Move Daric Barton down?

By Jason Wojciechowski on May 31, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Nico at Athletics Nation says not to move Daric Barton down in the batting order. For once, I agree, but I'd make the point simpler:

  1. The batting order doesn't matter enough to worry about it.

  2. Even with these struggles, you should still expect Barton to have about a .360 OBP going forward per ZiPS rest-of-season projection, a significantly better projected OBP than for anyone else on the team.1

  1. ZiPS isn't God, obviously, but given the general ability of all of the available projection systems to more or less hit the mark with the vast majority of major-league players, and without any evidence that Barton is special in any weird way (low-power, high-walk players abound through history, even if they're not usually first basemen), I think it's reasonable to rely on this projection with the caveat that maybe pitchers have gotten the word that Barton just isn't to be afraid of any longer, resulting in more strikes and more swinging. (He is swinging at 38.4% of pitches so far this year, up from 34.9% last year.)