Last winter I published my CHONE projections, and Dave Appelman of fangraphs added the projections to his wonderful website, along with other projections systems like ZIPS, Marcel, and from the Bill James handbook. In addition, I have projections from the Hardball Times Season preview, where I wrote the Angels' team section but had nothing to do with the projections, and PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus. A full review of projections will wait till after the season, as who knows what will happen in September, but I couldn't wait and decided to see who projected the Angel players best. The Angels I'm looking at are the 8 who have played the most games at each position in the field, plus I'll count Reggie Willits as the DH even though Hillenbrand still has the most games there this year, because I want to forget he ever played for us, and finally, I'll throw in supersub Mighty Maicer Izturis. For pitchers I'll go with the 5 current starters, Shields, K-Rod, and Speier.
For pitchers the winner is whoever gets ERA the closest. For hitters I've decided to not use OPS, but instead the difference in OBA, and in Slugging. In other words, if you project a .350 OBA and a .450 SLG, and the hitter hits that, your error is zero, but if he has a .400 OBA and a .400 SLG, you may have hit the OPS but you are off 50 points in each measure, so your error is 100. By doing this, I'm not asking "how good is this guy" but more, "what are his stats going to look like?".
And the winners:
C Mike Napoli: Bill James and crew nailed his current slugging percentage at .459. For OBA, they are off by one. Of course this could change dramatically given the Napster's low PA total, once he finally comes off the DL.
1B Kotchman: Thanks to his lost 2006 season, Kotchman's projections are terrible, so the winner will be whoever was most optimistic for him. That would be THT, they projected a 276/345/429 line out of Casey. He has played much better than that, but all the other systems were even lower.
2B Kendrick: THT again, with a slight edge over Marcel the Monkey. They had Howie at 283/323/448
SS Cabrera: CHONE wins this one, projecting a 287/341/411 line. Cabrera has beaten them all so far.
3B Figgins: CHONE does not know Chone. At least I didn't project a .256 average like PECOTA, but this one goes to Marcel the Rally Monkey at 283/347/400. Nobody saw his high average coming. I'm sure most will predict it to go away though. Lets just enjoy it while it lasts.
UT Izturis: Marcel wins again: 276/346/410. Actual numbers: 278/332/415. Believe in the power of the Rally Monkey.
RF Guerrero: Hardball Times takes this one. All are very close. What are the odds, everyone predicts Vlad to have a great year, and he does!
CF Matthews Jr.: ZIPS has him at 274/342/433 against an actual of 264/328/436. Considering Matthews has played a little under the projections so far, and has still been a valuable contributor thanks to offensive versatility, speed, and mostly good defense (remember to catch before you throw), lets just say Angel fans badly overreacted when the deal was first announced.
LF Anderson: Bill James takes this one at 280/317/445.
DH/OF Willits: ZIPS wins at 272/352/346. The slugging was dead on, the actual OBA is 50 points higher, but the other systems had Reggie far below that level of play, except Marcel, which, being only a monkey, didn't know Reggie had no power.
Pitchers later. So far the score is: THT 3, Bill James, Zips, Marcel 2, Chone 1, Pecota 0