Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Looking Ahead to 2014 - Alfonso Soriano
In their misguided attempt to make the postseason with a woefully inadequate roster last year, the Yankees traded for Alfonso Soriano in mid-July. Soriano hit pretty well after the Yankees acquired him, but it wasn’t enough to push them into the postseason.
woba: Weighted on-base average
oWAR: Offensive wins above replacement level, position-adjusted
Soriano hit .254/.287/.467 for the Cubs vs. .256/.325/.525 for the Yankees. He is still pretty much the player he was when he left the Yankees, a low-OBP, high SLG hitter who will strike out a lot.
These projections assume Soriano is in LF. As a DH he would be about a win less valuable relatively. He still projects to have pretty good power, but he makes too many outs.
2014 CAIRO Percentile Forecasts
Soriano still appears to be in great shape and I suppose it’s feasible he could exceed his baseline projection, but I wonder how well he will handle DHing. Most players hit worse as DH, and Soriano has only been a DH in 35 games in his career. Because of that, I would not expect him to do much better than his CAIRO baseline.
The disparity between DRS and UZR on Soriano’s defense in LF is interesting. I thought he looked fine in the outfield and is probably about average defensively. Although Carlos Beltran is expected to see most of his time in RF, Soriano may be a better defender than him at this point.
These values are assuming Soriano is in LF. As a DH he’d be about one win less valuable. Since it’s pretty likely he will see a fair amount of time in the OF, we can probably split the difference and say he’ll be worth anywhere from 1-1.5 wins this year.
That’s not great, but it’s worth noting that Yankee DHs hit .189/.276/.307 in 650 PA which was only worth about 50 runs. Soriano’s baseline projection over 650 PA would be worth 75 runs.
Soriano’s allegedly considering retirement after this season, and if this is it he’s had a heck of a career. 2045 hits, 406 HRs, 288 SBs, and a .272/.321/.504 career line. Hopefully he has a good enough season that he doesn’t want to retire.
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