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Community Projections Revisited: Part I, Catchers + Infield

"Life is a hideous thing, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous. Science, already oppressive with its shocking revelations, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species -- if separate species we be -- for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world." -- HP Lovecraft

Do you think he was talking about our community projections? For I finally plucked up enough courage to crack open the predictions we made at the start of the year for individual performances, and gazed upon the unspeakable, nameless shambling horror that lay within. Lesser men and women have been turned into gibbering lunatics when faced with such, indescribability. But, we press on regardless, starting with the infield. The format will be to look at each player: I've given the average estimate, the low- and high-water marks for each and then, after the "-", what he actually produced. Gather round, my pretties, and let your Uncle Jim tell you a story...

Chris Snyder
BA: .252 (range: .240-.267) - .252
OBP: .335 (.322-.350) - .342
SLG: .387 (.375-.400) - .433
OPS: .722 (.707-.732) - .775
HR: 9 (7-12) - 13
RBI: 37 (30-49) - 47

Hey, look at that first figure. We nailed the batting average exactly. We should probably have stopped there and gone down the pub, judging by what I can see further down the page. We were also fairly close in OBP, only seven points out, but Snyder's power was significantly more than expected, as can be seen by the home-runs, which passed the most optimistic number. flyingdutchman was the closest to reality, predicting a .241 average with 12 homers and 49 RBI.

Miguel Montero
BA: .262 (range: .240-.275) - .224
OBP: .339 (.310-.365) - .297
SLG: .412 (.390-.430) - .397
OPS: .751 (.720-.768) - .694
HR: 10 (7-14) - 10
RBI: 43 (31-62) - 37

The general expectation was that Montero would likely be the starter by the end of the year, but it just didn't happen. He didn't start badly, hitting .243 in April, but had a dismal second-half, failing to reach the Uecker line. He did show decent power, with ten homers in 214 at-bats; we got the number of long-balls right, and missing the SLG% by only fifteen points. There has been some trade talk surrounding Montero, but as we control him for several more years, I can't see him going anywhere. Everyone went well over on the batting average, but shoewizard (.257, 9 HR, 38 RBI) embarrassed himself least, all told.

Conor Jackson
BA: .296 (range .285-.315) - .284
OBP: .378 (.375-.384) - .368
SLG: .460 (.445-.475) - .467
OPS: .838 (.820-.855) - .835
HR: 17 (12-20) - 15
RBI: 86 (75-90) - 60

All told, not too bad, except for RBI where we severely over-estimated his production, largely because he batted only .235 with runners in scoring position and was a paltry 5-for-38 with someone on third. Of course, we were probably also expecting a hundred or more plate-appearances than he actually got. Most of the other stats were pretty credible, and our over on OBP almost canceled out the under on SLG, to leave us just three points off the mark on OPS. stephen almost nailed the average, predicting .285, and though still high, also had the closest RBI guess, with 75.

Orlando Hudson
BA: .281 (range .275-.285) - .294
OBP: .344 (.330-.353) - .376
SLG: .434 (.422-.450) - .441
OPS: .778 (.752-.800) - .817
HR: 12 (10-14) - 10
RBI: 61 (58-70) - 63

There weren't many cases where someone exceeded our expectations almost across the board, but O-Dawg managed to increase his OPS again, though the homer total was down on expectations, in part as his season was curtailed by injury. His batting average has now increased four years in a row, and he also notched career highs in stolen-bases and walks. 2008 is his contract year, so we'll see what the produces. I'm claiming this one, as I was the highest and closest for BA and OBP, and got the number of homers spot-on.

Stephen Drew
BA: .290 (range .274-.298) - .238
OBP: .346 (.326-.360) - .313
SLG: .454 (.427-.475) - .370
OPS: .800 (.753-.822) - .683
HR: 15 (12-18) - 12
RBI: 64 (57-75) - 60

Yeh, we didn't quite see this coming, did we? 52 points off on batting average, and 117 over for OPS. I think we were all lured in by the shiny, pretty 2006 season posted by Drew, and so his struggles this year were a nasty shock. About the only plus-point is that his total is now 11 stolen-bases without being caught. That's the most in a career by any major-leaguer with a perfect record, since they started tracking caught thieves in 1951. Er, is it painfully obvious I'm trying not to discuss our actual predictions here? shoewizard was the most pessimistic, and thus nearest the unpleasant reality, but even his OPS was off by seventy points. Ben and stephen got the RBI right, and DiamondbacksWIn nailed the HR total.

Chad Tracy
BA: .287 (range .269-.295) - .264
OBP: .361 (.348-.372) - .346
SLG: .488 (.478-.500) - .454
OPS: .848 (.826-.870) - .800
HR: 24 (18-27) - 7
RBI: 91 (85-95) - 35

Obviously, the untimely end to Tracy's season, after only 76 games, derailed some of the predictions here. But this was an underwhelming season in every aspect, and one suspects his injury was taking its toll significantly. before he went on the DL. My hope that his knee problems would "be a thing of the past" proved entirely wishful thinking, and he continues to struggle for health, as recently as Thanksgiving. No-one was even close on HR and RBI, naturally, but AZSeaFan's line of .269/.348/.478 was the best guess, and credibly close to the shortened figures Chad delivered. We are again left hoping for better things next season - probably in a more muted fashion after this disappointment.