The acquisition of Orlando Hudson to play second base for the Dodgers gives the club a pair of formidable 31-year olds to man the middle infield in 2009. Thanks to the amazing Fangraphs, I decided to look at the 2009 projections for Hudson and Rafael Furcal, and compare them to the other middle infields of the NL West.
On Fangraphs, there are four projection systems on display: Bill James, CHONE, Marcel, and Oliver. I looked at all four projections for the middle infielders of the NL West, then averaged them out. To figure OPS+, I used the lgOBP and lgSLG from 2008 for each team. It may not be scientifically reliable, but it gives us a rough idea of what will happen this year.
I also added in the combined 2008 plus/minus (per 2,000 innings; 1,000 for each fielder) and UZR/150 to give us an idea of the defensive acumen of these middle infielders. The Giants' 2B job is up for grabs, but for sake of comparison I used Kevin Frandsen, since he had the best numbers offensively and defensively of the trio.
|Team||2B/SS Combo||BA/OBP/SLG||OPS+||+/- / 2000 inn.||UZR/150|
I'd like to think if both Hudson and Furcal are healthy, they will be even better both offensively and defensively. Of course, that's a huge "if." Still, with catcher Russell Martin and centerfielder Matt Kemp joining Hudson and Furcal, the Dodgers are as strong up the middle as they've ever been.