Thursday, January 11, 2006
SethSpeaks 2007 Twins
Good morning everyone! (for today's posting, I have some tables that get a little wide, so you may have to scroll to the left and right to see the whole thing. I apologize for this, but didn't see any way around it at this time. Thanks for understanding.)
I'm not exactly sure what the reaction will be to today's posting. I have been thinking a little about fantasy baseball in recent weeks. It is getting close (ok, it is still about two months away from most drafts, but that's ok). Do you ever go out and buy those fantasy baseball magazines? You spend like $8 to get some information on players that, if you follow baseball like many of us do, you already know 98% of it. If you're like me, the only reason you actually bought these magazines is for the cheat sheets and big lists of names. But as soon as you fork out the money, you realize that there are other sources where you can get these big lists as well, for free.
The interesting things for me though are the sites and stats pages where they try to project what each player will do the following year. No matter how elaborate the formula is that goes into these projections, the fact is that they are all nothing but guesses for what a player will do. It can not factor in injuries or natural baseball adjustments that happen for every player in their careers. For many, age 28 is the best year of their career and they maintain a similar level of performance until they turn 31 or 32. Of course, catchers fall off earlier in many cases. But there are exceptions to every case. There is no way to know that Eric Hinske was going to become a flop after his first season. There is no more reason to assume that Jason Bay was going to become the star that he became in Year #2. I have seen projections that involve so many equations. I have seen projections that give a percentage of increase or decrease based solely on a player's age.
Anyway, that is enough background. I figured that I would try my luck at the projection game. I will take the 2007 Minnesota Twins and try to project how each player will do. What were my projections based on? Well, I used a number of factors to determine the numbers. First, I used their age. Secondly, I looked at past history to get a better gauge of where the player has been. I also then factor in their projected place in the Twins lineup and who will likely hit before and after them. I consider injury history and age to determine how many games they'll play. Where they hit in the lineup to determine at bats, walks and how many Runs and RBI opportunities they will have. And you know what I did last? I just made a part educated, part all-out, guess. I am curious as to how my projections match up with other people's and site's projections for these players.
The only Twins projections that I have seen so far are The Baseball Think Factory's ZiPS Projection. I am sure that it is excellent, but I am probably just not smart enough to understand it. It also factors potential stats for several minor leaguers that have little chance of playing for the Twins this year and project them to 100+ games. I think reading these things are fun. Below I will explain some of my projections. I have never seen a preseason projection get compared to the final stats at the end of the season. It would be interesting to see what method is truly most accurate.
If you have any thoughts, please feel free to e-mail me, or leave Comments below.
TWINS 2007 HITTERS PROJECTIONS
Let's start with the hitters. Tomorrow we will project how the pitchers will fare. I project a primary lineup of:
Nick Punto/Jeff Cirillo
I will follow my projections with just a few thoughts:
Pos Age Name G AB R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS GPA C 23 Joe Mauer 138 498 86 164 38 2 19 263 87 80 46 6 2 0.329 0.422 0.528 0.950 0.368 1B 25 Justin Morneau 160 583 98 170 34 1 39 323 136 71 103 2 3 0.292 0.369 0.554 0.923 0.348 2B 31 Luis Castillo 117 465 72 129 11 3 2 152 35 53 43 14 7 0.277 0.351 0.327 0.678 0.274 3B 28 Nick Punto 129 416 59 105 19 3 3 139 37 35 70 11 7 0.252 0.310 0.334 0.645 0.255 SS 27 Jason Bartlett 151 530 84 152 30 5 6 210 54 55 76 17 6 0.287 0.354 0.396 0.750 0.295 LF 35 Rondell White 121 415 48 116 23 0 19 196 55 31 57 2 0 0.280 0.330 0.472 0.802 0.304 CF 31 Torii Hunter 153 559 91 149 34 3 32 285 108 44 112 24 11 0.267 0.320 0.510 0.830 0.310 RF 28 Michael Cuddyer 159 613 116 171 42 2 28 301 116 74 133 4 2 0.279 0.357 0.491 0.848 0.324 DH 24 Jason Kubel 133 438 60 131 23 1 17 207 65 38 67 0 1 0.299 0.355 0.473 0.828 0.318 C 35 Mike Redmond 49 165 18 48 10 0 1 61 21 11 19 0 0 0.291 0.335 0.370 0.705 0.278 IF 37 Jeff Cirillo 108 266 30 79 13 0 6 110 27 31 32 3 1 0.297 0.370 0.414 0.784 0.309 OF 29 Jason Tyner 58 165 20 42 5 1 0 49 9 8 13 3 0 0.255 0.289 0.297 0.586 0.233 DH 29 Ken Harvey 71 168 17 44 9 0 5 68 10 13 31 6 2 0.262 0.315 0.405 0.720 0.278 IF 25 Luis Rodriguez 23 32 5 9 2 0 0 11 4 6 6 0 0 0.281 0.395 0.344 0.738 0.301 IF 24 Alejandro Machado 66 124 14 30 6 1 1 41 8 15 18 6 3 0.242 0.324 0.331 0.654 0.261 IF 25 Garrett Jones 9 17 3 3 0 0 1 6 5 1 8 0 0 0.176 0.222 0.353 0.575 0.215 IF 22 Alexi Casilla 39 123 21 34 7 2 0 45 10 12 13 11 4 0.276 0.341 0.366 0.707 0.280 OF 23 Denard Span 6 8 4 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 3 2 1 0.250 0.333 0.250 0.583 0.243 OF 23 Alex Romero 4 9 2 4 1 0 0 5 3 2 3 0 0 0.444 0.545 0.556 1.101 0.439 27.6 TOTAL 1694 5594 848 1582 307 24 179 2474 790 581 853 111 50 0.283 0.350 0.442 0.793 0.307
As you can see, I am projecting that:
Joe Mauer can't duplicate his 2006 season, can he? Well, maybe not quite the average, but I can't see him dropping tremendously. As you can see, I have shown some increase in his power. I don't see him jumping up to 25 or 30 homers, but a jump into the upper-teens is another steady step forward.
The AL MVP, Justin Morneau, will have a lot to prove to some. He really has only been great for about four months. Can he keep it up? Honestly, I don't see his first two months being as bad, and I think he will be more consistent throughout the year. He's still young, so I see the power just increasing. Maybe he will be the Twins next 40 home run hitter!
Luis Castillo will get hurt. I project that he will spend some time on the Disabled List. The guy is quick when running, but he can barely walk, so I can see him breaking down. I actually think that he will show good leadoff skills again, but the rest of the numbers all drop.
Nick Punto will be the primary 3B. I projected him to be bad and released a year ago, but he was at least adequate. Defensively, he is ok. Offensively, I see a return to normalcy for Punto.
I think that Jason Bartlett will be terrific. I would like for him to play even more games, but Gardy doesn't like playing people every single day (although Bartlett did once he came up last year). He will walk more this year, and although I don't expect him to hit a lot of homers, I think that he will hit a lot of doubles. I also think that he will be hitting second by midseason.
I'm actually happy that the team decided to bring back Rondell White. I think that he will get off to a better start and will sustain it much of the year. I think that the Twins would be wise to give him plenty of games off or he will likely have a DL stint. I think that he will show some power and give the team great offense in the bottom third of the order.
Torii Hunter is in a free agent year. Expect big things. He needs to prove that in a year when there are a lot of high level free agent CF, he is right at the top. I translate that to lots of huge cuts, some good power numbers, stolen bases, strikeouts, and a very productive season in his final with the Twins.
Can Michael Cuddyer duplicate his 2006 season? That's a fair question. Another fair question is What can he do if he is playing every day and hitting fourth for the whole season? 72 extra base hits is pretty good. He's got good hitters getting on in front of him and good hitters protecting him and driving him in.
Caution is good with Jason Kubel. But again, if he is healthy, to me he is a hitter on the caliber of Joe Mauer. OK, comparing anyone to Mauer is not fair. However, I think Kubel is a potential .310 type hitter with 25 or so homers annually. When healthy, we have seen that potential. Health is the key.
Mike Redmond can't keep killing the ball as he has the last two years... can he?
I think Jeff Cirillo will get a lot of time at 3B, starting a lot. I also think that he will be used as a pinch hitter in several situations. He is good, professional and a great acquisition.
I think that Jason Tyner becomes the 4th OF, and with Jason Kubel around, I don't think that they will need a 5th OF.
That is why I have Ken Harvey making the roster as a right-handed pinch hitter, DH and 1B. I think that this roster spot will be between Harvey and Lew Ford with the 'loser' being released.
I think one of the more hotly contested spring training battles will be between Alejandro Machado and Luis Rodriguez for the second utility infield spot. Machado is a couple of years younger. He has a better glove and plays a better shortstop. He also has typically had a strong Isolated Discipline. Finally, I think he makes the opening day roster because if he doesn't, he is lost. Rodriguez can always be sent to Rochester and be summoned if or when needed.
I think that when Luis Castillo goes on the DL, Alexi Casilla will come up and play regularly, probably leading off.
Finally, I think that we will see Garrett Jones, Denard Span and Alex Romero in September.
The odds are that things will happen throughout the season that are currently unforeseen; an injury, a trade, a breakout. Because of such things, other players may get a chance with the team.
In 2005, the Twins scored 688 runs. Last year, they scored 801 runs. By this projection, the Twins will score 47 more runs. Now, that may not seem like a lot, but how many more one-run games could have been run with that? How many more wins could it mean for Santana and the staff?
Terry Ryan admitted that he was not looking for bats this offseason as much as arms. The core is here. The young players all showed what they can do last year, and I don't know why we would think that any have fully hit their potential yet. He made minor moves in an attempt to improve the offense. Should these numbers be right, it is a small improvement in both on-base and slugging numbers to go along with more runs.
Any other thoughts? Leave some comments, or send me an e-mail.
So, do you have any thoughts on these projections? Am I overestimating some players potential? Am I undervaluing other players? Who will get a shot? Who will the team get rid of? Tomorrow I will be back with the pitchers projections, so check back then.
Please feel free to leave some Comments on your thoughts. If nothing else, we can look back to this page in July and then in September and see how we all did. That's always fun. If you would like to send me some file of your projections, please e-mail it to me, and I'll be happy to keep it next to mine so we can look at it later in the year.
- Pat Neshek is back and he has a new baseball card and he has another item up for auction at his website.
- I can't even pick one specific posting, but Stick & Ball Guy has been terrific of late!
- Aaron Gleeman took many questions and is answering them in a two-part entry. Here is Part 1, and Part 2 should be posted shortly.
- The Twins signed another lefty reliever to compete for a possible second left-hander out of the bullpen guy. They signed former Yankee Randy Choate to a minor league contract. He spent most of last year in AAA. He will compete with Mike Venafro and Carmen Cali for the spot. However, my guess is that none of the three will make it.
- Jeff Straub has posted a new Podcast on the Minnesota Twins Fan Network, so check out what he's got on his mind.
- Kevin Slowey was ranked as the #57 prospect in the Community Prospect rankings over at John Sickels' site.
- If you happen to be in the Fargo/Moorhead area this weekend, Chris Coste will be honored by his (and my) alma mater, Concordia College, during halftime of the Concordia/St. Thomas men's basketball game. Tip-off is at 1:00.
Have yourself a wonderful day, and we'll be back tomorrow with the Twins Pitcher Predictions!|
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