2021 Cardinal Projections: Nolan Arenado

Like I’ve done for the last few years, I’m working through my Cardinals projections for the upcoming season. The process this year is trickier; normally I take a 3 year average of the players stats for a portion of the projections, but this past season saw the 60 game season, so there was a little extra math.

My projections take into account the already mentioned 3 year average and similar players. On Baseball Reference, they list comparable players by career and by age; I factor in what those players did at the same age as the player I’m projecting. Again, if the comp was from 2020, I had to do a little math to equal it out to a 162 game season.

First up is one of the newest Cardinals: Nolan Arenado.

Arenado will be 30 for the upcoming season, so all comps had their age 30 season used as well.

3 Yr1475568916131134992/35990.290/.355/.532.2415.6

Arenado’s 2020 stats were lower than the previous 2 years due to his shoulder injury; had it been a regular season, he would have seen about 130 games. There was a small trend of that in the 30 year old comps, as 5 of the 18 used played under 130 games in their age 30 season: Scott Rolen, Eric Chavez, Kevin Mitchell, Josh Hamilton, and Bob Horner (it should also be noted that 2 of his comps were Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, neither of whom have hit at 30 yet).

Overall, I feel these are a little bit low. I’m expecting over 30 homers and an average above .300. Here are my projections versus the various one on Fangraphs:

THE BAT X152682338696.263.334.484.220
THE BAT1526833690101.270.343.506.236
Depth Charts1526583389102.275.345.505.2304.8

Outside of games and plate appearances, there isn’t much difference between them. I’m on the lower end for homers and RBIs while being higher on slash stats. If he could hit the 33 homers with a .290 average, I’d be very happy.

These projections are a definite upgrade over what the Cardinals had in 2020; slotting Arenado in after Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt will provide the middle of the order thump the team has been missing. It might also take some pressure off guys like Paul DeJong and Matt Carpenter.

I’ll be back later this week with another projection.

Other projections:
Paul Goldschmidt
Yadier Molina

Don’t forget to check the Cardinal Salary Matrix and the Cardinal Prospect Tracker for updates.

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