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Community Projection Review: Jack Wilson

Jack Wilson SS .272/.324/.392 .261/.313/.361 .272/.312/.348

Luis Rivas and Brian Bixler's terrible performances in Wilson's absence obscured the fact that Wilson didn't have a good season even when he played. He hit only one homer and 18 doubles in about a half-season's worth of plate appearances, and his walk rate regressed. 

That ZiPS saw this coming, and that we the community failed to, maybe should tell us something. Wilson's 75 OPS+ is only three points off his career mark, and this season is the sixth time in the last eight that Wilson has failed to post an OPS+ above 77. HIs 2004 and 2007 seasons were terrific, but other than that, Wilson simply hasn't hit. As he moves further into his 30s, another 2004 or 2007 looks increasingly unlikely.

As a good fielder, Wilson still has value, but the difference between him and your garden-variety defense-first shortstop (like Cesar Izturis) may not be all that large. The Pirates are very likely to trade him this offseason; while they certainly don't need to receive a shortstop in return, they need to do a much better job than they did this year of preparing for not having Wilson in the lineup. The choice should not be between Wilson and someone like Rivas or Bixler, both of whom were horrible, sub-replacement level players this year. The choice should be between Wilson and someone like Izturis or Adam Everett, who could probably be had fairly cheaply and at least provide good defense.

The closest guesser, by the way, was Sludgeworm, who had Jack at .261/.313/.347.