Robinson Cano, Al Alburquerque, Tony Randazzo, Alex Avila

2011 Projection Review: Second basemen

8 Comments

What follows is a review of some of my 2011 projections for Rotoworld.com. I’m highlighting my preseason top five for each position and some other notables.

Catchers
First basemen

Second Basemen

Preseason Top 5

Robinson Cano – Yankees – $32 – #1
Projection: .313/.368/.518, 28 HR, 96 R, 113 RBI, 4 SB in 620 AB
2011 stats: .302/.349/.533, 28 HR, 104 R, 118 RBI, 8 SB in 623 AB

It was a little disappointing that Cano went from a 77/57 K/BB ratio in 2010 to a 96/38 K/BB ratio this year, but it certainly didn’t stop him from putting up outstanding numbers. Now that he’s the Yankees’ No. 3 hitter, he could crack 650 at-bats next year and finish with 30+ homers and 110+ runs scored.

Ian Kinsler – Rangers – $27 – #2
Projection: .283/.363/.478, 23 HR, 99 R, 73 RBI, 25 SB in 558 AB
2011 stats: .255/.355/.477, 32 HR, 121 R, 77 RBI, 30 SB in 620 AB

I wonder if Kinsler will ever put it together and have a truly monstrous year. He hit .319 in 121 games in 2008 and .286 in 103 games in 2010, but he’s finished in the .250s in his two healthiest seasons. Maybe the .320 was a fluke, but there’s no reason he can’t hit .290-.300 given his very modest strikeout rate.

Dustin Pedroia – Red Sox – $26 – #3
Projection: .300/.372/.463, 17 HR, 110 R, 75 RBI, 15 SB in 613 AB
2011 stats: .307/.387/.474, 21 HR, 102 R, 91 RBI, 26 SB in 635 AB

Since they’ll probably want to give Carl Crawford a chance to bat second, the Red Sox should just go ahead and make Pedroia their full-time cleanup hitter next year. He’s hit .397/.439/.678 with 28 RBI in 31 games in that spot.

Brandon Phillips – Reds – $25 – #4
Projection: .280/.335/.446, 20 HR, 90 R, 81 RBI, 22 SB in 599 AB
2011 stats: .300/.353/.457, 18 HR, 94 R, 92 RBI, 14 SB in 610 AB

Phillips turned in his best offensive season since 2007, but since the Reds as a whole were a disappointment, it didn’t result in 100 runs or RBI.

Dan Uggla – Braves – $21 – #5
Projection: .257/.351/.488, 32 HR, 92 R, 95 RBI, 3 SB in 553 AB
2011 stats: .233/.311/.453, 36 HR, 88 R, 82 RBI, 1 SB in 600 AB

Uggla simply took too long to get going. He hit .185 in the first half and .296 after the break.

Others

Dustin Ackley – Mariners – $3 – #28
Projection: .259/.334/.406, 7 HR, 46 R, 39 RBI, 8 SB in 340 AB
2011 stats: .273/.348/.417, 6 HR, 39 R, 36 RBI, 6 SB in 333 AB

It’s always nice to get a rookie pretty much right. The pathetic thing here is that Ackley had such mediocre run and RBI numbers even though he hit third in 71 of his 87 starts.

Gordon Beckham – White Sox – $15 – #12
Projection: .272/.344/.440, 18 HR, 86 R, 72 RBI, 10 SB in 577 AB
2011 stats: .230/.296/.337, 10 HR, 60 R, 44 RBI, 5 SB in 499 AB

I don’t know what to do with Beckham now. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be getting a change of scenery this winter, but maybe the switch from Ozzie Guillen to Robin Ventura in the dugout will serve the same function. I still believe the ability is there, but two years of such obvious regression at ages 23 and 24 is extremely discouraging.

Maicer Izturis – Angels – $4 – #25
Projection: .271/.337/.382, 5 HR, 53 R, 39 RBI, 11 SB in 343 AB
2011 stats: .276/.334/.388, 5 HR, 51 R, 38 RBI, 9 SB in 449 AB

Perfect projections just aren’t easy to come by. This one looks flat-out awesome until one notices the at-bats. Of course, if I had projected Izturis for 450 at-bats, then I also would have given him seven homers, 70 runs scored and 50 RBI.

Kelly Johnson – Diamondbacks/Blue Jays – $18 – #9
Projection: .275/.356/.478, 22 HR, 89 R, 74 RBI, 11 SB in 559 AB
2011 stats: .222/.304/.413, 21 HR, 75 R, 58 RBI, 16 SB in 545 AB

The Aaron Hill-Johnson swap came too late for either to salvage the season, but Johnson did hit .270/.364/.417 in 115 at-bats after the deal.

Howie Kendrick – Angels – $18 – #7
Projection: .304/.344/.442, 11 HR, 75 R, 74 RBI, 17 SB in 565 AB
2011 stats: .285/.338/.464, 18 HR, 86 R, 63 RBI, 14 SB in 537 AB

Kendrick finally turned in a really good season in his sixth year in the bigs, but it wasn’t the kind of campaign I thought it’d be. I figured the breakthrough would come in average, not power.

Chase Utley – Phillies – $19 – #6
Projection: .281/.389/.480, 19 HR, 77 R, 67 RBI, 10 SB in 427 AB
2011 stats: .259/.344/.425, 11 HR, 54 R, 44 RBI, 14 SB in 398 AB

Neil Walker – Pirates – $12 – #16
Projection: .278/.330/.434, 16 HR, 78 R, 76 RBI, 5 SB in 572 AB
2011 stats: .273/.334/.408, 12 HR, 76 R, 83 RBI, 9 SB in 596 AB

Rickie Weeks – Brewers – $17 – #10
Projection: .260/.360/.446, 22 HR, 91 R, 63 RBI, 16 SB in 534 AB
2011 stats: .269/.350/.468, 20 HR, 77 R, 49 RBI, 9 SB in 453 AB

I don’t imagine that Weeks will stay in the middle of the order following Prince Fielder’s likely departure this winter. Even with all of his power, he makes a lot more sense as a leadoff man, particularly since it gets him an extra at-bat every other game.

Ben Zobrist – Rays – $14 – #14
Projection: .251/.353/.399, 15 HR, 87 R, 64 RBI, 22 SB in 562 AB
2011 stats: .269/.353/.469, 20 HR, 99 R, 91 RBI, 19 SB in 588 AB

Zobrist rebounded a lot further than I thought he would after going from hitting .297/.405/.543 in 2009 to .238/.346/.353 in 2010.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images
10 Comments

The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
9 Comments

The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.