2-23-2011: Official projections

Most of the major projection systems are out, and Sox Therapy has gone and compiled the numbers for our Red Sox. They have CAIRO, PECOTA and ZiPS available there. For comparison’s sake, here’s what I have for this coming season:

Offensive projections

Name Avg OBP SLG
Saltalamacchia 0.244 0.320 0.391
Gonzalez 0.289 0.378 0.507
Pedroia 0.300 0.369 0.467
Scutaro 0.267 0.339 0.372
Youkilis 0.295 0.392 0.526
Crawford 0.296 0.349 0.456
Ellsbury 0.283 0.341 0.403
Drew 0.267 0.370 0.478
Ortiz 0.256 0.351 0.490
Cameron 0.245 0.329 0.432
Lowrie 0.252 0.333 0.411
Varitek 0.225 0.310 0.384
McDonald 0.251 0.326 0.395

Perhaps the most difficult player to project this year is Adrian Gonzalez. It’s true that Gonzalez is coming from pitcher-friendly PETCO to play in decidedly hitter-friendly Fenway. However, you also have to consider the fact that the level of competition in the NL West is decidedly lower than that of the AL East, the division many of the top pitchers and rotations in baseball call home. Add to that the large number of left-handed starters in this division compared with the NL West, and you have our current (conservative) projection for Gonzalez. I have him pegged for 30 HR and 105 RBI, but that’s assuming he makes an average transition from the senior to the junior circuit. Being a well above average player, he could easily best those figures if he stays healthy.

Pitching projections

Lester 201.2 3.49
Buchholz 161.1 4.23
Lackey 187.0 4.15
Beckett 178.2 4.08
Matsuzaka 141.1 4.28
Wakefield 153.1 4.70
Papelbon 68.2 2.95
Bard 60.2 3.61
Jenks 55.1 3.59
Wheeler 57.1 4.09
Okajima 57.0 3.85
Atchison 65.0 4.54

As for the pitchers, our projection system uses quite a bit of regression, so you won’t see many low-3 ERAs here (Jon Lester’s 3.49 projection puts him among the best pitchers in all of baseball). Our projection for Clay Buchholz is way more conservative than other figures I’ve seen out there. While it’s true that he posted a great ERA last season, much of that was due to factors like a low BABIP and high strand rate, which Buchholz may or may not be able to reproduce this year. Our projections utilize career rates, which are causing Clay’s projection to look less than impressive. He’ll probably outperform these figures, but it’s important to remember that he’s only had one very strong full season so far. One more year like 2010 will go a long way towards bringing that ERA projection down into the 3s.


One Response to 2-23-2011: Official projections

  1. Pingback: 10-6-2011: The year that was « Red Sox Talk

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