Mistake free forever. - USA TODAY Sports
Positional rankings, based on Fangraphs' projections, are beginning to come out. For the Royals, some good and some bad.
Fangraphs has been/are unveiling their positional rankings. You can get an brief explanation of their methodology here. Basically, it is a combination of ZiPS and Steamer, with Fangraphs' own estimation of probable playing time, all run through their WAR calculator. Everyone should have a WAR calculator, by the way, and not just for baseball stats.
Anyway, you can get the complete rundown from the links, but I'll very briefly summarize the Royals.
The Royals shake out at seventh overall, right between Detroit and Minnesota.
- Salvador Perez - 480 PA, .284/.320/.423, 3.4 WAR
- George Kotteras - 128 PA, .235/.339/.399, 0.7 WAR
I will take those numbers right now with no complaints.
Kansas City, basically Eric Hosmer, comes in at 19th: right behind Minnesota and Cleveland.
- Eric Hosmer - 630 PA, .274/.342/.441, 1.8 WAR
- Billy Butler - 70 PA, .296/.369/.484, 0.4 WAR
Obviously, most of Billy's production will be accrued as a designated hitter. We all want Hosmer to be a superstar, but for this year, I would take the above projection as a nice step forward.
Keep scrolling down, the Royals are at number 27.
- Chris Getz - 315 PA, .261/.317/.332, 0.5 WAR
- Johnny Giavotella - 315 PA, .272/.326/.374, 0.8 WAR
Fangraphs sprinkles in 35 plate appearances at this position for both Miguel Tejada and Irving Falu, while giving none to Elliot Johnson. Not really sure if that matters (combined Tejada and Falu accounted for 0.1 WAR), but worth noting. This position is a mess, particularly if you have given up on or never believed in Giavotella.
There are a lot of really good third baseman in baseball these days. The Royals check in at number fourteen.
- Mike Moustakas - 630 PA, .261/.315/.437, 3.2 WAR
- Elliot Johnson - 35 PA, .236/.303/.366, 0.1 WAR
- Miguel Tejada - 35 PA, .255/.292/.336, 0.0 WAR
I certainly understand where the Moustakas projection numbers come from, but you hope the on-base percentage and slugging are higher. There is certainly nothing wrong with a 3.2 WAR, but the funky nature of current fielding metrics makes me wish more of that value was coming from Mike's offensive numbers.
Alcides Escobar and his back-ups are way down at 21st (between the Yankees and the Mets), which sure seems low, but then I'm a homer. Clicking the link is interesting for the just the chart at the start of the article.
- Alcides Escobar - 595 PA, .271/.315/.370, 2.0 WAR
- Elliot Johnson - 91 PA, .246/.303./366, 0.2 WAR
Irving Falu gets a courtesy 14 PA in the projections as well. Truthfully, is there a real difference between Johnson and Falu? And if not, would a flyer on a someone in the middle of the Rays' system been a better PTBNL than Johnson was?
In a 'go for it' year, the Royals are 22nd in center, 21st at short and 27th at second base (projected, of course).
- Lorenzo Cain - 560 PA, .265/.321/.398, 2.5 WAR
- Jarrod Dyson - 140 PA, .253/.315/.333, 0.4 WAR
I would be delighted if Lorenzo Cain could stay healthy for 560 plate appearances, but not quite so delighted if that is the batting line he puts up. It is hard to see Cain ever being a big on-base guy, but the little we have seen of him would seem to indicate that coveted 'slug' might trend higher (if you squint just right and have the right color of glasses on, anyway).
More rankings will follow. I'm interested to see where Gordon ends up ranking and, of course, Francoeur as well. Pretty sure 'scroll down' will come into play when finding the Frenchman.
I have a hunch many of you might know exactly where to look for the Royals' ranking for this position. I can offer nothing more without be branded a negative Nancy.