Yesterday, I took a look at how our preseason projections measured up to reality for the Orioles infield. Today, let's take a look at our projections for the outfield and the DH. Remember, these are the mean results of all participating Camden Chat members. For the infield, we did pretty good with two players. How did we fare for this set? Well... let's find out. Here are the projections:
Now, let's take the cold shower of reality:
As I often say in response to statistics posted on this site: Yikes. Time to break down some of the grisly details.
Center Field, Adam Jones
This is what we call starting out with the good news, because from G all the way across to CS, we were within a handful - except for walks, where we missed by 9. We guessed Adam's slugging percentage exactly. If you take out the four games in September where Jones was used only as a PR or defensive replacement due to an injury, we guessed right on about his games played, too.
Ah, but the walks. There is Adam's problem, and it seems it always will be. The 9 extra walks CC predicted would have been worth 15 points of OBP. We were off by 26 points. On MASN telecasts throughout the year, Jim Hunter frequently mentioned how bad Adam wanted to hit .300. I wish someone in the organization would tell him that hitting .300 is okay, but getting on-base at .400 would be even better.
I predicted a .285/.343/.467 for Adam. Not bad for me, but what was I thinking with the 46 walks? WestcoastO'sFan predicted a .304/.367/.509 year with 60 walks from Adam. Maybe next year, Westie.
Right Field, Nick Markakis
The only way you could say this year wasn't a failure for Nick is if you think his Gold Glove somehow means that the rest of it didn't happen. We predicted Nick would be durable, but that's just about the only place we were right. And there is the possibility that Nick was toughing out an injury. According to Brittany Ghiroli yesterday, Markakis was hurt in the second weekend of September and is still only "about 75 percent healthy" with the season having been over for a month.
We guessed 46 doubles for Nick, in line with the 43-48 he had gotten every year from 2007 to 2010. He ended up with 31. However, this low total was mostly due to a disastrous April and May (two doubles each) and he had seven doubles in each of July, August and September. Was there an arm injury sapping his power early in the season? This would also explain his throwing issues in the first couple of months that seemed to improve as the season went on. In trying to correct this, his plate discipline also seemed to suffer.
Our prediction for Nick was an .864 OPS and he brought in .756. We missed by 108 points. This was his age 27 season and was supposed to be in his prime. We predicted a good year from Nick and he did not have a good year. Can he bounce back next year as his salary escalates to $12 million? He has a total of $44 million still guaranteed.
Left Field, Too Many People Not Named Nolan Reimold
When we made our guesses for Luke, it was March 15. Could we have known about the labrum tear then? I guess not. We predicted he'd miss about a month due to injury and numbers about as close to the career year he turned in during 2010 - a .902 OPS last year. Our prediction was an .880 OPS and he had a .703 OPS. We missed by 177 points, the worst by far. Luke also looked poor in left field, which he only played due to the signing of Vlad.
Once it was apparent that Luke was not himself, the next man up was Felix Pie. Why? Who knows? Felix received less at-bats than we predicted, although he appeared in about as many games. He was used frequently as a defensive replacement because he is faster than Luke, though Felix never could take a good route to a ball. At the plate he was a hot mess.
Then there's Nolan. Look, I love Nolan, and this is well-documented on CC. It's highly unfortunate he got only half a year of playing time, and even when he was on the roster he had to share left field with the likes of Matt Angle. Despite being jerked around, he exceeded our home run guess with 13 bombs. He had one of the best walk rates on the team. His batting average was lower than we guessed and lower than we might have liked, but he was also unlucky with a .264 BABIP. Will next year be the year he finally gets a chance to start the season as the O's left fielder?
Designated Hitter, Vladimir Guerrero
What were we smoking here? Honestly, I was one of the worst, predicting a .290/.333/.480 slash out of Vlad with 26 home runs and 31 walks. He had half that many home runs and barely more than half that many walks. This despite the fact that I wrote an article lamenting how I couldn't be hopeful about our Vlad signing! I guess I wanted to be optimistic when I filled out my prediction. That was crushed.
We predicted 38 walks; he did have less than half of that. The 2.9% walk rate was the lowest of his career. So was the .290 batting average, the .317 on-base percentage and the .416 slugging percentage. We predicted an .840 OPS and he had a .733 OPS. We missed by 107 points. For this, the Orioles have paid $5 million and will pay another $3 million total in 2016 and 2017. Luke was forced into left field (a disaster), DH was occupied so Mark Reynolds could never DH (ditto), and they wasted a season where they could have made determinations whether both Felix and Nolan are part of the future. Felix clearly isn't, but they still don't really know about Nolan, and they could have if only they never signed Vlad. I could have told you this. I did tell you this. For some reason I still drank the Kool-Aid in my projections. Oh well. Maybe next year.
If you think these predictions were ugly, wait until I get around to looking at the rotation projections.