Steamer Projections is one of the most well-known baseball statistic projection companies around. We take a look at what they foresee for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2020.
The Tampa Bay Rays have made several clever moves this off-season to keep them competitive with the high payrolls of the Yankees and the Red Sox. We’ll take a look at what one of the top projection companies has to say about our current roster construction.
Steamer Projections was developed by a high school science teacher named Jared Cross. He and two students developed a system using past performances and age-based trends to create a statistical projection for Major League Baseball players.
Steamer Projections can be found in all sorts of baseball publications including Fangraphs. Today, we take a look at how Steamer thinks our favorite Rays’ players will do in 2020.
Shortstop – 2.9 WAR
Willy Adames: .256 AVG // .326 OBP // .415 SLG // 595 PA // 529 ABs // 135 H // 25 2B // 2 B // 18 HR // 67 R // 69 RBI // 54 BB // 144 K // 7 SB // 3 CS // 99 wRC+ // 2.7 WAR
Daniel Robertson: .236 AVG // .330 SLG // .358 OBP // 126 PAs // 109 ABs // 26 H // 5 2B // 0 3B // 2 HR // 13 R // 12 RBI // 13 BB // 30 K // 1 SB // 1 CS // 90 wRC+ // .2 WAR
These projections tend to be conservative. They come from an objective standpoint so we can happily beg to differ. Last season Adames’ hard work on his defensive game propelled him from a -1 rDRS (at SS) in 2018 to an leading all American League shortstops with 13 rDRS in 2019.
To be the league’s leader in defensive runs saved at perhaps the most demanding defensive position says a whole lot about the skill he brings at short.
On top of the defense, Adames crushed 20 homers last season. Over his first two seasons in the big leagues, he has posted an OPS+ of exactly 100. If he’s going to lead the league in defensive runs saved then getting .260 and 20 homers is perfectly acceptable.
In his first three seasons, Daniel Robertson has a .352 slugging percentage over 831 plate appearances. His ability to get on-base shined in 2018 when he finished with a .382 on-base clip.
He hit .262 that season and had 43 walks in 340 PAs. He has still showed he can take a base in 2017 and 2019, but his low batting averages have depressed his OBPs. He hit .206 in ’17 and .213 last season.
Rays Colored Glasses’ Take
Adames is still only entering his age-24 season and has plenty of room for growth. His defense last season was a perfect example of his ability to improve his game.
I don’t think anyone would be upset with a 2.7 WAR from the young shortstop, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish higher.
Adames will get the bulk of the time at short for the Rays, but if Robertson serves as the primary backup we hope to see more of the 2018 version.
What are your expectations for the Rays’ 2020 production at shortstop?