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 Paul DeJong's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.
The 2020 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 2020 season (majors only) separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.
174 PA - .250/.322/.349/.671
6 doubles, 0 triples, 3 homers
17 runs, 25 RBI, 1 SB, 0 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.
605 PA - .264/.347/.471/.818
31 doubles, 1 triples, 26 homers
89 runs, 86 RBI, 6 SB, 3 CS
I really, honestly, truly, perhaps unrealistically think that Paul DeJong's 2021 season could dwarf the numbers in my "THE GOOD" category. I really do. I realize that I basically say this every season and that I continue to be wrong. However, I am going to go on a limb this year again and say that these numbers would look fantastic on his baseball card, but yet I believe that the overall OPS might still be a bit under what occurs.
Last year, I think, will be looked at as an outlier due to COVID - and the effect it had on Paul DeJong's body during the season. I think he blows up this year.
500 PA - .216/.290/.385/.676
21 doubles, 1 triples, 18 homers
60 runs, 58 RBI, 4 SB, 2 CS
Unfortunately, I feel that this is entirely possible as well. This would be about what he did last year just on a grander scale because I don't know that the Cardinals have a shortstop backup plan.
(my system projection)
550 PA - .240/.320/.428/.748
26 doubles, 1 triple, 21 homers
74 runs, 71 RBI, 5 SB, 3 CS
Paul DeJong has all the potential in the world to be an .800 OPS guy in the Cardinals order - especially one that has Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in it. It would go a long way to lengthen the middle of the order if he could do that and this year, at age 27, I see him taking that leap into the next step of stardom.
I'm not going to say "bank on it" or anything ridiculous like that, but if we're going with what I think...THE CERUTTI is the floor here and the sky is .850-.900 OPS. I am not a wagering man, but if I were and the over/under was set at THE GOOD, I'm taking the over for 2021.
I also think this is the last year I take this bullish a stance on DeJong, however. I've done this a few times now and injuries keep affecting him - or COVID does - and it doesn't pan out like I think it can.
Link back to all of my projections.