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Cleveland Indians futures: What will Nick Swisher's final numbers look like?

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...and how far have the projections dropped since he first signed with the Indians?

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Last week I used a projection system Bill James created (the "Favorite Toy") and took a look at what Michael Brantley's career numbers might look like*, and what his chances of reaching various career milestones might be. It's my favorite part of James' annual offseason book, and has been for quite a few years. Not every player on the Indians will be as interesting to run the forecast for (in fact, probably no Indians player has as interesting a forecast as Brantley), but I thought it'd be fun to look at some of the other guys just the same.

*Brantley's projected finishing totals led to an interesting discussion of what it should take for the Indians to retire a player's uniform number. For me, Brantley's forecast would be enough (so long as it all came with the Tribe), but that was not a unanimous take.

Nick Swisher

The first number on each line below is the career total Swisher is currently projected by the Favorite Toy to reach. The number in parentheses is the number he was projected for at the time he joined the Indians, two years ago:

  • 1,775 hits (1,887)
  • 410 doubles (435)
  • 308 home runs (343)
  • 1,032 runs (1,122)
  • 1,036 RBI (1,166)

As you can see, Swisher's slight downward turn in 2013 and his disastrous 2014 have taken a pretty good season's worth of production off his expected career numbers.

Here are Swisher's chances of reaching various milestone numbers, as figured by the Favorite Toy:

  • 1,000 RBI: 67%
  • 1,000 runs: 66%
  • 1,500 hits: 97%
  • 2,000 hits: 18%
  • 400 doubles: 60%
  • 500 doubles: 6%
  • 300 home runs: 63%
  • 400 home runs: 0%

Swisher still has a pretty good chance to hit some major round-number milestones. A player with 300+ home runs, 1,000+ runs scored and 1,000+ RBI had a great career. His best years will have come with other teams though, and unless Swisher can turn back the clock, he's going to go down as a disappointment in Cleveland. I've said before I'm not optimistic about his chances of being even an average player in 2015 and 2016, but I hope I'm proven wrong.