Projecting Dexter Fowler

Dexter Fowler is coming off a season he’d like to forget; he was one of the worst player in the majors and dealt with personal issues that may or may not have impacted his playing. He was playing for a manager for half the season that he didn’t see eye to eye with (or that’s how the media portrayed it). His season ended early to a broken foot.

He’s come into camp this year feeling completely different; he working hard and keeping a positive attitude. Unfortunately his spring numbers are more in line with last season than his 2017 numbers; granted, they are spring numbers, so you can’t believe that will be how the season will go.

I’ve compiled Fowler’s recent numbers and those of his closest comps to figure this year’s projections. I’ll break them into counting stats and slash stats/sabermetrics.

My system sees him getting into 113 games this year and compiling 389 at bats. This is pretty inline with recent history, as he’s had a problem staying healthy over his whole career. The low numbers could also indicate the doesn’t recapture 2017 and moves to more of a platoon role with Jose Martinez and/or Tyler O’Neill in right field.

His counting stats are nothing to write home about, but they are also better than last season. He’s expected to get 99 hits, with 19 of them doubles, 4 triples, and 12 homers. That’s decent power numbers from a guy who’s not normally a big power guy. The triples also show that his speed hasn’t been that impacted by his foot problems.

Run scoring is a little of a concern. 62 runs scored isn’t bad, but I’d hope for more than 47 RBIs if he’s not at the top of the lineup; even in the 2 hole, he should get a few more RBIs (if Matt Carpenter can go 2nd to home on a double…we know it won’t happen on singles). His stolen bases should probably be higher on a team with as much speed as it has, but the total might be accurate if he is behind Carpenter in the lineup.

His slash stats are pretty average. It’s nice to see him getting on base at a good clip and his slugging is solid; if there was just a way to get the batting average up. His BABIP looks low, but it’s made up for with a solid Isolated Power.

The WAR and wOBA are both concerning. A 1.5 WAR will be almost a 3 win swing over the previous season, but only Martinez had a lower WAR for projections I was able to complete (due to his small playing time). The wOBA has Fowler in the slightly below average category (.310 is below average, .320 is average). When you use last years wOBA for the league, it shows he’ll be about 4 runs above average according to wRAA (weighted Runs Above Average).

(For a good explanation on wOBA and wRAA, check out this Fangraph’s article.)

Here’s the full numbers:


Overall, this is a decent bounce back, but it’s far from a $17M player. If he does move to a platoon of some sort, he might be more valuable; with his injury struggles over his year, he might be more productive getting more time off than in the past.

I’ll continue to do a few projections a week getting ready for opening day.

Others in the series:
Paul Goldschmidt
Adam Wainwright

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