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Nostradamus or Nostra-dumbass?

Back at the start of the season, I stuck my neck out and made some bold predictions as to the stats which would be returned by everyday players in the Arizona lineup. I thought it'd be amusing to dig those out, and see how they compared to actual performances this year.

There were a few that couldn't be compared directly. Matt Kata got only 31 AB's before being shuffled off to Philadelphia, while Koyie Hill lost out to Chris Snyder in the battle for the catcher's spot. But here are the others, in alphabetical order - first, my prediction, then how reality bit (both list BA, OBP and SLG, as well as homers and RBIs), and some comments on how things turned out.

Alex Cintron
.285 .328 .406, 4 HR, 29 RBI
.273 .298 .415, 8 HR, 48 RBI

Cintron showed little signs of returning to his rookie form (.317, 13 HR). He did bounce back a bit from 2004, but his unexpected power masked a decline in OBP below .300, largely because he couldn't take walks. He did play 122 games, probably more than expected.

Tony Clark
.230 .298 .461, 10 HR, 37 RBI
.304 .366 .636, 30 HR, 87 RBI

Ok, we can probably call it a miss. ;-) But did ANYONE predict this kind of performance? I mean, more HR (and games) than any year since 1999? An OPS 120+ points above his previous career best? He must really like playing close to home: but will this be a flash in the pan? Only 2006 will tell...

Royce Clayton
.248 .311 .370, 9 HR, 43 RBI
.270 .320 .351, 2 HR, 44 RBI

Clayton's batting average was better than expected, but his OBP was only nine points up, and his power was even less than expected. Two home runs was his lowest total since 1991 (when he had 26 at-bats!), but he did break into the top 100 all-time strikeout leaders...

Craig Counsell
.250 .335 .323, 3 HR, 28 RBI
.256 .350 .375, 9 HR, 42 RBI

Strangely, if Clayton's power was underwhelming, this was countered by a surprising surge from Counsell. He'd never hit more than four homers in a season; this year, he hit that many in JUNE. Otherwise, much in line with predictions, possibly slightly above them.

Jose Cruz Jr
.262 .345 .469, 22 HR, 70 RBI
.213 .347 .436, 12 HR, 28 RBI [64 games]

Cruz's performance in center-field was disappointing, but it was clear that he way playing hurt for a lot of the time. His power and plate discipline were both better than expected, but when wasn't knocking them over the fences, he was making outs at a ferocious rate.

Troy Glaus   
.256 .355 .492, 30 HR, 92 RBI
.258 .363 .522, 37 HR, 97 RBI

Say what you like about Glaus's RISP performance, he actually delivered overall stats that were at or better than anticipated levels. 97 RBIs was the best by any D'back outside Gonzo since 1999, and 37 homers was the third-best in franchise history. All told, a solid season. Now, about that RISP thing... ;-)

Luis Gonzalez
.271 .375 .477, 19 HR, 80 RBI
.271 .366 .459, 24 HR, 79 RBI

I'm framing this one. Got Gonzo's average dead-on, and was only a single RBI off. A few more homers than expected, but that was still his least per at-bat since coming to the desert in 1998. 2006 doesn't look to be much better, and while he probably won't be traded, look for his playing time to decrease.

Shawn Green  
.285 .366 .510, 31 HR, 98 RBI
.286 .355 .477, 22 HR, 73 RBI

Well, I nailed the G-Force - total margin of error for the trio's BA combined = .003. I did over-estimate Green's power, and was way off on his RBIs, in part because he was even worse (.228) with RISP than Glaus (.231). An adequate year, but the value of his long-term contract still seems questionable.

Kelly Stinnett
.230 .299 .351, 3 HR, 15 RBI
.248 .317 .419, 6 HR, 12 RBI [59 games]

Stinnett came and went, then came back - and has now apparently gone again. A solid enough performance for a backup catcher, slightly above predictions across the board. Just a shame he was actually our BEST catcher from an offensive point of view.

Luis Terrero
.267 .319. 394, 4 HR, 25 RBI
.230 .313 .354, 4 HR, 20 RBI

Terrero's picture is in the dictionary next to "Unfulfilled Potential". All year, he interspersed brilliance with idiocy, though his most memorable moment won't be found in the stats for the year [I'm sure I need say no more!] It looks like his window of opportunity may have passed, unless something radical happens off-season to re-open an OF slot for him.

Chad Tracy
.297 .353 .424, 10 HR, 57 RBI
.308 .359 .553, 27 HR, 72 RBI

We expected good things from Tracy this year, but even so, it's fair to say he surpassed all hopes -  especially in the power department. His reluctance to take walks was no surprise, and kept his OBP down to near-predicted levels, but he outslugged expectations by almost 130 points. Typical: you wait years for an over-performing first-baseman, and two come along at once... :-)

All told, I'm fairly pleased with my predictive skills. In BA, the majority were within a dozen points of reality, and for OBP, 8/11 were +/- 15 points. Slugging proved my biggest weakness, with only three coming closer than 30 points of actual stats, and the same problem was found with home runs. Five players came within five of their expected RBI scores, but that's largely known to be heavily dependent on the players ahead of you. I'm already working on the 2006 predictions, so expect those in March.