Projecting Defense-Heavy Players by Joe Pawlikowski December 13, 2010 If you haven’t yet played around with the 2011 Fan Projections ballots, well, you’re missing out on some good fun. Well, as much fun as you can have while clicking drop-down boxes. I suggest putting on some music and clicking along with the beat. That should help you power through projections for the more known quantities. You might run into some trouble, though, when getting to a certain type of player. This year, of the 45 players who produced 4 or more WAR, nine of them relied more on the fielding component than the batting. That makes them a bit tougher to project than your offense-heavy slugger. Player such as Albert Pujols and Joey Votto we can get a read on, because they’re probably going to produce gaudy offensive numbers. But the defense-heavy guys? It’s tough to imagine what we’ll see from them in 2011. The problem is that we see more fluctuations in UZR than we see in offensive stats. One season of UZR, after all, isn’t the most reliable sample. The year-to-year variance could certainly hurt any of these nine players. How, then, should we forecast their 2011 seasons? Here are the players: Andres Torres Brett Gardner Jay Bruce Angel Pagan Ichiro Suzuki Chase Headley Michael Bourn Marlon Byrd Brandon Phillips You can click here to project all nine players. I suggest putting on a slow ballad. You know, turn down the intensity. Really take your time to dig in and get a grasp for what these guys will do in 2011. With their reliance on the fluctuating UZR, I’m not sure it will be at all similar to what they did in 2010.