CHONE is the brain child of Sean Smith. It’s a regression based projection system that utilizes TotalZone (a psuedo play-by-play metric) as the defensive underpinning and a linear weights (read: wOBA) offensive projection. You can find the complete projections over at the site baseballprojection.com. We’re going to take a glance at a few of the projections for Cardinal prospects in 2010. I’ve added the replacement and position adjustment to the offensive and defensive projections for a WAR based on a full season’s production.
Mark Hamilton is a player who has been in the system for some time (selected 76th overall in 2006) but has been hampered by injuries over the course of his time with the Cardinals. He gets some mentions in the tail end of prospect lists and Keith Law has said some nice things to say about his swing in the past. He’s someone that I’ve been particularly critical of as a defensive liability at the wrong end of the spectrum. CHONE doesn’t think much of him expecting him to be 17 runs below average (~.325 wOBA). As a poor fielding first baseman, that’s not a good thing; let’s hope Albert (6.7 WAR projection) stays healthy.
Daniel Descalso got a lot of print from a big 2009 campaign in Springfield but he sputtered in Memphis sharing playing time with Jarrett Hoffpauir. A failed reboot in the Arizona Fall League was disheartening but his overall projection for 2010 is right around replacement level (0 WAR). It actually projects him as a slightly better hitter than Hamilton largely due to being able to make contact more often and sustain a better OBP. At 23, age aids his projection more than the 25 year old Hamilton. TotalZone isn’t a fan of his defense projection him to be below average. The takeaway is that Skip Schumaker is only marginally better than Descalso next year, about a win, and looks to be well positioned to supplant Skip as his salary escalates.
David Freese, who I’ve written about here, projects for around 2 WAR. Again, I just can’t find a reasonable statistical argument to sign an injury prone 3B rather than start David Freese in 2010.
What’s the difference between Bryan Anderson and Matt Pagnozzi? About 15 runs. Even after a tepid season in Memphis and shoulder troubles, Anderson projects to be right at replacement level, which seems a touch optimisitc to me, largely on the strength of his position with 100 points of OPS on Pags. Anderson is 23; Pagnozzi is 27. The organization’s handling of Anderson continues to baffle me.
Allen Craig, discussed here, projects as a league average hitter, neutral defender and a 1.5 WAR player overall in the outfield. (Matt Holliday is projected as 4.0 WAR player by CHONE. I hate 90% of the projections I’ve seen for Holliday to date.)
The Cardinals have a gaggle of outfielders that sit right around replacement level but are flawed/one-dimensional players: Shane Robinson (defense), Nick Stavinoha (warm body), Tyler Henley (warm body), Antonio DeJesus (defense). I wouldn’t want any of those players on a contending team in 2010 but I still have high hopes for Henley in the future.
A few more prominent names come in slightly above replacement level. Joe Mather, who I continue to hope follows a Jayson Werth career path, and Jon Jay, on whom I’m consistently more pessimistic than the conventional wisdom, both come in around 1 WAR.
Daryl Jones looks like the least ready of the outfield prospects after a disappointing 2009. His athleticism and perceived potential continue to rate him highly amond prospect analysts but CHONE dislikes him in 2010 as a dismal hitter and a slightly above average defender.
Tyler Greene should be a servicable backup plan to Brendan Ryan (2.9 WAR) in 2010. The system isn’t a fan of his hacktastic hitting and actually rates him slightly below average defensively. Relative to position though, that’s not too bad. That doesn’t quite jive with my perception of his defense since he seems to have very good range and decent ball handling skills. Even so, it’s nice to have a shortstop in the system that won’t kill you if your starter goes down.
I’d encourage you to poke around the baseballprojection site since there’s a lot of fun projections there. Go look up a prospect you’ve wanted from another team (Sean Rodriguez – 3 WAR), check the major league squad (Colby Rasmus at a tepid 2.6 WAR) or a hated rival (Alfonso Soriano – 1WAR at $18M).