I mentioned earlier today that the CHONE projections were available on FanGraphs, so I figured it was time to add the CHONEs to the Bill James projections in the winterlong Andy LaRoche Projection Bonanza:
Bill James: .252/.347/.401
As you can see, they’re pretty damn similar. There’s still several more of these I want to see, but it seems like a safe guess that the baseline for LaRoche’s projections is going to be around .750 this year. That’s obviously a massive improvement over 2008, but I think it’s still disappointing compared to what the Pirates want to see out of him.
Of course, the reason I’m doing this is that I’m not certain that any of us know what to expect from the younger LaRoche this year and the projections give us an interesting start. They also have the advantage of not having seen him play last year and only seeing the numbers. I guess that sounds cold and people will likely take umbrage with it, but what I mean is that as Pirate fans, we generally only have had the chance to see LaRoche play in his two months with the Pirates last year. He was awful, but he’s almost certainly better than that. Still, it’s hard to see past it having lived through the nightmare as a fan. The projections only see his minor league numbers, big league numbers, and age, and they make their predictions from there.
So my question to you right now is this: would you be happy if Andy LaRoche posted a .750 OPS next year?