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VEB 2018 Community Projections: Tommy Pham

What will Pham's encore look like after his performance last season?

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Even the most diehard Tommy Pham aficionado couldn’t have foreseen the way his 2017 season transpired. The same Pham who has been jostled around from minor league bus to minor league bus since 2006. The same Pham who has battled a degenerative eye condition. The same Pham who contemplated quitting baseball altogether just last year.

The same Pham who galvanized the 2017 Cardinals like no one else could.

After spending the first month of the season in Triple-A Memphis, injuries sustained by Dexter Fowler and Stephen Piscotty opened the door for Pham’s return to the majors, an opportunity he would not squander.

The following is a list of players who posted more than 5.5 fWAR in fewer than 600 plate appearances last season:

  • Mike Trout
  • Tommy Pham

In a resurgent campaign, Pham was ranked as high as seventh on NL MVP ballots. In fact, he was the only Cardinal to receive any votes. Riding career bests in virtually every metric known to man, Pham’s 2017 season was one of the most efficient in modern Cardinals history.

Highest fWAR/600 PAs, qualified Cardinals since 2000

Rank Name Year fWAR/600 PAs
Rank Name Year fWAR/600 PAs
1 Scott Rolen 2004 9.1
2 Albert Pujols 2003 8.3
3 Albert Pujols 2008 8.1
4 Jim Edmonds 2004 8.1
5 Albert Pujols 2006 7.7
6 Albert Pujols 2009 7.2
7 Jim Edmonds 2003 7.1
8 Jim Edmonds 2002 7.0
9 Albert Pujols 2007 6.8
10 Albert Pujols 2004 6.8
11 Tommy Pham 2017 6.7

Pham, who turns 30 today, is likely due for some regression this year, but there is still ample reason to believe that he is a talented player capable of manning the everyday centerfield job with poise. You can click on these links to view his Steamer and ZiPS projections for the upcoming season. Do you think his 2017 breakout was “for real”? Let us know by making your predictions in the form below.