I base my predictions off of 700 plate appearances for each of the 9 positions in the batting order. I know that some players could get more than 700 plate appearances based on where they are batting in the order, but for simplicity's sake, I take the 700 plate appearances for positions in the field and divide them up between the players that are likely to be located at that position throughout the course of the year.
Onto the Cardinals.
The statistics I will use are listed as followed:
slash line - batting average/on base percentage/slugging
runs, hits, doubles, triples, homers, rbi, walks (bb), strikeouts (k), stolen bases (sb), caught stealing (cs), hit by pitches(hbp), sacrifices (sacs), wOBA (weighted on base average, compare to a league average of ~.314), BABIP (batting average on balls in play), ISO (slugging percentage minus batting average - shows power), oWAR (offensive wins above a replacement player), dWAR (defensive wins above a replacement player), paWAR (positional adjustment to WAR - for example, it is much harder to play catcher than first base, etc.), brWAR (base running wins above a replacement player), and uttiWAR (unveiled today, this is my prediction (Cerutti is my last name, so I just used "utti"...get it?) for the 2012 season WAR totals from the club.)
Yadier Molina - starting C - 525 plate appearances, 474 at bats
.289/.343/.411 - 137 hits, 26 doubles, 1 triple, 10 homers, 39 walks, 4 HBP, 8 sacs
46 runs, 62 RBI, 46 K, 6 SB, 4 CS
7.4% BB rate, 8.8% K rate, .332 wOBA, .298 BABIP, and .122 ISO
0.8 oWAR, 1.6 dWAR, 1.1 paWAR, -0.3 brWAR, for a total of 3.2 uttiWAR.
That shows that he will play exceptional defense - a dWAR total that is double everyone on the team minus Berkman and Furcal. I have Yadi predicted to hit above average again this year, but not at the level of 2011. Yadi is going to start earning that $75M on his contract right away and the more he catches the more he will earn it. I am thinking and hoping that my 525 PA prediction is going to be quite low.
Tony Cruz - backup C (option #1) - 175 PAs, 161 ABs
.217/.269/.311 - 35 hits, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 11 walks, 1 HBP, 2 sacs
14 runs, 17 RBI, 35 K, 0 SB, 1 CS
6.3% BB rate, 20.0% K rate, .259 wOBA, .262 BABIP, and .093 ISO
-0.8 oWAR, 0.1 dWAR, 0.4 paWAR, 0.1 brWAR, for a total of -0.2 uttiWAR
Bryan Anderson - backup C (option #2) - 175 PAs, 160 ABs
.238/.297/.356 - 38 hits, 7 doubles, 0 triples, 4 homers, 12 walks, 2 HBP, 1 sac
15 runs, 15 RBI, 37 K, 1 SB, 1 CS
6.9% BB rate, 21.1% K rate, .291 wOBA, .283 BABIP, and .119 ISO
-0.4 oWAR, -0.7 dWAR, 0.4 paWAR, -0.1 brWAR, for a total of -0.7 uttiWAR
I, obviously, have low expectations for the backup catcher position this year. I believe it is time for me to do Koyie Hill's projection at some point soon to add in, because after looking more at these numbers - UGH. Bryan Anderson at least would have a little pop - ISO near Yadi levels. It is said that he has also made the biggest strides this spring; however, the general consensus is that he has made huge strides because he had the biggest ones to make as a catcher - gaining trust of the pitching staff (not yet accomplished) and improving basic catcher defense at the MLB level (blocking balls, calling games, etc.) Tony Cruz showed last year that he had a good rapport behind the plate and a good work ethic back there - to go along with an above average to good arm. However, his hitting numbers are atrocious - the second worst that I have predicted for the Cardinals.
Lance Berkman - starting 1B - 550 PAs, 457 ABs
.280/.396/.499 - 128 hits, 24 doubles, 2 triples, 24 homers, 88 walks, 2 HBP, 3 sacs
73 runs, 80 RBI, 91 K, 3 SB, 4 CS
16.0% BB rate, 16.5% K rate, .390 wOBA, .301 BABIP, and .219 ISO
3.7 oWAR, 0.9 dWAR, -1.1 paWAR, -0.1 brWAR, for a total of 3.3 uttiWAR.
These predictions show Lance Berkman having a stellar season, again. A .390 wOBA and .219 ISO show him just pounding the ball. His RBI total, if those rate numbers hold true, should be much better than just 80 - more like 90-110, especially batting fourth, where I expect to see him this year. I was surprised to see that Lance has been an above average defender at 1B in the past. His base running is below average simply because of his lack of speed at this point in his career. He was fabulous going first to third for the Cardinals last year - in my opinion. I could see him being worth more than 3.3 uttiWAR if he can run a little better another year removed from his big injury. The cautionary tale - any more serious injuries to Fat Elvis/Big Puma in his age 36 season could leave him as an average 1B this year and out of a job next year.
Tyler Greene - starting 2B - 500 PAs, 443 PAs
.248/.324/.391 - 110 hits, 21 doubles, 3 triples, 12 homers, 42 walks, 10 HBP, 5 sacs
70 runs, 45 RBI, 126 K, 24 SB, 4 CS
8.4% BB rate, 25.2% K rate, .317 wOBA, .316 BABIP, .142 ISO
0.1 oWAR, 0.2 dWAR, 0.2 paWAR, 0.1 brWAR, for a total of 0.6 uttiWAR.
For the record, this is kind of my mean (read: average, not evil-hearted) prediction for Tyler Greene. I really don't think he will do this at all. I think that he will explode onto the scene and become the leadoff man for the Cardinals for the whole year by hitting much better OR I think he will become a full time AAAA player by the All-Star break. Greene's potential and main faults are shown in my projection. Despite a .324 projected OBP, Greene steals 24 bases and only gets caught 14% of the time. Greene has a projected ISO near .150, yet a SLG of just .391. I think he will be met with awe, or simply awful this year - and I am so excited to find out which Greene shows up!
Rafael Furcal - starting SS - 500 PAs, 449 ABs
.263/.328/.390 - 118 hits, 23 doubles, 2 triples 10 homers, 43 walks, 3 HBP, 5 sacs
67 runs, 41 RBI, 61 K, 16 SB, 6 CS
8.6% BB rate, 12.2% K rate, .318 wOBA, .282 BABIP, .127 ISO
0.2 oWAR, 1.3 dWAR, 0.6 paWAR, 0.2 brWAR, for a total of 2.3 uttiWAR.
Furcal will be the 6th Cardinals' opening day starter at shortstop in six seasons. (Eckstein, Izturis, Greene (not Tyler), Ryan, Theriot, Furcal) It has been a position of great transition for the Cardinals, who for so long had incredible stability at SS. Furcal will man the position next year as well, being the opening day starter, at least according to his contract. It will be nice if Furcal can put up these kinds of numbers in his age 34 and 35 seasons, while providing that stability. What would be even better is if Tyler Greene proves he is the real deal and Furcal ends up starting at SS next year because Greene is the better SS at that point. That is just about the only way (at this moment) that I want to see us continue to have the turnover rate of opening day shortstops continue next year. Back to Furcal, though. This prediction shows that he is still at minimum average with the bat, above average with the glove, and above average on the bases at age 34 - or so I believe.
David Freese - starting 3B - 600 PAs, 542 ABs
.308/.365/.472 - 167 hits, 31 doubles, 2 triples, 18 homers, 44 walks, 8 HBP, 6 sacs
69 runs, 98 RBI, 125 K, 2 SB, 0 CS
7.3% BB rate, 20.8% K rate, .365 wOBA, .368 BABIP, and .164 ISO
2.6 oWAR, 0.8 dWAR, 0.3 paWAR, -0.1 brWAR, for a total of 3.6 uttiWAR.
Hey, if Chipper Jones thinks he is going to be a super duper star (or whatever he said) then why not have a projection this optimistic for the 2011 World Series MVP? That being said, this pick is actually tempered back a bit from what I had original had down. I'm glad I did that. However, if he stays healthy for 600 plate appearances this year (please don't let those 8 HBP hurt him!) then the sky is the limit for him in the batter's box.
Matt Holliday - starting LF - 650 PAs, 566 ABs
.309/.392/.539 - 175 hits, 44 doubles, 1 triple, 28 homers, 71 walks, 9 HBP, 4 sacs
98 runs, 100 RBI, 104 K, 5 SB, 4 CS
10.9% BB rate, 16.0% K rate, .401 wOBA, .336 BABIP, and .230 ISO
4.9 oWAR, 0.8 dWAR, -0.8 paWAR, 0.2 brWAR, for a total of 5.0 uttiWAR.
Barring any more appendixes being taken out of Holliday and any suicidal moths attacking him, Holliday should put up his normal ridiculous numbers. The title of "ridiculous" should be tempered a bit from the "ridiculous" we got to know for Pujols' first 11 seasons in the bigs, but the title should also be shifted over to Matt Holliday this season. Year in and out, all this guy does is pound the ever-loving crap out of the ball, this year will be no exception.
Jon Jay - starting CF - 600 PAs, 537 ABs
.281/.332/.400 - 151 hits, 30 doubles, 2 triples, 10 homers, 40 walks, 8 HBP, 15 sacs
72 runs, 49 RBI, 88 K, 12 SB, 8 CS
6.7% BB rate, 14.7% K rate, .321 wOBA, .311 BABIP, and .119 ISO
0.4 oWAR, 0.3 dWAR, 0.3 paWAR, 0.3 brWAR, for a total of 1.2 uttiWAR.
I truly hope that I am dead wrong (on the low end) for Jay's dWAR total, his brWAR total, his SB to CS ratio, and his OBP. If he can raise all of those slightly from what I have them, he could be a 2 WAR CF, which would ROCK - and maybe shut up the Jay haters that want Colby back NOW! I don't expect anything otherworldly from Jay at all, as you can see here. Raising that walk rate - even halfway toward his 9+% average of the minors - would do wonders both for his ability to get on base and ability to score runs (as he'd probably move from the 7/8 spot in the order to the top of the order.
Carlos Beltran - starting RF - 500 PAs, 434 ABs
.295/.380/.505 - 128 hits, 30 doubles, 5 triples, 17 homers, 60 walks, 2 HBP, 4 sacs
61 runs, 66 RBI, 72 K, 6 SB, 2 CS
12.0% BB rate, 14.4% K rate, .383 wOBA, .318 BABIP, .210 ISO
3.0 oWAR, 0.0 dWAR, -0.6 paWAR, 0.2 brWAR, for a total of 2.6 uttiWAR.
Having Beltran as the third guy in the starting lineup with wOBAs over .380 plus another over .360 will bode very well for the Redbirds. Beltran is also the third man in the order over .200 ISO (fourth over .150)! All in all, I see 9 players (Craig is the one not yet listed) that could go for 10+ homers in the amount of ABs predicted. Pretty awesome to have that depth at the major league level alone. To put that in perspective, not even the Yankees or Red Sox had that last year! With Matt Adams as a long shot to make the team this year, he would be a very distinct 11th. I don't have him listed. More on Beltran: if he is capable of 5 triples this year, then he could very well be capable of a more than 6:2 SB ratio. I'd be very excited if he has his legs under him this year and could go for 10-15 steals as well.
The Rest of the Bench (catchers already listed)
Daniel Descalso - super-sub (2b/3b/ss) - 400 PAs, 359 ABs
.251/.305/.340 - 90 hits, 19 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers, 30 walks, 2 HBP, 9 sacs
44 runs, 37 RBI, 54 K, 4 SB, 2 CS
7.5% BB rate, 13.5% K rate, .288 wOBA, .280 BABIP, and .089 ISO
-0.9 oWAR, -0.5 dWAR, 0.2 paWAR, 0.2 brWAR, for a total of -1.1 uttiWAR.
I really hope that I am wrong about Dirty Dan, but the kid is almost Skip Schumaker lite, amiright? I really don't think that he'll get 400 PAs if he hits that badly, but I just don't know who else will be the infield super sub. Matt Carpenter can't do it defensively. Pete Kozma is even WORSE offensively. if Greene isn't hitting, then the 2B and backup infield positions could be quite a cluster of mediocrity (to put it nicely). The best thing Descalso has going for him is that at the age of 25, he should be entering his prime. Hopefully that means a slight rise in pop (ISO, XBH, etc.) to make him marginally average.
Matt Carpenter - backup 3B/2B/1B/corner OF? - 200 PAs, 175 ABs
.240/.325/.349 - 42 hits, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, 21 walks, 2 HBP, 2 sacs
42 runs, 18 RBI, 33 K, 2 SB, 1 CS
10.5% BB rate, 16.5% K rate, .305 wOBA, .277 BABIP, .109 ISO
-0.2 oWAR, -0.4 dWAR, 0.1 paWAR, -0.2 brWAR, for a total of -0.7 uttiWAR.
Carpenter is the second backup in a row and fourth out of four that I have with negative WAR predictions. I believe this is probably the optimal spot to point out that minor league statistics provide exactly ZILCH for me in terms of dWAR and brWAR! I am pretty much going off of what they have done in the smallest of sample sizes in the majors. Don't be surprised if I'm off by as much as 0.5-1.0 WAR on the defensive and base running spectrums! Carpenter looked to me like he was scared silly in the batter's box last year - these stats have to be higher for him to play 200 PAs, in my opinion. He's simply not as good defensively as others to make it worth it.
Allen Craig - backup corner outfield and corner infield - possible RF starter when healthy? - 400 PAs, 362 ABs
.282/.338/.483 - 102 hits, 21 doubles, 2 triples, 16 homers, 30 walks, 3 HBP, 5 sacs
54 runs, 65 RBI, 68 K, 3 SB, 1 CS
7.5% BB rate, 17.0% K rate, .352 wOBA, .304 BABIP, .202 ISO
1.3 oWAR, 0.6 dWAR, -0.4 paWAR, 0.2 brWAR, for a total of 1.7 uttiWAR.
I really wanted to give a completely ridiculous breakout prediction for Craig, but with his off-season surgery and him not even starting the year off of the DL, I kept myself honest here a bit. I think that he could go off for north of 3.0 WAR in 400 PAs this year just as easily as sitting slightly below 2 WAR as I have predicted. I just don't know how his knee will react to the surgery.
Erik Komatsu - fifth OF option #1 - 200 PAs, 180 ABs
.233/.300/.322 - 42 hits, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 16 walks, 2 HBP, 2 sacs
19 runs, 14 RBI, 27 K, 7 SB, 4 CS
8.0% BB rate, 13.5% K rate, .282 wOBA, .261 BABIP, .089 ISO
-0.6 oWAR, 0.0 dWAR, 0.1 paWAR, 0.0 brWAR, for a total of -0.5 uttiWAR.
Adron Chambers - fifth OF option #2 - 200 PAs, 178 ABs
.236/.305/.320 - 42 hits, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 15 walks, 4 HBP, 3 sacs
22 runs, 14 RBI, 40 K, 7 SB, 5 CS
7.5% BB rate, 20.0% K rate, .284 wOBA, .288 BABIP, .084 ISO
-0.5 oWAR, 0.0 dWAR, 0.1 paWAR, 0.0 brWAR, for a total of -0.4 uttiWAR.
Basically, Erik Komatsu and Adron Chambers are the same player. The only difference seems to be that 1) Komatsu could gain us $25,000 if we offer him back to Washington instead of keeping him on the roster and Chambers has minor league options instead of keeping him on the roster and 2) Chambers is a spark plug that the players know from coming up through the system, but he would strike out ~7.5% more often - a frustration for many fans to offset the "team mascot" type role he had in the post-season. In either case, neither is a great option, which is why they are a major league minimum salary 5th outfielder type option for the Cards.
Skip Schumaker - super sub (OF/2B) - 400 PAs, 364 ABs
.280/.338/.357 - 102 hits, 17 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, 31 walks, 2 HBP, 3 sacs
45 runs, 33 RBI, 49 K, 2 SB, 2 CS
7.8% BB rate, 12.3% K rate, .313 wOBA, .314 BABIP, and .077 ISO
0.0 oWAR, 0.2 dWAR, -0.1 paWAR, 0.0 brWAR, for a total of 0.1 uttiWAR.
Skip is basically an upgrade over Descalso, although with even slightly less pop in his bat. He's a clubhouse favorite type of "glue guy" that almost had to be kept around after the Cardinals found out that Albert was gone. Unfortunately, I don't think he is earning his roster spot any more and it is time for it to go to a deserving minor leaguer. I do like looking at that wOBA being near league average, his OBP being near .340, and his K rate being so low. He just needs to figure out how to hit the ball with a bit more authority to make a huge difference on our bench full of soft-hitting left-handers.
Mark Hamilton - backup 1B/DH/pinch hitter - 100 PAs, 89 ABs
.270/.340/.404 - 24 hits, 6 doubles, 0 triples, 2 homers
12 runs, 11 RBI, 22 K, 0 SB, 0 CS
9.0% BB rate, 22.0% K rate, 330 wOBA, .333 BABIP, .135 ISO
0.1 oWAR, 0.0 dWAR, -0.3 paWAR, 0.0 brWAR, for a total of -0.1 uttiWAR (the decimals beyond tenths brought it to -0.1 instead of -0.2 like it appears it should be.)
Hamilton is an intriguing case. I don't know if he was hurt last year or what, but he went from averaging a homer every 6-7 games in his first five seasons in the minors to just 2 homers in 69 games last year. If he has truly lost the pop in his bat, then he is completely worthless to this club with Matt Adams breathing down his neck for the backup 1B/DH role. If he can return to form and pound the ball a bit, then he has a chance to be a solid PH off the bench in STL for a few years, possibly. This is most likely a make or break type year for Mark Hamilton. These numbers would not "make" him as a 1B.
Shane Robinson - backup OF - 100 PAs, 91 ABs
.242/.290/.363 - 22 hits, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 6 walks, 1 HBP, 2 sacs
12 runs, 9 RBI, 10 K, 3 SB, 1 CS
6.0% BB rate, 10.0% K rate, .287 wOBA, .247 BABIP, and .121 ISO
-0.2 oWAR, -0.1 dWAR, 0.0 paWAR, 0.1 brWAR, for a total of -0.2 uttiWAR.
The only thing making Robinson an option at this point is that he is a right-handed CF in the system. He is the only one (at least above A ball), unless you include switch-hitting starting RF Carlos Beltran in the discussion. That is all.
Pete Kozma - backup INF - 100 PAs, 91 ABs
.187/.240/.253 - 17 hits, 3 doubles, 0 triples, 1 homer, 7 walks, 0 HBP, 2 sacs
8 runs, 8 RBI, 22 K, 1 SB, 0 CS
7.0% BB rate, 22.0% K rate, .224 wOBA, .229 BABIP, and .066 ISO
-0.8 oWAR (in only 100 PAs! AHH!), -0.1 dWAR, 0.0 paWAR, 0.0 brWAR, -0.8 uttiWAR (again with rounding).
Pete Kozma is only listed as an option because of the fragility in a 162 game schedule. He is a former first round pick on the 40-man roster and played a little last year. I'm sure he'll take a few ABs at some point this year in the middle infield, so I listed what I think he would do in a 100 PA audition. It's not pretty...I'm hoping it's less than a 10 PA audition if he gets one - or that I'm completely wrong on his abilities. I don't think I am.
Well that concludes the offensive projections for now. I reserve all right to edit these at any point before opening day.
Thanks for reading.