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The 2008 CHONE hitter projections have arrived, which is pretty exciting news since this system is one of the best ones out there.

Let’s get right into it. Top five projected hitters by wOBA:

  1. Albert Pujols, .437
  2. Barry Bonds, .434
  3. Alex Rodriguez, .431
  4. David Ortiz, .431
  5. Miguel Cabrera, .420

How about some free agent projections:

  • Milton Bradley: .283/.375/.478
  • Kosuke Fukudome: .283/.373/.465
  • Torii Hunter: .282/.345/.491
  • Andruw Jones: .246/.339/.472
  • Mike Lowell: .283/.346/.455

Given the circumstances, I would say that’s a pretty optimistic projection for Bradley. I’m not sure what to make of Andruw. Is .246/.339/.472 bullish or bearish? I’m thinking he’ll beat that. His defensive skills have taken a hit (he’s not the greatest of all-time anymore), but he’s still pretty damn good. That tells me his athleticism is still there.

It might be time to be a little concerned if you’re a Mets fan. David Wright is projected to be David Wright (.317/.410/.544). But can this team really win if Jose Reyes (.293/.355/.438) and Lastings Milledge (.271/.352/.423) are essentially stuck in neutral? Second base is empty at the moment, and catcher may as well be. Moises Alou (.297/.362/.488) and Carlos Delgado (.262/.354/.479) project decently enough, but neither should really be counted on. As it stands now, this team is on thin ice, even before we start discussing its rotation.

Some other notes:

  • Conor Jackson is projected at a .370 wOBA, best on the D-Backs. What’s more surprising is that Carlos Quentin is next, at .358.
  • Not a lot of good news for the A’s. Nick Swisher’s is decent enough (.370), but there’s really nothing to be thrilled about.
  • There have been some rumblings that the Pirates want to trade Jason Bay. But they should probably be looking to deal Freddy Sanchez, who is projected at a mediocre .339 wOBA and doesn’t play a particularly good second base. Whereas Bay’s value is likely at a discount because of his poor 2007 season, Sanchez is likely at the peak of his, coming off his second straight All-Star season.
  • This site’s favorite player ever is projected to hit only .255/.338/.445. I feel very safe in betting the over on this one.
  • I’m also willing to bet the over on Wily Mo Pena, who is projected at .257/.323/.458. Manny Acta, if you’re reading this…
  • I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying the Giants will have the worst offense in the sport, with Randy Winn leading their wOBA projections at .343. At least they’ve finally started their youth movement.
  • Not including A-Rod, the top projected Yankee is… Jason Giambi, of course. And not by a little bit. Giambi’s .383 projected wOBA laps the field, 17 points ahead of Hideki Matsui.
  • Josh Hamilton is projected at .377. Not bad.
  • Best by age, 25 and under: Carlos Triunfel (18, .263), Fernando Martinez (19, .295), Justin Upton (20, .334), Jay Bruce (21, .327), Billy Butler (22, .351), Ryan Zimmerman (23, .361), Prince Fielder (24, .413), Miguel Cabrera (25, .420).

That’s it for now, though I’m sure I’ll be back when the pitching projections are out.

Feedback? Write a comment, or e-mail the author at mike(AT)squawkingbaseball.com

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