Now our reviews of our community projections are done. (We also did one for Kip Wells, but I'm not going to bother with that one.) So, now that we're in the middle of October, all that's left for me to do is have a Community Projection Review Review, which will be followed this weekend by a Community Projection Review Review Review, and then a Community Projection Review Review Review Review, and so on.
Just kidding, of course. There's still lots to talk about. But I thought it would be wise to look over all the community projections and ask what, if anything, we can learn about our skills. So here are the players we reviewed, a note about how we did, and a sentence or so about the reason for any discrepancy.
RYAN DOUMIT - Too optimistic. Injury problems, trouble making contact in a small sample size.
SEAN CASEY - Pretty close.
JOSE CASTILLO - Way too optimistic. The power we projected for him did not materialize, and we didn't expect he'd look completely clueless for the entire year after May.
JACK WILSON - Spot on.
JOE RANDA - Very close.
JASON BAY - Pretty close.
CHRIS DUFFY - Too optimistic. The coaching Duffy received at the beginning of the year probably didn't help him, and he was horrible in the first half.
JEROMY BURNITZ - Slightly too optimistic. Burnitz's troubles making contact were worse than we thought.
ZACH DUKE - Too optimistic. We probably placed too much emphasis on a small sample in 2005. Also, Duke probably had some trouble with the Pirates' coaches, and he also had trouble with the Pirates' poor defense.
PAUL MAHOLM - Too optimistic. The same as Duke, perhaps minus the bit about the coaching.
OLIVER PEREZ - Waaaay too optimistic. We had reason to hope he wouldn't be unambiguously terrible, and yet he was.
MIKE GONZALEZ - Not exactly right, but probably a wash. We predicted a slightly higher ERA for Gonzalez, but we predicted he'd throw more innings, too.
So, what can we learn from this stuff?
- A player's numbers, especially in team-dependent statistics like ERA, are dependent upon things that aren't directly related to the player. Those things are difficult to predict. The Pirates' ERAs suffered because the team's defense was horrible. Many Pirates' performance probably also suffered because their coaching was poor, or at least not ideal.
- Offensive players and players who have exceptionally long or consistent track records are more predictable than other types of players. Okay, we would have known that before, but our projections confirm it. We came pretty close on all the veteran hitters (Casey, Burnitz, Randa, Wilson) and on Jason Bay. We missed somewhat on all the young hitters and all the young pitchers.
- Either the Pirates had terrible luck across the board, or we're too optimistic, or both. Personally, I'm betting on option two. That says a lot. The Pirate fans who hung out at this website before the 2006 season were the most pessimistic Pirates fans anywhere, and we were still too optimistic about the Pirates' chances. Across the board. We weren't clearly too pessimistic about anyone. You may want to mention that next time some Pirate fan tells you about how the Bucs are going to get to .500 next year.