2012 BCB Community Projections: Left Field and Right Field

Feb 26, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Norichika Aoki (7) during a workout during spring training at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

We're on the final day of the position players. I don't have much else to write about in the little introduction paragraph, so that's about it.

Ryan Braun

2010: .304/.365/.501, 685 PA

2011: .332/.397/.597, 629 PA

ZiPS: .296/.360/.525, 675 PA

RotoChamp: .313/.380/.555, 421 PA

Last year was another step forward for Braun. He set a career high in walk rate and a career low strikeout rate to go along with a career-high wOBA. Even more impressive is that he actually was only 4 runs below average by UZR in left field last year. Last year's only real problem was his short time out with an injury, a near 700 plate appearance season with the same production would give him an 8+ WAR season. Now that he's off the steroids, though, we should be probably scale back our projections significantly.

Corey Hart

2010: .283/.340/.525, 614 PA

2011: .285/.356/.510, 551 PA

ZiPS: .270/.333/.481, 583 PA

RotoChamp: .274/.343/.493, 580 PA

Those projections listed for Hart both seem low to me. Yeah, he's going to be 30 (so weird) so maybe the projections are going to begin falling now but looking at his track record from the past two years it really seems like he's gotten in quite a groove. He also had a better walk rate and better strikeout rate in 2011 than in 2010. As with Braun and Weeks, he also missed some time last year with 580 PA. Either way, he's been a 4 WAR player in each of the last 2 years and I expect nothing less this season.

Norichika Aoki

2010: .358/.435/.509, 667 PA

2011: .292/.358/.360, 643 PA

ZiPS: .288/.338/.393

And here's the real wild card. Japan introduced new baseballs in 2011 and offense was significantly down across the league so his effort there last year shouldn't be seen as a huge dropoff in skills. Realistically I have no idea what to expect or what kind of playing time he's going to be looking at. I do know that the Morgan/Gomez platoon out in center will most likely account for all of the playing time there, and obviously playing time at the corners is mostly accounted for. Hart could slide up to first base to sit Gamel against lefties, which would allow Aoki to get time-- but that means Aoki's playing time would have to be against lefties, unfortunately, and that's his best opportunity to play. He should be a heck of a fifth outfielder, though, and very nice insurance in case of any injuries.

Form after the jump.

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