2008 Projections roundup

At the beginning of the year, I said a lot of things. But how right (or wrong) was I?

February 8: The result is a lineup that could produce 5.772 runs per game, or 935 runs on the year. [link]

March 3: I’m comfortable penciling the Sox in for 95 wins and a playoff berth. [link]

March 15: I’ve predicted 95 wins and a playoff spot for them in 2008, and they have the potential to top 100 wins, if things break right (or don’t break at all, I should say). [link]

The offense fine this season, scoring 845 runs and ranking 2nd in the AL, but we actually scored fewer runs than in 2007. Power was down all over the league, contributing to lower run numbers overall. And yes, I’m pretty proud of hitting the number of wins right on the head. But here’s the rest, in gory detail:

Jacoby Ellsbury
Projection: .285/.345/.400 with 7 HR and 40 SB
Actual: .280/.336/.394 with 9 HR and 50 SB

Dustin Pedroia
Projection: .300/.370/.425 with 35 doubles, 8-12 HR, 100 RS and 60 RBI
Actual: .326/.376/.493 with 54 doubles, 17 HR, 118 RS and 83 RBI

David Ortiz
Projection: .310/.410/.600 with 40 HR and 130 RBI
Actual: .264/.369/.507 with 23 HR and 89 RBI

Manny Ramirez
Projection: .300/.390/.540 with 30-32 HR and 110 RBI
Actual: .332/.430/.601 with 37 HR and 102 RBI

Kevin Youkilis
Projection: .275/.380/.470 with 18-20 HR and 80 RBI
Actual: .312/.390/.569 with 29 HR and 115 RBI

Mike Lowell
Projection: .290/.345/.460 with 17 HR and 80 RBI
Actual: .274/.338/.461 with 17 HR and 73 RBI

J.D. Drew
Projection: .280/.380/.470 with 17 HR and 75 RBI
Actual: .280/.408/.519 with 19 HR and 64 RBI

Jason Varitek
Projection: .240/.340/.400 with 13 HR and 50 RBI
Actual: .220/.313/.359 with 13 HR and 43 RBI

Julio Lugo
Projection: .270/.335/.390 with 35 doubles and 10 HR
Actual: .268/.355/.330 with 13 doubles and 1 HR (injured)

I was pretty much right on with regard to Ellsbury, Lowell, and Varitek. Lugo would have been on track too, had he not been injured and subsequently replaced by Jed Lowrie. Ortiz massively underperformed my projection due to his bad wrist, but Pedroia, Youk and Manny all outperformed my numbers by a good margin. Too bad Manny did most of his damage after the trade, in the NL. Drew would have beaten my prediction, had he played out more of the year (but then, that’s part of the projection too).

And now for the pitching staff:

Josh Beckett
Projection: 200 IP, 3.80 ERA, 16 wins, 185 K, 60 BB
Actual: 174 IP, 4.03 ERA, 12 wins, 172 K, 34 BB

Daisuke Matsuzaka
Projection: 210 IP, 3.75 ERA, 17 wins, 205 K, 70 BB
Actual: 167.2 IP, 2.90 ERA, 18 wins, 154 K, 94 BB

Tim Wakefield
Projection: 160 IP, 4.80 ERA
Actual: 181 IP, 4.13 ERA

Julian Tavarez
Projection: 90 IP, 5.15 ERA
Actual: 12.2 IP, 6.39 ERA

Jon Lester
Projection: 110 IP, 4.85 ERA
Actual: 210.1 IP, 3.21 ERA, 16 wins

Bartolo Colon
Projection: 60 IP, 5.00 ERA
Actual: 39 IP, 3.92 ERA

Clay Buchholz
Projection: 110 IP, 4.30 ERA
Actual: 75 IP, 6.72 ERA

Curt Schilling
Projection: 40 IP, 4.75 ERA
Actual: 0 IP

Jonathan Papelbon
Projection: 60 IP, 2.80 ERA
Actual: 69.1 IP, 2.34 ERA

Hideki Okajima
Projection: 65 IP, 3.50 ERA
Actual: 62 IP, 2.61 ERA

Manny Delcarmen
Projection: 60 IP, 3.20 ERA
Actual: 74.1 IP, 3.27 ERA

Mike Timlin
Projection: 50 IP, 4.40 ERA
Actual: 49.1 IP, 5.66 ERA

Javier Lopez
Projection: 40 IP, 3.50 ERA
Actual: 59.1 IP, 2.43 ERA

The biggest surprise of the year was clearly Lester, who looks like a different pitcher with all that meat on him. His fastball has taken on new life, and it is setting up his other stuff beautifully. Justin Masterson was a key contributor this season, helping to cover some starting innings as well as lots of key relief innings late in the season. I look forward to watching him as a dominant setup/groundball man next season, a perfect replacement for the retiring Timlin. Dice-K suddenly morphed into a different kind of pitcher, and while he had some success this year, it wasn’t quite the kind I imagined. For a healthy starter to log only 167 IP the whole year is very bad, and it caused everyone in the bullpen to throw more innings than I had anticipated. Buchholz was a disappointment, though I knew the expectations of him were way too high entering the season.


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