For more than a decade, fans, media members and team executives have been divided about how best to analyze a baseball player’s talents. Do the numbers tell the tale or are physical tools better predictors of future success?
Whom to trust, a computer or a scout? By now, every team in the major leagues blends both approaches. So, we thought we’d try to give a fuller picture of what to expect from some of the Dodgers’ key players this season by surveying a veteran scout who covers the Dodgers regularly, and then assembling two of the better known computer projection systems, ZiPS and Bill James.
ZiPS: .267, .334 OBP, 22 home runs, 82 RBIs, 24 stolen bases.
James: .281, .356 OBP, 22 home runs, 90 RBIs, 23 stolen bases.
Scout: .280, .310 OBP, 20 home runs, 80 RBIs, 15 stolen bases.
I’ve read this spring about how he’s rededicated himself to playing shortstop. How many guys are coming into spring training in the greatest shape of their life? Everyone’s in great shape. I don’t think he has the attention span to recommit himself to anything. He plays on ability, but let’s be clear: that’s still an adequate upside. The question is, when you put that payroll together, is adequate in the middle going to lead to playing deep into October?
He has allowed a lot of aspects of his game to go by the wayside. What gets you your salary? Bombs and steaks, home runs and RBIs, and that’s what he’s been about for a long time now. Moving runners along? You can’t go to arbitration and say you moved runners along. It leads to a bit of selfishness. But let me tell you, he can run, he can throw, he can hit, he’s got power. He’s a special talent. That kind of attitude is all right when it’s on other teams. If it’s on yours, it drives you insane and don’t think the other 24 guys don’t notice.
Consensus: Major offensive contributor, potential liability at shortstop.