With a day off before game six of the ALCS -- and this series has the chance to go down in history as one of the better league championship series, having already produced at least three "instant classics", let's spend today looking toward next year.
As most of you probably already know, ACTA Sports publishes, each year, the Bill James Handbook, which in addition to having complete stats for all players active in 2009, publishes projections for the following season based on a projection system that they are continually tweaking to attempt to make it as accurate as possible.
The good folks at ACTA sent me an advance copy of the projection pages from the handbook, in which Bill James first runs down the projections they did for 2009; some of them were missed badly (mostly due to injury -- Eric Chavez and Troy Glaus, for example), others (Mark Teixeira, Orlando Hudson and Evan Longoria are the examples they give) were pretty darn close. They projected Mike Fontenot to have 9 HR and 43 RBI -- exactly what he did have, except they thought he'd hit .288, instead of the .236 he actually hit. For Geovany Soto, they missed badly -- the James system had him at .289, with a .499 SLG, 35 doubles, 23 HR and 89 RBI. I think you can imagine how much better the Cubs' season would have been if they had been right about Geo.
Continue after the jump to find some of their projections for 2010. I'm not only going to post a few of the projections for Cubs players that they sent me, but also some projections for some of the possible acquisitions we have discussed here at BCB, mainly some of the hitters that have been talked about in potential Milton Bradley deals. (Note: doing this doesn't mean I'm endorsing any particular acquisition, simply posting some numbers for players we've speculated about.)Let's start with a few players we know are going to be Cubs in 2010:
Derrek Lee: .291/.378/.516, 40 doubles, 30 HR, 98 RBI, 94 runs Aramis Ramirez: .292/.364/.514, 32 doubles, 26 HR, 97 RBI, 76 runs Alfonso Soriano: .263/.320/.487, 35 doubles, 30 HR, 77 RBI, 85 runs Kosuke Fukudome: .265/.365/.427, 39 doubles, 13 HR, 61 RBI, 76 runs Geovany Soto: .273/.361/.469, 31 doubles, 20 HR, 79 RBI, 58 runs
Well. If those come true, the Cubs will score a ton of runs in 2010; that's 389 runs from just five players. Now, some of the starting rotation -- acknowledging, as James points out, that pitcher projections are done very differently than hitter projections due to the nature of pitching statistics:
Carlos Zambrano: 29 starts, 180 IP, 80 BB, 151 K, 12-8, 3.60 Ryan Dempster: 30 starts, 195 IP, 81 BB, 167 K, 12-10, 3.83 Ted Lilly: 25 starts, 170 IP, 56 BB, 144 K, 11-8, 3.76 Randy Wells: 30 starts, 188 IP, 60 BB, 147 K, 10-10, 4.16 Carlos Marmol: 74 games, 73 IP, 45 BB, 84 K, 5-3, 3.45, 34 saves
And, apparently, give up a ton of runs and finish barely over .500. For some reason, they also project Wells to have 14 HBP and 19 other major league pitchers to have 15 or more -- that seems way off, considering that only one pitcher (Dave Bush) had 15 in 2009 and that Wells himself had only 6 HBP in the season just ended.
Now, here are some projections for some -- not all -- of the players we have discussed here as possible 2010 new Cubs, enough to get some discussion going:
Magglio Ordonez: .311/.376/.476, 32 doubles, 17 HR, 84 RBI, 70 runs Curtis Granderson: .275/.353/.491, 30 doubles, 11 triples, 27 HR, 76 RBI, 106 runs, 17 SB Michael Young: .299/.352/.443, 37 doubles, 16 HR, 80 RBI, 88 runs Vernon Wells: .271/.327/.443, 33 doubles, 19 HR, 77 RBI, 77 runs Aaron Rowand: .267/.327/.423, 37 doubles, 17 HR, 72 RBI, 74 runs Carlos Beltran: .282/.375/.490, 33 doubles, 24 HR, 91 RBI, 92 runs Mark DeRosa: .260/.335/.418, 27 doubles, 17 HR, 71 RBI, 76 runs
And, because you'll ask:
Milton Bradley: .276/.384/.450, 25 doubles, 18 HR, 64 RBI, 74 runs
James' system projects Bradley to play 133 games and have 467 AB; both of those would be the second-highest totals of his career. Note also that (presumably) the projections for players who the Cubs might acquire are based on their current home parks; playing with Wrigley Field as their home park would likely result in different projections.
There are complete projections in the book, which is available November 1 and which you can pre-order at the link at the top of this post -- we can discuss whatever players you want in this post, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time typing out projections for others, so don't ask. Full disclosure: ACTA Sports is sending me a copy of the book.