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Nelson Cruz

Dan Szymborski just posted his ZiPS projections for the Texas Rangers next year. Of course, that includes Nelson Cruz, the minor league outfielder we sent to Texas as part of the Carlos Lee deal last July.

In 413 at-bats, ZiPS predicts Cruz will hit 266/335/465 with 20 home runs and another 22 doubles. If he were to play every day (not likely) and get more than 600 ABs, that'd push the counting stats to about 30 of each.

I know we flogged this particular dead horse last August, but does anybody think we're going to get that kind of production from left field this year?

Well, okay, ZiPS thinks so. It projects Kevin Mench for 272/330/464 and Geoff Jenkins for 260/338/434. Platooned to advantage, those should equal something greater than Cruz's projection. However, it's striking just how similar those Cruz and Mench projections are. We'll never know whether Doug Melvin could've just taken Mench and Cruz out of the deal and still gotten Francisco Cordero for Lee, but it would've been nice if he'd managed it.