“WELCOME TO DENVER!”
I can still hear ringing voice of Renelda Muse over the DIA speakers in the shuttles to the main terminal.
So this article is my official “Welcome to Denver” for the Rockies four new lineup regulars: Michael Cuddyer, Marco Scutaro, Ramon Hernandez and Casey Blake. First a tip of the baseball cap to DanO, because although the Cuddyer money was substantially above market, I still for various reasons really like each of these four new Rockies additions. By way of disclosure, I acknowledge that the standard and customary concept of an “everyday lineup” doesn’t actually exist with JT as the manager (forever really?).
So what should these four veteran players, and more importantly the RWO fanatics, expect from these guys as they bring their bats to Coors Field? Before I continue this article you should know that this analysis is somewhat long, makes some gross statistical assumptions, and finally has nothing to do with the “new” baseball statistical metrics.
What I decided to do was to look at the “triple stat” lines for players that have played a significant part of a long career in Denver. This analysis is flawed in many ways, because it ignores Mile High vs Coors Field, Humidor vs Non-Humidor eras, Steroids vs Non-Steroid eras, point of career, etc. But, in spite of all that, I still find the results interesting when used over a dozen players as outlined below-Gm(Sns):AVG,OBP,SLG:
While admittedly not exactly scientific, the trends above show that hitters will, on average, hit 15 points higher with an additional 15 points added to their OBP, and a whopping 37 points added to their slugging percentage – all because they moved their baseball career to Denver. With that in mind, what should we expect from the four new Rockies starters based on their previous career numbers and most importantly if they can stay somewhat healthy?
|B James 12’||152(1):.275/.347/.451||143(1):.271/.341/.378|
|B James 12’||81(1):.267/.336/.403||48(1):.246/.338/.386|
Bill James (by way of FanGraphs) conservative projections for 2012 (B James 12’) are consistently below mine (Rockies 12’), however in fairness it should also be noted that each of the four new players have already logged over 1,000 games in their respective careers and are realistically on the downhill side – although experience can in some instances lead to stronger numbers (see Cuddyer). Beyond that James is especially pessimistic about the number of games that both Hernandez and Blake will play in 2012.
For this baseball writer (use that term loosely) the bottom line for the Rockies team projection is that if each of these four new Rockies players meets their “Denver” adjusted career averages (Rockies 12’) then the Rockies will make the playoffs! It’s statistically as simple as that and not all that unrealistic right?