Brennan Boesch has had an interesting two years in Detroit. The former 3rd round pick out of Santa Monica, CA has averaged just under 500 plate appearances since 2010. Last year he increased his HR and OBP while playing in 18 fewer games due to an injury to his right thumb in early August (he was on pace to play nearly 150, which would have shattered pretty much every stat from his rookie campaign).
Just a few days ago on MLB Network Radio, the well spoken Jim Bowden picked Boesch as one of his “underrated” stars of the game and shouted joyfully into the speakers that Boesch would smash 30 HR.
All jokes aside, his rant did get me thinking. A healthy season from Boesch batting 2nd all year in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder? I definitely wouldn’t assume 100 RBI given his spot in the batting order, and 30 HR?
Bill James projections has him at 17 HR in 409 at bats, RotoChamps has him at 17 as well, but in 475 at bats. Dan Szymborski of Baseball Think Factory has him at 17 HR in 484 at bats. PECOTA has him at 19 HR in roughly 530 at bats (that’s all the PECOTA specific information I should give since it is behind a pay site).
Granted, all of these projections are based on past performances. PECOTA does suggest that he could have a breakout year, albeit it is a relatively small chance that he does.
Another fact to consider is that he is coming into his age 27 season, generally considered a ballplayers best season. Couple that with a full year hitting in front of Cabrera and Fielder, there’s a lot that can go right.