Since spring training has finally started to roll along, I figured it would be an appropriate time to show my projections for the players. I'd also like to take the time to welcome the newest member of the EntreprenOriole, Rick Bass (Follow him on twitter @odetorick ). He will be posting his projections along with mine, and will also be contributing to the blog in the future.
These projections are for position players who figure to get substantial playing time.
Notable exceptions: Brian Roberts, Matt Antonelli.
I figured that Roberts is essentially done, and Antonelli is a wild-card right now.
Below are the projections and our reasoning for each one:
Rick: Wieters will get better every season offensively. His power numbers will go up, his strikeouts will decrease, and his OBP will progressively increase. Look for a monster year from him.
Tucker: I agree. Wieters is on his way to becoming a star catcher, and is only going to improve offensively this season. With a slight improvement offensively, he will only add to his solid resume which already has him as one of the best defensive catchers in the game.
Rick: Davis should be the favorite to start at 1B, hence 500+ PA. He will be just like he was in Texas, low AVG, low OBP, high SLG.
Tucker: He is certainly the favorite, but I think the Orioles will grow tired of his obsolete on-base skills. Unless he can hit for extreme power, I doubt he gets those 500 PA. Our numbers are very similar though besides the PA.
Rick: Andino will probably be the lead-off hitter without Roberts in the lineup, but look for him to get less at-bats with the chance he becomes a super-utility type in the end of the year.
Tucker: He could very well lead-off. I would actually like a Reimold/Andino platoon at the top (Reimold vs Righties and Andino vs Lefties). I think that would work very well. Antonelli could take PA away from Andino, so I agree with your comments. we both kept him under 500 PA as well.
Rick: If Hardy wasn't injured for a month, he could have nearly had 40hr/100rbi. I see a repeat of his 2011 season, but without injury. Hence, the 37hr projection.
Tucker: I took the exact opposite approach. I think the Orioles were lucky he didn't miss more games last season. This is why I think he has a drop in power numbers, simply from losing PA due to being injured. Besides the obvious HR difference in our projections, we were fairly close.
Rick: Reynolds proved his power last year with 37 home runs. Now that he has seen AL pitching, I see him getting off to a fast start and blasting more home runs in Camden Yards.
Tucker: I agree on the HR and power aspect. I see him only getting better in the AL East. I even went as far as saying he has a much better year defensively, hence the higher fWAR. I am probably a little higher on Reynolds than others.
Rick: Reimold will finally get more than 500 PA and will be an offensive force in the lineup. His plate patience will cause more walks and XBH, thus a high OBP and wOBA.
Tucker: I think Reimold does NOT get 500. I wish he would, but I envision a scenario where Endy Chavez steals playing time due to being donned the "lead-off man". I still think Reimold proves that he can be a productive major-leaguer.
Rick: Jones will keep growing his offensive numbers, but his OBP will be relatively stagnant.
Tucker: I am more pessimistic on Jones. I think he stays about the same as last year in pretty much every aspect. There will be some marginal improvement due to maturity, but not enough to move him to the next level.
Rick: Markakis will go back to his 2008 form, now that there is power protection in the lineup.
Tucker:I am probably more pessimistic than most when it comes to Markakis. I think he has grown into an average RF, and I need to see a strong swing in improvement before I change my opinion. It's tough writing that because there was a time when I thought he could be a 25HR .820+ OPS guy.
Rick: Since Betemit will focus mainly on hitting, and not fielding, he will bolster his stats with pretty above-average numbers in the XBH category in a smaller ballpark.
Tucker: I think he will be a nice addition to the club under his cheap contract. I don't have him hitting nearly as many HR, but understand the reasoning. He certainly helps with depth. I question whether he should be getting more than 400 PA though.
Rick: I really don't think Chavez will get to 200 at-bats this season, because I have projected the outfield (Jones/Markakis/Reimold) playing a majority of the games. He will be in for defensive purposes in the late innings and play day game – after – night games.
Tucker: As I said before, I think he gets 300 PA due to leading off occasionally and filling in for injuries.I could see Markakis taking it slow the first month due to the surgery he got. It's probably not a good thing for Chavez to get 300PA, but it might happen. Chavez will be a solid 4th OF though.
As you can see, we both have varying opinions. I am a little pessimistic compared to Rick, who is optimistic in certain aspects. Later this week we will make our pitching projections.