On Sunday, ccuster asked in the comment section of this site if I could do a projection for Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew “as a Bucco.” That presented a little challenge, but I quickly picked it up. It gave me a chance to use a tool that I found awhile ago, but had set aside.
Drew was a little more complicated than most. He has played for three teams since 2011 and was traded at mid-season in 2012. So, I needed to do several park equivalent translations. (Thanks, Custer. I am now an expert with the new tool and I love it!)
Before I get to the projection, I thought it might be interesting to see how Drew’s 2013 numbers with the Red Sox, playing 81 games at Fenway Park, would translate if he had played for the Pirates, with 81 games at PNC Park.
Drew hit .253/.333/.443 — .776 OPS with the Red Sox last year. The Pirate/PNC-Park equivalent to that Boston batting line is .243/.323/.415 — .738 OPS.
The biggest difference between Fenway Park and PNC Park was Fenway’s propensity to give up doubles. The Green Monster has nothing in common with The Northside Notch.
On to the projection, which involves more than last year’s stats, so, it is different than the above Fenway/PNC translation.
As a Bucco, playing 81 games at PNC Park, I see Drew hitting .245/.324/.371 — .695 OPS.
That seemed low to me, but it compares well to the average major league SS, who hit .254/.308/.372 — .680 OPS last year. And Drew’s batting line, together with his very good fielding, would give him a substantial 2.6 WAR as a Pirate. That would have a WAR-Based free agent value close to the $14.1 million qualifying offer from Boston that Drew declined. So, though a .695 OPS seems low, it is very valuable with plus defense at SS.
I should also point out that my projection might be a little unfair to Drew. Drew had a severe ankle injury in 2011 that ended his season and cost him playing time in 2012. I have no way of knowing – or accounting for – how his play might have been affected by the injury as he returned to play in 2012. And his play in 2013 certainly suggests that he is no longer impacted by the injury. But I had to just go with his 2012 performance as it was. That might make the “Drew as a Pirate Projection” a little on the low side.
Believe it or not, I enjoyed doing the “work” on that projection. It’s not like a job. For me, it’s fun. So, if anybody has requests like that, feel free to let me know.