Every winter, I preorder The Bill James Handbook for the upcoming year, and before I look at anything else, I flip to the projections for the coming season... Then, at the end of the year, I get to look back and compare the projections to the actual results. James and his cohorts are right more often than not, and this year was no exception:
Projection:.302 AVG, .359 OBP, 9 HR, 53 RBI, 52 SB
Actual: .301, .355, 8, 60, 70The extra RBIs can be attributed to the fact that Golden Boy wasn't batting leadoff all season, something James would not have factored into his calculations...
Projection: .315, .376, 15, 78,16
Actual: .296, .371, 15, 72, 20This year, Pedey had to deal with pitchers that finally took him seriously, which explains his average dropping, but Bill James obviously underestimated his wheels.
Projected: .300, .374, 17, 92, 0
Actual: .303, .381, 23, 108, 1VMart had an overachieving year all around, according to James' projections... Here's hoping he can keep it up!
Projection: .289, .386, 23, 101, 4
Actual: .305, .413, 27, 94, 7Youk continues to prove that underestimating him won't get you very far. A legitimate threat who never gives away a single at-bat, we're lucky to have him.
Projection: .288, .396, 37, 119, 1
Actual: .238, .332, 28, 99, 0
Obviously, if you factor in Papi's hellacious slump (something even the estimable Mr. James could not have predicted), this is an acceptable season. For many players, this is an exceptional season: for Ortiz, it's an off year. And that says it all.
Projection: .273, .395, 22, 79, 5
Actual: .279, .392, 24, 68, 2You know how I feel about Drew, and if you don't, ask Theo how HE feels about Drew. It's the same. Drew is an extremely valuable player who is undervalued by the fans.
Projected: .277, .343, 16, 75, 2
Actual: .290, .337, 17, 75, 2Wow. That is damn close. But if you had told me in April that Mikey would steal two bases, I would have told you to stop being so optimistic.
Projection: .280, .376, 30, 102, 9
Actual: .267, .384, 36, 119, 13Jason Bay had a great year, which is anything but a shocking new development. I'm just hoping he keeps playing for the good guys next year...
Projection:.238, 334, 13, 52, 1
Actual: .209, .313, 14,51, 0
They say the first step is hitting your weight, and the beleaguered captain couldn't even do that this year (he's listed at 210)... Varitek has given his heart and soul to this team for many years, and as painful as this is, it's time to say goodbye.
[Alex Gonzalez did not have projections in the 2009 Bill James Handbook.]