Matt Joyce is an Upgrade

Gabe Gross v. Matt Joyce.

I like them both, but there's a question about whether Joyce is an immediate upgrade. Short answer: yes.

(Ed: I've switched to using the WRAA number provided by FanGraphs, it's the same as what I've been doing, only using FanGraph's official league average wOBA, rather than the one StatCorner or otherwise uses. Hence why some of the numbers are going to be a bit smaller than previously by 2-3 runs.)

Marcels is pretty worthless for Joyce, it has him as worth 6 runs offensively in just about 340 plate appearances. I tweaked that number down, changing his run value per 600 to 3. Chone has Joyce as a +7 runs defender. That combines for a 2.7 WAR corner outfielder. Gross is projected at 1.4 through 600 PAs and 3 runs in the field. That's 1.9 WAR total.

Well, what if Joyce's bat or glove aren't as good as projected? Well, that's where your judgment call comes into play. UZR seems to like both, PMR loved Joyce, and Justin's stats like both as well. That suggests there's something to the idea of Joyce being a better fielder. How much? Hopefully at least three runs.

That doesn't seem like a lot, but none of the other options were much bigger upgrades:

 

FLD BAT WAR
Gross 0.3 0.1 1.9
Joyce 0.7 0.3 2.5
Ankiel 0.1 1.6 3.2
Hermida 0.0 0.6 2.1

:Not perfect estimates for Joyce, so adjust as you please with this formula:

1.5 + (FLD in wins form) + (BAT in wins form) = WAR

For instance: (1.5+0.7+0.3) = 2.5

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Joyce is 24 and seems to be a pretty decent player all ready. Between the upgrade over Gross/Hinske/Gomes in right field and the upgrade over Edwin in the rotation, the Rays improved tonight. Perhaps if only by two wins, but those two wins can mean a lot,  just look at last year's standings.

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