PROJECTIONS FOR TREA TURNER
Trea Turner went .342-13-40-53-33 last season in just 73 games. I’m not making the following up. Some folks out there legitimately think, and just check out his first round ADP to back it up, that he’s gonna hit .320 with 20 homers, 50 steals and 100 runs scored. Sorry to burst your bubble folk. OK, no I’m not. I like doing it. I would be very surprised if he reached any of those numbers in 2017. I’m not alone with the concerns either. Folks like projections. Here are some projections. I grabbed the first four from Fangraphs, and the last two from those sites.
*Depth Chart: combination of ZiPs, Steams and Fangraphs staff.
*Fans (22 followers of Fangraphs users – just normal folks).
First off, projections are notoriously incorrect, a fact I noted in Projections and Category Targets. There’s just so much white-noise and uncertainty with players, especially young ones.
Second, let’s talk about the projections listed above. Right off the bat it should be obvious – you folks, the fans, have massive expectations that the other five sources do not share. The “fans” are projecting the highest batting average, the most RBI, the most runs (by a ton) and the most steals (by a ton). The Fans are also just one homer off the top mark there too. This situation is emblematic of what I see on a yearly basis without fail. (A) Young player with great pedigree. (B) Young player has success at major league level. (C) People immediately project the player to be an outright superstar. It happens every year. It rarely plays out the way that folks predict it will.
Let’s take those "Fans" projections.
How many players went .302-18-78-112-55 last season, the projections the “Fans"? The answer is zero.
How many hit the five marks in 2015? Zero
How about 2014? Zero
How about since 2010? Zero
How about since 2000? Zero
Folks, as far as I can tell, Joe Morgan in 1976 was the last player to hit all five of those numbers (.320-27-111-113-60). Moreover, I believe that it is the only such season – ever.
That’s the level of crazy we’re talking about with Turner. People are predicting him to do something only one player in league history has ever done before, and they aren’t very shy about it.
Ask yourself. What are your legitimate Trea Turner stat projections for 2017? I did ask. This morning on Twitter I simply asked ‘what are your 5x5 projections’? Here’s what I received in the 10 minutes after I posted the question before I wrapped up this section of the article (I didn’t filter out any answers – they all appear below).
The average from my quick Twitter question this morning was .290-15-71-98-47. Credit to those that responded in that you’re expectations were lower than that of the “Fans” listed above. Still, your projections outpaced the other five projection numbers listed above by a little bit.
Oh yeah, how many players went .292-15-77-98-47 last season? Zero
How many did in 2015? Zero
How many did in 2014? Zero
How many have since 2000? Four times.
Be careful with your expectations since it seems like most of you are expecting Turner to do something that rarely, if ever, happens at the big-league level.
And because I know you will ask...
I do not expect Turner to hit .300.
I do not expect Turner to hit more than about 15 homers.
I do not expect Turner to reach 70 RBI.
I do not expect Turner to reach 90 runs.
I do not expect Turner to steal 45 bases.
From above, I think the ZiPS option is the fairest, and I would consider even those series of numbers to be pretty aggressive.
THIS AND THAT
Lucas Giolito stands 6’6” and weighs in at 255 lbs. His fastball is plus/plus, an elite pitch. The curveball isn’t far behind either. He throws both pitches with tremendous depth given the angles his height allows him to. I’d be a little surprised if he made the White Sox rotation out of camp, seems like the club would like to roll out Miguel Gonzalez and Derek Holland in the final two spots, but his talent is undeniable. If you have patience in ’17 you could be rewarded with Giolito – that is if his mechanics are in order and he’s able to locate his pitches properly, something he struggled with at time last season. For more on Giolito, and all rookie’s, see our 2017 MLB Rookie Report.
Josh Hamilton felt something in his knee yesterday and is off for tests. Predictably sad. I literally wrote this 24 hours ago. “Why does any of this matter? Answer is – it doesn’t. His body is broken down and it’s just a matter of time before he starts having to miss work.”
Max Scherzer has a finger thing going on right now. Here’s what we know. (1) He has an issue with the knuckle at the base of his right finger – a stress fracture suffered last season. (2) He threw his 2-finger fastball Monday for the first time. (3) The finger still hurts. “Achy’s a lot better than sharp pain, isn’t it?” Scherzer said. “That’s what the doctor said to me: They expect an achy feeling in there. Those are screaming symptoms of stress fractures. So it’s literally day-by-day with how I feel.” (4) Scherzer said that though he pitched with the issue at the end of last season, that he will not start pitching this season until the issue is no longer an issue. (5) He has played plenty of long toss. (6) He threw this offseason with tennis and lacrosse balls. “My arm is actually in very good shape from throwing tennis balls and lacrosse balls,” Scherzer said. “I was able to manage a lot of that early part of the throwing program so that as I’m finishing up this part of the healing process, my arm is much further along.” (7) Despite saying that, he’s obviously behind where he normally is at this point of the offseason. (8) He’s not even thrown at full velocity off the ground, let alone off the pitching hill. Though he’s starting late, it’s still very likely that the will be able to take the ball the first time through the rotation once games begin. Maybe it’s a good thing for him to get some time off, he’s thrown more pitches than anyone in baseball since 2013, but with each passing day that he’s limited the concerns about his start to the 2017 season grow.
Speaking of projections... I read that Kyle Schwarber is a lock to hit 30 homers today. Is he? How is a guy a lock to do something that he’s never done before? #JustAsking
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, 7 PM EDT, Wednesday 8 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 9 PM EDT PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work at Fantasy Alarm and on Twitter (@baseballguys).