Vladi Signs With the Orioles

Players and coaches don’t shake hands. Players and coaches gotta hug!

The AL East just acquired another big bat and the Orioles lineup just got older. They have added Derek Lee, J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds and Vladimir Guerrero to an already solid corps of Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and the Chosen One, Matt Wieters. I held off on forecasting Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold because of the Vladi rumors (and my laziness), so now it’s time for a Vladi projection. We’ll take care of that here, right now, and update the OF Ranks after I finish the SP and RP projections.

575 At Bats looks good.

K% Vladi has a fairly steady track record considering he swings at almost anything. His 60% Swing% was 15% above the league average. His 47% Outside-Swing% was nearly 18% above the league average. One would expect more wild swings (pardon the pun) in his K%. Because his Zone-Contact% and Swinging-Strike% were slightly below his career average and he won’t have comparable lineup protection in Baltimore that he had in Texas, I have to give Vladi a K% that is slightly worse than his 12.2% career average. K% = 12.7%, which gives us 73 Strike Outs.

575 At Bats – 73 Ks = 502 Batted Balls. 502 x 36.9% Fly Ball% = 185 Fly Balls

HR/FB% Park Factors has the Ballpark in Arlington rocking a 114 Rating for HR, Stat Corner rates the stadium at 105 for Right Handed Batters. The two websites have Camden Yards at 126 and 126. It looks like Vladi will benefit from the ballpark change. Since 2006, Vladi’s HR/FB% has been 14.8%. Our two best options here would be 27 HR (14.6% HR/FB%) and 28 HR (15.1% HR/FB%). If you’re feeling adventurous, you could go with 29 HR (15.8%), but I feel more comfortable with the 15.1% HR/FB%. 28 Home Runs it is.

575 AB – 73 K – 28 HR = 474 Batted Balls for BABIP use

BABIP Vladi has a career .317 BABIP and he probably would have posted a similar number last season if he didn’t get something fierce put on him by a .212 mark in July. His Line Drive% has been slipping in recent years. It’s not quiet downward trend type slipping, but he hasn’t reached his career 19.1% LD% since 2004. My eyeballs want to give him a .312 BABIP, which would put him at 147.888 Hits (singles, doubles, triples), so we’ll round up to 148 Hits (.312 BABIP).

148 Hits + 28 HR = 176 Total Hits = .306 Batting Average

Judgment Time

So far, we have Vladi hitting .306 with 28 Home Runs. His poor BB% is going to hinder his Runs Scored, the ole eye balls tell me he should register about 80-85 Runs in this offense. 82 Runs feels about right.  The RBI total should be over 100, but not quite 110-115 worthy in this lineup. Brian Roberts is going to need to stay healthy for Vladi to get his. I’m going to play it safe with 103 RBI. Vladi will be 36-years old in a few days and his Speed Score is dropping so I don’t want to credit him with anything more than 3 Stolen Bases.

2011 Projection: 575 At Bats, .306 AVG, 28 HR, 82 Runs, 103 RBI, 3 SB

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