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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rally on Jonny Gomes

Rally, who is responsible for the CHONE forecasting system I use so much around here, really likes the Reds' recent signing of Jonny Gomes:
In his favor, he's moving from baseball's toughest division to the National League central, a very good homerun hitting park, and some other good hitter's parks among his divisional opponents (Wrigley, Houston). I think Jonny is going to win a starting job in spring training (Reds OF then being him, Tavares in center, and Bruce in right), and hit a bunch of homers. If he plays every day I think he'll hit 30. He'll also strike out 150+ times, and play crappy defense. They've pretty much replaced 90% of Adam Dunn for a little over the league minimum. Jonny is a good player to watch for if you wonder if there will be a Ryan Ludwick of 2009.
My quick value projection:

With the Reds, CHONE has Jonny projected to hit 0.255/0.357/0.507 with 24 home runs in 442 PA's. That's 63% playing time. His R150 is +7 RAA, which pro-rated for the playing time projection puts his hitting value at about 17 RAR.

Defensively, as Rally said, he's brutal: projects at -14 RAA per season in a corner outfield slot, which, including a position adjustment (-7.5 r/season because he's a corner outfielder) and pro-rating for 63% playing time puts him at -13.5 runs in 2009 on defense. Overall, that puts his total value at a fairly weak 3.5 runs above replacement. Assuming $4.8 million/WAR, that values him at ~$1.6 million for 2009...which means the Reds probably got a bargain given how little he signed for.

I don't really see him as a good starter because of his defense--you have to be a really good hitter to justify being -15 runs/season in a corner position (e.g. Dunn, Adam). But I can live Gomes in a platoon, and I certainly like him as a power bat off the bench (something that Jocketty mentioned a few weeks back as a need).