2012 IF WAR projections

Fangraphs has started a series ranking all 30 teams on their projected WAR per position for the season. It's called Positional Power Rankings. They're running through them pretty quickly. Rather than link to each individually, I decided to aggregate the Giants' relevant bits. Here are the fangraphs power rankings for the Giants' IF.

Fangraphs article links: Catcher, First Base, Second Base, Shortstop, Third Base


7. San Francisco Giants

Role Player Bats PA ZIPS BA ZIPS OBP ZIPS SLG Fielding WAR
Starter Buster Posey R 575 .287 .358 .440 4 4.5
Reserve Eli Whiteside R 175 .219 .274 .344 -1 0.0

The Giants were one of the tougher teams to rank. They are clearly the Posey show behind the plate, but while he is one of the best in the game, it’s too early to tell if last season’s injury will hamper his production. Then again, when 4.5 WAR represents a relatively conservative estimate, we’re clearly dealing with an elite player. The issue with Posey as it pertains to these rankings is just how much of his overall value is derived from catching. Given the injury, the Giants will likely start him at first base throughout the season, making it entirely possible that he is a 5-WAR player and a 3-3.5 WAR catcher.

My comments: It feels like the Giants should've gone out and spend $2-3M for a better backup. 175 PA of replacement level ball is pretty ugly. Buster posted 1.7 WAR in 170 PA last year, so 4.5 WAR in 5757 PA for him is a bit low. However, you never know how much he'll be able to bounce back from the injury.

First Base:

14. Giants

Role Player Bats PA ZiPs BA ZiPs OBP ZiPs SLG Field WAR
Starter Aubrey Huff L 400 0.261 0.329 0.422 -2 0.6
Prospect Brandon Belt L 220 0.268 0.365 0.452 1 1.1
Utility Brett Pill R 20 0.267 0.298 0.412 0 0
C Relief Buster Posey R 80 0.287 0.358 0.440 0 0.3

Apparently the Giants are hoping that riding Huff about his conditioning will have the same effect on him that it did on Pablo Sandoval a year ago. Combined with his well established "good every other year" tendency, BOOM. That totally justifies burying Brandon Belt yet again (can’t have him taking playing time from Melky Cabrera or Nate Schierholtz, either). Add in their desire to devalue Posey’s bat by giving him playing time at first base, and the Giants are not really on track to maximize their talent. This is the saracastic, negative view of things: talent trumps all, and if Huff start out of the gate slow, Belt could get time sooner rather than later. ZiPS sees Belt bat as good enough that, given the chance, he should replace Huff eventually. I am guessing the Giants give Huff time to play himself to the bench, but it is just a guess.

My comments: I expected this position to be worse. As it is, Fangraphs projects it to be league average. If Huff gets benched, expect this to be in the top10 in the league.

Second Base:

27. San Francisco Giants

Role Player Bats ZIPS BA ZIPS OBP ZIPS SLG Fielding PA WAR
Starter Freddy Sanchez R 0.273 0.313 0.373 2.0 400 1.0
Reserve Mike Fontenot L 0.245 0.308 0.367 0.0 200 0.5
Super Utility Ryan Theriot R 0.272 0.323 0.337 -2.0 100 0.5

When healthy, Freddy Sanchez will make enough contact to be a useful second baseman. He’s also been a pretty good defender over his career. Problem is, the last time he received 500 plate appearances in a season was way back in 2008. The Giants are relying on Mike Fontenot as Sanchez’s main backup, which isn’t the greatest strategy. Fontenot may be the epitome of scrappy, but that doesn’t make him a good baseball player. Ryan Theriot could steal some at-bats at second as well. While he won’t hit for power, there’s a good chance he’ll be slightly better than Fontenot.

My comments:

This is a pretty depressing position. Freddy posted 1 WAR in 260 PA last year, but most of the projection systems peg him for a regression on offense. Still, ZiPs does have the worst projection for him. Who woulda thunk 2B was just as bad as SS.


No. 27 — San Francisco Giants

Role Player Bats PA ZiPs BA ZiPs OBP ZiPs SLG Fielding WAR
Starter Brandon Crawford L 500 .225 .291 .336 6.0 1.5
Reserve Ryan Theriot R 100 .272 .323 .337 -4.0 0.5
Super Utility Mike Fontenot L 100 .245 .308 .367 0.0 0.5

Brandon Crawford could very well be one of the better defensive shortstops going into the 2012 MLB season. Let me re-phrase that. Brandon Crawford’s defense should be among the best going into the 2012 season. In other words: If we want to stay positive about Crawford, let’s not talk about his offensive ambitions. When a 32-year-old Ryan Theriot is expected to school you offensively, then you kind of need to be one of the top defenders at your position.

My comments: About what we expected. Still, notice the position comes out to 2.5 WAR total. Better than the 2nd basemen.

Third Base:

No. 5 — San Francisco Giants

Role Player Bats ZiPs BA ZiPs OBP ZiPs SLG Field PA WAR
Starter Pablo Sandoval B 0.299 0.347 0.497 6 600 5
Reserve Mark Fontenot L 0.245 0.308 0.367 100

The Panda played like a gazelle at third base last year, and now suddenly 2010 looks like the outlier in his past. Take that year away, and he’s shown power, contact ability and good glove in a fairly consistent manner. Maybe the girth will lead to a shorter peak — maybe — but the 26-year-old is pre-peak by even the more conservative measures. Watch out if he gets injured, though.

My comments:

LOL. Mark Fontenot?

I think they've underestimated 3B. Pablo posted 5.5 WAR in 466 PA last year. 5 WAR in 600 PA would be significant regression. Also, where is Mark's WAR value? I'd pencil in another 0.5 WAR for him here, that is if he still has the arm to play 3B. If not, I hope we don't see Burriss here.

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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