Today I will be posting three projections, rather than the customary two or yesterday's one. The reasoning behind this is that I will be looking at three guys who are all in the same boat in my mind this year. Jose Martinez, Jedd Gyorko, and Yairo Munoz are all going to be really fighting hard for playing time behind Ozuna, Fowler, O'Neill (who is also on the bench), Matt Carpenter, Paul DeJong, Kolten Wong, and Paul Goldschmidt. I am currently giving the 3 of them (and O'Neill) 415 PA apiece for now. We'll see how the spring goes to see if those projections need to change based on PA allocation.
To be 100% honest with you, I am not sold on Yairo Munoz at all. The advanced statistics tell me (along with my eye test) that I should not believe he can defend well enough anywhere but 3B and maybe corner outfield to be the utility man that the Cardinals feel he should be in 2019. Unfortunately, not only do I feel like his fielding is suspect, but my projection system also sees some 2017 Aledmys Diaz level declines with his offensive performance for his sophomore season.
My projection for Yairo Munoz in 2019:
47 runs, 18 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 48 RBI
20.0% K rate, 5.8% BB rate, 10 SB, 6 CS
I believe he can be better than that offensively. This would put him at about a 90 wRC+. Last year he had a 106 wRC+. It's not dropping off a cliff offensively for a guy like Bader, who plays an impressive CF. For a tweener utility guy defensively, it'd be disastrous.
How/If things go wrong:
If things go worse than this, Munoz eats up a valuable spot on the roster for far too long no matter how long he’s on the roster. I really hope it doesn’t come to that.
What can be pointed out to show that things CAN be better than that?!?
Munoz was at AA for 414 PA in 2016 and had an 87 wRC+. Munoz was at AA for 207 PA in 2017 and had a 140 wRC+ the second time around.
Munoz was at AAA for 272 PA in 2017 and had an 86 wRC+. Munoz was at AAA for 100 PA in 2018 and had a 100 wRC+.
He’s shown he can improve at each level and had a 106 wRC+ in 329 PA in the majors last year. If he improves over that, then his bat will play better at the spots in the field he proves adequate defensively.