In 2011, Roger Bernadina struggled as a platoon regular, hitting .241/.301/.362 in his second full MLB season. There were calls for him to be non-tendered, but he flourished in a primarily bench role in 2012. He hit .291/.372/.405 with 15 stolen bases playing primarily as a late-game substitute or injury replacement. Heading into 2013, he looks poised to prove that his 2012 was no fluke, but some regression is to be expected after a career-best season. Our projections support this:
ZiPS: 396 AB, .248/.317/.385, 31 RBI, 39 RS, 18 SB, 9 HR
MLB.com: 225 AB, .262/.336/.351, 22 RBI, 22 RS, 13 SB, 4 HR
CBSSports: 317 AB, .259/.319/.391, 33 RBI, 39 RS, 16 SB, 8 HR
ESPN Fantasy: 211 AB, .256/.325/.379, 21 RBI, 26 RS, 12 SB, 5 HR
Averages: 287 AB, .256/.324/.376, 27 RBI, 32 RS, 15 SB, 7 HR
Taking into account ZiPS’ playing-time-ignoring prediction, our averages expect Bernadina to play a bit more than he did in 2012, which means that he should probably get about the same number of plate appearances. The projectors foresee a return to Bernadina’s pre-2012 stats, which is reasonable, given that Bernadina’s baBIP jumped 74 points from 2011 to 2012. But if Bernadina can simply split his 2012 numbers and projections, giving him a roughly .270/.350/.390 line, he would take a huge step towards establishing himself as a top bench bat, as opposed to a AAAA player. In fantasy, Bernadina will have no value unless a starting outfielder is injured, and even then, only in deep NL-only leagues. As a Nat, he will hopefully remain a productive pinch hitter and defensive whiz who can make plays like this.