Projecting The BlueJays Offensive Splits

With the regular season just 3 weeks away I thought I would do a simple exercise to help get a good look at what to expect from the Bluejays offence. I decided to project players in terms of how they would do vs either lefties or righties. I use the stat Wrc+ to estimate what % the Jays batters will be better/worse than league average.

I looked at each players splits throughout their careers and spent 5-10 minutes looking at each players stats to try to estimate their splits. I also made slight adjustments to account for each player's age (are they expected to decline? improve? stay the same?).

It is important to note that there was no set process to estimate these splits. In general I would look at each players last 3-4 years and weigh it with the numbers they posted last year. The projections are fairly subjective and not everyone may agree with what I predicted for each player. Having said that, I think I did a fairly good job at not being biased and making the best possible estimate I could. If you disagree with a projection feel free to comment on that and post what you would project.

Here it goes....

Projected Starting Line-up vs. Righties (Projected wrc+ in brackets):

  1. SS Jose Reyes (114)
  2. LF Melky Cabrera (105)
  3. RF Jose Bautista (137)
  4. DH Edwin Encarnacion (145)
  5. 1B Adam Lind (128)
  6. 3B Brett Lawrie (107)
  7. CF Colby Rasmus (120)
  8. C Dioner Navarro (82)
  9. 2B Ryan Goins (84)

Bench/Others: Erik Kratz (85), Maicer Izturis (84), Moises Sierra (84), Kevin Pillar (75), Josh Thole (87), Chris Getz (77), Anthony Gose (94)

Notes: -As it stands, I have 7 players projected to be league average or better vs righties (that seems pretty solid)

-Career numbers and last years numbers were weighted for each player to get each projection

-Kevin Pillar's MLB struggles vs righties led to a rather low projection than how his MiLB numbers would likely translate. This was fairly subjective on my part although he did show large splits in the minors

-Maicer Izturis had a 93 wrc+ vs righties from 2010-2012. This projects a bounce back from last season but not quite where he was in years prior

-Moises Sierra's surge since late last season led me to project his numbers higher than I otherwise would looking at his whole season

-Ryan Goins had fairly large splits in the minors. His projected Wrc+ with solid defence actually seems to make him a decent option for the position if platooned

-When comparing players, remember to consider defence and base running. A higher Wrc+ does not always mean a better player

Projected Starting Line-up vs. Lefties (Projected wrc+ in brackets):

  1. SS Jose Reyes (106)
  2. DH Moises Sierra (97)
  3. RF Jose Bautista (146)
  4. 1B Edwin Encarnacion (153)
  5. 3B Brett Lawrie (107)
  6. LF Melky Cabrera (105)
  7. CF Colby Rasmus (78)
  8. C Dioner Navarro (114)
  9. 2B Maicer Izturis (82)

Bench: Erik Kratz (92), Ryan Goins (52), Adam Lind (59), Kevin Pillar (112), Josh Thole (53), Chris Getz (63), Anthony Gose (55)

-As it stands right now, I believe Kevin Pillar would be a better option vs lefties than Rasmus

-Given Pillar's fairly young age, the Jays may want to give him everyday at bats in the minors. If that is the case I would recommend finding a platoon partner for Rasmus that could potentially spell Cabrera as well (Justin Maxwell?)

-Moises Sierra's small minor league career splits (he also had large reverse platoon splits in a fairly small AAA sample last year) led to him being projected to be slightly below average vs lefties

-Given that the DH position is judged purely on offence, I think it the Jays could find a more productive platoon partner for Lind. Since Sierra is out of options though, it is probably his job to lose

-I would strongly recommend keeping Goins, Lind, Gose, Getz and Thole out of the lineup vs lefties

-Given Izturis' 82wrc+ projection and average/below-average defence, I think it would be wise to find a different platoon partner for Lind (As Kraemer_17 brought up in a recent fan post, I believe/agree that Jeff Keppinger would be a solid target)


-Offensively the starting lineup projects to be fairly strong

-2B seems to be the position that the Jays could upgrade. Nick Franklin and Stephen Drew appear to be the two possibilities on the market. I believe both of these two should be platooned as well. Both players are clear upgrades at 2B but with Goins' strong defence at 2B I think he is an adequate option if the prices for these players are too high

-The bench is where most of my concern currently lies. Keep an eye out for out of options players competing for a spot on other teams as well as roster jams. For example, the Royals seem to have two out of options players in Justin Maxwell and Jared Dyson competing for one spot

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my take on things and feel free to comment on how you view the state of our offence. If you think I am significantly off on a projection, don't be afraid to comment and help me reconsider. Anyways, i'm pretty excited about the Jays offence and think a solid bench would help us have a solid group. Let me know what you think in the comments!

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