I asked one of our reader's who they would like to see us do a projection for next, and the answer was Nomar Garciaparra.
To be fair, I was completely stumped until I gave it a great deal of thought, and I am still not entirely sure I am satisfied with the result. We will see how things unfold as the season goes of course. The projections from the various sources are all over the place, and Dan Scotto has provided a projection of his own to be thrown into the table as well, rather than left in the comments section.
Garciaparra looked like he was all set to return to playing everyday in 2005, until his groin decided it did not want to be attached to his leg anymore. The thought of that video makes me squeamish, especially since it looks like you see something pop right against his pant leg at the moment of the injury. I'd prefer we stop talking about it now, to be honest.
Anyways, Garciaparra seemed to hit well upon his return, hitting .318/.347/.531 from August 5th onward. He was poor defensively at third base, but that is to be expected from someone who just started to play the position, and whose groin had just removed itself from his leg a few months earlier. Sorry, had to remind the audience of it once more. Nomar will play first base for Los Angeles in 2006, which is another new position for him to learn. He has never been that good of a shortstop defensively, and he certainly should not be there at this stage of the game, so first base could work out for the best for him. On to the numbers!
PECOTA is the most pessimistic, which would worry me if I were a Dodgers' fan, considering its usually scary accurate. I think it may be a tad too pessimistic though, considering Nomar's healthy time last year from August onward. Not to say I think he is going to tear up the league like he appeared to in his short stint, but you can see that is the case from my projection. Dan Scotto was most likely the next most pessimistic, althouh it is pretty close to ZiPS. I think Bill James projection system may have shown what Nomar's 95th percentile or so would be; I think he is capable of it, but I do not see it realistically happening. I could be wrong though, especially considering I'm a few thousand projections behind these other systems. If I were a Dodgers' fan, I certainly would root for James to be the beacon of truth for Nomar this year. If you could take my projection knowing it was guaranteed though, I think you might have to bite. Nomar will most likely be a below average first basemen, especially considering how that is most likely the strongest offensive position in the league right now according to EqA, with an average in 2005 of .284, well ahead of the next position, right field (.274).
As always, here is the projection spreadsheet to formulate your own numbers. Leave your projections in the comments.