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Monday, February 07, 2005

Pickering and PECOTA

Here was an interesting little tidbit on Baseball Prospectus regarding Calvin Pickering:

"Calvinist Theology: One of the most interesting developments of last season was the play of Calvin Pickering, the much traveled, and monstrous (6'5, 278 lbs.), first baseman/DH. Pickering is something of an enigma; after having collected just 81 professional ABs from 2002-2003, Pickering caught on with Kansas City in '04 and absolutely destroyed the Pacific Coast League while at Omaha. In 299 at-bats, Pickering put up a Bondsian .712 slugging percentage by hitting 35 home runs, and then continued his barrage in Kansas City, hitting .246/.338/.500 with seven homers in 122 ABs. PECOTA thinks Pickering, who will still be just 28 in 2005, is for real. Here's his 2005 projection:

337 24 .272 .400 .543 36.6

PECOTA tabs Pickering as the 2005 Royals' offensive MVP. It's doubtful that he will get enough at bats to claim that honor, however. Chronically injured Mike Sweeney, signed to a huge deal, is lodged in the DH slot, and the team is way too high on Ken Harvey at first base. Sweeney, an inferior defender, has been making things difficult for Royals' management recently, demanding that he play first base regularly or be dealt. The situation could be a blessing in disguise for Kansas City, however, for the team would be better off trading Sweeney for a few prospects and playing Pickering every day at DH.

I couldn't agree more with the sentiment and this compares favorably to the assessement in the 2005 Bill James Handbook I mentioned awhile back. For those who aren't aware PECOTA is a forcasting system developed by BP which you can read a bit about here.

On the Royals website Dick Kaegel comments that Pickering will likely start the season as the DH at Omaha. Too bad.

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