UCB Roundtable: Statistical Projections

As you know, this blog is a part of the United Cardinal Bloggers and, as such, participates in all the monthly projects the UCB comes up with.  (Being that I’m the guy that usually comes up with these things, it just seems right.)  February is always our roundtable month and that usually spills into the first part of March.  Such was the case this year and, as per tradition, I closed us out with a final question.

My question centered around what folks expected to see out of certain ballplayers on the Cardinals.  Perhaps because people are sometimes daunted by putting up statistical projections (and I’m certainly in the group) or perhaps because the roundtable had really run its course, I only got back a handful of responses, but they were interesting nonetheless.

So here’s the formal question:

Below are a sample of Cardinals.  I want to know your projections on their stat lines for this year.  Pick whatever stats you want, whichever you feel best tell the story.

Three hitters, three pitchers.  What say you?
It seems best, instead of the natural copy-and-paste of answers that I usually do, to break these down by player.  Before I do that, however, let’s introduce our dramatis personae.

All right, let’s get started.  First up…..

Matt Adams

DS: Without knowing they plan to use Taveras when he gets called up, I can’t quite predict how Adams will do.  With money Allen Craig is getting, management will not sit him for half the season.  He’ll be at first base when Taveras starts in right field.  Adams will put up decent power but suffers from the fact that he can only play 1B or DH.

BC: 150 games w/ 130 starts – 550 PAs 32 HRs .290 AVG 100 RBIs 125 Ks

He’ll get plenty of starts early in the season, but after the all star break, he’s going to be on the bench a little more often, and get about 20 PH chances in the second half. That said, I expect him to challenge for the NL HR lead at eh end of the season (last year’s final total was 36).

DB: 25 HR, 75 RBI, 400 at bats

JG: Matt Adams has more security than ever and unfortunately, he will be the odd man out as the OT show takes off under the Arch. I still think Adams will project best as a DH and hopefully remains a Cardinal for a long time. He provides that power bat off the bench and will get plenty of starts when the outfield shuffle starts the second half. His average will suffer, probably looking at .260-.270 with high strikeout numbers but the power remains with 27 big flies for Big City.

MT: 20 home runs, 62 RBI. The big guy helps against right-handers, but is streaky.

MP: More hits than strikeouts. Barely.

All right, my turn to weigh in, I guess.  Again, I’m not a great expert in these matters, but I like Adams to surprise some folks this year.  He may wind up with the short end of the stick when Taveras is ready, but then again, maybe not.  I’ll say .265, 22 HR, 65 RBI.

Matt Carpenter

DS: Carpenter will have an MVP season but will lose the award to teammate Yadier Molina.

BC: 157 games (all starts) – 675 PAs 10HRs .310 AVG 100 Runs 40 2Bs

I think he’ll regress a little. He’s durable, and so I expect him to get about the same number of games, but I expect him to move down to second in the order, and that will drop his PAs a little. Being at the top of the order, I expect that he’ll still score a lot of runs, and hit a lot of doubles, but regress some.

DB: .300 BA, 100 runs, 40 doubles, 65 RBI

JG: Last year’s shocker becomes this season’s ‘meh’, as Matt Carpenter continues paving the way to the St. Louis record books. The move to the hot corner benefits all parties in this case, and Carpenter nearly matches the historic year of 2013. He won’t hit a 6.6 WAR again, but it will come in around five with 40+ doubles and another league leading effort in runs and heart. This guy just wants to help the team win and on a side note, I’m looking forward to picking up my #13 jersey!

MC: Matt Carpenter will have an MVP season.

MT: 42 doubles, 72 RBI, .305 batting average. Excellent season, but, some whine, not at 2013 level.

MP: 0 stolen bases. As leadoff man and with a career 50% success rate, not to mention the guys behind him, he needs to never even try.

Even though I’ve been a little leery about the Carpenter extension, I don’t see that it’s going to be much of a problem this year.  He won’t hit his levels from last year–that’s asking too much–but a .375 OBP, 40 doubles, 10 HR and around 50 RBI sounds pretty reasonable.

Joe Kelly

DS: Joe Kelly’s numbers will depend on when Lance Lynn slips up in the second half of the season. It happens every year. There’s no reason to think it won’t happen again.

Lynn 2012: First half – 11-4, 3.41 ERA. Second half – 7-3, 4.32 ERA
Lynn 2013: First half – 9-3, 2.82 ERA. Second half – 6-7, 5.15 ERA

BC: 30 games w/ 18 starts going 12-5 – 150 innings 3.00 ERA 75.0 LOB% 50.0 GB%

Kelly will probably get the 5th spot in the rotation, and that will give him quite a few innings early. I don’t expect him to keep that role all year, whether Garcia takes it back or Martinez gets late season starts. Still, I think that he’ll be able to put up a 3.00 ERA, even though others will put him much higher. That’s because he locks down when runners get on base, and he induces a lot of ground balls.

DB: Higher average of strikeouts per inning pitched. Less contact and more K’s from a power arm.

JG: With that being said, however, [Editor’s note: Josh’s transitional phrase here refers to his notes on Martinez, which will be shown below.] the chance of catching a glimpse of the future is too much to pass up and puts Kelly behind glass again until the All-Star break. Martinez will compile impressive stats until June and then have ‘arm stiffness’ and a rehab assignment in Memphis where he transitions to the bullpen. I see Carlos around 110 – 130 innings total with Kelly pulling his best magic act and finishing with double-digit wins.

MC: Joe Kelly will have another great year (if he gets the chance).
MT: 10-8 record. He begs for a consistent role.
MP: 20 starts. Probably 10 more than he should.
I’m still not sure about Kelly, but I do think I want him in the fifth starter role to start the season given the limitations there probably will be or should be on Martinez.  We’ll say 12-7, 4.02 ERA, 150 K, 65 BB.
Carlos Martinez
DS: What Martinez does largely depends on Jaime Garcia’s shoulder.  Martinez will either be in the bullpen or the rotation.

BC: 10 games (all starts) going 6-2 – 60 innings 2.75 ERAMartinez will get late season starts, and he’ll do admirably. That’s really all I know for him.

DB: 3.00 ERA, 3/1 K to BB ratio (bullpen or rotation, I want strikes and a resistance to walks and wildness).

JG: Carlos Martinez is a future star and should be considered in the running right there with Rosenthal for highest ceiling. Prankster Joe Kelly has the inside track at the rotation for April, but he and Martinez will be scrutinized regardless for the next six months. My head says Kelly will get the nod, and my heart really wants to see C-Mart in one role.

MT: 9-4 record. Yadier Molina coaxes Excitable Boy through the season mostly unscathed.

MP: 5 starts — in Memphis. He gets demoted at some point to work on “some things.”

I still want to see Martinez start out in Memphis and be the Michael Wacha of 2014.  That said, early returns seem to have him winning that fifth starter spot.  Going to figure that even if he gets it, he won’t keep it due to resting his arm and we’ll say 11-4, 3.45 ERA, 175 K in 160 IP.

Shelby Miller

DS: I think Miller will finish with a Cy Young caliber season but will lose out to Adam Wainwright.

BC: 32 games (all starts) going 17-7 – 190 innings 3.00 ERA

Miller will get more innings per start than last year, and he’ll be a solid starter. Also, we won’t have to search and find him when October rolls around.

DB: 200 innings.

JG: The surprise of the staff and maybe the National League will be Shelby Miller. No one doubts his ability, and that chip on his shoulder will turn him into the unquestioned second ace. Miller will be the one getting a new contract next March, and he turns in another top three award winning finish, this time in the Cy Young race. Miller nearly hits 20 victories while going over 200 innings and strikeouts in his breakthrough campaign.

MC: Shelby Miller will be the pitcher he wants to be – just like Waino!

MT: 17-8, 200 innings. No one remembers the angst of October 2013.

MP: An average of a full six innings pitched per start, up from last year (5.6).

I don’t know if it’s these comments, the talk of some of the players like Adam Wainwright who are so high on Miller, or what, but I’m pretty firmly in the camp that Miller is going to be a presence this year.  I don’t know that I’m thinking a second-year player is going to be that strong in the Cy Young race, but I could easily see 18-10, 3.25 ERA, 190 K and, yes, 200 innings.

Oscar Taveras

DS: I think Taveras will be in the running for rookie of the year after he gets promoted in June but it’s hard to predict what kind of numbers he will have.  It might be similar to what Wil Myers did last season with Tampa.

BC: 60 games w/ 40 starts – 175 PAs 10 HRs .300 AVG

Taveras will split time with Adams and Craig when he comes up around the All-Star Break. That said, he’ll do well, with a decent average and a few long balls.

DB: A Matt Adams 2013 like dosage. 300 at bats, 10-15 HR, 50 RBI, .290 BA and spraying the ball to all fields for extra base hits.  Be that #2 hole hitter.

JG: Oscar Taveras has much to prove the next three weeks and however long he spends in Memphis. He will benefit most of anyone from getting away to the PCL and crushing the ball for a month or so. Taveras is the best insurance in case any of the outfield starters get hurt, and his play in CF may factor in as well. His stat line will impress, given he hits everything. Let’s say he gets out of the box with a .320 average and double digits home runs to snag NL ROY.

MC: Oscar Tavares will be the ROY (of course, ankle will heal).

MT: 130 hits in 120 games. As good as advertised.

MP: More games played in majors than minors.

I’m trying to be pretty conservative when it comes to Taveras.  We’ve gotten spoiled seeing how Mike Trout and Bryce Harper showed up as fully formed major leaguers.  I’m not sure if Taveras will be that, nor that he’ll get enough opportunities to grow in to that.  Let’s assume a late May call-up and a rotational usage and say .280, 15 homers, 40 RBI in around 250 AB.

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