Jim Baker ran an article talking about the best rookie prospects for '07, according to PECOTA projections. Joey Votto was listed as the best 1B rookie prospect, with a projected line of 0.284/0.366/0.511 (weighted mean). They project 29 home runs in 630 plate appearances next year!
That's overwhelmingly positive, and frankly I think it's a bit optimistic. Votto rebounded in a big way last year, but he hasn't even played in AAA yet. I think he'd hold his own, but this seems a bit over the top (note: PECOTA also assumes playing time, which is unlikely at least to start the year with Hatteberg *AND* Conine standing in his way). Still, it's nice to hear that he's projecting so well. Similar players to him, by the way, include Carlos Pena, Travis Hafner, Pat Burrell, Hee-Seop Choi, Lance Berkman, Jason Giambi, Kent Hrbek, and Brad Wilkerson. Interesting group.
A few other interesting projections and my comments:
- Homer Bailey: 4.64 ERA in 129 innings, 119 k but 66 bb -- seems reasonable for a 21-year old if he goes AA to MLB this year.
- Adam Dunn: 0.267/0.390/0.574 -- nice to see a projected rebound.
- Ken Griffey Jr: 0.275/0.344/0.506 -- PECOTA thinks that he's declining. So do I. But he should still be a productive hitter.
- Kyle Lohse: 4.87 ERA -- Eek. I'm more optimistic about him.
- Bronson Arroyo: 4.40 ERA -- ...Unfortunately, while I'm not quite that pessimistic, that doesn't sound far off to me.
- Chris Denorfia: 0.296/0.365/0.459 -- That also seems quite reasonable. I'm bullish on Chris to have a good year in center field, as long as Narron lets the guy play...which is, of course, not guaranteed.