Andres Torres, the journey man minor leaguer who became the most valuable player (by WAR) on a World Series winning team. That is improbable and came out of nowhere. That leaves us in a bit of a bind in what to expect for next season, but situations like this is exactly what I am here for.
Most projections that you will see give you one line of stats. I know my limitations, so I will gave you that line of stats, but also a best case and a worst case scenario, so you can get an idea of my general range for that player.
Without further ado, the projection:
When you are looking at someone like Torres who is coming off a career year, you have to ask yourself; is this an abnormality or a new normal?
During Torres minor league career, he was taught to be a slap hitter and utilize his speed. This approach worked okay for him, but he was never able to stick in the major leagues. When he came to the Giants, he came with a completely different approach. Instead of being a slap hitter and running, he focused on driving the ball and the results seem to speak for themselves.
Even though 2010 could be considered a breakout year, his peripheral stats didn't change much from 2009 to 2010. This makes me optimistic that this is a "new normal" and not just a flash in the pan, freak occurrence.
The walk rate stayed roughly the same in the high 9% range. The strikeout rate rate was about the same in the high 20% range. The HR/Fly ball rate actually fell but it was not a dramatic difference, going from 12.5% to 11%.
The areas where I see possible regression is his BABIP and the number of line drives. These go hand-in-hand and were a little on the high side last season. His BABIP was .331, which is fairly high but not outrageous for someone with his speed and ability to accumulate a good amount of infield hits. This number could go down with less good luck next season.
The other thing is line drives. Torres hit a bunch last year, at just under 22%. I wouldn't be too surprised to see this number go down as well.
Torres had the best season of his short career, but I don't think that it was a "career year." I think his skills are there and there is still quite a bit of upside left in him if he can stay healthy and play a full season. I expect big things from Andres this season.
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