Last offseason, I asked all of you to project what sort of seasons some Cub players would have. All told, BCB readers projected final stats for six pitchers and six hitters; all the projections can be found here. I also asked about Wade Miller, but no one submitted any numbers. The only major players we didn't do were Michael Barrett and Ronny Cedeno.
Three of the projections were way, way off -- those for Jerome Williams, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Williams spent most of the year in the minors and was eventually waived to Oakland, and the injury troubles of Wood and Prior are well-documented. These three projections are recapped at the bottom of this post.
On the other eight, we did pretty darn good, including for the two players (Greg Maddux and Neifi Perez) who finished the season on other teams. For a couple of them, the numbers were eerily close to reality.
Projected: G-32 IP-219 H-165 BB-81 SO-201 W-18 L-6 ERA-2.78 WHIP-1.12
Actual: G-33 IP-214 H-162 BB-115 SO-210 W-16 L-7 ERA-3.41 WHIP 1.29
This one was very, very close, except for the walks and ERA; obviously, missing the walk number also made us miss the WHIP number. I hope that whoever the Cubs' new pitching coach is will help Z (and the rest of the staff) cut down on walks.
Projected: G-67 GF-56 IP-76 H-71 HR-6 BB-40 SO-71 W-3 L-5 SV-33 SV OPP-41 ERA-3.68 WHIP-1.47
Actual: G-74 GF-64 IP-75 H-77 HR-5 BB-36 SO-67 W-1 L-9 SV-24 SV OPP-33 ERA-4.80 WHIP-1.51
This one wasn't as far off as it could have been, considering the horrid season Dempster had. We even got pretty close on the number of blown saves, though not on the total number of saves. Despite Dempster's reputation for walking too many hitters, he actually walked LESS than the projected number in essentially the same number of innings as the projection.
Projected: G-33 IP-204 H-217 HR-29 BB-33 SO-132 W-13 L-12 ERA-4.21 WHIP-1.22
Actual: G-34 IP-210 H-219 HR-20 BB-37 SO-117 W-15 L-14 ERA-4.20 WHIP-1.22
It's not that hard, in fact, to project a Greg Maddux season, since his last four seasons have looked pretty much just like 2006. I'd like to hope he'll consider coming back to the Cubs -- we could do far worse for a fifth starter, and maybe the management change here would help -- but I suspect he'll be back in Los Angeles.
Projection: AB-541 R-89 H-165 2B-35 3B-1 HR-36 RBI-110 BB-49 SO-69 AVG-.305 OBA-.363 SLG-.572
Actual: AB-594 R-93 H-173 2B-38 3B-4 HR-38 RBI-119 BB-50 SO-63 AVG-.291 OBA-.352 SLG-.561
This one's eerily close, and wouldn't have been except for Ramirez' monster second half (.328/.388/.653 with 22 HR and 67 RBI after the All-Star break).
Projected: AB-595 R-103 H-184 2B-43 3B-3 HR-39 RBI-114 SB-13 CS-4 BB-87 SO-102 AVG-.309 OBA-.397 SLG-.588
Actual: AB-175 R-30 H-50 2B-9 3B-0 HR-8 RBI-30 SB-8 CS-4 BB-25 SO-41 AVG-.286 OBA-.368 SLG-.474
Actual extrapolated to 595 AB: AB-595 R-102 H-170 2B-31 3B-0 HR-27 RBI-102 SB-27 CS-14 BB-85 SO-139 AVG-.286 OBA-.368 SLG-.474
I put a second "actual" line here to show what Lee's numbers in 2006 would have been extrapolated to 595 AB, the number we projected. Obviously, this isn't what likely would have happened, as some of Lee's power was reduced by his injury, and I doubt he would have stolen 27 bases! Still, we'd have taken that sort of year from him, and if he does anything like that in 2007, I think most of us will be quite satisfied with it.
Projected: AB-251 R-28 H-63 2B-11 3B-1 HR-3 RBI-23 BB-12 SO-29 SB-3 CS-2 AVG-.250 OBA-.283 SLG-.402
Actual: AB-301 R-31 H-73 2B-14 3B-1 HR-2 RBI-29 BB-8 SO-25 SB-1 CS-1 AVG-.243 OBA-.260 SLG-.316
Again, here is a player fairly easy to project, since he's put up similar numbers (though in differing numbers of at-bats) for the last five seasons. He would have been a little closer if not for his poor play after his acquisition by the Tigers.
Projected: AB-452 R-66 H-129 2B-23 3B-2 HR-16 RBI-67 BB-54 SO-75 AVG-.286 OBA-.363 SLG-.450
Actual: AB-455 R-70 H-135 2B-22 3B-3 HR-13 RBI-62 BB-45 SO-62 AVG-.297 OBA-.365 SLG-.444
Here's one where we could have been way off, because no one really knew what Murton was going to do. He could have batted 100 more times, had Dusty Baker not been so set in his ways, or 100 less times if Baker had been MORE set in his ways. What happened was very, VERY close to what BCB readers thought would happen -- a little higher BA, but a few less walks, otherwise pretty darn close.
Projected: AB-507 R-74 H-130 2B-30 3B-1 HR-23 RBI- 76 SB-10 CS-5 BB-37 SO-116 AVG-.274 OBA-.322 SLG-.456
Actual: AB-533 R-73 H-152 2B-31 3B-1 HR-27 RBI-81 SB-9 CS-1 BB-35 SO-116 VG-.285 OBA-.334 SLG-.499
Jones had about the best offensive season he could have produced, given his limitations and his career path. His .833 OPS is the second-highest of his career. He'll probably put up numbers similar to this for the two years left on his deal -- which makes him eminently tradeable, to a team that can use a hitter like this. Given his defensive limitations, an AL team might be a useful destination -- that way, said team could hide him at least part of the time at DH.
Projected: AB-650 R-103 H-197 2B-24 3B-8 HR-3 RBI-44 SB-50 CS-16 AVG-.303 OBA-.357 SLG-.381
Actual: AB-699 R-87 H-204 2B-32 3B-13 HR-3 RBI-40 SB-58 CS-20 AVG-.292 OBA-.330 SLG-.388
The key numbers here are the 87 runs and the .330 OBA, which are related. Obviously, if he'd have gotten on base more often, he'd have scored more runs. He showed a bit more power than we projected, but a lower average and OBA.
Here are the three pitcher projections for the pitchers who missed most of the season:
G-32 GS-27 IP-169 H-144 HR-23 BB-64 SO-115 W-10 L-10 ERA-3.99 WHIP-1.13
G-28 GS-22 IP-149 W-11 L-6 HLD-2; SV-2 BB-67 SO-162 ERA-3.79
G-31 IP-195 H-150 BB-59 SO-230 W-18 L-7 ERA-2.86 WHIP-1.25
Later this winter, after the roster is more set for 2007, I hope to do this with all of you again, and include more of the projected 25-man roster.