Monday, February 16, 2009

A belated birthday wish . . .

. . . to Nate Schierholz, who turned 25 yesterday. Somebody besides his mom needs to notice this guy. What's that you say? Bill James?

Bill knows something we don't.

Over at FanGraphs, a stat-nerd's wet-dream site, they post the Bill James projections for 2009. That system says Nate Schierholz will play 140 games and get 536 ABs. How they do that is beyond me--I never got past tea leaves in school. Take a look.

Birthday boy will pound out a .299/.331/.491 line for an OPS of .822. Too few walks--24--to go along with 75 strikeouts. But 61 XBH (36 2B, 8 3B, 17 HR)! Who is this guy? Can we give him a job?

Extra-base hit leaders in 2008: (2B, 3B, HR, total)

R.WINN 38 2 10 50
ROWAND 37 0 13 50
MOLINA 33 0 16 49
FLEWIS 25 11 9 45

Hmmmm. That's our starting OF and our catcher.

Then there's this guy, who's been smelling for some time even though he hasn't reached his expiration date.

My question for y'all out there: what does Bill James know that we don't? And how does Nate Schierholz get all that playing time? And is he really an .822 OPS guy?

Prizes for the most creative answer.

(And somebody needs to teach me how to make tables!)


JC Parsons said...

Does James explain where all those AB's come from?? Do we lose Rowand to a wall crash? Does Fred grow an extra toe back??

There is little to no chance that Nate will have more XBH's than Fred. Maybe HR's but I doubt that. I expect Fred to pass all the other OFer's this year, mostly because Randy (not Fred) will end up leading off.

Sorry, I can't fathom what James was thinking. Nate looks like a weak Linden to me. If he hits .400, great...otherwise package him up.

M.C. O'Connor said...

The guy drafted immediately ahead of Nate was Andre Ethier (who had an OPS+ of 130 last year).

2nd round, June 2003, nos. 62-63

Nate was on Team USA, I wonder if that raised his profile a bit for James to notice.

Theo said...

Why can't he play first? Seems like an easy way to get him some ab's.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'm hoping Pablo winds up at first, and I had not considered Nate there. But why not? It's wide open. Lots of 1B/OF types around, might make him more useful on the roster.

The said...

Well, of course Pablo at first means we have a real third baseman, so that's the best case scenario. Still, considering the hole at first why the heck not? For the record I'm not one of those guys who says put player x at first. First base is a much tougher position than the outfield, but certain athletes can handle it. Kotsay played excellent their for the Sox last year, and John Bowker with the guidance of JT Snow was respectable their last season...defensively.