FanPost

The Projected Royals According to Bill James

The Super Bowl has ended. Whenever this occurs, it makes me feel like the baseball season is officially under way. I don't get into college basketball, so the two weeks between Super Bowl Sunday and the start of Spring Training are the euphemistic doldrums of the sports calendar for me.

Right around this time I like to take a look at what some of the projection systems are saying about how the Royals hitters will fair this upcoming season. I try to peruse around, but some of the most easily accessible ones to find are the ones listed on the FanGraphs player pages. ZiPS isn't up yet, but RotoChamp and Bill James both have their projections for the Royals. For this exercise, I went through and pulled all of the Bill James projections for the Royals presumed starters for the 2012 season.

Starting LineupGPAHRRRBISBAVGOBPSLGwOBA
Alex Gordon 156 677 22 96 81 14 .276 .361 .467 .359
Johnny Giavotella 147 551 7 65 60 12 .295 .342 .419 .334
Eric Hosmer 153 653 23 86 92 14 .311 .362 .494 .369
William "Billy Butts" Butler 160 679 20 81 96 1 .301 .372 .477 .363
Jeff Francoeur 152 627 18 73 87 14 .269 .317 .432 .321
Mike Moustakas 149 593 18 68 84 3 .278 .323 .447 .336
Savior Perez 119 396 8 42 51 0 .287 .317 .413 .319
Lawrence Cain 146 573 10 73 58 22 .284 .337 .416 .334
Hercules Escobar 158 598 4 69 46 26 .267 .309 .360 .297

Some observations:

  1. Bill James likes Johnny Giavotella a lot more than anyone else. RotoChamp has him for .287/.315/.419, which would still seem a tad optimistic to most of us. For what it is worth, the Fans projection has him at .272/.319/.387. I'm not sure that even the skewed perspective of fan voting is not a little generous.
  2. BJ's regression on Francoeur is in line with just about everyone everywhere except for the Facebook cognoscenti.
  3. I don't know what to take away from how they view Lorenzo Cain. I don't necessarily disagree with his projection, but assuming he saves 5.0 runs or so on defense that would make him about a 3.5 fWAR player, which seems a bit high. I do hope he performs well, though. I am pulling for him.
  4. Perez's projection would appear to be heavily influenced by last year's 158 PAs. I want to believe he can hit for that high an average. I think he can, eventually. I don't know if this season is it, though.
  5. .311/.362/.494 from Hosmer seems like a stretch for 2012. All of those numbers seem to be elevated to me.
  6. If Gordon's AVG drops by twenty-seven points, I don't think his OBP will dip by only fifteen. With as much as he strikes out, his average and on-base are linked more than some other players.
  7. The next year and a half for Butler is huge. If he sees a spike in his homeruns to start this season he becomes very tradeable by July. If he spikes in the second half, he becomes very tradeable in the off-season. Same thing goes for the first four months of next year.
  8. I agree with a good deal of these projections, but probably none more so than Escobar's and Moustakas'. Both seem to be right in line with how I would expect them to perform this season.

I feel like the overall numbers fit more in line with a reasonable expectation for the starters. I may have a quibble here and there, but taken as a team projection I think it fits better. Or is easier to swallow. Your choice.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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