Community Projection: Starting Second Baseman

There really isn’t a good way to handle this one. I guess that I could make the second base projections last, but where’s the fun in that? About a month ago, the great unwashed masses declared Kevin Frandsen to be the preferred choice, but is he the likely starter? Dave Flemming was on KNBR yesterday, and he seemed to think that Manny Burriss had the inside track because the Giants were going to want defense from second. Andrew Baggarly quickly noted that today’s exhibition lineup was probably the Opening Day lineup "possibly subbing out Kevin Frandsen for Emmanuel Burriss," so at least one beat writer thinks that the competition is still an open one.

The stats! indicate that Kevin Frandsen is in the lead. I mean, he’s hitting .500/.583/.900 in ten spring at-bats, which is current and therefore more reliable than those musty old "career stats." But if Sandoval and Renteria reach a combined six ground balls in the spring, trying to counter that with a boffo defensive right side wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.

So this post is a dual community projection. Take Burriss and Frandsen, and project what either would do if they were awarded the full-time gig. The projections for Burriss from other sources:

Bill James: .276/.338/.329
CHONE: .270/.331/.347
PECOTA: .252/.312/.304
ZiPS: .254/.307/.294

Note that I’m just giving the rate projections from the systems, without worrying about playing time projections.

And here’s Frandsen:

Bill James: .280/.322/.402
CHONE: .288/.343/.411
PECOTA: .273/.335/.379
ZiPS: .269/.325/.370

The general consensus is that Frandsen is a poor offensive player who would be a quality starter if he boosted his power numbers, and Burriss is a poor offensive player who projects out to have Zitonian power. Yeesh.

There is anecdotal and small sample size evidence to cherry-pick, of course, if you’re so inclined. Frandsen was miserable for most of 2007, but he actually looked like a major league hitter in September, and before he busted his Achilles tendon, he was supposedly in the best shape of his life. They don’t just say those sorts of things in the spring. It must have been true. And Burriss might be just a year removed from stinking up A-ball, but maybe his extra work with Carney Lansford actually was what preceded his late season OBP surge.

Is it wrong, or just stupid to project something that aligns with the best projection for one player while matching up with the worst projection of the other? Dunno, but here goes:

Kevin Frandsen (if he gets 500 ABs):

AVG: .284
OBP: .342
SLG: 440
HR: 13

***

Emmanuel Burriss (if he gets 500 ABs):

AVG: .260
OBP: .301
SLG: .302
HR: 1
SB: 32

***

I’m not giving up on Burriss – not at all. If he starts in the majors this year, though, he’ll be a victim of his own limited success in the majors last year. He needs at-bats in Fresno, at least. Before last season, the organizational timetable probably had him in AA this year. I’m rooting for Burriss to hit .300/.420/.420 in Fresno, play a mean short, and force the Giants into a tough decision at short next year.

And, yeah, I guess that my projection for Frandsen is on the optimistic side, but I probably place too much weight on his minor league career while adding in a random power spike. I'm not sure why, either. 

So that's the second base projection post. I hope you liked it. Because it's certainly over now. Hmm. That’s weird. It feels like…like… I’m forgetting something. Or someone. Someone who has also been named as a possible contender for the second base job. I’m sure it will come to me later.

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