No sooner has the 2008 season ended than we're blessed with the first batch of 2009 projections. These come courtesy of ACTA Sports and The Bill James Handbook. The BJH will be availabe on November 1st, months ahead of most of the other baseball annuals, which is great because we get numbers to play with, though we have to accept that the rosters here could change quite a bit by the time next season rolls around.
Here we go.
Let's remember that these are just projections. Some numbers and algorithms went into a computer and these popped out. That's a really simplistic way of looking at what is surely a very complex system, and I don't describe it that way to make light of all of the work that goes into developing and implementing a projection system. Forecasting ballplayers may seem like a frivolous use of time, but there is little doubt that most if not all big league teams use player projections of some form or another. They'd be crazy not to use the many years of baseball data that exists to analyze the likelihood of certain performance results for free agents, players on their own team or potential trade targets on other teams. Projections don't tell us what is guaranteed to happen, but they do tell us what could very likely happen, and that should at least be a part of any reasonable player analysis, whether you're in a big league front office or a humble website sending information through this sophisticated series of tubes we call the internets.
Some thoughts on the Mets, bullet-wise.
- Marlon Anderson should be jettisoned post-haste. He is not better than Val Pascucci. I'm not sure he's better than Morten Anderson. Why was it necessary to sign him for two years? Anyone?
- Carlos Voltron is a god.
- Luis Castillo is a Met.
- Can Brian Schneider never start again? Can Ramon Castro please stay healthy? The 80 points separating their OPS projections is not insignificant.
- Endy Chavez isn't much of a hitter, though he could be one of the most undervalued commodities in baseball.
- Ryan Church's projection isn't terrible, but it's not great, either. For comparison, Lastings Milledge's projection is .281/.347/.439. I don't feel so well.
- Carlos Delgado, not so bad. The computer thinks Carlos will continue his resurgence and put up an OPS similar to his 2008 mark, which is middle of the pack among big league first basemen.
- Damion Easley: Time to retire.
- Mark my words: Nick Evans will not OPS .829. Nice thought, though.
- Fernando Martinez: Not ready for the big time yet.
- Daniel Murphy is the Irish Hammer. Close your eyes. Now picture the Irish Hammer. Now picture him hitting .296/.371/.478 as a 24-year-old. Now picture him doing it at second base. Feel better? How did you read all of that with your eyes closed, eh? Cheater.
- I'm a little disappointed in Jose Reyes's projection. That .798 OPS would be a 35-point dropoff from his 2008 line. I'll take the over on this one.
- Is it wrong to wish that Brian Schneider had been driving that car in DR and not Ambiorix Burgos? Yea. Probably.
- The Mets could do far worse than Fernando Tatis as a righty bat off the bench, Or: Sixteen words I couldn't have fathomed writing a year ago.
- David Wright: Yea, let's trade this bum.
I'll post the pitcher projections tomorrow, and then some free agent/trade target projections on Wednesday.