Can Adam Dunn get back up to the 40 HR plateau? Will Ryan Zimmerman hit more than last-year's career high 33 HR's? If Cristian Guzman's going to be at short or second, what can DC fans expect from the soon-to-be 32-year-old infielder? With the help of the Hitter Projections contained in the soon-to-be-published twenty-ten edition of The Bill James Handbook 2010, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at what Nationals fans can expect from the Nationals' infield, which, barring the acquisition of another infielder, will most likely be composed of Ryan Zimmerman at third, Ian Desmond at short, Cristian Guzman at second and Adam Dunn at first base, though some argue that Desmond's not ready to play everday. (ed. note - "Bill James has Desmond playing in 145 games...Thanks to Mr. James and the book's publisher, Acta Sports, for making a preview of the Pitcher and Hitter Projections available.")
DC Infield Hitter Projections...After The Jump...
(ed. note - "Check out the Projections for the Nationals' 2010 Outfield HERE.")
The Bill James Handbook 2010 Hitter Projections For The Washington Nationals' Infield:
Ryan Zimmerman - 3B:
Ian Desmond - SS:
Cristian Guzman - 2B:
Adam Dunn - 1B:
Jesus Flores - C:
• Notes on the #'s, ?'s Raised:
-- MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote recently, in an article entitled, "Nats Inbox: What's in store for Storen", that, "...there is a question about [Ian Desmond's] defense. He made over 30 errors this past season," (34 total between Harrisburg, Syracuse and DC, I checked) and as a result, "...some members of the organization have some doubts," about whether Desmond is ready for an everyday role in the majors. If, as Mr. James predicts, Desmond's able to hit 33 doubles and 13 HR's with a .282 AVG, can the errors be overlooked? Or do the Nationals need to bring in a veteran infielder?
-- Aside from effect Adam Dunn had on the offense with his own contributions, can we agree that he clearly had an effect on the pitches Ryan Zimmerman saw this season? To what else would you attribute Zimmerman's increased offensive output? Is it just Zimmerman maturing and improving at the plate? When did you realize Dunn wouldn't hit 40 HR's? Will he get back there next year?
-- Are you ready for another 115-130 singles by Cristian Guzman? I know a lot of people are tired of his empty average and slow feet, but is there any way to move his $8M dollar contract?
-- 116 games for Jesus Flores? Let's hope so...Who'll be backing Flores up in 2010?
- Bill James' Projections:
• Wil Nieves:
- '09 Stats - 72 G, 58 for 224, .259 AVG, 6 2B, 1 HR, 26 RBI's, .313 OBP, .299 SLG.
- 2010 Projections - 74 G, 47 for 187, .251 AVG, 8 2B, 2 HR, 17 RBI's, .293 OBP, .337 SLG.
• Josh Bard:
- '09 Stats - 90 G, 63 for 274, .230 AVG, 18 2B, 6 HR's, 31 RBI's, .293 OBP, .361 SLG.
- 2010 Projections - 84 G, 56 for 232, .241 AVG, 15 2B, 4 HR's, 27 RBI's, .313 OBP, .358 SLG.
-- With Flores back in the lineup, (batting sixth?), behind, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham and Elijah Dukes, three to six, Nyjer Morgan and Cristian Guzman one and two, and either Ian Desmond, (Guzman?) or another infielder in the eight spot, do the Nationals stand a chance in the NL East in 2010?