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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Where Is The Offense…It’s Right Over Here

FanGraphs released the Red Sox’ ZiPS projections today and I think it is somewhat enlightening.  With the daily “there are no new updates on J.D. Martinez” updates I think it is worth taking a gander at how the team projects.  I used wOBA because it is a nice neat number to go with and compare year over year;

1B Mitch Moreland - 2017: .326 - 2018: .320
2B Dustin Pedroia - 2017: 331 - 2018: .321
3B Rafael Devers - 2017: .344 - 2018: .341
SS Xander Bogaerts - 2017: .321 - 2018: .335
IF Brock Holt - 2017: .256 - 2018: .308

While the infield shows some slight decreases there are considerable gains to be had.  First Bogaerts projects for a much better season in 2018 which stands to reason as injury dragged him down last year.  Additionally health hopefully will benefit Holt and getting a full season of Devers too offset the mess that was third base for the first four months is a big plus.  One guy not included in here is Eduardo Nunez who was key last August and while his timing and performance were impeccable he only played 38 games for the Sox.  I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised that Moreland’s projection is as good as it is.  I have had him mentally penciled in for a big drop but that is pretty minor.

LF Andrew Benintendi - 2017: .332 - 2018: .343
CF Jackie Bradley Jr. - 2017: .313 - 2018: .327
RF Mookie Betts - 2017: .339 - 2018: .362

Hubba hubba.  The underreported story of 2017 was down years from the various Bs (including Bogaerts and Brock - see what I did there).  Plexiglass principle alone should result in the some pretty solid improvement for the Sox and none of these performances look unattainable to me.  The other thing the Sox can hopefully do better this year is get more from a fourth outfielder than Chris Young’s .310 wOBA of a year ago.  Bryce Brentz is currently in that spot and has a .318 projection though I will admit to being skeptical of his ability to reach that level.

C Christian Vazquez - 2017: .318 - 2018: 290
C Sandy Leon - 2017: .279 - 2018: .293
C Blake Swihart - 2017: .323 - 2018: .277

Swihart’s 2017 number was achieved in 7 plate appearances so that is worthless.  Still it is not especially shocking that the Sox will have some need to cover some loss at the catcher position.  I don’t think any sane person was expecting Vazquez to recreate 2017.

DH Hanley Ramirez - 2017: .318 - 2018: .334

Another player who had a down 2017 but a player I am not optimistic will bounce back in 2018. 

What strikes me in general though is that the Sox have a lot of players making up ground on 2017.  Bogaerts and the three outfielders combined for 40% of the Sox’ plate appearances in 2017 and should be expected to do so again.  Add in Devers being a marked improvement over what the Sox got at third base last year (.677 OPS) and there is good reason that the Sox will see considerable improvement at five positions easily. I would still feel a lot better with J.D. Martinez donning the ol’ carmine hose but maintaining the status quo is not a bad thing.

NOTE: I pulled numbers from FanGraphs free site and have the link.  If Dan sees this and feels what I’ve done here is inappropriate use of that information please primer mail me or leave a comment and I’ll pull the numbers out.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 17, 2018 at 04:51 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5608609)
Below are the top ZiPS comps for the starting position players, presented in lineup form, without listing who they're comparable to:

Willie Randolph
Craig Biggio
Ellis Burks
Elbie Fletcher
Todd Zeile
Marcus Giles
Dan Wilson
Will Venable
Kevin Barker

That is not an inspirational lineup.

Don't get me wrong; this is a decent team and a decent lineup. There's enough quality here, including a Hall-of-Famer and a couple of guys who were on that trajectory for a while. But it seems to lack quantity of quality. ZiPS for JD Martinez hasn't been posted yet for 2018, but in 2017 his top comp was Richie Zisk, who also doesn't inspire me.

Interestingly, the player with the Biggio comp is not Pedroia. Nor is it Betts.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5608622)
ZiPS for JD Martinez hasn't been posted yet for 2018
FWIW, his Steamer projection at fangraphs is: .277/.350/.545 for a .371 wOBA.
   3. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 18, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5608792)
Eduardo Nunez


Speaking of...is his knee healed? Is he projected to start the season on the DL for some team, or is he ready to go?
   4. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 18, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5608835)
This is from RotoWorld;

Nunez excelled in a utility role with the Giants and Red Sox in 2017, slashing .313/.341/.460 with 12 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 114 games. He battled a knee injury down the stretch, but the versatile 30-year-old is expected to be 100 percent by the start of spring training in February.
   5. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 20, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5610025)
Watching the winter weekend stuff.

- Hanley says he is ready to play first base

- David price is healthy and expected to be ready to go right from the start of spring training

- Carson Smith is 100%

- Tyler Thornburg has clearance to throw and may or may not be ready to start the season.
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: January 20, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5610040)
And Wright?

v.i., is #1 their overall comps, or those through age X?
   7. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 20, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5610042)
Dombrowski talked about having six MLB starters so presumably he’s operating under an expectation of availability. I assume at this point no one knows anything about Wright’s status and for legal reasons no one wants to comment on him.
   8. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 20, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5610177)
Apparently the Sox are extending the netting. It will now reach Field Box 9 on the RF line and Field Box 79 on the left field line. Both of these are well past the dugouts. Ugh.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 20, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5610180)
As far as the post itself I get vi’s concerns about the offense, I share them. But the Sox are almost certain to be better offensively next year and they won 93 games last year. I think the pitching has a very good chance to be better too though that’s far from certain. I suspect the pitching will be about on par. I really want Martinez but this is a very good team.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5610189)
- Hanley says he is ready to play first base

Probably should have mentioned that before they signed Moreland.
   11. villageidiom Posted: January 20, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5610295)
Apparently the Sox are extending the netting. It will now reach left field line. Both of these are well past the dugouts. Ugh.
The other day I watched Field Of Dreams again, and other than noticing for the first time that Ray and Terence were sitting in the 3rd base grandstand, not the 1B side as they said (the concessions behind them are the ones that were behind section 30 BITD) I was struck by the look of the park back before the monster seats and the advertisements and the extended scoreboard. I know that it was like that, and I know I saw it that way for most of my life. But it seems so foreign to me now.

v.i., is #1 their overall comps, or those through age X?
No idea. It's whatever Szym/ZiPS gives for a comp.
   12. villageidiom Posted: January 29, 2018 at 08:52 AM (#5614823)
So this JD Martinez thing is pretty much just like the JD Drew thing, right? They don't make a move, and he doesn't make a move, but he's the best option for them, and they're the best option for him... and then it all just happens. That's where this is going, isn't it?

I suppose the exception here is that JD Drew was actually worth the contract he signed, and it's unlikely that Martinez will be, if the numbers I've seen are accurate.
   13. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 29, 2018 at 09:18 AM (#5614836)
So this JD Martinez thing is pretty much just like the JD Drew thing, right? They don't make a move, and he doesn't make a move, but he's the best option for them, and they're the best option for him... and then it all just happens. That's where this is going, isn't it?


That's my thinking. There is no real downside right now if you are Martinez. Wait it out and if someone gets hurt your market opens up. My guess is next week is when something breaks.

As an aside Drew was delayed in part because Theo got married.
   14. GGC Posted: January 31, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5616506)
I've been on hiatus lately, so I haven't been keeping up with my therapy appointments. Who sits if Martinez joins the team?
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: January 31, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5616508)
I've been on hiatus lately, so I haven't been keeping up with my therapy appointments. Who sits if Martinez joins the team?
mostly Hanley. Occasionally Benintendi, JBJ, or Moreland.
   16. John DiFool2 Posted: January 31, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5616608)
Moreland and Hanley likely platoon, c. 50:50 PA split.

Just hope JD can handle DH. [in a meager sample of 151 AB's, he hasn't, with a 9:49 BB:K split]
   17. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 03, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5618674)
Stupid conspiracy theory. The Sox and JDM have a deal but the Sox are waiting for the Pats to be eliminated to announce it to hold the news cycle. This is stupid but I think there have been two situations in semi recent history where it’s happened. One was Theo in 2005 where it backfired. They had an agreement but didn’t want to announce on a Saturday so they waited for Monday but then Shaugnessy wrote his column and Theo changed his mind and gorilla suited out. The other I only have vague memory of but there was some move that they waited for a Pats super bowl run to end before announcing.

Like I said, stupid conspiracy theory,
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: February 05, 2018 at 09:35 AM (#5619593)
Stupid conspiracy theory. The Sox and JDM have a deal but the Sox are waiting for the Pats to be eliminated to announce it to hold the news cycle.
We'll find out soon I guess.
   19. villageidiom Posted: February 05, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5619655)
Stupid conspiracy theory. The Sox and JDM have a deal but the Sox are waiting for the Pats to be eliminated to announce it to hold the news cycle. This is stupid but I think there have been two situations in semi recent history where it’s happened. One was Theo in 2005 where it backfired. They had an agreement but didn’t want to announce on a Saturday so they waited for Monday but then Shaugnessy wrote his column and Theo changed his mind and gorilla suited out. The other I only have vague memory of but there was some move that they waited for a Pats super bowl run to end before announcing.

I don't recall anything about the Red Sox, but the Globe sat on a story about drug use by some of the Patriots' players until the day after Super Bowl XX. They first heard about the issue in December, but didn't report it until the very end of January.

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