We are just one day away from the Spring Training. 19 hours and 34 minutes to be exact as I write this. Like always, I am wondering, “Does this team has what it takes?” Offensively, it seems that the Tigers have slimmed run production by adding defense. Today, I want to know if this is true. Thanks to Fan Graphs and Bill James, plus some of my own configuration, I look to find that answer. Here are the numbers of the 13 players I assume will make the Tigers roster, and their offensive projections.
1. Curtis Granderson, OF- 155 games, .287 23 HRs 76 RBIs 13 Triples 32 Doubles 172 hits 110 runs
2. Placido Polanco, 2B- 146 games, .306 9 HRs 62 RBIs 32 doubles 2 Triples 183 hits 91 Runs
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B- 160 games, .316 37 HRs 130 RBIs 43 doubles 192 hits 103 Runs
4. Magglio Ordonez, OF- 156 games, .312 24 HRs 110 RBIs 39 Doubles 187 hits 88 runs
5. Carlos Guillen, OF- 144 games, .289 15 HRs 76 RBIs 156 Hits 34 doubles 86 runs
6. Brandon Inge, 3B- 134 games, .233 14 HRs 58 RBIs 22 doubles 104 hits 54 runs
7. Adam Everett, SS- 88 games, .243 4 HRs 26 RBIs 13 doubles 64 hits 32 runs
8. Gerald Laird, C- 112 games, .263 8 HRs 45 RBIs 21 doubles 97 hits 54 runs
9. Gary Sheffield, OF- 109 games, .250 16 HRs 55 RBIs 15 doubles 88 hits 53 runs
10. Marcus Thames, OF- 117 Games, .251 25 HRs 64 RBIs 19 doubles 92 hits 59 runs
11. Ryan Raburn, UT- 86 games, .269 8 HRs 33 RBIs 13 doubles 57 hits 33 runs
12. Ramon Santiago, UT- 87 games, .242 3 HRs 36 RBIs 10 doubles 57 hits 32 runs
13. Matt Treanor, C- 70 Games, .236 3 HRs 22 RBIs 9 doubles 47 hits 17 runs
There is not a doubt that this is paper, and it is absolutely never perfect, considering injuries, call-ups and any other events throughout the season. For all we know, Brent Clevlen or Wilkin Ramirez could make the roster, or possibly even Mike Hessman. But lets just stick with these numbers for now.
2008– 821 Projected 2009– 812
Though just projection, It is clear that scoring wise, this offense put together shouldn’t be an issue (barring injuries). Again, remembering these are just projections, If offense in 2009 is comparable league wide to 2008, the Tigers would still land in the upper echelon of offenses. As a matter of fact, they would finish in the same slot (4th) in runs in the American League.
2008– 780 Projected 2009– 793
I find this a little surprising, but a lot of this power production increase has to do with a high projection for Marcus Thames. Another is the projection at the shortstop position. Between Ramon Santiago and Adam Everett, the position projects 62 RBIs compared to the 55 that Renteria put up last season. Inge’s switch back to 3rd base adds three RBIs of production. Another factor is the projection of Carlos Guillen. Most must believe that Guillen will be healthy, because despite only 54 RBIs in 2008, Projectors have him at 74 in 2009.
Getting on Base via the Base on Balls:
2008– 572 Projected 2009– 535
This could hurt a lot of scoring situations, especially if the bottom of the order cannot find a way to get on base. One thing to note is that as Curtis Granderson continues to develop, he could draw more and more walks. This could be an issue for the offense though, going into 2009.
Through these numbers, we can begin (and hope) to see that this offense will still be able to produce at a pretty solid rate. Going into spring training there are still a lot of questions, but hey, at least a geek can play with some numbers and shed some type of light.
Hopefully that light catches a fire on the paper in 2009.