Community Projections: Beltre, Ibanez, and Ichiro
Sorry about the delayed writeups on the community projections – I was hanging out with my mom, who takes priority over blogging. So, we’re doing a three-in-one recap today.
Community Projection: .283/.346/.511, 604 AB, 171 H, 40 2B, 3 3B, 31 HR, 51 BB, 7 HBP, 112 K
You guys love Adrian Beltre. Love him. I’d be curious to see what the projections would look like if he had started off hot and then crashed and burned at the end of the year, rather than vice versa. However, it looks like his May through September juvenation was enough to convince you guys that his struggles weren’t permanent, as the community thinks he’s going to have his best non-2004 year of his career. An .857 OPS from a gold glove caliber third baseman in Safeco Field is a borderline MVP candidate. I think this projection’s a bit too optimistic, but it’s plausible at least. This is the kind of production we were hoping for when he signed here.
Community Projection: .280/.350/.466, 572 AB, 160 H, 29 2B, 2 3B, 24 HR, 60 BB, 2 HBP, 107 K
An age-34 power spike is almost never sustained, so you guys are right to bring his slugging numbers back down towards career norms, but again, I think this might be a little too optimistic. Ibanez has been a consistent player, but he’s entering his age 35 season, and decline is inevitable eventually. Assuming he doesn’t get as many intentional walks this year, and more of the balls that left the yard turn back into doubles or long outs, he could go from being a minor star back to a role player. If he hits as the community projects, though, he’ll continue to be a valuable hitter, albeit one who shouldn’t be playing left field in Safeco.
Community Projection: .330/.379/.438, 684 AB, 227 H, 25 2B, 9 3B, 11 HR, 49 BB, 5 HBP, 68 K
Finally, I like someone more than you guys do. The .108 isolated slugging perecentage here looks low to me, so I’ve given him a little more power than you guys have, but the projections aren’t that different. Everyone agrees that he’s basically going to continue doing his thing, slapping singles all over the park and being the best player on the team. As a center fielder, his value has gone through the roof, and hopefully this year, we can look forward to a season free of articles from national pundits writing their token “Ichiro is overrated” column.