Before I get into Jorge, I just want to note that I apparently made a mistake the other day (thanks to Moshe for pointing it out on Twitter) when I calculated Derek Jeter’s projected WAR. I shorted him about .58 WAR. If I had done the calculations correctly (going by this post and this article), it would’ve come out like this:
.344 projected wOBA-.327 LGwOBA = 0.170
0.170/1.15 = 0.0148
0.0148 x 703 projected PAs = 10.3922 runs above average
10.3922 + 7.5 positional adjustment for SS = 17.8922
17.8922 – 5 runs defensively = 12.8922
12.8922/10.5 runs per win = 1.2278 wins above average
1.2278 + 2 (adjusting for replacement level) = 3.2278 projected 2010 WAR for Derek Jeter
So, that’s still about a bit off his career averages in terms of WAR, but it’s still not bad for a 37 year old shortstop.
Let’s jump into the WAR-projection pool with Alex Rodriguez. I reviewed Alex’s seasons in terms of his 2010 ZiPS Projection, and Alex fell just a bit short of that for a few reasons that I touched on. Just based on his talent, along with his numbers from this year, I’m very comfortable in predicting a rebound year for Mr. Rodriguez. Bill Hames is, too.
He projects–very optimistically–a .393 wOBA for A-Rod in 621 PAs. What would that transfer into in terms of WAR? Using the same process as above, and assuming -2.9 fielding (A-Rod’s 3B UZR/150), 5.3562 WAR. That would be one hell of a rebound! When I looked at that, I thought…no way. That’s way too high, even with a projected .393 wOBA. So to check it, I went to the FG wOBA leader-board and looked for any comparisons to A-Rod to see if my projection was really so awful.
I found Adrian Beltre. He wOBA’d “only” .390 in 2010, but his fielding was much better than -2.9. With a .390 wOBA and a +11.8 UZR, Beltre racked up 7.1 WAR. So, in that light, my projection doesn’t seem to be that far off.
However, there are still some factors we need to address.
1. It’s very possible that A-Rod is worse than -2.9 runs on defense.
2. It’s very possible that A-Rod will get some PAs at DH, negatively affecting his positional adjustment.
3. It’s very possible that A-Rod won’t get to a .393 wOBA. That may not be likely, but it’s still possible.
4. This has to do with #3, but James’ projections are notoriously positive. We’ll definitely check back on this projection when the ZiPS and CHONE projections come out.