2014 VEB Community Projections: Jon Jay

USA TODAY Sports

It's actually surprising to me how not-terrible Jon Jay was last year. Sure, his BABIP regressed like a lot of people expected, but he didn't lose power and he even improved his walk rate from 6.8% to 8.3%. All in all, he hit .276/.351/.370 last year after hitting .305/.373/.400 the previous year and .297/.344/.424 the year before that. That's a perfectly cromulent starting centerfielder.

However, we're not sure that he's the starting centerfielder. Between his poor defense in 2013 (-5.1 UZR in 2013) and the fact that he is competing against a right-handed batter in Peter Bourjos, it is fairly likely that Jay will see a decrease in playing time from the 628 PA he got in 2013. On one hand, yes, his playing time will probably suffer. On the other hand, while he hasn't been bad against lefties (96 wRC+ for his career), his overall statistical profile could improve sheerly from matchup selectivity.

All in all, the Cardinals are in a pretty happy place in centerfield. They have a good offensive CF who's not that bad defensively and they have an elite defensive CF who's not that bad offensively. Hopefully Matheny finds the healthiest mix between the two.

Stats via Fangraphs

Season

Age

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

CS

BABIP

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

2010

25

105

323

4

47

27

2

4

0.35

0.3

0.359

0.422

0.347

116

2011

26

159

503

10

56

37

6

7

0.34

0.297

0.344

0.424

0.338

115

2012

27

117

502

4

70

40

19

7

0.355

0.305

0.373

0.400

0.341

117

2013

28

157

628

7

75

67

10

5

0.325

0.276

0.351

0.37

0.319

104

Total


538

1956

25

248

171

37

23

0.341

0.293

0.356

0.400

0.334

112

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