2011 Projections: Lead-off

By on March 5

Spring Training is one of the most energetic times of the season for baseball fans. It’s a special place where everyone dreams big, especially Orioles fans. While it’s always a fun exercise to imagine what a team can accomplish collectively in the standings, I also like to think upon what my favorite O’s will accomplish individually. So this exercise will be the first of a series of posts projecting the O’s performances this season.

Let’s begin with the top of the order, which means none other than Brian Roberts.

Year   PA     AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS %BB   %K  BABIP

2008  716    .296  .378  .450  .828  11.6   17.0  0.341

2009  704   .283  .356   .451  .807  10.3   17.7  0.318

2010  261    .278  .354   .391  .745   10.0  17.4   0.319

AVG  560   .286   .363   .431  .793  10.8   17.4  0.326

Roberts’ 2011 campaign can be qualified as none other than a disaster. After inking a 4-year/$40M contract through 2013, Roberts stumbled on and off the DL through 2011, managing to get on the field in only 59 games. B-Rob’s numbers dipped modestly in every triple-slash category except for slugging, which plummeted. But after his back and oblique injuries, perhaps this is what we should have expected. Maybe he wasn’t ever full healthy? Maybe it’s just a small sample size? But given his age (32) and the serious fact that he suffered a herniated disc, l wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to see a power drop-off from his 3-year average.  How much is yet to be seen.

How much we should expect to see of Roberts in 2011 is hard to say.  He hasn’t been injured much in the past.  But how many players have dealt with this kind of injury and not been affected?  It would be prudent to project fewer plate appearances than the previous years, say about 550 PA.

His K-rate in 2011 was in line with the previous 2 seasons of about 17%, which is probably where it will hover going forward based on this trend. His strong walk rate stayed right in-line with his career average, which is encouraging.

His  lifetime BABIP is .317, which means his true average is probably right around .280. Given all of the above, I see a line of…

Year   PA     AVG  OBP    SLG   OPS    %BB   %K   BABIP

2011  550     .280  .360    .425   .785     10.5   17.5      .317

Overall, I still see Roberts setting the table by getting on-base at an above average clip and creating havoc. I still see him ripping doubles down the lines in 2011. However, we should temper our expectations.  We’ll also probably see fewer homers and fewer steals as age and wear and tear take their toll, hopefully not to the detriment of the offense like in 2010.  Sadly, this is probably the beginning of his decline for what has been my personal favorite Oriole over the last few years.

Up next…Nick the Stick. Stay tuned.

2 Responses to “2011 Projections: Lead-off”

  1. Paul O. says:

    I would put him closer to .285 BA, and slightly lower on SLG. All other numbers seem fair.
    I would like to see 20-24 SB. I don’t expect 40+ doubles, but I enjoy it. If he is healthy 38 doubles seem possible. I’m okay with 8 HR, but a healthy roberts could hit 12. We shall see.
    I look forward to this. The real question comes down to who would replace Roberts sufficiently given another major spinal setback.

  2. Becca says:

    Let’s go Roberts, let’s go!

    I know you like numbers but what about the unquantifiable aspect that Brian brings to the team, stability and confidence I would venture. Perhaps when you are finished with the numbers, you can say a little something about the players’ roles in the locker room.

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