dizzypaco Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:32 PM (#2601760)
One thing that no one is mentioning is that of the six solid hitters on the team (including Posada), five are between the ages of 34 and 37. Its certainly possible that one of them will start to show signs of aging, although Yankees always seem to age well for some reason.

I think Cano is a very good hitter, and I wouldn't be surprised if he took a small step forward. Melky looks pretty good, and there's a chance that he may turn into a very good player, but I think people are overestimating that chance. There are lots of players who hit like Bernie Williams did at the same age, and I'm guessing most of them don't turn into Bernie Williams.

If none of the hitters get hurt or old fast, they won't really have problems scoring runs, just not as many as last year. The pitching is a big question mark at this point, but the off season is just starting.
   46. AROM Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:32 PM (#2601762)
Not every 25 year old improves significantly.


Especially when you this good to start with. Another implication of regression to the mean. If Cano gets better, wonderful, but I'd be perfectly happy with him just doing what he's been doing the last 3 years.
   47. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2601770)
Re: Wright

Didn't notice he also stole 34 bases this year. Man, he's some player.
   48. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2601771)
Some people were saying the same things about David Wright, even into this season, before he exploded

I was (am?) one of those people. The reason I said that about Wright and would not say that about Cano is that Wright was already excellent at controlling the strike zone and, physically, looked filled out to me. I didn't think he had anywhere to grow on the offensive side of the ball. I also don't think this year established a new performance baseline for him, I would expect his OPS to go back to the low .900s next year. Anyway, the reason I don't see it being the same for Cano is that while he's always made terrific contact, he's also swung at every strike. In the second half of '07, he qualitatively and quantitatively had a better approach at the plate and stopped swinging at every strike and started swinging at GOOD strikes. I think .310/.350/.490 is a solid place to EXPECT him to be, but I think he has the tools to be a .900 OPS guy and would not be shocked if he did that next year (And I mean non-BA driven .900 OPS, which he already accomplished in '06).
   49. Cowboy Popup Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2601772)
Do you have toher evidence of a "different approach" besides parsing the numbers to make your point?

Well, there are hundreds if not thousands of comments from Yankee fans on RLYW and this website pointing out how much better his approach became in the 2nd half. But I'm pretty sure you aren't going to count that as evidence. If you're not going to accept the better contact, BB and BB/K rates as evidence of a change in approach, then no, I don't have any evidence.

I mean, do you really think he's going to turn into a .330/.390/.550 hitter?

For his best year, I don't see why not. The only thing that seems out of place is his OBP in that. Is there any reason to believe he can't hit .330 with a .220 ISP? He's already hit .330 once over a season. He's certainly capable of hitting a few extra HRs one year and getting his ISP up. The guy lost 40 points of average last year and was almost as productive at the plate hitting .306 as he was hitting .342 the year before. That's real progress in his secondary skills, progress that was visible as the season went along (I know, no evidence, right). The fact that not every player improves after 24 is not a very convincing argument, to me, that Robinson Cano is done improving.
   50. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:37 PM (#2601775)
Especially when you this good to start with. Another implication of regression to the mean. If Cano gets better, wonderful, but I'd be perfectly happy with him just doing what he's been doing the last 3 years.

I would too. I just happen to think he's shown that there's more there.
   51. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:40 PM (#2601780)
The 1996 team only had a pythag of 88-74 and were probably a little lucky to get into the playoffs.

Nobody in the AL East had a better pythag, or an actual record better than the Yankees' pythag, although Chicago and Seattle both underperformed their pythags. The Orioles were the team that was lucky to make the playoffs that year.
   52. nycfan Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:45 PM (#2601782)
He's improved his plate discipline every year he's played so far, so is there any reason to think he won't improve it again this year?
   53. JPWF13 Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:46 PM (#2601785)
You realize his "explosion" was about a half dozen singles and a bump in his walk rate (which, if you look at Wright's minor league numbers, should have been expected to happen one of these years).


I think the "explosion" people refer to is his .339/.425/.588 line from May 1 onward (603 PAs).
   54. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:50 PM (#2601792)
Re: #49

What's interesting here is that, other than our difference in opinion the value of Yankee fans on a messageboard's "scouting" and our use of statistics, is that I think we're reaching very similar conclusions. I can imagine a career season for Cano in which he hits .330/.3xx/.550. It will not mean that that is his "true talent" or baseline or whatever you prefer to call it. I think we probably agree that he can probably turn a few doubles into homeruns at some point over the next few years, and that his walk rate may inch up a bit more.

So is .310/.350/.490 it for him, in an "average" season? No, but .310/.360/.510 probably is, if everything goes reasonably well and he stays healthy. There's nothing else in his profile that would lead me to think he'd end up any better than that. And again, even if he doesn't improve, he's still a fantastic player and a huge asset to the Yankees. I'm certainly not trying to insinuate otherwise.
   55. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2601794)
I think the "explosion" people refer to is his .339/.425/.588 line from May 1 onward (603 PAs).

Good thing April stats don't count (?).

He's improved his plate discipline every year he's played so far, so is there any reason to think he won't improve it again this year?

What kind of logic is that?
   56. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:53 PM (#2601795)
I think the "explosion" people refer to is his .339/.425/.588 line from May 1 onward (603 PAs).

It's probably wrong to divide the season like that. Wright was a better hitter because he walked more. He was a better player because he also stole more bases and played better defense.
   57. aleskel Posted: October 31, 2007 at 07:57 PM (#2601800)
I like the look of Joba's K/BB rate. The HRs ... not so much
   58. John S Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:09 PM (#2601817)
I don't feel like digging through the threads from this time last year, but I just remember how many people were stating that Cano wasn't an 800 OPS guy. Now we are arguing whether he will be a 900. I don't know where he will end up, but man have perceptions shifted.
   59. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:10 PM (#2601820)
Wright was a better hitter because he walked more. He was a better player because he also stole more bases and played better defense.

FWIW, I agree 100%.
   60. JPWF13 Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:17 PM (#2601828)
It's probably wrong to divide the season like that.


Of course it is, but the question concerned the "explosion" in Wrights's production that people have mentioned - there really wasn't one unless you remove his godawful April.
His 2007 was better than 2005 or 2006 but not by a huge amount.

Maybe one day he will go through a season without a dead month, it happens, can't really be predicted but years like that will happen every now and then, and Wright goes .339/.425/.588 or the equivalent for a full season- I think he gets the plurality decision for Best Met Ever right then and there.

May never happen, may never get better than 2005-2007, but if 2008-2017 looks like 2005-20007, he'll get that title anyway. Still hasn't shown he can be the raw offensive force Strawberry could be, but he's close, is more durable, and assuming he avoids some of Straw's issues, he'll pass him, after that it's between Wright and Seaver.
   61. JPWF13 Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:18 PM (#2601830)
I don't feel like digging through the threads from this time last year, but I just remember how many people were stating that Cano wasn't an 800 OPS guy. Now we are arguing whether he will be a 900. I don't know where he will end up, but man have perceptions shifted.


One year can be a fluke
Two is a LOT less likely
   62. John S Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:20 PM (#2601834)
JPWF13: without looking at the stats or being a Mets fan, I would have to imagine that Piazza would have to be up there, defensive issues and all
   63. JPWF13 Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:26 PM (#2601837)
JPWF13: without looking at the stats or being a Mets fan, I would have to imagine that Piazza would have to be up there, defensive issues and all


Well yeah, but when Wright passes Straw he'll have passed Piazza as well.
He's closer to Piazza, Wright has a higher Met OPS+ than Piazza and is only 1600 PAs behind, he's more than 2000 PAs behind Straw who has an OPS+ edge.

If he keeps doing what he's been doing, he passes Piazza in 2-3 years.
If he keeps doing what he's been doing he passes Straw a year or two after that.
   64. kwarren Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2601846)
Most young players who are this good, do not get appreciably better for their "prime" seasons. The research clearly shows this.

Not only does the research not "clearly show this". It doesn't even hint at it.

From 1992 to 2002 97.3% of all players had a better "isolated power" from age 29 to 31, than from age 22 to 24. 82.5% of all players had a better OPS between age 27 to 29 than age 22 to 24.

The research also shows that the few players who don't improve usually had serious injury issues. The improvement rate for healthy players in "isolated power" is close to 100%.

If you truly don't believe that good players don't improve please, at least site some examples. Preferably not players who had long-term injury issues.

The analysis that I have done of the aging of various skills by age would suggest that your hypothesis is 100% incorrect.
   65. Mister High Standards Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:44 PM (#2601855)
The analysis that I have done of the aging of various skills by age would suggest that your hypothesis is 100% incorrect.


No, I'm rather sure that your research doesn't show this, but you either didn't understand my statement, you don't understand your research or you haven't looked at the particular statement I made.

Subdivide, players aging patterns based on the quality of the player at a young age. You will find, as I did that the better the young player the less he continues to "improve". Not only can it be shown analytically, but it is just common sense.

I think I'll go back to being an #######, because actually sharing information with many of you dodo's is more effort than it is worth. But please continue to insist that the most likly scenerio is that Robinson Cao "blows away" that projection line, he certainly may, but it's not a great bet.
   66. The Essex Snead Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:48 PM (#2601860)
Wang projecting to allow 260+ baserunners in 200 IP w/ only 87 Ks, and end up w/ a sub-4.00 ERA? That is disgusting.
   67. The Essex Snead Posted: October 31, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2601862)
In case it's not clear: yes, I'm one of those dorks still waiting for Wang's "smoke-and-mirrors shtick" to come back & bite him.
   68. Cowboy Popup Posted: October 31, 2007 at 09:00 PM (#2601866)
I think I'll go back to being an #######,

Go back?

But please continue to insist that the most likly scenerio is that Robinson Cao "blows away" that projection line, he certainly may, but it's not a great bet.

No one is "insisting" it's the most likely scenario, I just happen to think it will happen.
   69. Morph Posted: October 31, 2007 at 09:11 PM (#2601872)
In case it's not clear: yes, I'm one of those dorks still waiting for Wang's "smoke-and-mirrors shtick" to come back & bite him.


Good. The second everyone starts buying in, the mojo will be lost.

The 1996 team only had a pythag of 88-74 and were probably a little lucky to get into the playoffs


Mariano [or Super Mariano as he was known at the time] was the difference. That is probably an 85-88 win team without his amazing season setting up Wetteland. Give Joe Torre credit for putting Rivera where he belonged.

Joba will be way better than that projection IF he can maintain his stuff and stamina the second and third time around the order. I'm pretty confident he will. That rotation could be excellent this season, but 2009, as long as everyone stays healthy, could be a real treat from the pitching end of things.
   70. Kyle S Posted: October 31, 2007 at 09:29 PM (#2601881)
re: cano - i did a mini study. i think matt r is right.

first, i filtered lahman for all player seasons post 1945 (not including 2006) with at least a 900 ops, under 25 years of age, and at least 500 ABs. no, i didn't park adjust. no, i didn't league adjust. because i'm lazy. i'm sorry. 50 players had at least one season like this.

then, i figured out what their best season was under the age of 25. several guys had multiple seasons under 25 that qualified (e.g. vlad guerrero, hank aaron). i took the highest OPS with enough ABs to qualify.

then, i figured out what their best season was at 25 or older.

the average max OPS for these guys under 25 was a 966. the average max OPS for the rest of their career was a 985. so on average, once you're good enough to put up a 900 OPS, there isn't a lot of room to get better.
   71. JPWF13 Posted: October 31, 2007 at 09:55 PM (#2601891)
the average max OPS for these guys under 25 was a 966. the average max OPS for the rest of their career was a 985. so on average, once you're good enough to put up a 900 OPS, there isn't a lot of room to get better.



You need a lower floor, Cano hasn't quite reached .900 yet, and you need a ceiling as well as a floor.
That average Max is a bit higher than Cano's to date, and from 1945-2006 the league averages were about .265/.330/.400 compared to the .271/.366/.428 in Cano's date. So you are comparing Cano a 126/120 OPS+ hitter to guys who reached (on average)an OPS+ of 162.

I can see someone who reaches an OPS+ of 162 by 25 as not having much room left for improvement.
Cano has only reached 126.

I suspect you will see something quite different if you narrow your search to .850 to .900 OPS
   72. AROM Posted: October 31, 2007 at 09:58 PM (#2601893)
Good work Kyle. All it is is selective sampling.
   73. bibigon Posted: November 01, 2007 at 12:19 AM (#2601990)
The more I look at it, the more certain I become that the 2008 Yankees will challenge the Red Sox for the division, even if they don't make any moves other than retaining Posada and Rivera.

The more I look at it, the more certain I become that the 2008 Yankees will be the weakest iteration of the team for a long time.

I hate the Yankees.
   74. Fat Al Posted: November 01, 2007 at 12:28 AM (#2601994)
The more I look at this roster, the more I think that managing the 2008 Yankees will be a real test of what Joe Girardi is made of.
   75. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: November 01, 2007 at 12:44 AM (#2602003)
David Gassko assured me he's a 5 ERA pitcher and anyone who says otherwise is a blind fanboy.


I'm not sure what you're referring to, but the THT projections for 2007 - for which Gassko was one of the main architects - projected Wang at a 3.99 ERA.
   76. HowardMegdal Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:57 AM (#2602115)
No one is "insisting" it's the most likely scenario, I just happen to think it will happen.

CP, I agree with you that Cano will better his 2007, between his improved patience and the subjective belief that he is a 30-homer guy. I'm wondering what you mean by blow away. Do you see it happening next year? I'm thinking .320/.390/.530 next year- is this what you mean by blow away? Just curious.

I think Melky's at .290/.370/.450 with plus defense in center field- not terrible, to say the least.

The more I look at it, the more certain I become that the 2008 Yankees will be the weakest iteration of the team for a long time.

Yankees won 87 games in 2000, Pythag 85 wins. Why do you think the Red Sox will be an 80-85 win team next year?
   77. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:20 AM (#2602126)
I could be reading him wrong, but I think he meant that the 2008 Yankees will be the weakest iteration for a long time to come, not the weakest iteration in recent memory.
   78. AROM Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:34 AM (#2602133)
I'm not sure what you're referring to, but the THT projections for 2007 - for which Gassko was one of the main architects - projected Wang at a 3.99 ERA.


Probably this article.

I think there was a link around here and some kind of heated discussion too.
   79. HowardMegdal Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:34 AM (#2602134)
I could be reading him wrong, but I think he meant that the 2008 Yankees will be the weakest iteration for a long time to come, not the weakest iteration in recent memory.

Upon reread, I think you're right.

I'd need to see what the farm system/free agency provides to replace C, 1B, SS, 3B, LF and RF, along with the entire bullpen, before I'm comfortable making that statement.
   80. PJ Martinez Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:35 AM (#2602136)
Two small points/questions:

1. Is part of the conservatism about Cano related to his history as a minor leaguer/prospect? Unless I'm mistaken (could certainly be), Cano never got hyped as a major prospect, and, partly for that reason, I suspect (and also the low walk rate, maybe?), many people have been skeptical about his major league success.

1a. If that is the case, can people think of other players like that, just anecdotally? What became of them?

2. Isn't Derek Jeter a great example of a player who showed up and was excellent right away and never got any better than that? He still hasn't topped his magnificent 1999-- never even come close, really. But if you looked at his OPS+ up to and including that year, you would see 103, 127, 153-- and you might think, wow, what is this guy capable of? Or, at least, this guy will put up 135-145 for years to come. Instead, he has settled in a notch below that 127.
   81. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:46 AM (#2602140)
PJ,

1. If you look at his minor league numbers you will see that once he hit the upper minors he's hit almost exactly his ML line. From April 2004 through May 2005, which covers AA and AAA, he hit approximately .300/.350/.500. Since then, he went to the majors and did the same thing. If you don't believe his minor league line supports his major league success then, IMO, you aren't doing a good job of placing his minor league performance into context.

2. Yep.
   82. PJ Martinez Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:42 AM (#2602159)
"If you don't believe his minor league line supports his major league success then, IMO, you aren't doing a good job of placing his minor league performance into context."

I wasn't really commenting on his minor league numbers so much as the hype around him as a prospect-- which may very well be meaningless. But presumably scouts were watching him and, well, did he ever get very high on any prospect lists? If not, why not?

Maybe he did, of course, I really don't know. It just seems like his success was not heralded. Which doesn't mean it won't continue.
   83. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 05:45 AM (#2602192)
I wasn't really commenting on his minor league numbers so much as the hype around him as a prospect-- which may very well be meaningless. But presumably scouts were watching him and, well, did he ever get very high on any prospect lists? If not, why not?

Maybe he did, of course, I really don't know. It just seems like his success was not heralded. Which doesn't mean it won't continue.


This is what's funny. If you look at it objectively, his scouting reports were actually pretty good, but he was never ranked highly. I think it's because there is a systemic bias against 2B prospects, justified or not. There times during Cano's minor league career that it was mentioned scouts could see him hitting as many as 30 HRs and that he should hit for good average. The concerns raised about him were that scouts felt a.) he would get too thick in the lower half and have to move to 3B and b.) he played too lackadaisical at times.
   84. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: November 01, 2007 at 06:13 AM (#2602198)
Obviously players who have higher stats early are less likely to keep improving. It's called regression to the mean, people. This is not news.
   85. Belfry Bob Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:50 PM (#2602353)
One of the 'top teams'? These projections sans A-rod don't look like that to me, unless being one of the teams that could win 82-90 games qualifies as a 'top team.' There are a lot more question marks here (Posada's signing/production, Mussina, the young pitchers' innings limitations, etc) for me to see the Yanks at the upper end of that range. Looks like some potentially massive pitching issues with no MVP third sacker to hold 'em up.
   86. Loren F. Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:58 PM (#2602367)
Personally, I try to differentiate what a player might be capable of from what I expect. After 1999, I thought Jeter might be a consistent 25-HR guy. There was a time I thought Bernie Williams would regularly hit 30-35 HR a season. So with Cano, I wouldn't be shocked if he put up a .320/.380/.560 season, because at his best (in a few years) his may be capable of that. But I don't expect that. It's true that Cano has gotten more patient over the past few years, and especially in 2007 -- but I don't know if he'll get a lot more patient than 2007, though, as he still is basically a hacking kind of hitter; that's what he was in the minors and there's no evidence that any amount of coaching will turn him into Ted Williams. I do think it's reasonable to expect Cano to get a little stronger as he ages and turn some doubles into HR, and so I expect him to develop into a 20+ HR guy on a regular basis. If that's his upside, I'd be very very happy. Quibbling about whether Cano will turn into a .900 OPS hitter or a .930 OPS hitter is not a problem.

On another note, I know 2008 will be the age-36 year for Posada, but I think his SLG will be higher than that ZiPS projection.
   87. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:28 PM (#2602429)
Since Cano's a propular topic in this thread, I ran the full projection for him.

Mean - 308/349/488
Optimistic - 326/372/542
Pessimistic - 290/323/442

It's useful to note how little downside ZiPS sees in Cano compared to other players - I'm fairly certain that the difference between Cano's mean and pessimistic lines are comfortably the smallest on the Yankees.

I've been considering how to present projection confidence in a proper manner - I try to keep posted projections as straightforward as possible.

Working backwards with the desired level of play as the constant, ZiPS has Cano with roughly a 21% chance at a .900 OPS. Given Cano's age, if you think that he can maintain his current level of play for the next 6 years, there's a 76% chance that he will have another .900 OPS season over the next 6 years.
   88. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:42 PM (#2602453)
Dan, sorry to bother, any chance you could post Austin Jackson and Alan Horne projections?
   89. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2602504)
I'm wondering what you mean by blow away. Do you see it happening next year? I'm thinking .320/.390/.530 next year- is this what you mean by blow away?

I think Cano is more likely to hit .320 next year then .308. I also think that Cano's power will get a bump out of the .180 ISP range and into the .200 range due to his better pitch selection, assuming he maintains it. I think .315/.370/.520 is probably along the lines of what I had in mind. I do think he's capable of that line you posted (OBP is a little high, I'll be surprised if he ever puts up a .390 OBP) and Zips seems to agree that he has the potential at least to put up an MVP type season. Really, it's just me posting as my fan hopings on my team's Zips page, I had no idea it would stir up so much discussion.

I think Melky's at .290/.370/.450 with plus defense in center field- not terrible, to say the least.

I would be giddy if Melky put up that line.

Isn't Derek Jeter a great example of a player who showed up and was excellent right away and never got any better than that?

####### heartbreaker.
   90. Mister High Standards Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:23 PM (#2602517)
Dan, one way that I think makes sens to show confidence would be OPS gap, betweem optimistic and pessimistic projection.
   91. a wider scope of derision Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:32 PM (#2602528)
Is there any reason why Matsui can't play 1B? Getting him, Giambi, Abreu, and Damon all into the lineup against RHP would help offset a lot of Rodriguez's production.

And I'll take the over on that Clemens projection. Not good FIP/xFIP this year.
   92. Mike Green Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:37 PM (#2602541)
Matsui can play first base. Jeter can play third base. If all egos were checked at the door (hah!), and the Yankees find themselves an average fielding and hitting shortsop in the trade market, this looks to me to be a 93-95 win club without Alex Rodriguez.
   93. Randy Jones Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:39 PM (#2602546)
Jeter can play third base.

Jeter's problems in the field seem to be a slow first step, he would be worse at 3B than at SS.
   94. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2602552)
When the ball is hit in play Jeter is usually the last Yankee IF to react. Placing him at 3B could actually put his life at risk.
   95. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:45 PM (#2602559)
Jeter's problems in the field seem to be a slow first step, he would be worse at 3B than at SS.

I've always thought so too, but he would only suck on half as many chances at third.

If ... the Yankees find themselves an average fielding and hitting shortsop in the trade market...

Like who? And what are you going to trade for this mythical beast?

With decent platoon partners for Betemit at 3B and Duncan at 1B and a little bullpen improvement, this is a 90 win team with Jeter at SS and Matsui, Giambi and Damon splitting LF and DH.
   96. The District Attorney Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:46 PM (#2602561)
If you look at his minor league numbers you will see that once he hit the upper minors he's hit almost exactly his ML line. From April 2004 through May 2005, which covers AA and AAA, he hit approximately .300/.350/.500. Since then, he went to the majors and did the same thing. If you don't believe his minor league line supports his major league success then, IMO, you aren't doing a good job of placing his minor league performance into context.
292/343/477, specifically... more than half of the plate appearances at AA, the rest at AAA... and this projects to him doing 314/346/489 in the majors... how, exactly? Now of course, if you wanna argue that his minor league stats don't matter at this point, then that's a different story, and IMO, an exceedingly sensible one. But I am really not seeing where you're getting it from that his minor league stats predicted he'd be this type of MLB player. I don't know how to phrase this any other way, but, the major leagues are a higher level of competition than AA or AAA.
   97. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:49 PM (#2602566)
I really think Betemit can play a decent 3rd base. Whether or not he can hit will be interesting. I haven't seen enough of him to be sure, but his projections suggest he has a huge range of possible performance (SG has him, with pessimistic to optimistic as somewhere between -30 and +30 runs above average). Seeing whether he can live up to his potential or not could be a fun story to follow or a really frustrating one.
   98. Randy Jones Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2602572)
With decent platoon partners for Betemit at 3B and Duncan at 1B

Ensberg and no idea what to do about 1B.
   99. a wider scope of derision Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2602574)
Like who? And what are you going to trade for this mythical beast?


The Tigers just got him. (And the Yankees probably couldn't have matched their offer.)
   100. JPWF13 Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:58 PM (#2602585)
The Tigers just got him.


If you are a Tigers fan and you think Renteria is an average fielding SS, you are in for one major letdown. If his decline continues in a year or two he'll be as bad as Guillen.
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