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Ankiel Community Projections

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What stands out about our community projections for Rick Ankiel is that nothing really stands out. In many respects, we expect him to have a similar season to the one he had last year. The only real difference is that we, by and large, expect him to be healthier and get more playing time – thus increasing his counting stats. As a community, we don’t see a lot of improvement in his rate stats. To wit:

Ankiel 08 413 109 25 71 .264 .337 .506
Ankiel 08 w/ 467.75 AB 467.75 123.49 28.3 80.45 .264 .337 .506
VEB 09 467.75 128.39 28.95 86.73 .274 .339 .513

Last year’s homer rate was 1 homer per 16.53 AB. This year, we have him projected for 1 every 16.16 AB. The RBI rate goes up a little in our projections. Possibly that’s an indicator that we expect the Cards’ offense to be a little better in ’09. I know I do. We should see a lot of Rasmus in the OF + there’s depth w/ Skip, Mather, and possibly a healthy Duncan rather than Miles/Kennedy/Lopez. Greene’s replacing Izturis at short and, as Dan and I said each of the last 2 days, the offense shouldn’t take too big a step backwards w/ Glaus out of the lineup for the first month to 6 weeks.

Here’s a look at the ranges for our various stats:

High 595 177 44 112 .299 .391 .580
Low 312 80 14 48 .241 .302 .435

The members who seemed to be closest to our community projection were IL and STLFan or tom s. who nearly nailed 6 of the 7 categories.

Now let’s see how the VEB projections compare to Marcel, Chone, and ZIPS.

CHONE 446 113 25 66 .253 .319 .475
Marcel 402 107 21 62 .266 .334 .483
ZIPS 462 120 28 85 .260 .318 .496
VEB 09 467.75 128.39 28.95 86.73 .274 .339 .513

Sheesh! Look at that ZIPS projection! Did you people cheat? Once again, we’re the most optimistic projection but it doesn’t seem to be near as pronounced as the previous projections for Ludwick, Wainwright, and Greene. And before you go all Earl Weaver on the Marcel projections – particularly as it relates to his ABs – it’s not all that far-fetched if Ankiel hits lefties in ’09 the way he did in ’08. His slash stats vs. lefties (in 123 PAs) were .224/.268/.448. Not good. And if Joe Mather plays well, especially against lefties, and Rasmus solidifies CF, Ankiel’s playing time against southpaws could fall appreciably. Now, Mather didn’t exactly knock the cover off the ball last year against lefties (.219/.292/.391) in his 72 PAs but his career minor league OPS is 124 points higher vs. lefties than righties so it’s possible that he could become an integral part of the lineup against lefties. The playing time could come down to Ankiel vs. Rasmus.

The interesting thing will be to see what an .850 OPS guy w/ 28 homers who can play any of 3 OF positions is worth on the free agent market next offseason. If Rick meets ours (and ZIPS’) projections, he’s going to earn 4 years and $10M + per season – probably near $50 M for 4 seasons. That probably, as some of you pointed out in the thread yesterday, will put him out of our price range for 2010, particularly in light of our OF depth in the system. Hopefully, Jay and Jones will be working their way closer to the bigs and Mather takes a step up this year. Who knows what Craig and Wallace are likely to do as they garner some PT in the OF but, as we’ve pointed out myriad times, this is far and away the deepest part of our minor league system. There just doesn’t seem to be a need to pay Ankiel, who’ll turn 31 in 2010, big money when we can get basically the same production for near the minimum and use that $10 M to bolster the rotation or SS.

In other news, there really is no other news – the Cards’ fanbase is pissed at Mo and DeWitt. Film at 11. Oh well.