Whether Aubrey Lewis Huff is an upgrade over the options facing the Giants before his signing is moot at this point. He's our guy and we're stickin' with him. So--what are we getting and how does he stack up against the other mitt-men in the division? Let's take a look at his 10-season, 1322-game career numbers:
.282/.340/.472, (203 HR) 113 OPS+
How do the statheads project the 33-year old's 2010 season?
Bill James: .267/.334/.445, (20 HR) 107 wRC+***
CHONE: .263/.327/.438, (19 HR) 103 wRC+
Huff had a great year in 2008 and fell off a cliff in 2009. It's a familiar refrain and not worth re-hashing. This is a "quick-and-dirty" survey just to get the talk started. (I threw in the HR numbers because we all know the G-men are a bit short in the Dingerz Dept.)
Around the West, the class of the division is clearly Adrian Gonzalez in San Diego. This guy had a .958 OPS last year (166 OPS+, 6.3 WAR) and his career line is .281/.362/.506. He's a beast, he turns 30 in May, and there is no reason to expect him not to be one of the best players in the NL this season. Good thing he's on a weak squad! James Loney, the youngster (26 in May) in LA is seen as something of a disappointment due to his lack of power (.399 SLG in 2009). His career line is .295/.354/.451 with a 112 OPS+, and he projects a 115-116 wRC+. We all know Dodger fans are whiners and crybabies--if they don't like Loney they can always ship him our way. Todd Helton in Colorado is a genuine star, with a career .994 OPS (140 OPS+), but after 13 seasons of wear-and-tear there is some concern about the 36-year old's continued productivity. The projections say he's still a 3.0 WAR, 130 wRC+ player, which would be quite impressive. The Rockies would be smart to rest him a lot and pencil in a capable backup now and then. The Diamondbacks have a young slugger named Brandon Allen at AAA, but they decided they needed Adam LaRoche to man the bag for 2010. Giants fans thought we'd be seeing this fellow, but he is going to a park better suited to his power. He's an .834 OPS (116 OPS+) lifetime (6 seasons, 838 games). Bill James thinks the 29-year old will produce a 122 wRC+, but CHONE disagrees and only rates him at 110.
There you have it, mates. What are your thoughts on first base for 2010?
***wRC+ is scaled similarly to OPS+ (see this blog post for a nice primer on offensive stats), so 100 is "average."