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2007 Community Projection Review

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With players filing for free agency, and the managerial wheels turning faster than expected (you can continue to discuss that here and here,) I thought we could take a little break this morning and review the projections we made for sixteen different Cubs last winter.

Only thirteen of them finished the year with the Cubs; two of them were traded and one never appeared. Let's start with the two traded and the one who didn't play:

Michael Barrett:
Projected: AB-436 R-60 H-128 2B-28 3B-2 HR-17 RBI-65 BB-39 SO-53 AVG-.294 OBA-.352 SLG-.497
Actual: AB-344 R-29 H-84 2B-17 3B-1 HR-9 RBI-41 BB-17 SO-59 AVG-.244 OBA-.281 SLG-.372

Comment: Shows you how easy it is for a player to take a big fall. The projection was easily in line with Barrett's three previous Cub seasons. Yet he struggled, then was traded and benched in San Diego, where his production (.226/.235/.286 with zero HR and only six runs scored in 133 AB) was among the worst in his career.

Cesar Izturis:
Projected: AB-524 R-56 H-142 2B-26 3B-4 HR-4 RBI-45 BB-32 SO-58 SB-11 AVG-.271 OBA-.312 SLG-.356
Actual: AB-314 R-31 H-81 2B-14 3B-2 HR-0 RBI-16 BB-19 SO-19 SB-3 AVG-.258 OBA-.302 SLG-.315

Comment: Extrapolate Izturis' numbers over 524 at-bats, and they aren't too far off; his Pittsburgh performance (.276/.310/.333 in 123 AB) was quite a bit better than what he did as a Cub. With his patron Jim Tracy gone from the Pirates, I wouldn't expect him to be back; his major league career might be over.

Mark Prior:
Projected: G-18 GS-16 IP-100 H-80 W-7 L-5 BB-39 SO-105 ERA-3.89 WHIP-1.19
Actual: Did not play

Comment: BCB reader Imtrejo, who compiled these numbers, wrote about the projection at the time:

These numbers are all messed up. As was discussed in the original post, the numbers were all over the place. There were 11 projectors with three predicting 0's across the board and one person predicting a Cy Young type season. The number most affected by this is ERA, as people who predicted a stronger season also projected more innings, thus weighting the ERA in their favor. In all probability these numbers will be way off; Prior will either pitch or he won't and these numbers represent somewhere in the middle.
And I added:
the Prior projections were made before his second appearance, and thus are probably indeed skewed toward the "way off" position. I sure would have changed mine had I done it today.
The 11 projectors who put all zeroes, obviously, were correct. Had I really thought Prior wouldn't pitch at all in 2007, I probably wouldn't have included him in the projections. In fact, I probably should have included Ryan Theriot, who we didn't do -- it didn't appear that he was going to play enough to project, but instead his 537 at-bats ranked third on the club (behind Alfonso Soriano and Derrek Lee). On to the seven position players and six pitchers we did project:

Derrek Lee:
Projected: AB-578 R-107 H-174 2B-41 3B-2 HR-37 RBI-115 BB-84 SO-112 SB-12 AVG-.300 OBA-.389 SLG-.568
Actual: AB-567 R-91 H-180 2B-43 3B-1 HR-22 RBI-82 BB-71 SO-114 SB-6 AVG-.317 OBA-.400 SLG-.513

Comment: Except for the HR and RBI, this one's pretty good. Yes, obviously, those are significant categories to miss, and I'm pretty surprised D-Lee missed by that much. But otherwise, he had a good year, and we got close in the rest of the categories.

Mark DeRosa:
Projected: AB-481 R-67 H-138 2B-28 3B-1 HR-10 RBI-63 BB-39 SO-98 AVG-.286 OBA-.339 SLG-.411
Actual: AB-502 R-64 H-147 2B-28 3B-3 HR-10 RBI-72 BB-58 SO-93 AVG-.293 OBA-.371 SLG-.420

Comment: When this projection was made, a lot of naysayers said that DeRosa would never come close to his 2006 production, which was his first season as an everyday player. Not only did he do so, he outstripped our projection in AVG/OBA/SLG, drove in more runs, and walked more (in fact, he did a nice job increasing his walk total from 44 to 58 and cutting his K's from 102 to 93). His value to the 2007 Cubs made his signing, criticized by many of you at the time, well worth the money.

Aramis Ramirez:
Projected: AB-578 R-93 H-174 2B-37 3B-1 HR-40 RBI-124 BB-51 SO-65 AVG-.300 OBA-.358 SLG-.594
Actual: AB-506 R-72 H-157 2B-35 3B-2 HR-26 RBI-101 BB-43 SO-66 AVG-.310 OBA-.366 SLG-.549

Comment: Ramirez missed thirty games and started only 129 (including three as DH). I think it's safe to say we would have been closer on the HR, runs scored, and RBI numbers had he played a full season, as he did in 2006.

Matt Murton:
Projected: AB-450 R-72 H-135 2B-24 3B-3 HR-16 RBI-62 BB-55 SO-65 SB-12 AVG-.299 OBA-.376 SLG-.470
Actual: AB-235 R-35 H-66 2B-13 3B-0 HR-8 RBI-22 BB-26 SO-39 SB-1 AVG-.281 OBA-.352 SLG-.438

Comment: Murton became a platoon player in 2007, though, oddly, he had more at-bats vs. RHP (144) than vs. LHP (91). Double his numbers and you're pretty close to our projection, except the RBI total.

Alfonso Soriano:
Projected: AB-576 R-113 H-158 2B-33 3B-3 HR-36 RBI-94 BB-55 SO-147 SB-32 AVG-.275 OBA-.338 SLG-.531
Actual: AB-579 R-97 H-173 2B-42 3B-5 HR-33 RBI-70 BB-31 SO-130 SB-19 AVG-.299 OBA-.337 SLG-.560

Comment: Soriano missed 27 games with two serious leg injuries; obviously, this cut his stolen base total because he couldn't really run as he had in previous years. The 19 SB was his 2nd-lowest season total (18 with Texas in 2004). We'd have been closer on the runs and RBI had he not missed all that time.

Jacque Jones:
Projected: AB-489 R-65 H-133 2B-25 3B-1 HR-21 RBI-69 BB-36 SO-109 SB-8 AVG-.272 OBA-.322 SLG-.456
Actual: AB-453 R-52 H-129 2B-33 3B-2 HR-5 RBI-66 BB-34 SO-70 SB-6 AVG-.285 OBA-.335 SLG-.400

Comment: The drop in Jones' HR total is a real head-scratcher; even in his two poor years in Minnesota in 2004 and 2005 he'd hit over 20 homers. And apart from that, he had a productive season, particularly in the second half -- he hit .332/.374/.458 after the All-Star break. We did pretty well with the projection, except for the HR. Jones hit more doubles than expected and cut way down on his strikeouts.

Cliff Floyd:
Projected: AB-321 R-40 H-79 2B-19 3B-0 HR-17 RBI-54 BB-25 SO-60 AVG-.270 OBA-.326 SLG-.464
Actual: AB-282 R-40 H-80 2B-10 3B-1 HR-9 RBI-45 BB-35 SO-47 AVG-.284 OBA-.343 SLG-.422

Comment: Give yourselves an "attaboy" for accurately projecting Floyd's status as a platoon player. He might have come closer if he hadn't also missed some time due to injuries. His power has pretty well vanished; he's already said he'd like to play for the Marlins next year, and I can't see them having a place for him, so his career might be over.

Carlos Zambrano:
Projected: G/GS-34 IP-225 H-170 W-19 L-7 BB-91 SO-215 ERA-3.02 WHIP-1.16
Actual: G/GS-34 IP-216.1 H-187 W-18 L-13 BB-101 SO-177 ERA-3.95 WHIP-1.33

Comment: A little overoptimistic for Z's walk totals and ERA, though the ERA could be excused; the 3.95 ERA is his highest ever in a full season.

Ted Lilly:
Projected: G/GS-32 IP-191 H-188 W-13 L-11 BB-85 SO-161 ERA-4.23 WHIP-1.43
Actual: G/GS-34 IP-207 H-181 W-15 L-8 BB-55 SO-174 ERA-3.83 WHIP-1.14

Comment: I'm sure we all couldn't be happier that Lilly made us look so wrong. He outstripped his BCB projections in every category, becoming one of the best lefthanders in the National League; unfortunately, this didn't carry over into the Division Series. Let's hope it does carry over into 2008.

Rich Hill:
Projected: G/GS-31 IP-192 H-160 W-14 L-9 BB-65 SO-189 ERA-3.65 WHIP-1.17
Actual: G/GS-32 IP-195 H-170 W-11 L-8 BB-63 SO-183 ERA-3.92 WHIP-1.20

Comment: Damn, we're good. Projecting Rich Hill for a full season could have been the toughest one of all, since 2007 was his first full season. Apart from the slight variations in W-L record and ERA, we nailed this one.

Jason Marquis:
Projected: G-32 GS-26 IP-171 H-183 W-9 L-11 BB-63 SO-91 ERA-4.77 WHIP-1.44
Actual: G-34 GS-33 IP-191.2 H-190 W-12 L-9 BB-76 SO-109 ERA-4.60 WHIP-1.39

Comment: Pretty much nailed this one, too; Marquis outdid us by a little bit in wins, strikeouts, ERA and WHIP, but we got the general idea right.

Ryan Dempster:
Projected: G-70 IP-73 H-69 BB-35 SO-71 W-3 L-4 ERA-3.43 WHIP-1.42 SV-30 SVOPP-35
Actual: G-66 IP-66.2 H-59 BB-30 SO-55 W-2 L-7 ERA-4.73 WHIP-1.34 SV-28 SVOPP-31

Comment: These numbers are pretty close; I note that Dempster's K rate, which had been close to one per inning, dropped precipitously in 2007. His season ERA was skewed by his horrific performance on the last day of the season in Cincinnati, a meaningless game in which he gave up four runs in one inning, raising his ERA from 4.25 to 4.73. His September ERA was 9.82.

Kerry Wood:
Projected: G-58 IP-67 H-46 W-5 L-3 BB-30 SO-80 SV-5 SVOPP-6 ERA-2.20 WHIP-1.13
Actual: G-22 IP-24.1 H-18 W-1 L-1 BB-13 SO-24 SV-0 SVOPP-0 ERA-3.33 WHIP-1.27

Comment: It's hard to know what to make of this projection, or Wood. In 18 of his appearances, covering 21.2 innings, he gave up no runs -- in those appearances, he allowed seven hits, 11 walks and recorded all 24 of his strikeouts. In the other four appearances, covering 2.2 innings, he allowed 11 hits and two walks, and gave up nine runs (ERA 30.38). Overall, I thought this was a nice comeback and perhaps a springboard to more important appearances, maybe even closing, in the future.