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Yuni’s season, projected March 31, 2008

Posted by Brad in stats.
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How will Yuniesky Betancourt fare in 2008? You could watch every game (only on FSN! HD!) and figure it out one day at a time, or a few computers can tell you right now. Here are several projections for Yuni’s 2008 season. (Many of these come via FanGraphs.)
Bill James: .286/.311/.416
CHONE: .279/.308/.407
Marcel: .288/.318/.418
MINER: .272/.298/.385
ZiPS: .288/.311/.412
Mariners fans’ Community Projection: .291/.321/.424
The average of all these projections: .284/.311/.410
Averge minus the fans projections (which are the least computerized and most favorable): .283/.309/.408
And Yuni’s line from 2007: .289/.308/.418

So, computers (and fans) think Yuni won’t change that much from 2007 to 2008. Everyone expects him to take a few more walks (an average of 20) and try to steal more bases (an average of 8.5 SB and 6 CS), but all his rate stats stay within 10 points.
This is mildly surprising. Granted, Yuni’s line didn’t change that much between 2006 (.289/.310/.403) and 2007, but a post last month on Detect-O-Vision laid out some clear reasons why Yuni could well improve: He’s still young, and he played much better during the second half of 2007 (his rate stats were .311/.321/.481, and he only made 4 errors after the all star break.) Most, if not all, of the projection models listed above account for Yuni’s age (26), though I bet not many dally with his second half splits. (For the record, his 2006 first and second half splits are almost identical.)
I want to side with DOV, and hope for the best for Yuni this year. He probably won’t be one of the ten best clutch hitters this year, but he’s still a young hitter who didn’t spend much time in the minors and could still show an improved approach at the plate. So, if I had to throw out some numbers, I’d say .295/.318/.427.
Yes, those are more optimistic than anyone else’s projections. Sorry, I’m a fan.

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