Projecting 2012: Reds Offense vs. Cardinals Offense

As we anxiously await the start of the 2012 baseball season, I thought it would be fun to compare the current Reds roster to that of the St. Louis Cardinals. Today, we’ll look at offense only. The following projections can be found at FanGraphs. I’m using Bill James’ 2012 projections for this exercise. First, let’s look at how the two teams match up by position…

Second Base

Brandon Phillips (2B)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .279/.334/.435; wOBA – .332

Skip Schumaker (2B)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .282/.340/.363; wOBA – .309

Differential (wOBA): +23 Reds

Short Stop

Zack Cozart (SS)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .256./.306/.404; wOBA – .315

Raphael Furcal

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .270/.338/.394; wOBA – .324

Differential (wOBA): +9 Cardinals

First Base

Joey Votto (1B)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .310./.412/.547; wOBA – .403

Lance Berkman (1B)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .279/.396/.498; wOBA – .380

Differential (wOBA): +23 Reds

Right Field

Jay Bruce (RF)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .270./.349/.510; wOBA – .363

Carlos Beltran (RF)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .279/.369/.480; wOBA – .367

Differential (wOBA): +4 Cardinals

Third Base

Scott Rolen (3B)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .268./.338/.434; wOBA – .334

David Freese (3B)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .299/.357/.452; wOBA – .353

Differential (wOBA): +19 Cardinals

Left Field

Chris Heisey (LF)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – . 267/.328/.485; wOBA – .346

Matt Holliday (LF)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .307/.390/.533; wOBA – .394

Differential (wOBA): +48 Cardinals

Center Field

Drew Stubbs (CF)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – . 258/.336/.403; wOBA – .331

Jon Jay (CF)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .287/.340/.414; wOBA – .328

Differential (wOBA): +3 Reds

Catcher

Devin Mesoraco (C)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – . 262/.324/.457; wOBA – .332

Yadier Molina (C)

  • BILL JAMES: AVG/OBP/SLG – .282/.340/.394; wOBA – .320

Differential (wOBA): +12 Reds

Combined Differential: +29 Cardinals

Summary: The Reds project to have an offensive advantage at 5 of the 8 position, yet the Cardinals project to be slightly more productive overall due to huge offensive advantages at third base and left field. Obviously, these projections don’t account for playing time or the production from each team’s bench.

My take: Bill James is off on a few of these projections. I think he is a little pessimistic with Cozart. While I don’t expect Cozart to be great, I do believe he can produce at-or-above Furcal’s projection. Likewise, James seems to be very pessimistic towards Drew Stubbs. I’m expecting Stubbs to be at least as good as he was in 2010, if not better. On the flip side, I’m not as optimistic about Devin Mesoraco for 2012. I expect great things from the young catcher, but an OPS approaching .800 is a lot to expect from a rookie. I believe Mesoraco is certainly capable of that kind of year, but I find it unlikely.

Next post – Projecting 2012: Reds Rotation vs. Cardinals Rotation

I appreciate any feedback.

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