The offensive projections in one handy place

Posted By on April 1, 2011 10:30 am

Here are my highly scientific OPS projections for the A’s and Giants everyday players. I used these numbers in coming up with my forecasts for the teams (Giants here, A’s here). I figured it would be nice to have them all in one handy place, so at the end of the season we can go back and see how smart/stupid I am.

How did I come up with these? Well, there’s no formula. It’s just common sense, based on two main concepts:

  1. Players who have more than a few years in the big leagues will tend to drift more toward their career averages.
  2. Older players will tend to get worse.

That’s about it. The tricky part is with young guys, like Buster Posey. He had a very good year, but it wasn’t a full year and it was his first year, so we don’t really have an idea of what he’s capable of consistently. I downgraded him just because of the law of averages and players drifting toward the mean, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if he did as well or better.

You’ll notice some of these guys I projected to repeat their 2010 exactly. I obviously don’t feel that they really will have exactly the same OPS. It’s just that their 2010 performance was right in line with their career, so there’s no reason to assume they’ll do better or worse. I explained my reasoning on specific players in the posts linked above, if you want to read them.

Why no pitching numbers? I did refer to the pitching in both stories, but in general I think both teams are going to pitch essentially as they did in 2010, so it’s not as interesting.

Here’s the Giants:

Player Age 2010 OPS Projected '11
Posey 24 .862 .820
Belt 22 n/a .800
Sanchez 33 .739 .739
Tejada 36 .692 .700
Sandoval 23 .732 .830
Huff 34 .891 .820
Torres 33 .823 .800
Ross 30 .819 .788

(Only looking at this now do I realize that I have Pablo Sandoval having a better OPS than Buster Posey. That’s probably a best-case scenario for Pablo and worst-case for Buster. However, the logic there was that the Panda has actually done it. Two years ago he had a .943 OPS through a full big league season. Honestly, Panda’s ’09 was better than Buster’s ’10. So I’m giving him credit for what he’s already done, even though I’m not sure he can do it again, and I’m not giving Buster credit for what he did, because he didn’t do it over a full season and I consider the jury to still be out. That said, I expect Buster to be better than Pablo.)

And the A’s:

Player Age '10 OPS Projected '11
Suzuki 27 .669 .727
Barton 25 .798 .798
Ellis 34 .739 .739
Pennington 26 .687 .687
Kouzmanoff 29 .679 .730
Willingham 32 .848 .840
Crisp 31 .779 .750
DeJesus 31 .827 .780
Matsui 36 .820 .800

Be sure to come back in October to make fun of me.

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