Please check out the Projections Primer, to see how I come about getting these projections.
Prior to getting started, I want to take a look at the last three years of Harrison Bader's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.
The 2019 season is our most recent sample size and professional sports are often reduced to a "what have you done for me lately" business. Here is his 2019 season separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.
406 PA - .205/.314/.366/.680
14 doubles, 3 triples, 12 homers
54 runs, 39 RBI, 11 SB, 3 CS
This year, I plan to incorporate a couple of (I hope) interesting items to go along with the mean (average) projection. I am going to be adding in "THE GOOD" (an everything goes right) projection and "THE BAD” (an everything went wrong)" projection prior to giving THE CERUTTI (my actual projection). THE GOOD is basically if a player is 10% better in a few of the listed categories while THE BAD is basically if a player is 10% worse in a few of the listed categories - based on THE CERUTTI projection, which is my 50th percentile-type projection that gets made every year by other projection services like STEAMER or ZiPS.
550 PA - .271/.359/.464/.823
23 doubles, 3 triples, 21 homers
89 runs, 62 RBI, 19 SB, 5 CS
Bader has hit like this for stretches. In April/March of last year, he hit like this. In August of last year, after coming back up from AAA, he hit like this (better!). He hit like this in August of 2018 as well. He slugged much better than this in May of 2018. However, he has had just as many months hitting like this:
455 PA - .222/.302/.381/.683
16 doubles, 2 triples, 15 homers
60 runs, 42 RBI, 13 SB, 4 CS
You can only live with THAT if your corner outfielders can’t play defense and the team is still winning ball games. That scenario could also be playing out come June/July.
(my system projection)
500 PA - .246/.332/.422/.754
19 doubles, 2 triples, 18 homers
74 runs, 52 RBI, 15 SB, 5 CS
So I’m more bullish on Bader than most people I know. Part of that is because I absolutely love how he plays defense and if the Cardinals are considering putting Fowler in RF (which we know they are) and putting Austin Dean or Rangel Ravelo potentially in LF as well, then the Cardinals will need every single inch that Harrison Bader can cover and not an inch less.
Part of the reason I am bullish on Bader is because of what I wrote here, and Zach wrote here, and what John wrote at VEB, and what Blake wrote at VEB. TL;DR - There are signs that Bader was a much better hitter than what 2019’s overall stats showed. My projections, for now, agree.
The projections being a bit higher than what most people think are similar-but-opposite of my still to come Lane Thomas projections and might be a bit slow in adjusting to what Bader really is in the majors. We shall see. I truthfully believe that he'll be close to what THE CERUTTI suggests in 2020.
Link back to all of my projections.