Thinking positionally

C  529  71 121 32 14  68 51 146  7/4 .229 .299 .372 .672 7th
1B 592  78 171 42 13  84 56  69  3/4 .289 .354 .436 .789 8th
2B 623  91 195 38 10  82 26  99 13/8 .313 .343 .435 .778 7th
SS 667 101 195 36  8  88 45  72 20/4 .292 .337 .385 .723 6th
3B 618  96 183 30  4  75 63 100 39/9 .296 .358 .383 .741 8th
LF 619 106 193 40 17 105 63  85 18/5 .312 .373 .468 .841 4th
CF 611  92 154 30 18  77 71 121 20/6 .252 .329 .399 .728 8th
RF 609  85 190 45 19 106 72  88  9/6 .312 .386 .483 .868 2nd
DH 581  82 151 23 18  79 47  74  6/7 .260 .319 .396 .715 13th

Basically, the offense was built around maintaining league-average production everywhere, then raking at the corner OFs to make up for the craptastic DHing. Good enough for 4th in the league in Runs scored (better than the vaunted Cleveland offense), something I think a lot of us forget.

So what can we expect from our current roster going forward, compared to this?

Superficial answer would seem to be less production from LF and RF, exactly our two main areas of advantage from last year, considering that no one expects G.A. & his backups to rack up .312/.373/.468, and that Vlad will be spending a lot more time at DH. But there are a couple of random data peaks and valleys creating that impression:

  • G.A. and Willits both just happened to rake while playing left field, hitting .319/.351/.535 and .317/.416/.376, respectively. Meanwhile, Willits stunk it up in center with a .231/.340/.275. No reason to expect such extreme splits next year, and quite a lot of reason to expect Willits to be shipped anyway (which will certainly take a bite out of our OBP, while adding SLG).
  • Last year the main backups in RF were Figgy and Willits; this year we can expect a lot more power (and less OBP) out there.
  • DH will certainly be a much bigger power center now. Basically, the global effect (so far) of the offseason moves is that we've replaced crappy Shea Hillenbrand with Hunter. Though we may also have replaced non-crappy Willits and Kendry Morales, too.
  • So the overall OF/DH production should be slightly higher. Hunter was an upper-tier offensive center fielder last year, which will hopefully make up for expected regressions for Vlad (small) and G.A. (bigger).

But the real areas of possible improvement are at first base, catcher and third base. Why? Because Napoli, who is a much, much better hitter than Mathis or Molina, only had 219 ABs last year, and should have more this year. He was 4th in the league in OPS from that position, and there's every reason to believe he'll keep performing at that level. Kotchman will likely improve, especially in power, and I don't expect occasional lefty-basher Quinlan to keep stinking up the joint

As for 3B, well, imagine improving upon last year's .292/.337/.385 with .296/.357/.442 (Tejada in his injury-filled season last year, which was his worst this century) or the other Miguel's .320/.401/.565. You'd be getting top-tier offense from 3B, CF, DH, C, and maybe 2B and 1B as well. That would be a high-scoring ballclub.

Anyway, thinking out loud, etc.

This Fan-Post is authored by an independent fan. Tell us what you think and how you feel.

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