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.
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.
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