Never underestimate the power of Devil Magic™. That is what Paul DeJong reminded us all when he burst onto the scene in 2017.
Homering off Greg Holland in his first MLB at-bat, DeJong revived the Cardinals’ hopes at shortstop after Aledmys Diaz’s dreadful start to 2017. The former Illinois State Redbird provided a spark both at the plate (122 wRC+) and in the field (3.1 UZR/150 games at shortstop) en route to a 3.0 fWAR season, but there are reasons to believe his production in this small sample may have been more glamorous on the surface than in reality. DeJong will open 2018 as the Cardinals’ starting shortstop, a role the club is counting on him to thrive in as they have little depth at the position behind him.
Will DeJong build off his breakout 2017 or will his performance this upcoming season lead fans to question his promising debut? Here is what the the Steamer and ZiPS projections have to say. Meanwhile, you can voice your opinion by filling out the survey below. Don’t forget to check back here at Viva El Birdos for more player projection posts.