Wednesday, December 14, 2005

crossfire: Ronny Cedeno

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(BTW: Sorry cubs06 for your difficulty posting here.)

December 14, 2005 at 02:29 PM

Since I can't seem to post this over at 1060 West, let me try here.

The blog author writes that "a player is more than his last 245 at-bats. such a small sample size is particularly vulnerable to abnormalities -- a hot streak. after all, neifi perez can hit .350 for a month. there's no telling whether or not cedeno's 2005 output is just an abnormality."

All true. So let's look at more than 245 at-bats. Ronny Cedeno has now had 445 at-bats this year (nearly 500 PAs) between Iowa, Chicago, and the Venezuelan Winter League, which per Baseball Prospectus is roughly comparable in talent level to AA. His unadjusted line across all those ABs is .348/.394/.483. Adjustments are always guesswork, but using his Chicago performance as a baseline and adjusting his Iowa and Venezuelan performance yields an adjusted line of .305/.350/.425 in nearly a full "major league" season.

Neifi's career line? .270/.301/.380, and that's with four-and-half seasons at Coors Field thrown in. His 2005? .274/.298/.383, remarkably in line with his career numbers. He's 33, so you shouldn't expect any significant improvement in 2006; if anything, you might see a little slippage.

What am I saying here? Well, if you want to believe that a 33-year-old with an established level of (under)performance of .274/.298/.383 will provide the same offense as a 23-year-old whose improvement over each of the last three years culminated in a .305/.350/.425 season, then be my guest. But the numbers don't support that conclusion.

My projection for Cedeno is roughly in line with his adjusted 2005 performance. Throw in what apparently is very good defense and he'll be the player that everyone thinks "All-Star" Cesar Izturis is. He won't be the cure for all of the Cubs many offensive woes -- and I still wish the team had snagged Furcal -- but Cedeno will be an asset, not a liability, to the Cubs next year.

Posted by: Newbie | December 14, 2005 at 02:48 PM

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