This post is part of a contest in which you could win a free Let's Go Tribe t-shirt. In order to enter, just copy and paste the template at the bottom of this post into the comments, then fill in each category with your own prediction for how this player will do in 2014. Position players and pitchers will be featured as two separate contests. You need not submit predictions for every single player in either contest in order to win, but doing so will increase your chances, as points will be awarded separately for each player.
For position players, you'll be asked to predict each player's plate appearances (PA), home runs (HR), stolen bases (SB), batting average (BA), on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging percentage (SLG).
The comments on each post in this series will remain open through Saturday, March 29.
Swisher was signed to the largest free-agent contract the Indians have ever handed out last offseason. He brought a lot of energy to the team, and posted a good, but not great season. He was actually very average for most of the season, sitting on a .724 OPS in mid August, but he really turned things on during the final quarter of the season, posting a line of .269/.356/.506 over his final 40 games, with 10 home runs (he led the team with 22 for the full season). He'd been nursing a shoulder injury earlier in the season, so hopefully that final month and a half is closer to what we'll see from him in 2014.
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com
2014 Preview and Projections
Swisher is likely to spend most of 2014 at first base. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in the outfield a few times, but it won't happen often, between the added strain it puts on him, and the team having a number of other options out there. He'll likely DH once every week or two as well. If you think those final 40 games represent a recovered Swisher, and you believe he can stay healthy, it makes sense to think he'll improve upon his 2013 numbers. If you think at the age of 33, his overall numbers were the beginning of his decline, it makes sense to expect another drop.
Here are a variety of projections for Swisher's 2014 season, all of which are available on his player page at FanGraphs, where you can find more detail, if you're so inclined:
My Two Cents
I think Swisher is on the wrong side of 30, so I don't expect a bounce back to his New York numbers (even when accounting for park factors). On the other hand, his shoulder does seem to have been a real issue for a while, but that should be behind him. I don't think he'll be earning his keep in another two years, but I think he'll continue to be productive in 2014. Put me down for 605 plate appearances, with 21 home runs, 2 stolen bases, and a line of .250/.348/.429.
You're welcome just to pull numbers out of thin air, but if you want to commute the rate stats more scientifically, here are some easy to use links that will help you with batting average, with on-base percentage, and with slugging percentage.
To submit your entry, simply copy-and-paste the text below into a new comment, then fill in your predictions: