2008 Pittsburgh Pirates Offense Projections

It’s time for the optimist post of the year where Bucco Blog provides you with our early player projections for 2008.

Now I don’t want to kid you – I extended these out as far as I could to try and see just what this team could be possible of, so this is the high end. But a realistic high end. Once the pitching rotations around the NL are set, I’ll come back with the final projections.

About the only unusual part to my projection is that I have McLouth in center 66% of the year, I have Pearce in AAA, and I have Doumit as the backup receiver and taking the rest of Nady’s 600 at bats in right.

You can view the entire spreadsheet at Google. Here is the basic foundation:

AB R H HR BB SO SB TB BA xERA
Bay 600 108 173 34 99 149 16 319 0.288 6.49
Sanchez 617 82 193 9 32 65 2 273 0.313 4.71
LaRoche 598 82 163 27 63 138 1 288 0.272 5.25
Nady 505 66 144 24 28 121 4 246 0.285 5.06
Paulino 469 52 143 9 37 88 1 195 0.304 4.04
Doumit 226 28 58 9 22 59 1 103 0.258 4.84
McLouth 400 73 100 16 37 86 21 178 0.251 5.15
Morgan 200 29 62 2 17 37 13 88 0.308 4.07
Wilson 550 74 156 11 38 60 3 222 0.283 4.10
Bautista 525 70 121 16 60 112 4 205 0.231 4.06
utility 225 26 61 6 11 50 2 95 0.271 4.29
prospects 300 41 67 11 33 78 1 120 0.223 3.98
totals 5215 731 1441 174 477 1041 69 2333 0.276 4.77

Yep.. I think Paulino has a chance to hit .300+ if in the seven or eight hole and I expect McLouth to start in center based on the current roster.

As I said, I went for the most productive run producing scenario I could find and made my projections from there.

It’s a 750 run scored team +/- 2% giving all I can to every single player and if health isn’t a problem. Do I honestly believe this is a 750 run team? No. More in the 700 range.

Pitching projections next week along with my top 10 prospects.

Everyone wants to know, what’s up with Gomez. Is he signed, or isn’t he? My guess is that Huntington wanted rosters filled from the meetings and Rule 5 before having to drop another player off the 40-man. Either that or he’s concerned about Gomez’s medicals.

Dropping Castillo for a Rule 5 was ridiculous to me. Dropping Duffy for Gomez would cause this fan to lose it.

The "old regime continues" theme is being played at Baseball America as they made their first projection for the 2008 draft. Author Byran Smith said:

"2. Pittsburgh Pirates: Tim Beckham, ss, Georgia HS

"I decided to go with Beckham here because, if the Pirates new scouting department is PR-savvy, they will not draft another pitcher next season. Pittsburgh fans were livid with the Daniel Moskos pick this year, and while Brian Matusz might be worth it, I’m guessing he’ll be priced out of Pittsburgh. Beckham isn’t second on my board, but he’ll stick at shortstop and offers “Face of the Organization” pipedreams that organizations value."

Great.. more pipedreams in a high school player up the middle who will be ready six or seven years from now. Does the PR department run our scouting department? This is the second major publication to throw slapstick humor at the new regime in the last week.

The Pirates better stick to their announcement they will take best available next year. Money shouldn’t be an issue.

"Jay Gibbons of the Baltimore Orioles and Jose Guillen of the Kansas City Royals each have received 15-day suspensions for violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program." – Commissioner’s Office today

Ouch.

Rumors:

— It’s possible the Yankees wanted Snell for their bullpen I heard today. That’s just nuts. But considering he’s a two-pitch pitcher, it very well might be true. Until he can get command of his secondary pitches, starting in the NL is probably his only bet.

Look for the Yankees to keep talking to Huntington on Marte and we’ll see if this doesn’t expand as has been speculated.

— McLouth here, McLouth there. Huntington will have to get blown away to deal Nate because he doesn’t have a suitable replacement from the left side. He’s more apt to be dealt in July if Duffy is back in the swing of things.

That is, IF Duffy is even around anymore the way Huntington keeps dropping talent off the roster for replacement level utilitymen and relievers.

This statement at pirateball.com bothered me:

"As is the case in a bidding war, the Pirates started discussions in Nashville by asking high, particularly asking high in terms of young prospects."

Neal Huntington doesn’t have the luxury of asking high. He has to ask for the right amount the first time. He desperately needs to build credibility and a couple of smaller deals that are win-win for both clubs is what he needs on his resume – in a hurry.

I mean, this is a club that is supposed to be rebuilding but it is looking more and more like they plan to stand pat because they can’t make a deal. That’s negative value on Huntington’s resume and will only hurt him in later deals.

Huntington went on to say:

"[If players] go out and they perform to their true expectations, to their abilities, their value should absolutely go up."

Right.. we’ve been waiting for that since 1996. McClendon got the most out of his roster than anyone – he did a great job with what he had.

Then the author threw in this gawdy tidbit:

"Furthermore, the decision to keep Bay, to this point at least, reflects the organization’s desire to not only build up talent for the future, but also to field a competitive team in the short term."

OMG.

Thanks to everyone who emailed about the winter meetings coverage here. I’m humbled and only wish there was more to talk about.

If you are a current member of Bucco Blog’s discussion forum, be sure to read this post: email addy changes needed.

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