26 December 2009
I don't claim to know my way around a spreadsheet better than most, but I do enjoy numbers and appreciate their value. Numbers can be great as both evaluators and predictors of performance. With that in mind, I wanted to take some time to lay out what the current roster of the 2010 Twins looks like, and predict how many wins we can expect next season.
Now, I realize that the offseason isn't over. Another move could easily impact the projections you see below, either for better or worse. Personally, though, I very seriously doubt the Twins make a major move between now and the beginning of the season -- aside from the locking up Mr. Mauer, of course.
Anyway, here are the projected number of wins the Twins will enjoy for the 2010 season, based on Chone's projections and Jeff's wonderful wOBA to WAR conversion spreadsheet. Also worth mentioning is that these totals are above replacement, which means that anything seen below will need to be added to the projected wins a Quadruple-A team would have over the course of a season, but I'll cover that later.
Also, Chone's projections are known for being conservative, but not necessarily inaccurate. These projections do not factor in defense. For the sake of clarity (and my sanity) I'll consider the 2010 Twins to be a league-average defensive team for this example. Here are the batters, followed by the pitchers.
Position - Name - Projected wOBA - '10 WAR
C - Joe Mauer - 0.396 - 7.7
1B - Justin Morneau - 0.365 - 3.3
2B - Nick Punto - 0.304 - 1.0
SS - JJ Hardy - 0.314 - 2.1
3B - Danny Valencia - 0.295 - 0.4
LF - Delmon Young - 0.330 - 1.6
CF - Denard Span - 0.347 - 3.6
RF - Michael Cuddyer - 0.348 - 2.7
DH - Jason Kubel - 0.351 - 1.4
Total offensive WAR = 23.8
Position - Name - Projected RAR - '10 WAR
SP - Scott Baker - 36 - 3.6
SP - Kevin Slowey - 21 - 2.1
SP - Nick Blackburn - 20 - 2.0
SP - Carl Pavano - 15 - 1.5
SP - Brian Duensing - 14 - 1.4
RP - Jesse Crain - 4 - 0.4
RP - Matt Guerrier - 3 - 0.3
RP - Bobby Keppel - 0 - 0
RP - Jon Rauch - 5 - 0.5
RP - Jose Mijares - 2 - 0.2
RP - Pat Neshek* - 10 - 1.0
RP - Joe Nathan - 15 - 1.5
Total pitching WAR = 14.5
(* Chone doesn't have a projection for Neshek, so I came up with the completely arbitrary number of 10 runs above replacement.)
This calculates to a grand total of 38.3 wins above replacement for the 2010 season. Although debatable, a replacement-level team is generally regarded among the statistical community to be capable of winning 50 games, this puts the projected win total of the 2010 Minnesota Twins at 88, one more than what it was last season.
With this in mind, should the Twins spring for a couple of expensive three-WAR players to push their projected win total to 93? As Nate Silver finds in an essay in the book "Baseball Between the Numbers," a win is much for valuable to a team that is projected to win between 84 and 94 games. Just as an example, if the Twins signed a five-WAR free agent their chances of reaching the postseason would increase by more than 50 percent, based on data from '96-'05. This 50 percent increase would clearly be significant, and shows just how important it is to get over the 90-win plateau.
If the Twins splurge on a player like Adrian Beltre (projected 2.8 WAR) or Orlando Hudson (projected 2.5 WAR), their chances of reaching the postseason would dramatically increase.
Knowing Bill Smith and the Twins, though, I expect no more moves to be made this offseason, and the 2010 AL Central will most likley come down to the wire once again.
|< Prev||Next >|