Monday, February 6, 2006
A HUMBLING LOOK BACK
Good morning everyone! Well, Super Bowl is over! I am proud to say that although the game was on the TV at all times, I did not watch a whole lot of it. I kept up with what was going on, but it wasn't as if it all consumed me. However, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers who beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in a very non-exciting football game. Congratulations also to the people from our Super (Bowl) Thoughts group who picked the Steelers to win, especially those of you from Pittsburgh! (click here to see who predicted what) I am a huge fan of the GoDaddy.com commercials again. I also like the monkey commercials for careerbuilder.com. The Nike commercials where they showed a utopic community with athletes from all sports as a part of it was very good. It was subtle and fun. The only problem I had with it was at one point, they showed a Cubs base runner taking steps off of the street corner. When the light turned green, he took off as if stealing second base. Did anyone else notice the he took off as if he was stealing first base, from second base? Probably just me, huh?
Anyway, it was a very hectic weekend. I did spend quite a bit of time working on future Fantasy Perspectives. I also linked the four Fantasy Perspectives that I have posted so far at the team's blogs on the Sports Blog Nation. I write these previews and projections for fun, as well as future use in my own Fantasy Baseball leagues. I also really enjoy the discussion that making projections can initiate from other fans from other teams who are extremely passionate about their favorite teams. I need to stress that although I do try to take an educated, realistic look as I do my projections, projections are, by their very nature, guesses. There are numerous players that I will project to have big increases or decreases. That doesn't mean that they will have big variances in OPS. As a matter of fact, if I predict that they will have a bad year, it is very possible that they will have a very strong year. I like to think that I have a strong knowledge of players from teams throughout the league, and I like to think that I am being studious and diligent in my predictions. However, that only ensures that my 'guess' is as good as anyone else's.
If you have missed any of the projections thus far, check them out here. To this point, I have only done my looks at the:
Top 20 Impact Rookie Hitters for 2006
Top 20 Impact Rookie Pitchers for 2006
American League West Hitters
American League Central Hitters
American League East Hitters
National League West Hitters
Today, I thought that it would be fun to take a look back at my 2005 Minnesota Twins predictions. I will then follow them up with a look at their actual 2005 statistics. This will likely show a couple of things. First, it is probably best not to trust my Twins thoughts because I, like most fans, have a tendency to overrate my favorite team's players. I may not be quite as impartial as I should be. This is, however, an important point to make for all fantasy sports players. Be very cautious when drafting or ranking your favorite team's players. Second, it shows that all projections, where mine or PECOTA or anyone else's can't predict the future. So, that is why it is important to develop your own fantasy draft cheat sheet. I would encourage people to take a look or two or three other projection lists, a couple of fantasy website's Top 200-300 lists, and a couple of mock drafts to see how the lists translate into an actual draft. But, if you include those lists into a master list, be sure that your personal ranking gets the highest value. In the end, it is your team. You want to have the players that you want and believe in, not just what other people tell you to think. That said, it is also a good idea to backup your ranking with some 'expert' opinions as well. That may give you a solid cheat sheet.
But again, let's take a quick look at my 2005 Twins projections. I looked at the AL Central Hitters on February 4th, 2005, and the AL Central Pitchers on March 2nd, 2005. Let's start with the Hitter:
C - Joe Mauer
There are so many things about the 2005 Twins that I am really looking forward to. The first is that I want to see a full season of a healthy Joe Mauer. Mauer hurt his knee in just the seasonís second game last year. He had surgery, came back in early June and hit so well that he was moved to the #3 slot in the Twins lineup. That says a lot! Unfortunately, swelling occurred after the All-Star break (because of overuse) and he was shut down for the remainder of the season. From just watching, I am most impressed with his plate discipline. He doesnít take pitches for the purpose of walking, he looks for pitches to drive and doesnít expand the strike zone at all. What are my predictions for 2005 for Mauer? If he can stay healthy, I can see him hitting .300/.390/.490, which would be phenomenal in his first season. To me, if heís available in a keeper league, he should be drafted first. I think he is worth the risk with a 9th round pick. Again, that could be a huge steal.
2005 Actual - Overall, Mauer had a very solid first full season with the Twins. Did he meet my projection? No, not even that close. He hit .294/.372/.411 with 26 doubles, nine homers and 55 RBI. Sure, there are still some who are disappointed that the still-22 year old Mauer has not developed power quite yet. Actually, that is where my projection erred the most, in slugging percentage. Will that power show up in 2006? We'll see. His approach at the plate lends me to believe that it will happen at some point, if he wants it to.
1B - Justin Morneau
Hopefully for Twins fans, I will be able to analyze Mauer (21) and Morneau (23) back-to-back in these two positions for a decade. Also, back to back is where I would like to see them in the Twins lineup; Mauer batting third and Morneau batting cleanup. It is scary to think that it took a Doug Mientkiewicz wrist injury to give Morneau the full-time first base job. That is a move that should have happened a year earlier. Morneau crushed the ball at three levels in 2003 at age 22. Last year, he again started the season at Rochester. In 72 games, he hit .306/.377/.615 with 23 doubles, 22 homers and 63 RBI. In 74 games with the Twins, Morneau hit .271/.340/.576 with 17 doubles, 19 homers and 58 RBI. Just to do the math for you, he played in 146 games and combined for 40 doubles, 41 homers and 121 RBI. What are my predictions for 2005? .285/.370/.550. I would predict that he will hit 35 home runs and drive in over 100. To me, he becomes a solid pick in the 5th round.
2005 Actual - Well, Mauer was able to bat third, but it may have been too much to throw Morneau into the cleanup spot in 2005. He had an illness-plagued offseason which did not allow him to workout as normal. He was then hit in the head with a pitch in the season's second game. He had very poor plate discipline and just never really got it turned around. On the year, he hit .239/.304/.437 with 23 doubles, 22 homers and 79 RBI. So, his OPS ended up about .180 lower than I projected. I can't imagine anyone being further off on anyone. However, Morneau has always hit, at every level. Not just for power, but for average, that is why I believe he will rebound nicely in 2006. I won't make my projections quite as high as last year though.
2B - Luis Rivas
I was so excited heading into the offseason about Michael Cuddyer getting the full-time second base job primarily because I figured there was no way Luis Rivas and his ineptitude would be back for another year. Well, I was wrong. Rivas was brought back for $1.7 million! Ridiculous. But, he likely will be the Twins starter most games here (Seriously, wouldnít you rather have even Nick Punto play 2B because you will know that he is at least trying). Rivas will be terrible. Heíll probably hit a very empty .260 if Twins fans are lucky. Hopefully by about June, Terry Tiffee will be at 3B and Cuddyer will be at 2B and Rivas will be gone. Oh, by the way, donít draft him!
2005 Actual - Fortunately, Rivas played in just 59 games for the Twins last year. He was actually finally sent down to Rochester at midseason and only was recalled in September. He hit just .257/.311/.316. he didn't have an extra base hit until late in the year. He was just awful, and the Twins finally released him almost immediately following the season. Recently, he signed a minor league deal with the Devil Rays. Oh, and I wasn't even right on Punto and Tiffee here either because they were just horrible too!
3B - Michael Cuddyer
It looks like the Twins will replace Corey Koskie with Michael Cuddyer. I really believe that Michael Cuddyer will have a huge year. All of the signs are there, and finally he will be given an every day job, and I really look forward to seeing what he will do with it. In 2004, Cuddyer moved between five positions. He played in 115 games and hit .263/.339/.440 with 22 doubles, 12 homers and 45 RBI. My predictions for Cuddyer in 2005 would be .280/.360/.510. He should hit over 20 homers and drive in 70-80 runs. Because of being eligible at two or three infield positions, he has increased value. I would consider taking Cuddyer by the 15th round.
2005 Actual - I'm not sure, but I may still be the only person around who believes in Michael Cuddyer. I really believe that he could become a very solid big leaguer, if only given a real shot. He got off to a horrible start by hitting just .205/.275/.288. However, after that point, he was as productive as any Twins hitter. His post-All Star break numbers of .268/.324/.468 were tops of all Twins hitters. Still, my projections were nowhere near his actual numbers, but again, he lost too much playing time and clearly the coaching staff feels comfortable jerking him around and then badmouthing him in the media. Oh, and now they have replaced him with Tony Batista. Ouch!
SS - Juan Castro/Jason Bartlett
If Twins fans think Luis Rivas is bad, wait until they see Juan Castro. I am fully convinced that Castro will be the teamís opening day SS while the guy who should be there, Bartlett, will be starting in Rochester. The Twins media continues to throw the term ďhe can pick itĒ toward Castro. But defensive stats show that he doesnít make errors, but he has no range either. Offensively, we are talking about a 32 year old who, in 10 years in the majors, is a career .226/.269/.331 hitter. And they gave him two years guaranteed at a million a year! Uggh! Meanwhile, Jason Bartlett has done everything right at AAA. Last year, he hit .332/.417/.475 in just 66 games (because of an injury). I like the people that think that Joe Mauer may not be as good as some think because it is a small sample. Many of these same people are quick to dispute Bartlett because he was just 1-12 in limited time time with the Twins. Donít even consider drafting Castro. If it looks like Bartlett will get the job, be sure to take him in the 22nd round or so.
2005 Actual - Bartlett won the job with an excellent spring, offensively and defensively! However, after a month, he had lost confidence offensively and was shipped back to Rochester where he ended up hitting .330 before coming back up to the Twins and looking like a far better player. In 74 games, he hit .241/.316/.355. I love his approach at the plate as well as his defense. Castro was not good either. He hit just .257/.279/.386 with five homers. Not good, but almost bearable. I didn't really strongly, specifically make projections for either player, but it would be fair to say that I was a little high on Bartlett, and about right on Castro.
LF - Shannon Stewart
Stewart missed another 70 games in 2004. When he did play, he hit a solid .304/.380/.447 with 17 doubles, 11 homers and 47 RBI. He walked 47 times, striking out just 44 times. He is an igniter for the Twins lineup when he is healthy. You know what youíll get from him. Heíll hit .305/.370/450 every year and miss some time due to injury. He is a dime-a-dozen outfielder in fantasy baseball though, so donít take him before the 18th round.
2005 Actual - We know what we'll get, huh? Well, last year was a horrible season for Stewart. Statistically, he proved to be the worst leadoff hitter in the American League. Overall, he hit .274/.323/.388, his lowest OPS by .071. His Isolated Discipline was a disappointing .049! That is horrible and indicative of how poor his normally stellar plate approach really was. And yes, he did miss plenty of time, 30 games to be exact.
CF - Torii Hunter
Hunter is now clearly the leader of the Twins team. Hunter is now 29 years, so he too is pretty projectable. He will likely hit about .270/.330/.480. Heíll hit about 20 homers and drive in 85 or so. I keep hoping that he will stop flailing away at sliders low and away, and each year he does seem to improve a little bit. Maybe batting near Mauer and Morneau will give him a couple of good examples to follow! If he can play in 155 games, I can see him hitting 30 homers. He also steals bases. In 5x5 leagues, he could be taken by the 7th round. In other leagues, wait until the 11th.
2005 Actual - "clearly the leader of the Twins team." Blah! He proved exactly the opposite, didn't he?! I was pretty close in my projection though. He hit .269/.337/.452 in just 98 games because of his ankle injury. The problem is that in his shortened season, he actually posted his semi-annual monster month which makes his numbers look better than they probably would have. In June, he hit .330/.410/.681, so that tells you how bad his other three months were.
RF - Jacque Jones
After hitting .300 the previous two seasons, Jacque hit just .254 last year. He still doesnít walk. He still canít hit left-handed pitching. I think there is a good comparison here to Trot Nixon. Once the Red Sox started platooning Nixon, he put up incredible numbers. I would like to see him sit out against lefties with either Lew Ford or Michael Restovich replacing him. I would predict a return toward .300 for Jones, and 30 home runs wonít be out of the question. Take Jones if heís still available in the 15th round.
2005 Actual - No return to .300 for Jones. He hit just .249/.319/.438. Nothing close to 30 homers. He had 22 doubles and 23 homers. Against lefties, he was horrible again. He hit just .201/.247/.370. Now, Jacque can take his numbers to the Cubs where he got a very nice contract. It is a good place for him. Dusty Baker is a good player's manager. He probably will continue to play Jacque against lefties. I would love to see Jacque have a season where he doesn't have to waste 150 bad at bats against lefties to see what his overall numbers would look like.
DH - Lew Ford
Lew Ford did not travel north with the team out of spring training. He played exactly one game at Rochester before a Torii Hunter injury got him called up. Ford took advantage in a big way and ended up playing in 154 games for the Twins. He was their best, most consistent hitter throughout the whole season. He hit .299/.381/.446 with 31 doubles, 15 homers, 72 RBI and 20 stolen bases (caught just twice). Those numbers almost made him an All-Star last year. But what does it mean for 2005? I really donít know. The assumption is that he will DH, but if he is the lone backup outfielder, I wonder if Ron Gardenhire would play him at DH? So, taking him before the 20th round could be risky depending on his playing time.
2005 Actual - Again, I didn't really make a projection for his 2005 season. If I had, I would have probably been well off. I probably would not have predicted for him to duplicate his 2004 numbers, but did not expect quite the drop. He ended up hitting .264/.338/.377. That's a drop in OPS of .112. I think that Ford would have been better as an everyday outfielder, and he was after Hunter was hurt. I am also kept positive on what Ford can do because of his wonderful approach at the plate. He takes a lot of pitches. He isn't afraid to hit with two strikes. He allows the hitters behind him to see what the pitcher throws. That tells me that he can be a very solid big leaguer over the long haul. He is likely to be the team's fourth outfielder to start the season. However, with Shannon Stewart and Torii Hunter in the outfield, Ford should still see plenty of time in the field.
One 2 Watch Ė Matthew Lecroy/Eric Munson
If Ford is not the DH, Matthew LeCroy and Eric Munson would likely get a lot of the DH at bats. After a solid 2003 season, LeCroy started last year as the Twins DH, but a poor season put him more squarely on the bench, used primarily as a pinch hitter. Munson was the starting 3B for the Tigers for a couple of season and didnít hit for much average. But he hits homers at a rate very similar to Justin Morneau. LeCroy could get ABís at 1B too. Munson could play 3B or 1B too.
2005 Actual - We'll start out by saying the Matthew LeCroy hit .260/.354/.444 with 17 homers in 101 games. His injuries meant that he was pretty much home run or nothing as he hit just five doubles. Even with his power, the team released him almost immediately following the season as well. He has still not signed with anyone. Speaking of getting released, Munson was cut by the Twins right at the end of spring training.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good - The 4 OF are solid (although Kubel in the picture would have been good!), Mauer, Morneau and Cuddyer
The Bad - Rivas and Castro.
The Question Marks - Can Mauer stay healthy? How will Mauer perform? Will Jacque Jones be traded, or at least platooned? How long until Bartlett is up? How long until Rivas is benched?
2005 Actual - The four outfielders were all disappointing. Mauer was excellent, but Morneau and Cuddyer both disappointed, although I will never understand the extreme bashing of Cuddyer. Rivas and Castro were both bad. Mauer was able to stay healthy the entire season, and he did perform just fine. Jacque Jones lasted the whole season meaning that the Twins will receive a 4th round pick from the Cubs in next year's draft, and of course, he was not platooned. Bartlett made the team out of training camp, lasted about a month, and came back up in July to play every day. It didn't take long for Rivas to be benched. I was pleasantly surprised that the Twins sent him down to Rochester when they did.
And now, let's look at my 2005 Twins Pitcher's Projections:
SP Ė Brad Radke
Radke has been the model of consistency and calm and poise throughout his career. And last year, he came through with easily his best all-around season of his career. His ERA was 3.48. His WHIP was 1.16. His strikeout rate was up and his already impressive walk rate was down. Everything went right on the mound for Radke. The only negative was that the Twins offense didnít support him. He went just 11-8. By most any pitching metric, Radke was a Top 4 pitcher in the American League in 2004. So, do I expect similar numbers from Radke in 2005? I donít expect them to be that good, but I do think that he can be close to as good, and that makes him a 10th round pick in my book.
2005 Actual - Close to as good? What does that mean? Was he a Top 4 pitcher in the AL? Definitely not. Was he top 12? According to our friend "Roger's" analysis of his statistics compared to the other starters in the AL, he certainly was. Overall, he went just 9-12 which most will not like. However, the Twins lack of run support is well documented. Radke's ERA of 4.04 was about a 1/2 run less than league average. His WHIP was Top 5 in the league. He did what he could until his arm/shoulder just gave in.
SP Ė Johan Santana
On June 3, Santana lost to the Devil Rays. He fell to 2-4 with a 5.51 ERA. From that point on, he went 18-2 (and in those two losses, he gave up 2 runs in 8 innings both times). I honestly donít know what more to say about his season. It was one of the most amazing seasons in the modern baseball era. He was the unanimous Cy Young Award winner. Season numbers were 20-6 with a 2.61 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, an opponent batting average of .198, 265 Ks in 228 innings (10.5 per 9 innings). To me, he should be the first pitcher drafted, and I would take him by about the 5th overall pick in any draft. Iím glad the Twins locked him up for the next four years!
2005 Actual - Locking him up for four years was probably the team's best decision last year. In 2005, Santana went 16-7 with a 2.88 ERA. His WHIP and Opponent Batting Average and OPS were very similar to the previous year. He had 238 Ks in 232.2 innings. His numbers were almost equal to his 2004 Cy Young numbers but the lack of run support cost him Wins, which cost him the Cy Young. Some said that he did not pitch well early, but he was better early in 2005 than he was in 2004. But anyway, this is an argument that we could probably all make every day. He proved himself worth of a Top 5 pick and will likely be about the same in 2006.
SP Ė Carlos Silva
I donít think anyone really knew what to expect from the 25 year old Venezuelan last year in his first season as a starting pitcher after two years as a reliever with the Phillies. I think itís fair to say that Silva met any expectations. On the year, he went 14-8 with a respectable 4.21 ERA. I think he tired a little shortly after the All-Star break but then came back well at the end of the year. The sinkerball pitcher doesnít strike out many, and like Radke was on the league leader board for fewest walks. So many seem to expect Silva to falter in his second year. I see him as a big, young guy with good movement. I see no reason for him to fall off at all. In fact, I am excited to see what he will do. I would take him in the 14th round.
2005 Actual - I think it would be fair to say that many did not know what to expect from Silva in 2005. Many believed that because he strikes out so few and gives up so many hits that he would fall backwards in 2005. As you saw, I thought he would be just fine. However, he put together one of the more amazing seasons, one no one could have predicted. He went just 9-8, and his ERA was 3.44. He walked no one, setting a modern day record for fewest walks per inning. He walked just nine in 188.1 innings. Of course, from a fantasy perspective, he walked just 71 which drops his fantasy value.
SP Ė Kyle Lohse
Lohse was awful last year. I think he would admit that (not in his arbitration case though!). In my opinion, it seemed like he was trying to strike out every hitter instead of just letting his Ďstuffí work. His strikeout rate actually dropped while his ERA soared. After winning 27 games the previous two seasons, Lohse was 9-13 last year with an ERA of 5.34. But so many think he was really good the previous years because of his win totals, but his ERAs those years were 4.23 and 4.61, average, at best. I fully expect Lohse to have a good 2005 season. I think that heís learned a lot and hopefully was even humbled a little bit last year. I hope he finally puts it all together. I think the best we could hope for would be about 15 wins and an ERA in the 3ís. Probably not quite realistic, but weíll see. He still made 34 starts last year and threw 194 innings. Heís worth a flyer in the 22nd round.
2005 Actual - No, not at all realistic! However, his 4.18 ERA was the best of his career. He went just 9-13 for the second straight season. He has been the topic of trade rumors all offseason. I was one of many who thought that Lohse should be dealt. However, his ERA was below average, and he is just the team's 4th starter. Hopefully his arbitration case goes well for the Twins, although even the amount that he is asking for is fair.
SP Ė Joe Mays
The Twins 5th starter spot is going to be a battle. Mays missed all of 2004 and some of 2003 when he had Tommy John surgery. So many Twins fans, myself included, would love to see Mays return to his 2001 form. That is arguably the only season that he has been completely healthy. That year, he pitched 233 innings. He went 17-13 with a 3.16 ERA. His ERAís in the other four seasons heís pitched have been 4.37, 5.56, 5.38 and 6.30. In other words, was 2001 a mirage, or was it really what he could be capable of. I donít know what to think. But I do think that if Mays wins the 5th starter job, he is worth a gamble in the 26th round on the chance that heís back and better than ever. If he is, this rotation becomes the best in baseball.
2005 Actual - Yeah, Mays was awful in 2005. He went 6-10 with an ERA of 5.65. By the end of the season, the team (and its fans) had no confidence that he could get anyone out. And he didn't. He lost his starting job to Scott Baker near the end of August. He signed a deal with the Kansas City Royals in January.
Closer Ė Joe Nathan
The 30 year old Nathan had just 1 save before last year. He won the closer job and ran with it. He saved 44 games in 47 chances. He was as dominant as any closer in baseball during the regular season. In 73.1 innings, he struck out 89 hitters (11.1 per 9 innings). He was 1-2 with a 1.62 ERA. His peripheral numbers were Santana-esque. I expect the same type of numbers from Nathan in 2004, although those are high expectations. Consider taking him by the 7th round.
2005 Actual - "Same type of numbers," huh? Well, let's throw them out here. He went 7-4 with a 2.70 ERA. He had 43 saves in 48 chances. In 70 innings, he struck out 94 (12.1 K/9 innings). If not for Mariano Rivera, Nathan would be the top closer in all of baseball, I think. From a fantasy perspective, he may be the most valuable as the Twins play so many close games meaning Wins and Saves for a reliever.
Relievers Ė Juan Rincon/Jesse Crain/Grant Balfour
Speaking of dominant, no other middle reliever in baseball was as tough as Rincon last year (ok, maybe Tom Gordon of the Yankees). Rincon pitched 82 innings in 77 appearances. He was 11-6 with a 2.63 ERA. He struck out 106 batters (11.6 per 9 innings) and walked just 32. His WHIP was 1.02 and opponents hit just .181 against him. Expect more of the same in 2004. Balfour spent the entire season with the Twins and did well when he was healthy. He was 4-1 with a 4.35 ERA. He pitched 39.1 innings in his 36 appearances. He struck out 42 hitters (9.6 per 9 innings). We saw against the Yankees in Game 4 last fall just how dominant he is capable of being. Crain is the top rated relief pitching prospect in baseball (or at worst tied with the Aís Huston Street). He finally got called up in July and pitched very well. He went 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA. He gave up runs in just four of the 22 games he appeared in and only two of them could be considered poor outings. All three of these guys can top 95 mph. All 3 have great sliders. Crain has an incredible curveball too. If your league values strikeouts per inning, WHIP, Opp. BA, etc., you will want to take all of these guys in the late rounds. To me, this is one of the more exciting parts of the Twins 2005 team.
2005 Actual - In 2004, Rincon was the Vulture who took Wins from the starter. In 2005, it was Jesse Crain. He went 12-5 with a 2.71 ERA. He didn't strike out enough to be 'dominant' but he got the job done. Rincon had his suspension, but after some brief struggles, he posted excellent numbers. His ERA fell to 2.46 although he went just 6-6. He still struck out more than one per inning. Balfour missed the entire 2005 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and a second arm surgery. He recently signed a deal with the Cincinnati Reds.
Two 2 Watch Ė JD Durbin/Scott Baker
OK, so, Iím excited about the Twins starting rotation. Iím really excited about their bullpen. Just to hit the trifecta, I am thrilled about the pitching prospect that this organization has accumulated. JD Durbin and Scott Baker, both 23 are the two who are closest to the big leagues at this point. Durbin "The Real Deal" got called up last September. He hits 97 mph on his fastball. Has a sharp, big curveball. And the organization is hoping to perfect his changeup to make him a dominating starting pitcher. Baker is called the Twins most polished pitcher. He doesnít throw as hard (92-93), but he has three pitches and excellent control. Both will likely start the season at AAA Rochester, but could be called up at any time. And I havenít even mentioned Francisco Liriano, Glen Perkins, Adam Harben, Errol Simonitsch, Alexander Smit, Kyle Waldrop, Jay Rainville, Anthony Swarzak and Matthew Fox.
2005 Actual - Durbin was probably the front-runner (or near Joe Mays) for the Twins 5th starter job out of sprint. However, he completely lost his control early in camp and never really got it back. He also fought arm problems throughout the season. He is no longer a Top 5 prospect of the team, but he is still young. Scott Baker made three appearances for the Twins earlier in the season, but when Mays was benched late, Baker got the call. He earned it by doing very well at Rochester. With the Twins, he was very strong as well. He should be the team's 5th starter to start the season. And, plenty more minor league pitchers could now be added to that list, huh?
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good Ė Santana, Radke, the bullpen Nathan and the futures of Durbin, Crain, Baker and more.
The Bad - Lohse, unless heís vastly improved.
The Question Marks Ė What can Santana possibly do to follow up last year? Can Radke duplicate his 2004? Who will be the fifth starter? Can Silva do it again, and can Lohse improve? How dominant can the bullpen be?
2005 Actual - Durbin flopped, but the rest were fine. Lohse was better than expected, as was Silva really. Santana was nearly as good in 2005 as he was in 2004. Of course Radke wasn't the same in 2005, but he was still above average. Silva did even better. The bullpen was excellent again with the emergence of Matt Guerrier often being overlooked.
So there you have it... proof that once in awhile I can make a decent projection. However, I can also be very wrong. It is also proof that I am way too optimistic about my team. So please, I want readers to enjoy the fantasy series I am working on, but certainly do not take it as more than just another view of what may, or may not, happen in 2006! Any thoughts on the 2005 Projections or anything, please send me an e-mail or leave Comments down below.
That is it for today. I'd love to hear from you on today's topic, or anything. Please e-mail me or feel free to leave some Comments!
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