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Ryan Howard Projection

Not a Crystal Ball. . . this was an actual Experimental Projection which is less guessish and more projectish in intent. The projection said 155 games, 562 at-bats, 96 runs, 167 hits, 29 doubles, 2 triples, 46 homers, 120 RBI, 96 walks, 169 strikeouts, .297/.404/.601, .304 ISO.

Reality said: 144 games, 529 at-bats, 94 runs, 142 hits, 26 doubles, 0 triples, 47 homers, 136 RBI, 107 walks, 199 strikeouts, .268/.392/.584. .316 ISO.

Comparisons: a bit off on the playing time. The main problem was missing 30 points on the batting average but otherwise I think it a fair projection. Baseball Forecaster had Howard projected at .303/.395/.641. Bill James had him at .326/.428/.672. Baseball Prospectus had his "weighted mean" projection at .299/.393/.616.

Edwin Encarnacion.

Crystal Ball said: 142 games, 499 at-bats, 79 runs, 132 hits, 36 doubles, 2 triples, 26 homers, 85 RBI, 48 walks, 93 strikeouts, .265 average, 7 steals, 4 caught stealing, .236 ISO.

Reality said. 139 games, 502 at-bats, 66 runs, 145 hits, 25 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 76 RBI, 39 walks, 86 strikeouts, .289 average, 8 steals, 1 caught stealing, .149 ISO.

Comparison: CB showed a power spike which didn't happen. Instead he improved his batting average.

Ryan Shealy.

Crystal Ball Said: 132 games, 435 at-bats, 69 runs, 123 hits, 32 doubles, 1 triple, 17 homers, 79 RBI, 51 walks, 98 strikeouts, .283.

Reality Said: 52 games, 172 at-bats, 18 runs, 38 hits, 6 doubles, 0 triples, 3 homers, 21 RBI, 13 walks, 53 strikeouts, .221.

Comparison: BZZ. Wrong! Injuries were a factor here: even when on the field Shealy didn't look right. He is at a critical juncture now. If he doesn't get the bat going fast in 2008 he will be shuffled back to the minors and probably end up as a Triple-A bat for the next ten years.

Curtis Granderson

Crystal Ball said: 153 games, 560 at-bats, 75 runs, 147 hits, 27 doubles, 7 triples, 20 homers, 70 RBI, 59 walks, 142 strikeouts, 9 steals, 6 caught, .263.

Reality Said: 158 games, 612 at-bats, 122 runs, 185 hits, 38 doubles, 23 triples, 23 homers, 74 RBI, 52 walks, 141 strikeouts, 26 steals, 1 caught, .302.

Comparison: Geez. I have always been a big fan of Granderson back to his college days at Illinois-Chicago, and I shadow drafted him back in 2002. His 2007 90th percentile forecast from Baseball Prospectus was .300/.381/.541 with 12 steals...he hit .302/.361/.552 with 26 swipes. So basically this was his best-case scenario extreme season, with double the maximum expected speed production.