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John Buck is probably the best free agent option now for catcher. I have no idea why the Royals...

John Buck is probably the best free agent option now for catcher. I have no idea why the Royals would let him go while picking up the corpse of Jason Kendall. Teams are still convinced that veteran catchers can have value above and beyond the numbers. The search to quantify that still goes on.

Sean "CHONE" Smith
FanPost

What Should We Expect Going Forward from the Royals' Offense?

With the end of the Royals' best first month of the season in recent memory, fans are understandably wondering how sustainable it is. Obviously, the pitching has been good  (some young guy whose...

FanPost

Choose-Your-Own WAR Projection! 2009 Royals Position Players

As one of the millions of people who undoubtedly read yesterday's Driveline Mechanics column on optimizing the 2009 Royals' lineup, I have little doubt you saw all those numbers for the Royals...

CHONE's TotalZone Projections

So Rally/CHONE/Sean Smith, who earlier did defensive projections that went over so well here at Royals Review, has added defensive projections to his player pages. These are different than the earlier ones. The earlier sets (still available, I think) are based on a combination of STATS and BIS data. Those on the player pages are based of TotalZone, including those from the minors. I’m sure people will have plenty to complain about with these, too, (and there are some significant differences from UZR or plus/minus, as you’ll see), but it’s definitely worth checking out unless you think it’s going to bias your awesome scouting eye which can see things that these nerds can’t imagine. Here are some Royals stats in runs/150 games. OF= corner, CF = Center Alex Gordon +2 (3B) Billy Butler -3 at 1B, -21 in OF Kila -1 at 1B Shealy 0 (average) at 1B Ross Gload -5 at 1B Callaspo 0 (average) at 2B TPJ +1 Jose Guillen -2 in OF (hey, not bad. Now if he could only hit...) Mark Teahen -2 in OF, -15 3B DDJ +5 CF, +11 Corner OF CoCo Crisp, +6 CF Shane Costa, +4 OF MITCH +8 OF, +1 CF Willie Bloomquist -3 2B, -2 3B, -1 SS, +5 OF, -2 CF (the Spork, indeed. Good thing he’s a "doubles hitter.") Tug Huglett +1 2B, +3 3B, +4 OF, -4 CF (like Bloomquist, except witha better bat, defense. But he’s not a "winner.") Mike Jacobs -7 at 1B Mike Aviles -4 at SS, +3 2B, -2 3B (Let's not raise expectations too high, the minor league numbers apparently agreed with the scouts) Please insert all qualifications re: defensive stats: e.g., sample size, projections, minor league numbers, TotalZone, etc. Feel free to read more about TotalZone, too.

Your Mike Aviles Mega-Projection

Looking at all the projections for Mike Aviles in 2009.

FanPost

The Numbers Are In: What Do the Projections Say About the Royals' Rotation in 2009?

So, yeah, I'm supposed to be working on some "So what is..." posts for the Stat Glossary, but I don't really work here, so I'll get to it in my own sweeet time. And, yes, I should really be working...

Mike Jacobs' Career May One Day Equal Barry Bonds'

Over at Beyond the Box Score, xanthan takes at look at historical Wins Above Replacement to see how long it would take some current players, at their career rates, to catch up with Barry Bonds. For A-Rod, it's about 9.6. For Pujols, it's 11.42. For Jeter, it's 21.51. Some joker asked about Mike Jacobs. Hey, it could happen... check the comments for the number of seasons it would take Mr. 32 Home Runs.

CHONE-based preseason power rankings

The AL Central teams: 4. Indians 5. Tigers 13. Twins 20. White Sox 22. Royals PECOTA thinks the division is going to be tight. CHONE, not so much Indians 90-72 Tigers 85-77 Twins 79-83 White Sox 73-89 Royals 72-90 72 wins? Yikes. I'm not buying it. Realistic playing time projections change that significantly (for the better).

Two Monkeys and a Whole Lot of Money: Marcel, Rally, and the 2009 Free Agent Position Players

I was going to do a whole FanPost with cute monkey pictures and more detailed analysis, but I have a backlog of stuff to bore you with, and this isn't my blog anyway. I figure people can discuss this on its own, and at the very least it might be a handy reference tool. Unless it sucks, in which case feel free to ignore it. In short, I constructed another Google Spreadsheet to give some estimated market values of free agent position players (with a few of my non-FA favorites mixed in for fun) for the 2008-2009 off-season, just in time for Winter Meetings. These are not my projections. They take the (intentionally) most basic offensive projections available -- Tom Tango's Marcel projections (named after the monkey from the first season of Friends [ugh]) and combine it with the defensive projections done by "Chone" Smith, aka the Rally Monkey. I don't get into the in and outs of Marcels (which is intended less as a "real" projection system than as a baseline for judging others, although it does surprisingly well with established players, considering its simplicity), nor of Chone's defensive projections (which have been discussed on this blog a bit already. Keep in mind that some of this stuff can seem pretty silly (Marcel doesn't understand park effects or injuries, for example, but I still think any monkey that can regress to league average is pretty impressive), but I didn't adjust anything because then I would have to adjust everything. This sort of thing is discussed a great deal on the intertubez, so I thought I'd put a lot of it together with "custom" salary estimation for each player based on $4.84 million per win above replacement (WAR) adding in $400,000 a year replacement cost. I have also included a generic salary chart. I make no great claim to originality here. I'm just taking other people's projections and combining it with stuff I've picked up by reading smart people (Tom Tango, MGL, Dave Cameron, and on and on) -- the story of my life. To borrow one of Tango's lines about this: teams who sign players for their market value (relative to whatever projection you have for the player, of course) aren't particularly smart or particularly dumb. They're just doing what any other team would do in signing for market value. The smart teams are the ones that manage to find players they can sign for less than the market value. So discuss away! Just to reiterate: I am not saying a couple of monkeys (Marcel and Rally) should be running the Royals. Some things can't be projected by simple computer programs. The monkeys would never have been able to see Gil Meche's past two years of performance coming. Then again, Marcel and Rally would never have given Jose Guillen 3/36, so maybe Dayton Moore should bring them on as consultants...

Chone Smith's defensive projections for 2009

Obviously, these are just projections, and the less time a player has, the less data there is, so the usual caveats apply about defense need at least three years to get a sense of true talents, small sample size for part time players, fielding slumps, etc.). There is also some "controversy" because he regresses to the Fans Scouting Report rather than league average, but hey, I'm just reporting. Read about the methodology here. Below are what he has for many Royals, as well as some other players "of interest." I've done it in runs @position format. At least I think the numbers represent runs. "corner" = corner outfield (all one position here, for some reason). Not sure how the got the numbers for CF for some guys, maybe they just played an inning way back when and it's still in Smith's database, or morel likely there's a formula for extrapolating what a player would do at the other outfield positions from their performance elsewhere. Infielders (primarily): Alex Gordon -9 @3B Tony Pena, Jr. +3 @SS Mike Aviles +4 @2B, +3 @3B, +5 @SS Alberto Callaspo -7 @2b, -4 @3B, -8 @SS Esteban German -15 @2B, -13 @3B, -20 @SS, -7 @corner, -23 @CF Billy Butler -4 @1B Ross Gload -1 @1B Ryan Shealy +3 @1B Mike Jacobs -8 @1B Russell Branyan -1 @1B, -5 @3B Orlando Hudson +3 @2B Rafael Furcal +2 @SS Mark Ellis +15 @2B Outfielders (primarily): David DeJesus +9 @Corner, +3 @CF Mark Teahen +2 @1B, -11 @3B, +4 @corner, -5 @center Jose Guillen, -11 @corner, -23 @center (?) Joey Gathright +11 @corner, +4 @center Mitch Maier +4 @corner, -4 @center Franklin Gutierrez +22 @corner, +19 @center Ryan Langerhans +14 @corner, +9 @center (sign him!) Matt Stairs -13 @corner, -27 @center (thanks, we needed to know whether or not to acquire Stairs to platoon in center with Gutierrez) Nick Swisher +5 @corner, -3 @center, 0 @1B Ben Francisco -2 @corner, -11 @center Adam Dunn -13 @corner, -27 @center (Stairs=Dunn) Pat Burrell -14 @corner, -28 center (Stairs>>>Burrell) Bobby Abreu -11 @corner, -24 @center I'm sure that's enough. Anyone else that interests you can be looked up. Again, remember that these are these are projections for next year, not evaluations of the last year (although past performance obviously is the main factor in the projections). Sample sizes vary greatly depending on how much time a player has played at a position, how long ago it was, how long they've been in the majors, etc. Enjoy! Discuss! Argue!

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