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Bill James 2010 Projections - Part One: Hitters

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It's always tricky to forecast hitting performances. Well, usually. Luckily for us, we follow the Giants. Take the league average hitter, decrease the rate stats by about 10%, lop off a bunch of extra base hits, and poof! Now you have Giants projections that work for almost every non-panda on the roster. Magic!

If you want science instead of magic, you can take a gander at the Bill James 2010 projections. Last year, these hitter projections were really, really optimistic. Either they've fixed that this year, or the Giants are even worse than we imagine. It's probably the latter, but I'm choosing to believe the former. After the jump, I have all of the 2010 hitter projections for the Giants. They aren't for children or people with heart conditions.

Note that these all come from this book, which you can also order directly from the publisher. The FEC or FDA or some crap is requiring that bloggers disclose any freebies they get for putting up post. So I'd like to disclose that I got a free book for putting up a post that I would have put up without a free book. I also got Bill James to appear at my daughter's first birthday party, but that was because I also paid him a nominal fee. Sure, laugh about it now, but you won't be laughing once I can rank a bunch of babies by "Slobber Created/24".

Going alphabetically, obviously. Burriss couldn't really hit last year, but that's okay because everyone expected that. Everyone. Me, you, my cats, Burriss's family members. Everyone except Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy, who were just tickled by Burriss's spring stats. I'm sure they have big plans for him this year, too.

Here he is: the second-best hitter on the 2010 Giants. But I'm sure that Mr. James didn't know that Garko struggled in his first 80 at-bats as a Giant. Maybe I should e-mail him. The revised prediction would be something like .250/.300/.300, I'm sure. Nothing is a better predictor of future success than a random sampling of 80 at-bats.

The book makes it clear that they err on the side of more playing time rather than less playing time, so on a team with miserable first base production, they're gambling that Guzman gets a shot. I'd rather have Guzman and Scott Barnes, but you knew that.

As a lefty option off the bench and a late-inning replacement for Garko, he has his place on the team. He shouldn't be a factor, though, if the Giants want to upgrade.

Maybe the dream really is over, though it should be noted that most of the Lewis love 'n' optimism on this site comes in the comments section. I've never really been a believer. As a fourth outfielder, he's pretty danged nice to have. Of course, on a team planning to start Eugenio Velez, he should probably start, but you knew that.

I'm not sure what's more depressing, the idea that Posey might not be a top-o'-the-order force right away, or the idea that he'd still be a clear offensive upgrade from the last guy, who also happened to be the cleanup hitter.

Hmm. Maybe James didn't know that Renteria was injured for most of the year. And these projections certainly don't include any Magic Mentor Points, a category in which Renteria led the league. So this projection is obviously junk science.

I can't believe this contract isn't going to work out. It just seemed so logical at the time. Everyone here was just crazy about the deal.

What's important is that all of those hits will be acquired professionally. I still want Sanchez back for his combination of defense and positional average offense, not to mention that he wouldn't cost a draft pick, but I'm terrified that he's going to get a three-year deal.

The ladies' man in the chess club. We don't know how you got here, but maybe there's something you can teach everyone around you.

Another year, another quasi-optimistic prediction for Nate. He's a heckuva fourth outfielder on a good team.

That's a pretty nice center fielder, once defense is taken into account. I mean, just because guys like this are floating around in the minors doesn't mean that it's a bad thing that Rowand is still due $36M. He ran into a wall, people.

And this is just the beginning. Usually phenoms have a little bit of an adjustment period. I mean, Willie Mays only hit .274/.356/.472 in his first full season. Mickey Mantle only hit .267/.349/.443. And those guys weren't fast like Velez. Well, maybe they were, and maybe they combined their speed with an advanced sense of how to run the bases, but VRRRRROOOOOM!, Velez will take the eyebrows right off your face! And he's totally a good hitter now.

Pending free agents:

Whoops. How did Eliezer sneak in there? What a strange mistake. No matter. We all know that the offense will sputter without key cog Bengie Molina.

Maybe he isn't an obvious upgrade over Renteria. I'd still take the chance that he is, though.

Gee, with a power surge like that, maybe he should move from the third spot in the lineup to cleanup hitter. Get it done, Boch.

Not in the team picture: Kevin Frandsen and John Bowker. I'm not sure why, but I'll just guess that Bowker's projection is something like .350/.450/.650.