Saturday, February 28, 2009

Projecting Mike Jacobs

Last year during spring training I came up with Royally Speaking Projections (RSPs) on the Royals and because I did it in about thirty minutes without any research whatsoever I missed badly. And I know there are plenty of projections out there but I was really bored that day, really bored. And for a rush job I did get Callaspo's batting average (.305, I missed his OBP by .004 points) and Meche's win and innings total (14 and 210) right. Everything else was just way off.

This year I decided to be a little more thorough and project the stats based on some of their baseball reference age based comps. While it's certainly flawed the end result resembles other projections and I'll put those (Bill James, CHONE, and ZIPs) up for comparisons sake. And because of the time consuming nature I will only be doing a few players and up first is Mike Jacobs. Jacobs was acquired in a controversial trade from the Marlins, controversial not because of the 32 home runs he hit last year but because of his .299 OBP. In fact had he even a league average OBP just about every Royals fan would have loved it (though then it probably would have taken more than the oft-injured Leo Nunez to get him).

I didn't like this trade at the time but I do now and am quite confident he will put up a good season. I understand that many fans wanted to see what Ryan Shealy could do with 500 at bats thinking he would probably hit 20-30 home runs, maybe he would and maybe he wouldn't - we really don't know. What we do know is that Jacobs has averaged 23 bombs a year the last three seasons and has a 162 game average of 31 home runs and 95 RBI's.

You have to go back to the year 2000 to find the last Royal to have hit 30 home runs in a season (Dye, 33). Will Jacobs be the next? Projections (mine included) say no but if he can hit in the mid-20's then I think fans will be pleased.

RSP .263/.333/.458 22 88
ZIPs .262/.313/.485 24 85
CHONE .259/.313/.474 23 78
Bill James .270/.325/.515 26 80

Well not a big difference as you can see, I project the least power but the the best on-base ability though .333 seems unlikely. Truth be told I'd probably be happy with any of those seasons (especially James) and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a good year from Jacobs, despite his .299 OBP from 2008.


  1. there is no controversy from me whenever you trade a relief pitcher (that i will be shocked is still pitching in 3 seasons) for a 30 plus potential player


  2. I like Nunez but he's just too injury prone. KC has really lacked legit power and considering Gload has sported OBPs of .318 and .317 the last two years its not like they are losing on base ability at 1st base (or DH if they decide to switch him and Butler).

  3. Well, I would like the deal a lot better if Shealy hadn't had his September, if we didn't already have a one-dimensional "power" hitter and if I didn't have to worry about Dayton Moore putting Billy in Triple-A to waste away. And I will always stand by the belief that any 2009 improvement will mostly come from improvement from Butler/Gordon/Greinke/Soria.

  4. And I will always stand by the belief that any 2009 improvement will mostly come from improvement from Butler/Gordon/Greinke/Soria.

    Agreed and I would add Davies/Hochevar to that as well.

  5. I don't find it as likely or as significant from them. That's why I didn't include them.

  6. I disagree, Butler and Gordon can turn put up years like Sweeney and Dye did earlier in the decade but if the starting pitching isn't there then it may not matter (record wise).

  7. Yeah, but you have to do all aspects of the game to win. They're married to each other. What I was saying is that I expect a lot more growth out of Butler/Gordon/Greinke/Soria than I expect out of the others. I expect huge break out years from the first three (and more dominance from Soria, but really given the team restrictions placed on the closer, how much better can he really get), while I only expect marginally better performance out of Hoch and Davies.