2014 Cubs: PECOTA Hitters

It's projection season and though I've not covered them in as much detail as I have in the past, I still enjoy it. We took a look at the Cubs PECOTA pitcher projections last week and they were unimpressive. Particularly unimpressive for Jeff Samardzija, but I don't buy it. 

Instead of adding commentary at the end, I'll do it before I post the projections. 

Not surprisingly, Anthony Rizzo is projected to provide the most WARP and hit for the highest wOBA (calculated by me). Starlin Castro is just behind him at 2.7 WARP and then Ryan Sweeney and Welington Castillo are next at 1.7. 

Baseball Prospectus is higher on Mike Olt than I am and if they're correct, he should be starting at 3rd over Luis Valbuena. Move Valbuena to 2nd base. These aren't the overall projections that you'd expect to see on a contender, but nobody, not even the front office, is trying to contend. You already know the Cubs aren't among the favorites for contention in the National League. 

I thought GW made a good point the other day that while it's nice to have guys like Rizzo and their projected values, we're all going to be disappointed if they don't get noticeably better than they have been. This is a really big year for Castro. He needs to bounce back after his awful 2013 season and we'd all like to see Rizzo take a step forward. 

The Cubs have been avoiding free agents and counting on young guys from within the system. Two of them are obviouisly Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. I don't know what it will take to make you happy, but I don't thinka  .340ish and .320ish wOBA is going to make me too happy with either player. I don't think it helps the Cubs chances of contending in the near future and I don't think the Cubs front office does either.

Guys like Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and maybe others aren't far behind, but they were meant to be added to a core that already included a very good Rizzo and Castro. If the Cubs don't get that, they're chances of contending in the next few years takes a big hit. The Cubs are investing a lot in their success. It's not necessarily in the money owed each player since both signed team-friendly extensions, but that investment lies in the long-term success of this organization. They need both of them to be better than projected. And they also need to get lucky with additional young players. 

Player PA H HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG wOBA WARP
Anthony Rizzo 631 145 28 57 131 .258 .332 .472 .346 2.9
Starlin Castro 651 170 11 31 98 .280 .318 .411 .317 2.7
Ryan Sweeney 402 100 6 32 61 .273 .332 .398 .325 1.7
Welington Castillo 511 114 17 42 126 .249 .323 .414 .325 1.7
Nate Schierholtz 584 136 17 37 104 .254 .306 .418 .315 1.2
Justin Ruggiano 337 77 13 28 85 .250 .315 .437 .330 1.2
Darwin Barney 546 127 6 28 66 .251 .294 .349 .284 1.1
Mike Olt 261 51 12 30 78 .224 .314 .424 .323 1
Kris Bryant 250 53 10 13 71 .229 .275 .405 .292 0.7
Luis Valbuena 307 64 8 32 61 .233 .315 .382 .314 0.4
Junior Lake 541 124 12 25 145 .247 .286 .378 .291 0.4
Matt Szczur 250 56 3 16 46 .245 .298 .341 .284 0.3
Donnie Murphy 68 14 3 4 18 .237 .298 .446 .300 0.3
George Kottaras 122 22 4 16 29 .220 .325 .390 .311 0.3
Chris Coghlan 108 26 2 9 17 .261 .329 .392 .328 0.2
Javier Baez 66 15 4 2 19 .243 .280 .476 .317 0.2
Josh Vitters 32 8 1 2 7 .241 .288 .400 .324 0.1
Logan Watkins 393 81 7 35 89 .234 .304 .357 .295 0.1
Arismendy Alcantara 61 13 1 3 15 .242 .282 .375 .261 0.1
Christian Villanueva 61 13 2 2 15 .235 .277 .393 .279 0
Brett Jackson 32 6 1 3 11 .205 .285 .355 .280 -0.1
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