With spring training just around the corner most of the well known projection systems have completed their expectations for the upcoming season. These systems vary in the factors they consider, how much "human input" they allow for, and their general level of rigor. I thought it would be interesting to see what they expect for our players, though, and what we predict relative to these projections. Most of us are pretty Tribe-crazy and have a fair amount of human knowledge ourselves about these players and I wonder whether our best predictions (guesses) can do better than some of these systems. Here I am only concerned with rate stats as I don't want to get into the craziness of predicting playing time, and I'm only concerned with over and under. But here are my predictions (guesses) on our offensive players and their performance relative to their projections. (Bill James, CHONE, Marcel and FANS from Fangraphs.com; PECOTA from baseballprospectus.com; CAIRO from rlyw...)
Bill James: .266/.334/.468, CHONE: .263/.337/.457, Marcel: .270/.336/.457, FANS: .269/.350/.463, PECOTA: .259/.345/.471, CAIRO: .258/.346/.463
Everyone loves new toys, and our projected starting firstbaseman is no different. All of the systems except CHONE and Marcel have him hitting over .800 this season. I'm dubious, not because I don't like LaPorta, but I'm concerned about him taking some time to adjust and the effects of spending much of the off-season on crutches.
Bill James: .294/.358/.421, CHONE: .297/.365/.432, Marcel: .292/.360/.425, FANS: .292/.360/.408, PECOTA: .291/.363/.430, CAIRO: .273/.342/.393
Aside from CAIRO, these are pretty tightly clustered projections in the .760-.800 range. Those seem pretty sensible, but I think Asdrubal stands a solid chance of outperforming these numbers. I think Asdrubal is going to benefit in 2010 not just from natural development, but from having a slightly more stable lineup around him.
Bill James: .257/.323/.399, CHONE: .262/.328/.400, Marcel: .262/.321/.428, FANS: .265/.316/.420, PECOTA: .255/.322/.385, CAIRO: .245/.316/.366
The stupid monkey is the "most" bullish on Valbuena, expecting him to put up just shy of a .750 OPS. CAIRO is again the most pessimistic, putting Valbuena in at .682. Not the most heartwarming projections. I love the way Valbuena sprays linedrives around the field, but his contact ability is a problem, and one that I think he might struggle to adjust with in 2010. i'm going to split the difference here and predict that Valbuena is under the most optimistic forecast and above the low end, so somewhere in the .700-.750 range.
Bill James: .269/.336/.424, CHONE: .259/.328/.408, Marcel: .267/.330/.423, FANS: .270/.329/.428, PECOTA: .269/.341/.430, CAIRO: .259/.326/.411
CHONE thinks Peralta is going to be Valbuena in 2010, with a .736 OPS. PECOTA likes Jhonny the best as a .770 guy. I think the change of coaching and a little contract pressure push Jhonny back up around the .800 mark for most of the season.
Bill James: .280/.372/.360, CHONE: .255/.343/.349, Marcel: .275/.353/.440, PECOTA: .261/.346/.365, CAIRO: .252/.356/.352
Marson is a bit of a mystery. Marcel, which is bullish on him (.793), apparently has him confused with someone who has some power. I think the Bill James one is closer to what we will see, which is higher than most of them, but not as high as the Marcel figure.
Bill James: .293/.383/.467, CHONE: .284/.372/.460, Marcel: .298/.387/.495, FANS: .301/.392/.488, PECOTA: .278/.383/.459, CAIRO: .294/.390/.481
Everyone except CHONE loves Choo. I do too, but...I can't help quite shaking a nagging nervousness about Choo's injury history rearing its head.
Bill James: .272/.369/.484, CHONE: .272/.370/.484, Marcel: .264/.366/.469, FANS: .274/.374/.496, PECOTA: .271/.385/.485, CAIRO: .261/.368/.469
I am optimistic about Grady. I anticipate him coming into the season refocused after last year's injury problems. I'm guessing at some point during the season he gets dropped to the #3 spot in the lineup and thrives in that position.
Bill James: .268/.342/.335, CHONE: .275/.349/.363, Marcel: .292/.357/.416, FANS: .280/.346/.367, PECOTA: .281/.352/.375, CAIRO: .257/.345/.329
Where Brantley's projections diverge is on his power - ranging from the non-existant (.329 - CAIRO) to the not so bad (.416 - Marcel). I'm not sure about Brantley's power, but I have a feeling he manages to get on base better than any of these systems give him credit for, evening out things.
Bill James: .275/.385/.495, CHONE: .256/.351/.446, Marcel: .251/.347/.425, FANS: .272/.364/.474, PECOTA: .256/.362/.418, CAIRO: .254/.365/.435
Last week I would have instinctively said "under". The second half of 2009 was pretty painful to watch. But after going back through his numbers the other day I am not far more optimistic. I have some faith that the Indians training staff will get Hafner the preparation he needs to avoid last year's struggles.