A Look Ahead….Predicting the Offense for 2008

This is the first of at least three predictions contests for the upcoming season here at the CCO. As the countdown to Opening Day has begun the big question is….how will the Cubs’ offense perform once the games count? Rumors still suggest the Cubs could end up with a new leadoff hitter before long but in the meantime Lou Piniella will continue to tinker with his lineup. Last season the Cubs offense struggled at times, especially in the power department, will Lou Piniella’s crew be able to improve on last season’s offensive output?

Baseball Prospectus is one of the most respected baseball sites on the Internet. For those of you that do not subscribe, consider yourself a stathead and have the means….the CCO highly recommends this site as a part of your daily baseball reading. PECOTA is an acronym for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm. Nate Silver invented this sabermetric system for predicting player performance.

The Bill James Handbook is described as “the best and most complete annual baseball reference guide available today.” Bill James termed the study of statistical data as sabermetrics.

Here is a brief look at how those two publications predict the Cubs offense will perform in the upcoming season.

BJHBill James Handbook
BPBaseball Prospectus

Their predictions are broken out as follows:

BJH – Avg/OBP/Slg/OPS – projected games played – doubles/triples/HR’s/RBI’s – walks/strikeouts

BP – Avg/OBP/Slg – plate appearances – HR’s/RBI’s

Catchers

Henry Blanco

  • BJH – n/a
  • BP – .224/.267/.350 – 165 – 3/17

Geovany Soto

  • BJH – .291/.362/.487/.849 – 110 games – 30/1/17/71 – 47/103
  • BP - .273/.352/.470 – 496 – 18/69

Infielders

Ronny Cedeno

  • BJH – n/a
  • BP – .278/.326/.422 – 369 – 8/41

Mark DeRosa

  • BJH - .279/.348/.405/.753 – 143 games – 29/1/11/64 – 49/97
  • BP – .286/.360/.439 – 481 – 11/57

Mike Fontenot

  • BJH – .279/.345/.416/.761 – 90 games – 20/3/5/32 – 30/51
  • BP – .282/.357/.431 – 300 – 5/31

Derrek Lee

  • BJH – .297/.386/.515/.901 – 136 games – 35/1/25/80 – 69/111
  • BP – .303/.387/.527 – 625 – 26/96

Aramis Ramirez

  • BJH - .296/.355/.532/.887 – 148 games – 37/2/31/108 – 46/74
  • BP – .301/.363/.536 – 609 – 28/104

Ryan Theriot

  • BJH - .283/.348/.371/.719 – 140 games – 30/3/3/47 – 50/47
  • BP – .270/.330/.347 – 452 – 1/32

Daryle Ward

  • BJH – .264/.338/.424/.762 – 80 games – 8/0/4/20 – 13/24
  • BP – .277/.358/.459 – 172 – 5/24

Outfielders

Kosuke Fukudome

Sam Fuld

  • BJH – n/a
  • BP – .265/.334/.369 – 128 – 0/9

Matt Murton

  • BJH – .305/.373/.468/.841 – 90 games – 13/1/7/28 – 23/30
  • BP – .295/.359/.462 – 376 – 10/47

Eric Patterson

  • BJH – n/a
  • BP – .268/.337/.429 – 66 – 1/6

Felix Pie

  • BJH – .283/.333/.456/.789 – 147 games – 30/7/16/62 – 40/111
  • BP – .291/.344/.479 – 418 – 13/51

Alfonso Soriano

  • BJH – .278/.328/.517/.845 – 153 games – 40/2/35/86 – 39/142
  • BP – .278/.336/.544 – 694 – 39/118

So what are your thoughts?

CCO Predictions Contest

The winner, or winners, will be decided upon percentage of players correctly predicted. You do not have to make a prediction on all of the players above, but must pick at least five.

Position Players – Average, OBP, Home Runs and RBI’s

Your prediction must meet the following criteria:

Within (plus/minus) .10 on average and OBP and within (plus/minus) 5 on home runs and RBI’s

Winners will be announced at the end of the regular season and there will be prizes awarded, probably some CCO swag or something else we deem cool that comes our way during the year.

But most importantly, remember to have fun….there are no right or wrong answers to these predictions.

The CCO’s predictions contest for the pitchers will take place closer to the start of the regular season once the rotation is set and the competition in the bullpen has sorted itself out. And there will also be a predictions contest for each division in both leagues….hat tip to Jim Kneisley for the idea.

Quote of the Day

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." - Charles Dickens
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