Projecting the 2012 Cubs: Right Field

The Cubs signed DeJesus on November 30th to a 2-year guaranteed contract with a 3rd year option. He's guaranteed $10.5 million over the contract. I think a couple of the reasons the Cubs chose DeJesus is quite simple and I mentioned them in that article.

DeJesus played RF for 116 games last season and played 8 games in CF. He’s a damn good fielder so it’s not surprising the Cubs have signed him. They need to improve the defense and DeJesus does just that. While his Total Zone last year was -1, defensive metrics aren’t exactly reliable over just one season. The previous three years his Total Zone was 9, 15 and 13. His UZR the last 3 years has been 16, 2.5 and 7.5. His DRS last year was 10. The guy can field.

The Cubs have also sucked at running the bases. DeJesus has been worth 16 runs in his career on the bases according to UBR. He was worth 2.7 last year. According to Baseball Prospectus’ baserunning metric, EQBRR, he was worth 1.3 in 2011.

This team has sucked defensively and on the bases for a long time and this improves the Cubs in both areas. He might just be the team's best baserunner already and is almost certainly the best fielder. Kosuke Fukudome was no slouch on defense either so the Cubs remain above average defensively at the position.

DeJesus is coming off a down year offensively, but added over 10 runs on defense and running the bases. Overall, he was a 2.2 fWAR player a year ago. Total Zone thought he was average on defense and his rWAR was only .6. He had been worth somewhere between 3 and 4 rWAR the previous 5 seasons so we should expect him to regress toward that. Below are his projections for 2012.

Projection PA H HR BB SO avg obp slg wOBA
CAIRO 524 127 11 45 80 .274 .343 .413 .334
Guru 386 90 7 30 59 .260 .323 .379 .312
PECOTA 593 149 11 49 87 .274 .342 .404 .328
Oliver 623 147 12 51 95 .267 .334 .402 .325
Bill James 466 115 8 42 73 .271 .349 .399 .327
RotoChamp 523 127 10 48 83 .267 .346 .402 .331
Dav-Marcel 494 118 8 45 75 .262 .338 .381 .317
Steamer 608 142 12 54 95 .265 .340 .404 .339
Marcel 492 116 9 40 77 .265 .334 .694 .324
Average 523 126 10 45 80 .267 .339 .431 .326

We projected 504 plate appearances from DeJesus, which would make him worth 1.4 WAR (+1 baserunning and +5 defense).

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