At the beginning of the season, I wrote three articles about the Giants new
players. At the end of each article, I included some predictions as to how
they would do in the 2003 season. Now, with two months left in the major
league season, I feel it is a good time to grade myself.
Predictions must be graded in more than one way, especially if they are
being analyzed before the season is complete. The most important factor is
how close they are to the player’s current numbers, but there is also the
factor of how possible it is that they could climb or fall to the predicted
stats by the season’s end.
With this in mind, it is now time for me to begin looking at my
expectations. For Ray Durham, I wrote: “I predict Durham will hit .292, have
an .OBP of .380, and steal 35 bases. He will score 126 runs because he is
batting ahead of Barry Bonds.”
Sadly, Durham has not quite reached my expectations so far. According to
ESPN’s projections, by the end of the season, he will have stolen 10 bases
and scored merely 71 runs. His batting average is .281, not that far off
from .292, and his OBP is .367. There are several reasons for his stats.
First, he had been injured for a couple of weeks in May. Looking at how
often he played in his previous seasons, I expected him to have another full
season. But no matter how you look at it, I was off. While my batting
average and on-base percentage numbers were pretty close, I was way off in
terms of runs and stolen bases. It is impossible for him to catch up to what
I originally expected of him at this point.
Jose Cruz Jr.
For Jose Cruz. Jr. I stated: “I predict him to hit .275 with 25 HR, 90 RBI,
30 SB, 80 walks, and only 100 strikeouts. “
With Cruz, I was somewhat off, but not nearly as badly as Durham. While his
batting average is .249, 28 points off my projected .275, he is projected to
hit 23 home runs this season, only two off from my total. I actually
under-estimated his total walks. He is on track to walk an impressive 102
times. However, my predict of 80 walks was still impressive, since I did
correctly predict a sharp increase in his total. However, he is on track to
strike out more than 123times, and I said he would strike out only 100
times. My RBI totals appear to be a little high, since he is currently being
projected to drive in a total of 73 runs. Again, like with Durham, I was
expecting to steal bases much more often and much more successfully than he
has. But my expectations are not completely off in this case. He could
easily match or exceed a total of 25 home runs. He could, with another good
month or two, get rather close to the projection of 90 RBI, but for him to
meet that expectation would be highly unlikely. His chances of reaching a
.275 batting average are pretty slim. Overall, I would say this is my best
projection, since I was able to successfully predict his improved patience
at the plate.
“All in all, I expect him to hit .315 with 20 home runs, 100 RBIs, and 100
walks. He will be a solid 5th place hitter, less powerful yet more patient
Jeff Kent.” Guess who this was about?
That’s right… Edgardo Alfonzo. What the hell was I thinking? There is no way
he will get close to any of my hopes or dreams. His line looks like it will
end up being .252-10-67 instead of .315-20-100. I was way off target with
everything here. There is no salvaging point, no bright spot. He had an
off-year, while I was expecting a career year.
Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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