My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

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    My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    My guess is our positional player roster is just about set, so I will begin my annual Sox positional projections at this time. I may adjust my projections after ST.

    Preliminary Notes: It is interesting to see that the MLB third base position has fallen so low offensively. It has declined to the point where the MLB catcher position is about even with 3B. SSs & 2Bmen have equal or higher BA and OBP with 3Bmen. LF has also decline to a point where they are outslugged by CF'ers (maybe thanks in large part to Jacoby). Also, RF almost outslugged 1Bmen in 2011.

    Stat Notes: I got my stats from fangraphs and baseball reference. Although I weigh OPS as the most important stat, I recognize that OBP is more important to generating runs than Slg%. My numbers are based on no injuries and no call-ups. I am assuming Iggy and Lava are in AAA. I know they will probably get some PAs in MLB this year, but I am keeping it simple here.

    Catcher: 
    MLB '11: .245/.314/.390/.704
    Sox '11: .229/.291/.446/.737

    Salty (384) .236  16  56  (.289/.452/.741)
    VTek (250)  .221  11  36 (.300/.423/.723)

    Although the Sox placed 10th in catcher OPS, we were 24th in OBP (5th in Slg%). Our catchers hit 29 HRs (1 away from 2nd place) and had 100 RBIs (2nd in MLB). A pretty productive season overall, even though there was a sharp dip in September.
    With the departure of VTek (who actually had a higher OBP than Salty), one might expect a decline in overall offense from the catcher position this year.  However, Tito never used a L-R catcher platoon last year, but instead used the personal caddy method. I expect that Bobby V will give Salty the chance to catch everyone and stick more to the L-R methodology. If he does this, we will see better numbers from Salty, since he hits RHPs much better (2011: .247/.304/.481/.786), and better numbers vs LHPs, since Shoppach hits LHPs very well: 
    (Career: .274/.373/.536/.909).

    2012 Projections:
    Salty (450) .250  20  75  (.310/.490/.800)
    Shop (200) .250  10  25  (.350/.450/.800)
    Sox:  (650) .250  30  100 (.325/.475/.800)  +.094

    First Base:
    MLB '11: .263/.338/.439/.778
    Sox '11: .329/.402/.541/.944

    AGon (715) .338  27  117 (.410/.548/.957)

    AGon had a great season, but I expect this year to be even better. We placed 4th in 1B OPS last season. I expect less BA, but more power at 1B this year. I know AGon will not get all the PAs at 1B, but for easier calculations, I will set it up this way. Here' my 2012 projection:

    AGon/Sox: (720) .300  45  140  (.410/.590/1.000) +.056

    Second base:
    MLB '11: .255/.316/.378/.694
    Sox '11: .308/.388/.474/.862

    Pedroia (731) .307  21  91 (.387/.474/.861)

    We had the best OPS in MLB at 2B last year. I expect the same in 2012. Go Pedey, Go!

    Pedey/Sox: (740) .300  20  100  (.395/.475/.870) +.008

    Third Base:
    MLB '11: .254/.314/.391/.705
    Sox '11: .270/.362/.449/.812

    Youk (517) .258/.373/.459/.833
    Lowrie (133 @ 3B) .275/.326/.433/.759

    This is a tough position to call this year. Since I am assuming 100% health, I am going to project a big improvemnet here, but I will not give Youk all the PAs. Youk had seen his OPS improve every season of his career until last year's steep decling. I will put him closer to his 2010 numbers than 2011's:

    Youk:   (600) .300  20  100  (.400/.540/.940)
    Punto: (100) .250     0    15  (.325/.325/.650)
    Sox:     (700) .290  20  115  (.390/.510/.900) +.088

    Short Stop:
    MLB '11: .258/.314/.370/.684
    Sox '11: .279/.330/.401/.730

    Scutaro: (445) .299  7  54  (.358/.423/.781)
    Lowrie (@SS): (187) .238/.278/.360/.639

    With the departure of Scooty, this is a tough call. Personally, I'd like to see Iggy as the FT SS, and we'd see a huge drop in SS OPs if we did, but I am going to give Aviles the nod at SS this year with help from Punto (I won't count Iggy). Here are my 2012 SS projections:

    Aviles: (550) .290  10  60 (.325/.415/.740)
    Punto: (100)  .250  0  15 (.325/.325/.650)  
    Sox: (650) .290  10  75  (.330/.400/.710) -.020

    Left Field:
    MLB '11: .256/.320/.409/.729
    Sox '11: .258/.304/.419/.723

    Crawford: (538) .255  11  56  (.289/.405/.694)
    Reddick (63) & DMac (50): .260  4  13  (.330/.490/.820)

    I'm expecting CC to return to about somewhere between his career norm and his most recent years in TB. My hope is that Bobby V sits CC vs tough lefties, but I doubt that happens. CC should get his normal rest vs lefties and will miss a few games at the start of the season. It's another tough call, but here it is (I am assuming almost all of DMac's PAs are vs LHPs):

    Crawford: (600) .290  12  85  (.350/.460/.810)
    Dar. Mac: (100) .275     6  15  (.340/.470/.810)
    Sox LF Total:     .285  18  100  (.345/.465/.800) +.077

    Center Field:
    MLB '11: .261/.325/.406/.731
    Sox '11: .316/.371/.548/.918

    Ellsbury: (729) .321  32  105  (.376/.552/.928)

    I am projecting that Jacoby will come close to his 2011 numbers.

    Sox: (770)  .320  30  100  (.380/.530/.910)  -.008

    Right Field:
    MLB '11: .263/.335/.429/.765
    Sox '11: .233/.299/.353/.652

    Drew (270)  .231  4  22 (.322/.316/.638)
    Redd (192) .257  3  13  (.302/.374/.676)
    DMac (86)  .256  4  14  (.314/.487/.801)
    Cam  (84)  .171   3    8  (.226/.316/.542)
     
    2011 saw a big mix of players in RF. The .652 OPS in RF was 113 points below the league average. Since RF has become one of the best hitting positions in MLb of late, this is totally unacceptable. Many will disagree with Ben on not assigning a top priority status to getting a RH'd slugger RF'er, but I think those posters will be surprised by the steep improvement in our RF production this year. Cody Ross has incredible numbers vs LHPs and not bad numbers vs RHPs as well, and Sweeney does very well vs righties. My guess is that Bobby V will play Ross vs all lefties and about half the RHPs that Ross has a good history against. I know many here do not like or are not familar with successful platoons, but I see this working out nicely for the Sox. Here are some telling numbers:
    Career:
    Ross (per 630 PA): .265  23  88  (.323/.456/.779)
    vs LHP:  .282  38  120  (.349/.563/.912)
    vs RHP:  .253  18    75  (.313/.414/.727)
    Sweeney (per 630 PAs)
    vs RHPs: .296  6  70  (.352/.402/.754) 
     
    If we can give Ross 220 PAs vs LHPs and 200 vs RHPs, and give Sweeney 220 vs RHPs and 30 vs LHPs, their overall numbers might look like this:
    C Ross (420) .270  25  90  (.335/.490/.825)
    Sween (250) .290    2  35  (.340/.390/.730)
    Total Sox: (670) .280  27  125  (.335/.440/.775) +.123

    Designated Hitter:
    MLB '11: .268/.342/.431/.773
    Sox '11: .308/.394/.531/.925

    D Ortiz: (605) .309  29  96  (.398/.554/.953)

    Papi turns 37 in November. He put up some nice numbers in 2011, although his RBI total was a bit low for a line-up like the Sox had last year. I'm going to project a drop off in 2012:

    Sox: (680)  .275  25  120  (.375/.525/.900) -.025

    Overall, it looks like we will see some big gains at some slots, and just a few positions where we stay about even of lose ground:
    RF: +.123
    C:   +.094  
    3B: +.088
    LF: +.077
    1B: +.056
    2B: +.008
    CF: -.008
    SS: -.020
    DH: -.025

    Overall: ~ + .035 in OPS

    I realize my numbers are based on some shaky ground, such as no injuries and projected platoon L-R splits, but I do feel like our offense has a strong potential to improve over 2011. RF should easily improve, while guessing that Youk and CC's improvements are a bit more speculative. Losses at SS, DH and CF might be much larger that I showed, but I find it hard to believe our overall OPS will be lower this year than 2011.

     
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  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from WilcyMoore. Show WilcyMoore's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    Think your projections are generally quite reasonable and realistic with the exception of catcher, shortstop and right field which are obviously the three major question marks heading into the season.  Your objective projections with the assumptions cited may be overly optimistic, but there's nothing wrong with that.  Baseball is the most unpredictable pro sport, but it's a fun excercise to try to come up with a profile based on past performance. 

    You did not project the pitching staff which is really more difficult than it is for position players, but if you looked at statistical patterns and trends, you would have to come to the conclusion that Lester will have another solid year comparable to his recent seasons, but that Beckett will not based on "never" putting together strong back to back seasons since he came up to the big leagues.  Good year/bad year has been his pattern for whatever reason.     
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    In Response to Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections:
    Think your projections are generally quite reasonable and realistic with the exception of catcher, shortstop and right field which are obviously the three major question marks heading into the season.  Your objective projections with the assumptions cited may be overly optimistic, but there's nothing wrong with that.  Baseball is the most unpredictable pro sport, but it's a fun excercise to try to come up with a profile based on past performance.  

    I do think Bobby V will use the L/R platoon more that Tito, and I realize that the SS position may take a big dip if Iggy plays or if Aviles does not rise to the occaison.  Salty and Shopp are hard to call, but I have confidence in my RF projection even though Ross has declined in recent years, he is moving from big parks to Fenway.

    You did not project the pitching staff which is really more difficult than it is for position players, but if you looked at statistical patterns and trends, you would have to come to the conclusion that Lester will have another solid year comparable to his recent seasons, but that Beckett will not based on "never" putting together strong back to back seasons since he came up to the big leagues.  Good year/bad year has been his pattern for whatever reason.     

    I will do a pitching projection later. I think Ben is not done building the staff.
    Posted by WilcyMoore


     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from georom4. Show georom4's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    Clay might be the key to it all....
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    In Response to Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections:
    Clay might be the key to it all....
    Posted by georom4

    Yes, and maybe how the Bard/Aceves as starter experiment works is a close second.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from hankwilliamsjr. Show hankwilliamsjr's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    I stopped reading after your 2011 projections for David Ortiz, v LP.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    m
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Thesemenarecowards. Show Thesemenarecowards's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    Definitely a lot of info....

    A couple area's where I think you may be a bit optimistic 1. 30 HR out of Salty and Shoppach.  2.  Ellsbury matching his 2011.  I'd probably knock the average down closer to .300, with 20ish HR and a 370 OBP, still a very solid year.  3.  Agone is going to hit 45.... I hope so.  4.  Cody Ross is going to hit 25 HR?  If that is the case I'll be reminding everyone all year long that I was on him in November!!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from slomag. Show slomag's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    Nice thread Moon!  Everything you say sounds reasonable, but I don't think it will all come together for us - if Crawford bounces back, somebody else will have a disappointing season or an injury.  Most likely areas to drop off are SS (if we emphasize defense) CF (If Ellsbury looks more like pre-2011) and DH (if Ortiz shows his age or last year's success against lefties proves a fluke).

     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    m
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    In Response to Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections:
    Nice thread Moon!  Everything you say sounds reasonable, but I don't think it will all come together for us - if Crawford bounces back, somebody else will have a disappointing season or an injury.  Most likely areas to drop off are SS (if we emphasize defense) CF (If Ellsbury looks more like pre-2011) and DH (if Ortiz shows his age or last year's success against lefties proves a fluke).
    Posted by slomag

    I agree someone will drop off, but it is hard to project it. I am assuming 100% health and a RF and catcher L-R Platoon. I know this may not happen, but it's hard to project a specific injury.

    I agree I may have overstated Jacoby's 2012, and Papi could decline sharply as well. Youk's injury is a key. Ross is hard to call, but I think Fenway will help, and he will be starting vs every LHPs we face.

     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    I think we're going to see a drop from Ellsbury - he'll still be very good, but we'll regret not trading him this winter.  I'd say he's about 60 OPS points lower in 2012.  
    I predict Ross will get off to a hot start, getting more playing time while Crawford is out.  Crawford, having missed all of Spring Training and jumping right into the uncomfortable hot-bed from last year, will struggle again to start the year.  As a result, Ross will see more playing time early in the year, and will become a fan favorite, but the result will be that Sweeney is never really given a fair shot, and Ross cools off because he is facing more RHs than he should.

    Kalish (when he returns to full health) and Lavarnway will destroy AAA pitching, and will slide into the Sweeney and Shoppach roles by July.  Iglesias will improve, but not to the point where he can replace Aviles / Punto in the stretch run.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    Sweeney should end up playing vs almost all RHPs, and will play vs both until CC returns. We should know more about him and Ross by that time.  I have high hopes for Ross, but admit, he could stumble. His recent decline may not just be park-related.

    Your thought on trading Jacoby while his stock was high could be true, and I feel the same about trading Salty too. I like Lava better anyway, and there are many teams looking for a hitting catcher.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from slomag. Show slomag's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    In Response to Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections:
    Sweeney should end up playing vs almost all RHPs, and will play vs both until CC returns. We should know more about him and Ross by that time.  I have high hopes for Ross, but admit, he could stumble. His recent decline may not just be park-related. Your thought on trading Jacoby while his stock was high could be true, and I feel the same about trading Salty too. I like Lava better anyway, and there are many teams looking for a hitting catcher.
    Posted by moonslav59


    I see Salty as more likely to improve in 2012 - you take away the first 6 weeks of the season (when he was forced into a pressure-cooker, was told he couldn't hack it a week into the season, and had just become a new father) and he has an 800 OPS.  I don't see any reason he can't improve on that coming into his prime years.  

    I like Lava better too, but his bat is so promising, I almost don't want to see him at full-time catcher.  If this is Ortiz's last season, a Lavarnway / Salty combination could work on many levels for years to come.


     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    In Response to Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections:
    In Response to Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections : I see Salty as more likely to improve in 2012 - you take away the first 6 weeks of the season (when he was forced into a pressure-cooker, was told he couldn't hack it a week into the season, and had just become a new father) and he has an 800 OPS.  I don't see any reason he can't improve on that coming into his prime years.   I like Lava better too, but his bat is so promising, I almost don't want to see him at full-time catcher.  If this is Ortiz's last season, a Lavarnway / Salty combination could work on many levels for years to come.
    Posted by slomag

    Salty's season was a perfect bell shape. He peaked in June and ended like he started:

                       .945
              .756         .893
     .547                          .749
                                               .542

    April/May OPS: ~.656
    June/July OPS: ~.915
    Aug/Sept OPS: ~.646

    I'm not writing Salty off. Like I said, he's the same age now, that VTek was when he became the FT catcher. I am just high on Lava, and i think trading Salty at his high point makes sense.
     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    m
     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    m
     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    In Response to My 2012 Positional Sox Projections:
    2012 Projections:
    Salty (450) .250  20  75
    AGon: (720) .300  45  140
    Crawford: (600) .290  12  85
    C Ross (420) .270  25  90
    Posted by moonslav59


    Looking at the above predictions, can I have some of what you're smoking?
     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    m
     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    Looking at the above predictions, can I have some of what you're smoking?

    He is smoking Wakefield's new forced retirement.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    In Response to My 2012 Positional Sox Projections:
    2012 Projections: 
    Salty (450) .250  20  75 
    AGon: (720) .300  45  140
    Crawford: (600) .290  12  85
    C Ross (420) .270  25  90
    Posted by moonslav59


    Looking at the above predictions, can I have some of what you're smoking?

    I am sure one or more of these 4 listed players will not meet my projections, but I feel they are totally realistic within the context given.

    Salty was not platooned L-R last year. Instead, Tito used the personal caddy method. I am guessing Bobby V will know better. If you look at Salty's numbers vs RHPs last year (.247  11  39 in 263 PAs). and you give him about 150 more PAs vs just righties while taking away 75 PAs vs lefties (.209  5  17 in 123 PAs), you'll see my projection is not extreme. I could go with .245  20  75 as reasonable as well.

    AGon should show more power this year, so I prject less BA and more HRs and 2Bs. I know the RBI total looks high, but with Pedey and Jacoby on base...

    CC's numbers are actually less than his last 2 seasons in TB, so I do not think they are outlandish.

    Ross' numbers were based on career stats, not recent ones. I realize I went out on a limb here, but I think he will be greatly helped by Fenway and having good hitters around him.

    No wacky weed here.
     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    m
     
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    Re: My 2012 Positional Sox Projections

    In Response to My 2012 Positional Sox Projections:
    .
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE

    Injuries and pitching will more than likely be the real keys again moon but I agree on most predictions. 
     
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