I'm going to take a break from my multi-part early season preview thing to see how well my predictions were for the 2009 season. Sure, it's easy to make BOLD predictions at the beginning of each season, you know, grandiose statements like "Vlad's gonna come back strong with a 40 HR, 130 RBI season and John Lackey is a lock for AL Cy Young - mark my words." Well, while I made neither of those statements, I did mark my words in a post in this very blog, and I'm ready to see how close or far off I was on my projections for Angels players stats for last season.
Let the hindsightedness commence!
Chone Figgins: PROJ: .290/.380/105 runs/55 SB --- ACTUAL: .298/.395/114/42
Not a bad start, huh? Figgy had an unbelievable year from an OBP standpoint and he outpaced my runs scored projection as the team ended up being a far better offensive club than I, or anyone else really, had anticipated. Those 17 CS of his really did in my stolen base guestimate. Figgy's still fast, but he has lost a step or two.
Howie Kendrick: PROJ: .310/10/55/85 runs/15 SB --- ACTUAL: .291/10/61/61/11
I was anticipating Howie hitting out of the 2-hole for most of the season, hence the lower RBI and higher runs projections. His mid-season struggles and subsequent demotion really hurt his AB totals, but he returned with a vengeance to really light it up in the second half of the season. I'm not so sure about all the "future batting champ" stuff, but I do expect a breakout season for Howie this year, health being the key factor.
Bobby Abreu: PROJ: .300/18/90/80 runs/20 SB --- ACTUAL: .293/15/103/96/30
A hell of a season from Bobby Boy. His stolen base total is remarkable, because he's really not all that fast anymore. Just goes to show you how much being a smart baserunner has to do with swiping bags. It ain't all speed. Yes, I'm looking at you, Erick Aybar. His RBI and runs totals were hepled by how productive the Angels offense was - and he was obviously a BIG part of that.
Vladimir Guerrero: PROJ: .315/28/110 --- ACTUAL: .295/15/50
Well, a big miss here. But in my defense, Vlad only mustered 383 AB's due to a multitude of leg and back problems. And he was the full-time DH! I guess a lot this projection was me wishing for a resurgence that just wasn't meant to be. It better not happen this season in Texas, dammit.
Torii Hunter: PROJ: .275/20/80 --- ACTUAL: .299/22/90
My numbers here look better than they actually were due to Torii getting injured and missing about a month's worth of AB's. And he was smoking the ball when he collided with a wall and got the bad end of it. Walls seldom lose. Had he stayed healthy, we're probably looking at 28-30 HR and 115 or so RBI, making my projections very very wrong.
Juan Rivera: PROJ: .285/22/65/475 AB --- ACTUAL: .287/25/88/529 AB
Not bad here except for the RBI totals. I thought he'd be hitting lower in the order and again, the Halos offense was a big surprise, production-wise.
Kendry Morales: PROJ: .280/13/60 --- ACTUAL: .306/34/108
Mike Napoli: PROJ: .250/25/55/350 AB --- ACTUAL: .272/20/56/382 AB
Nailed this one pretty good, minus a few HR. I really thought Naps' average was an abberation in '08 when he hit .273. Apparently not.
Erick Aybar: PROJ: .275/5/40/65 runs --- ACTUAL: .312/5/58/70
Not too shabby on this one either. Underestimated the average a bit, and yes, his RBI totals have much to do with the team's offense. I didn't project steals for him that time around, but I will for this upcoming season. He has to steal more bases.
So there it is. Pretty damn good effort on my part if I do say so myself. And I just did. Projections for this upcoming season will be made in a few weeks, or so. You can't wait (you can wait).