clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Rays lineup with Delmon Young and David DeJesus

Fun with regressed platoon splits.


Delmon Young and David DeJesus will be joining the RaysYoung on a minor league deal, and DeJesus either for cash considerations or for a PTBNL. That means it's time to figure out where each of them fit into the Rays lineup.

When evaluating a player's lineup impact, it's not good enough to look at overall career numbers, overall projections, or career platoon split numbers. The better way is to regress the player's platoon split and then distribute it around a projection. The idea behind regression is that we know something about David DeJesus's because he's had a long career accumulating a track record, but we also know something about him because he's a left handed hitter, and left handed hitters as a group tend to operate a certain way. The trick is in weighting the two appropriately.

The following tables are from a regression tool, made by myself and Jason Hanselman of Dock of the Rays, that implements an idea on platoon split regression put forth in The Book, but with updated regression formulas from Bojan Koprivica, and ZiPS rest of season projections. Statistics are both from FanGraphs and from Baseball Reference. Any mathematical errors are purely mine. Here's how the Rays players should be expected to perform going forward.

Potential Rays players vs. LHP:

Player Proj. wOBA Career wOBA vs. LHP Proj. wOBA vs. LHP
Evan Longoria 0.363 0.392 0.380
Wil Myers 0.338 0.346 0.350
Ben Zobrist 0.345 0.351 0.348
Delmon Young 0.322 0.351 0.343
Desmond Jennings 0.319 0.354 0.336
Sean Rodriguez 0.303 0.333 0.321
Yunel Escobar 0.305 0.337 0.316
Ryan Roberts 0.293 0.342 0.308
Kelly Johnson 0.315 0.340 0.305
Luke Scott 0.329 0.323 0.303
Matt Joyce 0.341 0.268 0.301
Jose Lobaton 0.296 0.299 0.298
David DeJesus 0.330 0.298 0.297
Jose Molina 0.280 0.286 0.291
James Loney 0.315 0.298 0.288
Jason Bourgeois 0.264 0.334 0.276
Sam Fuld 0.278 0.312 0.264

Right off the bat, it's clear how Delmon Young can help the Rays. I think that his ZiPS projection is a bit rosy for a player just signed to minor league deal, but unless he's completely lost all of his ability, he'll be a huge upgrade over Matt Joyce or Luke Scott in the DH spot. With a lefty on the mound, David DeJesus should come off the bench (note that even against a lefty, DeJesus is a significant upgrade over Jason Bourgeois and Sam Fuld offensively, and shouldn't be much of a step back defensively).

Potential Rays players vs. RHP:

Player Proj. wOBA Career wOBA vs. RHP Proj. wOBA vs. RHP
Evan Longoria 0.363 0.364 0.356
Matt Joyce 0.341 0.364 0.349
Ben Zobrist 0.345 0.344 0.343
David DeJesus 0.330 0.356 0.343
Luke Scott 0.329 0.362 0.337
Wil Myers 0.338 0.375 0.331
James Loney 0.315 0.342 0.324
Kelly Johnson 0.315 0.336 0.319
Delmon Young 0.322 0.308 0.314
Desmond Jennings 0.319 0.311 0.312
Yunel Escobar 0.305 0.326 0.301
Jose Lobaton 0.296 0.286 0.295
Sean Rodriguez 0.303 0.269 0.291
Ryan Roberts 0.293 0.300 0.285
Sam Fuld 0.278 0.285 0.283
Jose Molina 0.280 0.274 0.275
Jason Bourgeois 0.264 0.229 0.251

And now we get to see DeJesus's value. Facing a righty (the long side of the platoon), he projects to be the Rays' fourth best bat. Couple that with well above average defense in left field, and you have something special. Of course, assuming that Desmond Jennings and Wil Myers are healthy, they'll play. That means that DeJesus should take over left field. DeJesus in the outfield and Matt Joyce at DH is an upgrade, both offensively and defensively, on Matt Joyce in the outfield and Luke Scott at DH.

Of course, Scott is a perfectly fine DH himself when he's healthy, but at the moment he isn't. When he comes back, he may find himself as just another overqualified bench bat on an extremely deep Rays bench.

More from DRaysBay: