Today’s multiple projection piece focuses on infielders, with a look at David Wright, Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores. Lucas Duda may figure in here, too, but the idea was to hold him off for last to see if we can learn anything about his ability to play during Spring Training. We seemingly get daily updates on Wright but Duda information hasn’t been quite as available.
Wright seems able to bend but not throw, there are rumors of Reyes in the outfield and there’s talk of Flores filling in at three infield positions. Right now the whole thing seems extremely muddy and that’s without even any consideration of Duda’s health. If Wright starts on Opening Day, he easily becomes the MLB regular with the least amount of chance to play 162 games. Other than that, who knows? Here are our individual picks for the trio:
Jim takes the optimist title on Wright’s playing time with 305 PA, while Charlie does so with his production, as he has Wright supplying an .873 OPS. The two Mikes are the playing time bears (150 PA) while Dalton sees only a .682 OPS.
In conjunction with Wright’s lack of playing time, Mike R. sees Reyes amassing 574 PA, while Charlie sees him with the most production, with an .820 OPS. Everyone sees Reyes getting at least 350 PA, yet five of us see him failing to crack a .700 OPS. Mike K. sees Flores getting 500 PA and Matt sees an .850 OPS. Charlie and I see Flores with the least amount of playing time, while Dalton is very bearish on results, as he has Flores with just a .673 OPS.
As expected, our individual forecasts are all over the map. Here are our official group forecasts for the trio:
Our group numbers seem mostly to make sense. Wright and Reyes combine for about what you would expect for a full season of PA, perhaps a bit on the light side. But Flores has a role much greater than short side of a platoon at 1B, an indication of him seeing time at other positions. The Flores OPS number seems optimistic for that many PA, especially for a guy with a lifetime .661 mark against RHP. Now let’s see what the computer models think:
Usually, my default assumption is to defer to the projection models, unless there’s something we know that the computers don’t. In this case, it might be best to make an exception. Not that we know something but rather that no one knows anything. It’s interesting how close the OPS projections are for each system for both Reyes and Flores. Playing time for Reyes, too.
The ZiPS comp for Wright is Billy Johnson, who drew MVP votes in his rookie year of 1943 before leaving for World War II. He came back to play until 1953 but did not have anywhere close to the peak of Wright. ZiPS goes back even further for Reyes, picking out Jersey Joe Stripp, who was no Jack Glasscock. But finally, with Flores, we get a comp that might bring a smile to your face. ZiPS picks Mike Lowell, a four-time All-Star who twice drew MVP support. Lowell got a much later start than Flores but in the first decade of the 21st Century, Lowell put up a 111 OPS+ over 5,897 PA.