Remember the Matt Cain projection for 2010? That was awesome.
Okay, fine. So, that was the only above-average projection I had last year. But being wrong is just an opportunity to learn from your mistakes or some crap. Here are some of the biggest misses from last year’s McCovey Chronicles Community Projections (MacChroCommPros):
What I predicted: A typical Aaron Rowand season.
What he was: with a better step in center but fewer innings pitched.
Lesson learned: I’m willing to completely dismiss BABIP when the hitter in question is a mess against a pitch that he’s completely unable to put in play, even if that makes absolutely no sense.
Fun thing learned while researching this post: Occasionally, every so often, when certain rare events converge, Wikipedia can be inaccurate.
What I predicted: Someone who would clearly make a postseason roster if his team made the playoffs
What he was: A slow-fading participant in a five-horse race. Well, maybe it wasn’t so much a slow fade as it was an open manhole cover in the middle of Churchill Downs. But he started so well!
Lesson learned: Never be optimistic about Barry Zito. Just accept his utilitarian existence, and be thankful that he isn’t Todd Wellemeyer. Yet.
Fun thing learned while researching this post: He has gone 6-for-51 in every season since 2007.
What I predicted: a decent, low-OBP hitter with a little pop. Those fancy computer-generated projections seduced me.
What he was: a high-contact, wretched-OBP hitter with middle-infielder pop.
Lesson learned: Those fancy computer systems are just as wrong as I am sometimes, but they can’t sound just like Scott Weiland when singing "Plush" on karaoke night, which is a pretty sweet tiebreaker.
Fun thing learned while researching this post: One of his closest comps is Bombo Rivera, whose closest comp is Bevo LeBourveau, who went to Santa Clara University at the same time as Nelson "Chicken" Hawks. You’re welcome.
What I predicted: the kind of production the suffered through at first base every year since retired, which is to say the kind of production that usually turns a major leaguer into a St. Paul Saint.
What he was: a powerful, patient hitter who could wear the dong hat of triumph that Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, and Will Clark never could. A total revelation, a great story, and a truly amusing personality.
Lesson learned: Aubrey Huff is awesome, and so are World Series victories. Also, if a player is a) younger than 35 and, b) has had three or more awesome seasons in his career, it’s not crazy to be a little optimistic when no one’s looking.
Fun thing learned while researching this post: Former Giants farmhandhas hit him twice in three plate appearances. In the other plate appearance, Huff hit a triple.
What I predicted: A functional athlete with working parts.
What he was: Someone contacted by ’s lawyer for an upcoming class-action suit.
Lesson learned: When Saul Bellow described the offseason as "Nature’s Band-Aid," he was way off. Sometimes players with injuries in the second-half stay injured the following season.
Fun thing learned while researching this post: The Giants had a farmhand named Mike DeRosa in the ‘50s. He played outfield for the Artesia Giants in the Sophomore League. Of course he did.
What I predicted: An MVP-caliber season.
Lesson learned: Sometimes your favorite players don’t follow the career path that you’ve scribbled out for them on the back of your Pee-Chee notebook before drawing hearts all around it.
Fun thing learned while researching this post: Sandoval’s top comp for both his career and age-23 season was Jim Ray Hart. That’s cool in a Giants-related way, but that also made me search Wikipedia for Jimmy "The Mouth of the South" Hart, and I found out that he was totally in the band that sang this song you’ve heard a million times. My mind is blown. This is as big as when I found out that the lead singer of Living Colour was in "Platoon."