Sept. 11, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielders Matt Kemp (left) and Andre Ethier against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers 2013 Player Projections

I thought it would be a fun exercise to forecast the team performance so here we are.  Below are my Los Angeles Dodger 2013 player projections for offensive players only.  I will be releasing the pitcher projections sometime in the next week.   I intended to release them all at once but Hyun-Jin Ryu broke my system and almost made my head explode. Truthfully I don’t know how he will perform and I’m going over some scouting reports and watching video of him pitching for the Hanwha Eagles in the KBO – Korean Baseball Organization.  Let me tell you, this guy looks like he can pitch in the major leagues and he’s had success in the World Baseball Classic but I’m not comfortable releasing any projections that include him yet.

Keep in mind these are before the pre-season has begun, and information such as batting order certainly impacts the players runs scored and RBI.  If Hanley bats 2nd, he will probably score 100 runs but only drive in 70 or so.  If he bats 5th he could have 100 RBI but he won’t score as many runs. Projections started by taking a 3 year average of statistics. They were then given a 50/30/20 weight – 50% weight for 2012 statistics, 30% weight for 2011 statistics and 20% weight for 2010 statistics. This gives 2012 the most impact on the 2013 projections. This is the reason why the stat line for Matt Kemp doesn’t quite reflect his stellar 2011 or his torrid start to the season in 2012. I had to take into account his most recent performance and it is a big factor in his projection going forward.

Oct 3, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the lineup card in the Los Angeles Dodgers dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Separately I rated all statistics out to 600 plate appearances just for my reference. I made manual adjustments for projected playing time and to account for off season reports – not the old “______ is showing up to camp in the best shape of his life” type of reports, but rather the reports about surgery and off season recovery.  I also made manual adjustments on players that saw significant changes in how often they strike out and how often they walk. Lastly I downloaded some batted data ball – line drive %, fly ball %, ground ball % and infield fly ball %. Line drives usually result in a hit, a fly ball that doesn’t leave the park is usually an out, ground balls have a decent chance of finding a hole and infield pop-ups are almost always an out. I wanted to see if any of the boys on our roster were primed for a breakout – if a guy started hitting more line drives not only do they become hits more often, but also it could mean he’s just squaring up the ball more often so even his ground balls and fly balls are hit harder. With all the information available you can easily verify this using average distance per fly ball and average speed off the bat.  This is one step I did not take but if anyone has any specific player requests I would be happy to do an in-depth analysis – just let me know in the comments.

Synopsis?  To play on a famous quote from Yogi Berra, 90% of this comes from spreadsheet calculations.  The other half is my gut.  Without further ado:

A.J. Ellis
62 20 1 114 9 42 53 0 423
Tim Federowicz 0.252 10 6 0 29 2 9 13 115
Luis Cruz 0.260 14 24 1 108 7 34 53 3 415
Mark Ellis 0.251 41 23 1 113 7 60 37 6 451
Adrian Gonzalez
62 43 1 187 25 87 110 1 621
Dee Gordon
14 11 2 68 2 32 18 30 300
Jerry Hairston Jr. 0.269 27 18 1 80 5 20 29 2 297
Nick Punto 0.236 23 8 0 37 1 23 16 4 157
Hanley Ramirez
53 30 3 158 21 78 93 24 585
Skip Schumaker 0.273 27 16 3 89 2 36 34 1 326
Juan Uribe 0.194 8 7 0 20 1 7 9 0 103
Alex Castellanos 0.269 13 12 2 46 5 24 20 4 171
Carl Crawford 0.281 28 24 9 141 9 77 53 31 501
Andre Ethier 0.283 53 32 0 149 18 76 84 1 527
Matt Kemp 0.292 59 31 3 159 30 95 106 21 544
Elian Herrera 0.253 12 5 1 24 1 13 8 6 95

This is a team that provides some serious offensive firepower and should only be challenged by the Rockies for title of best offensive in the West.  And before you scoff, remember – high altitude + Troy Tulowitzki + Carlos Gonzalez = trouble.

Some notes:

October 2, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon (9) reacts after the Dodgers lose 4-3 against the San Francisco Giants and are eliminated from playoff contention at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Dee Gordon:  Obviously I’m not projecting big things for him and I think he needs more seasoning in the minors.  I am also projecting him for two home runs even though his career high in the minors is 3 and that came over 600 plate appearances in A ball back in 2009. I know he only hit one home run last year – I happened to be at that game in Colorado, sitting about 30 past first base and I saw that home run rocket off his bat.  It was an absolute SHOT and came just as I was offering some neighboring rival fans my expert opinion about how Gordon had no power and he wouldn’t hit a home run all year.  Lesson learned.  I think he can develop 5 – 10 HR power over the next couple years, which is more than anyone ever imagined or that you will see anywhere else and also makes him a non-zero in that category.  I expect Gordon to become relevant in 2014 and suspect that although he’ll never be a superstar he will be worthy of being a first division starter for a few years. Jerry Hairston:  Did you know that he started his major league career way back in 1998 with the Orioles?  Nothing to report, just surprised he had been around that long.

Justin Sellers: I removed his projections – if you’re not familiar with his situation read the article Stacie wrote about him and his arrest here

Juan Uribe: I manually adjusted his at bats way down – I don’t see any way that he sticks around all season long.  Let’s remove him from our 40 man roster to make room for Tony Gwynn Jr. already.

Alex Castellanos: I don’t understand why he’s not given more of a chance.  I’m a big fan and think he’d make a fantastic utility guy right off the bat.  I adjusted his at bats up – I don’t know if that will happen but I do believe that he DESERVES more of at bats.

Carl Crawford: His injuries have been well documented – with the reports of him entering spring ready to play I made significant adjustments to his forecast.

Matt Kemp: I know some may see this as pessimistic, but we’re projecting a .292 AVG, 30 HR, 106 RBI and 21 SB.  That is still an absolute stud.  But between his down 2010, his litany of injuries in 2012 and off season shoulder surgery (this is exactly what sapped A-Gon’s 35+ HR power) there are enough question marks to keep his forecast suppressed a bit.

Well that’s it for the offensive projections.  Let me know your thoughts and again if anyone would like an in depth look at any individual player just request it in the comments and we’ll dive in.

I hope you enjoyed this work.  Until next time.

Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Carl Crawford Carlos Gonzalez Dee Gordon Hanley Ramirez Jerry Hairston Jr. Los Angeles Dodgers Luis Cruz Mark Ellis Matt Kemp Tony Gwynn Jr.. Skip Schumaker Troy Tulowitxki

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