|Heisey's shining moment last year came when he clubbed|
three homers in a single game vs the Yankees in June
Heisey didn't always get ample opportunities to play in 2011, but he took full advantage when he did. In just 279 at-bats he managed to clobber 28 extra base hits (18 homers) and drive in 50 runs, all the while playing great defense wherever needed. If you were to project his statistics over the course of a full season in which he started everyday his line would've looked something like this: .254 BA, 35 HR, 95 RBIs, 18 2B, and 10 SB. What could be more impressive than that you say? How about his 15.5 AB/HR ratio which ranked as the fourth-highest in the league, trailing only the likes of sluggers Prince Fielder, Mike Stanton and Matt Kemp (min. 275 at-bats).
However, just as with anything that sounds too good to be true there's always a catch. I failed to mention his high strikeout rate (28%) and low on-base percentage (.309) -- all contributing to one of the league's worst BB/K ratios at 0.24. In fact, he was nearly on pace to match Drew Stubbs' single-season club record of 205 strikeouts had he received the same number of ABs Stubbs did. With that in mind, one has to seriously wonder about the validity of Heisey's 2011 offensive production. Is it legitimate cause for excitement or simply fool's gold? Unfortunately, I still don't know the answer to that myself.
So, I've dug up projections from four different sources to help give us a better idea of what one can expect from him this year. They are as follows:
And here are their respective projections for Heisey:
BG: .238/.300/.422, 12 HR, 37 RBIs, 39 RS, 12 2Bs
RC: .262/.324/.492, 24 HR, 62 RBIs, 54 RS, 6 SB
ZiPS: .258/.317/.446, 17 HR, 57 RBIs, 19 2Bs, 59 RS
ESPN: .247/.303/.444, 19 HR, 53 RBIs, 53 RS
Career avg (2 yrs): .254/.316/.465, 10 HR, 36 RBIs, 39 RS
The prospect of being the everyday starter in left looked very promising for Heisey until mid-January. The team had just traded away most of its outfield depth clearing the path for Heisey to be the starter. Then came January 16th. That's when the club decided they wanted a little more insurance at the corner outfield slot and agreed to terms with free agent Ryan Ludwick. Now it's expected that the two will partake in a platoon role and are likely to hinder each other's individual numbers. Unless Heisey catches fire early in the year, or Ludwick struggles mightily, expect more of the same from him in '12.
And in case you missed it...
You can view past player projections by clicking on the following links: