2019 Projection Series: Paul DeJong


Paul DeJong was hitting quite well when he got put on the shelf with a fractured hand in 2018. He had a .260/.351/.473/.824 line with 30+ double, 30+ homer, 85+ run, 75+ RBI pace in a quarter of the season. I’ll take that every day out of Paul DeJong.


Then, he got hit on the hand by a pitch and missed 45 games. When he came back, he played his first month with basically very little to no power. He hit .210/.277/.300/.577 in his first 26 games (25 starts) from July 6th to August 6th after coming back for a month. He then started to pick it up. From August 7th to the end of the season, he played in 48 games (starting 47 of them). He had a .242/.301/.473/.774 line with 40+ double, 30+ HR, 95 run, 135+ RBI pace for 30% of the season. His power was absolutely back.


I can’t wait to see where that’s at after a full offseason healing and strengthening the hand as well, although I don’t think he’ll be as good as Dan Buffa thinks.


Based on what I have heard from Shildt interviews, I have a feeling that DeJong and Goldschmidt will occupy the 2 and 3 hole spots in some order, I’m thinking Goldy 2 and DeJong 3 - a much more sabermetrically-inclined lineup than we’ve seen in the past. If so, here are what 2 and 3 hitters did in the last 5 years per 600 PA:

My projection system think he compares favorably to #2 hitters in that time, but not to #3 hitters in that time - the best group in the lineup over the past 5 years, which shows how few teams use sabermetrically-inclined lineups.


I also want to show you what shortstops have done in the past 5 years per 600 PA as well before getting to DeJong’s projections:

Paul DeJong’s 2019 projection:

579 PA .252/.309/.458/.767 72 runs, 30 doubles, 1 triple, 26 homers, 81 RBI 26.9% K rate, 6.0% BB rate, 2 SB, 2 CS


What can be pointed out to show that things CAN be better than that?!?"


Past performance.


DeJong’s 2017 season, the beginning of the 2018 season prior to his hand injury, the end of the 2018 season after a month back from the injury. From 2017 to 2018, he raised his BB rate by 55.3% and his K rate dropped by 10.4%. His BB:K improved by 70.6%!


Prior to his injury in 2018 he was hitting .260/.351/.473/.824 with 30+ double, 30+ homer power.


After his injury in 2018, he batted .231/.292/.413/.705 with 35+ doubles but 25 homer power.

However, if you split that up, in July and August DeJong hit .209/.274/.390/.664. In September, further removed from the injury, he hit .269/.325/.452/.777 - not quite all the way back to his pre-injury totals, but a lot closer!


How/If things go wrong:


Oquendo isn’t there and his SS defense slips and Carpenter to his right makes a solidly bad defensive left side of the infield. Oh, you meant offensively? Uhhh...maybe his hole in his swing gets shown more this year...but that number in my projection is barely OVER his career average as is.