Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Michael Bourn Projections

The rumors of the Mets signing Michael Bourn have continued longer than I would have expected and at this point have to be taken seriously. I thought it would be useful to take a look at his 2013 projections and see what we are potentially getting ourselves into. I used two projection systems both found on Fangraphs: the Bill James annual predictions and the Fans predictions, which are basically crowd sourced player projections. Here is what we got for Bourn:

Bill James
no projection

These numbers are nothing shocking and generally in line with what Bourn has done most years. He is also projected to steal between 40-49 bags differing by system and have a K% of around 20, right in line with his average. Bourn's strikeouts are an interesting question. How much should we care about a guy who strikes a lot if he still gets on base at a rate of better than league average? His career OBP is a respectable .339, he overcomes his prodigious striking out with good hitting and speed. He has a career BABIP of .343 and outperforms league average almost every year. This is far too consistent to be luck, he is just legging out singles most guys can't make. I think at the end of the day his OBP makes his K% less of a worry but it makes me imagine how awesome he could be if cut down the strike outs.

Bourn's other big skill is stealing, which I think we should not factor in. Bourn has pretty reliably gotten caught stealing around 25% of the time which is a pretty bad rate. The value of a steal is much less than the detriment of being caught stealing and having a guy get caught one out of every four times is not something I am all that interested in.

At the end of the day I don't see this signing happening. If it does and it gets done for reasonable years and money Bourn can be a very useful player for the team as they slowly march towards relevance.

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