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A peek at 2012 (Bill James Projections)


As I was scrolling on Fangraphs last night, I noticed that Bill James‘ projections for the 2012 season were up. Looking at them, I was intrigued to see how the new Miami Marlins would look in 2012 with some of the moves that have been rumored this off-season and the return of a healthy Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez. For the purpose of this post, I have the Marlins acquiring Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics for Logan Morrison and Matt Dominguez, along with the signings of Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle. Also, for the purpose of this post, I will not be looking at the potential bench or bullpen for the Marlins, just the starters. Here’s an early glance of what we could see in 2012 from the hitters. I will post the pitchers on Wednesday.


Catcher: John Buck

Proj. 2012482.239.309.409.308.170

By James’ calculations, Buck should have a 2012 right on par with his career numbers. For Marlins fans, this means that Buck is likely to hit raise his average back to a normal level and also have a bit more power in the 2012 season. According to this projection, the 2012 Buck is more like the Buck the Marlins expected him to be when they signed him to a three-year deal last winter.


First Base: Gaby Sanchez

Proj. 2012624.276.360.452.353.176

Looking at Gaby Sanchez’s projections, James seems to believe that Gaby’s second half last season was an aberration. While James does not predict Sanchez’s numbers to be as flashy as his first half numbers in 2011, James feels that Sanchez is more likely to repeat that level then his second half.


Second Base: Omar Infante

Proj. 2012624.291.335.401.323.110

Infante had a pretty bad season with the bat in 2011. His defense was his saving grace. James’ fully expects Infante’s numbers to increase in 2012. He projects him to hit closer to the levels that he hit with the Atlanta Braves in his two seasons there then he did in 2011. For Marlins fans, this would be great. If the Marlins can get positive value from Infante’s bat added on to his strong defense, the team will be that much stronger in 2012.


Third Base: Hanley Ramirez

Proj. 2012584.298.379.489.377.191

For Hanley in 2012, there is no where to go but up after a dismal 2011 season. Ramirez posted his career lows across the board. Health was a major issue for Ramirez in 2011. The team hopes to have him back to 100% in 2012. James has Ramirez’s power returning almost to his levels of 2009. This is still far off of his .230 and .239 ISO’s in 2007 and 2008 respectively, but it is a step in the right direction. I feel these predictions for Ramirez are on the cautionary side, if Ramirez is really at 100% in 2012. Ramirez’s potential still remains sky high and Marlins fans should look forward to a bounce back season for their superstar.


Short Stop: Jose Reyes

Proj. 2012594.303.358.447.353.144

Let me start of this by saying, this post is by no means an indication that Reyes will sign in Miami for sure, although signs are pointing to this being very likely. Reyes’ had a career best season in 2011. The chances of him repeating the same type of season are very low. That does not mean Marlins fans should not be excited about a potential Reyes signing. Reyes is still a very electric player that will bring a lot of energy to the Marlins every day. He would be a phenomenal add for the Fish in 2012. Reyes would bring a defensive upgrade at short stop as well as a major boost to the Marlins lead off spot. The main hope is that Reyes can somehow bring out the best in Hanley Ramirez. If he is able to post good numbers and Hanley rebounds, the Marlins chances look very promising in 2012.


Left Field: Chris Coghlan

Proj. 2012392.276.351.411.330.135

As I mentioned in my opening statement, in this scenario, I have the Marlins trading Logan Morrison and Matt Dominguez to the Athletics for Gio Gonzalez. This would open up left field for former Rookie of the Year, Chris Coghlan. Marlins fans will never forget Coghlan’s historic second half in 2009. Coghlan has since followed up that season with two dud seasons. Marlins are hoping for a bounce back season from Coghlan. This position could also go to Emilio Bonifacio or Bryan Petersen depending on the Marlins other moves this off-season. More on that in a second.


Center Field: Emilio Bonifacio

Proj. 2012392.276.338.354.312.078

 Count me in as many of the skeptics about Bonifacio’s 2011 season. I have my doubts about whether or not he will be able to sustain those numbers. While he did improve on a lot of his peiriphials, questions still remain about his ridiculously high BABIP in 2011. James expects those numbers to regress, thus bringing down Bonifacio’s performance as a hole. Those are not terrible numbers overall, in fact, Bonifacio would be a very serviceable player. Another possibilty for the Marlins in center is to sign Yoennis Cespedes. He is expected to be Major League ready and come with a hefty price tag. If the Marlins decide to pay up, he would be an excellent investment. The signing of Cespedes could shift Bonifacio to left, which I mentioned earlier.


Right Field: Mike Stanton

Proj. 2012605.273.366.568.394.318

Did you hear that? That is a loud noise of silence and fear coming from NL East foes. Mike Stanton had a stellar sophomore season. Bill James expects him to come out in 2012 and improve on those stats. He has Stanton improving on every major major batting statistic. For those wondering about home runs, James has Stanton with a projected 39 homers in 2012. Major league pitcher beware, Stanton is ready for lift off. Who else just got extremely excited?

Well, that is a wrap for looking at James’ numbers for today. Be sure to check in tomorrow for more number crunching and a look at Bill James’ predictions for 2012 Marlins starting pitching.