2012 OF Power Rankings

Since I did the IF one last week, I figure I might as well do the OF ones, too. Fangraphs projects the Giants for 8.5 WAR from the OF. Very middle of the pack. I wish we had 2010 Torres back. The WAR projection has Pagan getting 600 PA, Melky getting 500, and Schierholtz getting 450. This allows Belt to grab 350, and random 5th OF'ers(Pegs, Burriss-lol) to grab 100 PA of replacement level performance.

He also projected Huff for 400 PA at first base, Belt at 220, Pill @ 20, and Buster with 80. At catcher, he had Posey at 575 PA (generous, IMO), and Whiteside at 175.

That makes our 5 position, 6 starter logjam look like the following:

Buster 655 PA, Pagan 600 PA, Belt 570 PA, Melky 500 PA, Schierholtz 450 PA, Huff 400 PA, Whiteside 175 PA, Misc: 120 PA.

That looks a lot like my most optimistic projection.

Left Field:

13. San Francisco Giants

Role Player Bats PA ZiPs BA ZiPS OBP ZiPS SLG Fielding WAR
Starter Melky Cabrera S 500 .284 .330 .435 -5 2
Reserve Nate Schierholtz L 150 .267 .316 .420 5 0.5
Prospect Francisco Peguero R 50 .274 .295 .375

Melky Cabrera will begin the season in left field, while Angel Pagan patrols center field. ZiPS continues to project positive things for Cabrera at the plate. It’s certainly a regression from his .305/.339/.470 marks with the Kansas City Royals last year, but his production is not falling off a cliff. The 27-year-old should still provide significant value for his team this year.

The above table is curiously missing Brandon Belt. While time in left field is certainly a possibility, this rankings exercise projects him to largely take over in right field and push Schierholtz to a reserve role, which is reflected in the above table. Schierholtz should be a productive fourth outfielder, too, providing good defense and some occasional pop off the bench. Peguero could sneak in near the end of the season and garner some at-bats with another good season. He has hit over .300 at every level throughout the past three seasons and is largely considered a Top 10 prospect in the system.

Center Field:

22. San Francisco Giants

Role Player Bats PA ZIPS BA ZIPS OBP ZIPS SLG Fielding WAR
Starter Angel Pagan B 600 .270 .322 .405 2 2.5
Reserve Melky Cabrera B 100 .284 .330 .435 -5 0.5

I was surprised to find the Giants ranked below the Mets. Those teams traded center fielders in the off season, with Angel Pagan going to San Francisco and Andres Torresgoing to New York. Pagan is an upgrade over Torres offensively, but Torres is by far the better defender. Pagan is likely to get most of the playing time in center field, bringing 2.5 WAR to his new team. New Giants left fielder Melky Cabrera will back up Pagan, as the Giants have more fill-in options for left field (Brandon Belt, Aubrey Huff) than in center.

Right Field:

14. San Francisco Giants

Role Player Bats PA ZiPS BA ZiPS OBP ZiPS SLG Fielding WAR
Starter Nate Schierholtz L 300 0.267 0.316 0.420 5 1
Prospect Brandon Belt L 350 0.268 0.365 0.452 2 2
Reserve Emmanuel Burriss S 50 0.255 0.308 0.306 0 0

This is another difficult team to place with similar uncertainty at the position, although where Washington had many questions San Francisco has but one: will Brandon Belt play? I assume that Aubrey Huff gets the lion’s share of the playing time at first base andMelky Cabrera is entrenched in left field, leaving just right field for Belt. Unfortunately, given the events of last year, it’s tough to project more than a timeshare for Belt. Schierholtz has been good enough over the last couple of years on both sides of the ball to keep the Giants relatively high on this list with their best projected hitter by ZiPS only receiving 350 plate appearances here (as I expect the Giants will eventually have their hand forced with the prospect, even if Schierholtz is the Opening Day starter). But if the Giants are serious about winning this year, they’ll go with Belt somewhere — they just don’t have the hitting to justify benching a player who has posted wOBAs over .400 at every level of the minors given the rest of the talent on the team.

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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