"YES! We're in the first group of projections on Halos Heaven!" - Jeff Gross
It's the most wonderful time of the year, everyone.
Here's how I'll do this. I've finished my projections for the Angels--individually and collectively--for 2013. Many thanks be to my calculator, Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs for providing the info I was looking for. Some of my projections may be optimistic, or pessimistic. I've run the projections for the 25 players I expect, as of this date (12/18/2012), to be on the Opening Day roster come April. In groups of five, I will put them up, alphabetically (hence the A to Z. Clever, right? I know. I'm so creative).
How I get the numbers is different for each player. Some players are simply career averages; others are park-adjusted averages; others come from extrapolated seasons in order to weed out any outliers that would inaccurately skew the data. I'll specify, with each section, in the comments, what SPECIFICALLY I do with each player listed on any given day.
Before getting into their stats, let's look at their projected roles in 2013. No surprise that we expect Aybar to be the starting shortstop, Blanton the number-four starter, Burnett to be the 7th- or 8th-inning guy, and Callaspo to be the starting third baseman. Bourjos, by my projections, will be the 4th outfielder on the depth chart, ahead of Mount Vernon, and will thusly get more playing time by MY projections. I'll explain more below when I get to him.
For now, though, let's kick off projection season by taking a look at what to expect from Erick Aybar in 2013!
ERICK AYBAR, SHORTSTOP
UPDATE: After looking at the second round of projections, in which I reevaluated Peter Bourjos' stats by weighting the effects of Mike Trout's OPS+ on the pitches Bourjos will see, I have done the same by adding in the effects of Trout and Pujols on Aybar's lineup placement, projected to be number two. This changed the nature of Aybar's line of stats--from a league-average season to Aybar's best since 2009.
Up next, one of four new Halo hurlers, Joe Blanton!
JOE BLANTON, STARTING PITCHER
I ran quick numbers on him, but these are the final tallies after I adjusted for him being the number-four starter (basically, shortening him from 33 to 32 starts). Looks like the constant whining and complaining is a bit undeserved. Sure, his career hasn't exactly been the best indicator of what he'll do here, but we aren't looking for him to be a phenomenal starter. He'll be marginally, if even, above average here, and that's perfectly fine. If he puts up close to my projections, I think he'll be earning the $7.5 million per season we're paying him.
Next is the ever-lovable speed demon, Peter Bourjos!
PETER BOURJOS, OUTFIELDER
It's going to be awfully strange--and kind of sad--seeing Bourjos on the bench for another year, but I have to say, I'd rather he be on our bench contributing than have him strengthening a competitor every day. As a fourth outfielder, I figure he'll be a late-inning replacement and occasional sub for Hamilton throughout most of the season, and playing center field if there are ANY days Trout gets off. Only 103 at-bats next season, but I certainly think he does a decent job with those at-bats--as a bench bat, pinch runner and late-inning fielding sub, he's probably the best in baseball.
Another brand-new Angel, and a bullpen savior, Sean Burnett!
SEAN BURNETT, RELIEF PITCHER
Yeah, I like Sean Burnett in this bullpen. Solid lefty, like a younger, lighter Scott Downs. Expecting him to light hitters up like nobody's business, and be a VERY nice bridge to Madson. He, Frieri and Madson ought to be the best bullpen trio we've seen in our bullpen since 2005. Definitely expecting great things.
And today's last projection, arguably the most underappreciated Angel, Alberto Callaspo!
ALBERTO CALLASPO, THIRD BASEMAN
Solid season, even if slightly below average in terms of OPS+. 2011 set our expectations kind of high for Alberto (when he led the team in average AND on-base percentage), so anything under that line of stats is a slight disappointment. Not that I'll sneeze at this--if .337 is a DOWN year for OBP, I'll take it. Not as if we're expecting something grand from Callaspo anyway, what with us grooming Cowart to take over his spot come 2014 (or Jimenez, should Cowart not be ready). All in all, not a BAD season for Callaspo, just not his best.
The next five are to come on Thursday! Going by alphabetical order, you can expect to see, in the second part of this series, Bobby Cassevah, Hank Conger, Scott Downs, Ernesto Frieri, and Josh Hamilton.
Of these five, who comes closest to their projection?
Erick Aybar (143 votes)
Joe Blanton (43 votes)
Peter Bourjos (24 votes)
Sean Burnett (73 votes)
Alberto Callaspo (48 votes)
331 total votes