Thursday, February 7, 2008

2008 Projection Combos

Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted in several days, I had an anatomy exam today at 8:00 a.m., so I've been studying stacks of notes and illustrations non-stop since Monday night. But at least now I have an idea of what NOT to slice open when seeing patients.

Anyways, I was just looking over some projections for 2008 and I thought I would post a few and make some comments. Some of them look good, while others surprised me.

Billy Butler
Bill James-- 17 HR, 35 2B, 90 RBI, .293 Avg
CHONE-- 16 HR, 33 2B, 78 RBI, .281 Avg
Marcel-- 10 HR, 23 2B, 53 RBI, .298 Avg

No matter how you look at it, those are pretty good numbers for a guy who will turn 22 this season. The Marcel numbers are based off of 342 at-bats, so they're a bit low, but I think the average is accurate. So maybe we're looking at 15-20 home runs and an average around .295. Butler's RBI totals could be the most difficult to predict since the Royals are such a young team with so many question marks. If somebody like Alex Gordon gets hot then maybe Butler's numbers would benefit as well, but I think 85 RBIs would be a safe bet.

Ryan Braun
Bill James-- 46 home runs, .326 Avg, 122 RBI
CHONE-- 30 HR, .293 Avg, 88 RBI
Marcel-- 25 HR, .314 Avg, 79 RBI

There seems to be a small debate going on about which Ryan Braun we will see in 2008. Prior the the 2007 season, Braun was an above-average prospect with good power, but no one expected him to hit for such a high average and post such high run production numbers so soon. If Braun has the season that Bill James is predicting, then he should easily be in the top 5 MVP candidates, but if he shows the type of regression that CHONE is suggesting then his rookie year will just be a fluke surge in power and average for Braun. I think Braun is for real, and his 2007 numbers were a result of a player finding his comfort zone and letting things gel at the plate. By the end of the year he was approaching a home rune rate of 1 HR/ 10 PA which is really amazing for a player his age, but his BABIP for the year was .367 while his career BABIP is much closer to .300. I expect those power numbers to remain the same, with an batting average of about 30 points lower. With all the other great young hitters on that team, I think an RBI of 110-120 is very reasonable, so I'd say a line of 40 HR, .295 Avg and 115 RBIs sounds about right.

B.J. Upton
Bill James-- 21 HR, .276 Avg, 29 2B and 32 SB
CHONE-- 17 HR, .273 Avg, 26 2B and 37 SB
Marcel-- 17 HR, .293 Avg, 22 2B and 19 SB

The Marcel projections are based off of 433 at-bats, while the Bill James and CHONE projections are based off of 500+ at-bats, so it looks like all 3 are pretty much in agreement about the power numbers and batting average. Marcel comes in low on stolen bases, but I think 30 or so is about right, maybe more. The only number I am skeptical about is the home run totals because Upton had 24 home runs in 474 at-bats in 2007, so I would guess that if he spends the whole year as a starter then I would expect him to hit 20+ and maybe even 25 home runs. He seems to be developing quickly, so I expect a great season from him with an outside shot at 30/30 status.

Well guys, that's about all the time I have for now. Time to go study for my radiology exam tomorrow, but I'll try to get back to some more projection combos soon.

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