April 10, 2001
Fun With Wilton
Baseball Prospectus 2001 contains Wilton projections for more than 800 hitters. Now that the season is underway, let's take a look at Wilton's book projections for the rookie position players who made their NL teams' rosters.
Later this week at BP.com, we'll have a look at all the players who missed the cut for BP 2001 and still made Opening Day rosters.
(Just to clarify: this only covers position players who are in BP 2001. Not-in-book player comments will be on the site this week.)
In the National League, there were many fewer rookies on the first-week rosters than we saw in the AL:
Age TM AB BA OBP SLG EqA Wes Helms 25 ATL 340 .265 .307 .426 .246 Rod Barajas 25 ARZ 405 .244 .283 .390 .223 Augie Ojeda 26 CHC 429 .247 .316 .345 .228 Julio Zuleta 25 CHC 385 .270 .315 .447 .252
Julio Zuleta wasn't on the Opening Day roster, but was recalled when Ron Coomer went on the DL. The only thing Coomer does that Zuleta can't do as well or better is play third base, and Coomer doesn't really do that well enough to make himself valuable. Zuleta deserves the platoon job at first base.
Age TM AB BA OBP SLG EqA Hiram Bocachica 25 LA 444 .255 .316 .403 .248 Timoniel Perez 24 NYM 321 .321 .377 .461 .291 Gary Bennett 29 PHI 299 .268 .342 .441 .261
Gary Bennett is probably one of the better backup catchers in the league, but because he backs up a similar, but far superior, player in Mike Lieberthal, will be restricted to a Keith Osik two-starts-a-month role. He'd look nice behind a guy like Darrin Fletcher.
Age TM AB BA OBP SLG EqA Jimmy Rollins 22 PHI 529 .268 .330 .405 .248 Jack Wilson 23 PIT 416 .272 .322 .365 .235
Interesting...both Pennsylvania teams are going with rookies at shortstop, the Phillies with a Rookie-of-the-Year favorite and the Pirates with a glove whiz who stole the job in March. Wilton doesn't put too much ground between them, and Jack Wilson's glove is reputed to be worth the minimal difference in the two players' projected performances.
Age TM AB BA OBP SLG EqA Albert Pujols 21 STL 281 .302 .344 .488 .274
Beware Wilton projections based on a minimum of data. Albert Pujols has one season of professional baseball on his resume--a damn good one, mind you--and that's type of player with whom the system has the most trouble. Then again, if Tony LaRussa can limit Pujols to starts against left-handers in Coors Field....
Age TM AB BA OBP SLG EqA Santiago Perez 25 SD 434 .242 .296 .359 .236 Pedro Feliz 24 SF 440 .241 .279 .414 .235
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Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. Contact him by clicking here.