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Yuni’s season, projected March 31, 2008

Posted by Brad in stats.

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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