Talking About Projecting 3rd, Short, and 2nd

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

We discuss projections for Aramis Ramirez, Jean Segura, Rickie Weeks, and Scooter Gennett.

Aramis Ramirez

It was something of a lost season for Ramirez, but looking back at his numbers the actual good news is that when he was on the field last year, he was actually hitting reasonably well. The 2012 power (and doubles) surge did not last but if he can duplicate his .283/.370/.461 and stay healthy for more than the 92 games he played last year, the Brewers should be looking at above-average production out of third base. Health also likely will play a role in his defense at third. UZR didn't like his defense much at all last year but rated him 8 runs better than average in his huge, 5+ WAR 2012. Getting back to average in that department would go a long way towards helping his value.

Contract Situation: 2014: $16 M, 2015: mutual option with $4 M buyout

ZiPS: 459 PA, .275/.338/.473

4 runs below average at 3rd base, 11 runs above average on offense, ~2.3 WAR

Jordan's Over/Under: Over. Yes, there's downside risk due to the age and the injury track record, but his OBP has been over .360 the past three years and I think that the "old age" risk for Ramirez is more about him missing games than him playing poorly.

Jean Segura

Segura made us all very excited with his first half of 2013 and somewhat concerned with his second half. There was a time when people thought that it was ambitious to project that Segura would ever even make double-digit home runs in a season, much less in the first 3 months of his age-23 season. Then we saw a glimpse of what that might look like when he only hit one more after the All-Star break.

Contract Situation: 2014: Pre-Arb 2

ZiPS: 580 PA, .284/.322/.422

6 runs above average at Shortstop, 5 runs above average on offense, ~3 WAR

Jordan's Over/Under: Over. ZiPS basically projects Segura to have about the same exact year he did last year. That certainly makes sense given the unevenness of his performance over the course of the season, but given the chance to bet same or better on a player who turned 24 years old yesterday, I'm going to bet on the improvement.

Rickie Weeks

From 2007 to 2011, Weeks was a solidly above-average second-baseman, and nearly had a 6-win season for the 2010 team. That almost seems hard to believe after watching him struggle badly for 2 seasons now without any ridiculously noticeable change in underlying peripheral numbers. For the Brewers to contend they are really going to need one guy at 2nd base (and 1st base, which we will talk about on Thursday) to exceed expectations.

Contract Situation: 2014: $11 M, 2015: Vesting option with 600 PA for $11.5 M

ZiPS: 522 PA, .236/.328/.406

7 runs below average at 2nd base, 3 runs above average on offense, ~1.3 WAR

Jordan's Over/Under: Under, but mainly because I don't think he will play enough to accumulate that much value. I could easily see him beating that hitting line, but the Brewers aren't about to let him get anywhere near the neighborhood of 600 plate appearances and all indications is that it's somewhat Scooter Gennett's job at this point. It goes without saying that leveraging him against lefties would be smart.

Scooter Gennett

Gennett somehow managed create average overall production at second base in just 230 plate appearances last year. No one really knows how it happened, or why, but it was pretty cool.

Contract Situation: 2014: Pre-Arb 2

ZiPS: 626 PA, .276/.309/.387

2 runs above average at 2nd base, 8 runs below average on offense, ~1.4 WAR

Jordan's Over/Under: Under. I want to be a believer, I really do, but he basically had a career best batting line at any level last year, in the majors. I think he equals that ZiPS batting line but isn't above-average on defense and gets closer to 400 PA, which puts his value at slightly lower than the projection.

The interesting thing to me is how similarly Weeks and Gennett project over a full season-- almost exactly between average and replacement level. I'm not breaking any new ground here, but it appears to be an ideal spot to leverage a platoon and try to wring 2 WAR (average production) at second base overall.

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