Just a day after looking at Jarred Kelenic's STEAMER projections, I decided to shift to someone that might just be battling him for a corner outfield spot this season in Dylan Moore. I think this one surprised me almost more than any of the other ones that I have looked at. According to STEAMER, they think that Jarred Kelenic is going to have a better season than Dylan Moore.
I like Jarred Kelenic. I think he is still going to be a really good player. Sure, if you want to predict that he is going to have a better season than Dylan Moore, I don't really have anything against that. Moore is about a 1.5-2.0 WAR guy. The only argument, and it's sort of the one that Fangraphs is going with, is that Moore is only going to see 360 PA this year.
Well, except for the fact that he had 255 Pa in 2022 and was a 2.1 fWAR player, while being a positive on both offense and defense. His walk rate went way up, he has a good barrel rate, and had a much better SPEED score on the bases. It seems odd to drop his projections down.
2022 - 255 PA, 104 G, .224/.368/.385, 6 HR, 21 SB, .320 BABIP, 13.3% BB, 29.4% K, 10.1 Off, 2.1 Def, 126 WRC+, 2.1 fWAR
STEAMER - 362 PA, 91 G, .208/.306/.360, 10 HR, 19 SB, .271 BABIP, 10.3% BB, 28.1% K, -0.3 Off, -1.1 DEF, 97 WRC+, 1.1 fWAR
They're giving him the second most PA he has ever seen, but essentially decreasing all of his starts across the board. I understand taking an average, but I really think BABIP needs to be looked at here. He was a .229 in 2021 and a .320 in 2022. Hitting league average, or even a bit below, will give you a good player, likely in that 105-115 WRC+ platoon spot you are hoping for. I think they are discounting the other numbers too much here even with a .271 BABIP.
Moore also made better contact more often in 2022, and I think that's worth grabbing onto. In 2021, he was making "soft" contact 24.3% of the time. That number fell to 18.2% in 2022. Nearly all of that went toward his hard-hit rate increasing, jumping from 23.9% to 31.8%. He's hitting the ball better, and it's showing in his production.
We're past the point of expecting Moore to be a full-time guy. I think the holes will get bigger if he plays all the time. I think of him like a bench big in basketball. Give him some prime starting chances, and let him fill in with high energy otherwise.
I still think Kelenic is going to do better than Moore, but I think Moore is still going to put up a similar fWAR to 2022. STEAMER seems to be taking the safe route here, which is understandable. However, with less expectations on Moore, hopefully, we should see a strong season from him in 2022.