|©Kayla Chadwick 2013|
2011 projection: 151 games, .261 BA, .366 OBP, .509 SLG, 33 HR, 112 RBI
2011: 146 games, .309 BA, .398 OBP, .554 SLG, 29 HR, 96 RBI
2012 projection: 150 games, .277 BA, .378 OBP, .517 SLG, 30 HR, 104 RBI
2012: 90 games, .318 BA, .415 OBP, .611 SLG, 23 HR, 60 RBI
2013 projection: 147 games, .283 BA, .386 OBP, .533 SLG, 32 HR, 103 RBI
2013: 137 games, .309 BA, .395 OBP, .564 SLG, 30 HR, 103 RBI
2014 projection: 146 games, .287 BA, .384 OBP, .531 SLG, 30 HR, 98 RBI
It's hard to believe that just a few years ago, Red Sox fans all over were openly speculating that David Ortiz's career was over - that his bat speed was gone, and his April struggles might be a harbinger of the years to come.
Instead, David Ortiz is like a fine wine: he's just getting better with age. Every year, Ortiz meets or exceeds the projection set forth by the fantastically prescient Bill James. Even during years when Big Papi lost significant time to injuries, like 2012, he manages to make up for lost time by performing well while on the field.
Of course, the true value of David Ortiz is not what he does during the regular season, but what he manages to accomplish once he gets to the postseason - something essentially impossible to predict.
Given the pattern from the last three years, I'm going to go ahead and guess that Ortiz will once again outperform James' projection. Perhaps he won't ever play more than 145 games again - but if we keep getting 30 home runs and 100 RBIs each year, I won't complain about playing time.