2007 Rays Stat Projections

March 12, 2007 at 1:19 pm 7 comments

The 2007 Devil Rays opening day lineup should look a little like this:
1. Rocco Baldelli – CF
2. Delmon Young – RF
3. Carl Crawford – LF
4. Ty Wigginton – 1B
5. Jonny Gomes/Greg Norton – DH
6. Jorge Cantu – 2B
7. Akinori Iwamura – 3B
8. Dioner Navarro – C
9. Ben Zobrist – SS

Bench
Greg Norton – RF/1B/DH
B.J. Upton – 3B/OF/SS/2B/DH
Josh Paul – C
Elijah Dukes – OF

Rocco Baldelli is the catalyst for this team. He’s coming off his best offensive season and it only took him 92 games to do so. His numbers over 600 at-bats projected to .302-26-94-16 with 40 doubles, 10 triples, and 97 runs scored. I see Baldelli putting up numbers similar to that this season, if not a little better. Projection:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
149 581 111 178 37 7 25 91 304 36 110 23 3 .351 .523 .306

Delmon Young is the front runner for the American League Rookie of the Year Award not named Matsuzaka. He can be a real force both offensively and defensively. He needs to work on pitch selection and improve his plate discipline if he wants to be a superstar, if not then he’ll have to settle for being just a star. Projection:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
145 584 90 165 39 4 18 80 266 31 129 29 6 .324 .455 .283

Carl Crawford is already a superstar, the rest of the league just doesn’t know it yet. Crawford has improved his homers, average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and BB/K ration each year he’s been a full-time starter. Look for Crawford to continue this trend as he is only 25 years old and is getting smarter and better. Projection:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
157 618 109 192 26 14 22 96 312 46 81 52 8 .362 .505 .311

Ty Wigginton had a career year last year. No one expected him to hit 24 homers and drive in 79. Wigginton brings an energy and swagger the way Jonny Gomes does. Wiggy is in the last year of his contract and could be dealt for bullpen help to a contender come July. His projected numbers are based on him being traded around late July.
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
131 474 59 127 31 1 19 76 217 38 110 5 2 .324 .459 268

Jonny Gomes is my X-factor. If Gomes can come back healthy and start out like he did last year (11 HR in April, 17 before the All-Star break) and remain healthy I see big numbers for him in 2007. I also think he should be moved to 1B but that’s for another day and another blog. Projection:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
131 432 63 115 20 2 28 69 223 59 126 5 3 .367 .516 .266

Jorge Cantu is the other X-factor. He set a club record with 117 RBI in 2005 only to have a dismal 2006 that didn’t come close to his 2005 numbers. He could benefit from a move to 1B or DH but the Rays need him at 2B and aren’t giving up on him there. He is completely healthy and vowed to get back to his 2005 form. I believe him! Projection:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
146 560 69 155 38 1 24 90 267 34 80 1 1 .324 .477 .277

Akinori Iwamura is going to play somewhere in this lineup. My prediction is that it will be 3B and he’ll float around to give others days off and to give Upton some games at 3B. It’s hard to project Japanese hitters’ stats into the majors, but I’m gonna give it a shot.
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
140 513 73 143 33 5 15 70 231 61 123 6 2 .363 .450 .279

Dioner Navarro is going into this season to prove that he is the Rays catcher of the future. There isn’t anyone pushing for his spot but that could change if he doesn’t play well. He’ll be 23 entering the season. He has a good eye and good patience at the plate, something the Rays need. Projection:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
122 430 53 117 20 0 10 47 167 56 70 2 1 .361 .388 .272

Ben Zobrist wants to prove that he belongs in the majors as an everyday shortstop. He went to the Arizona Fall League to work on his hitting and surprised everybody. Zobrist reached base in all 29 games posting a .469 OBP. He also batted .366 with 2 homers and 21 RBI in 101 at-bats. Let’s hope that carries over to the majors in 2007. Projection:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
137 496 72 138 29 3 7 59 194 66 72 12 4 .369 .391 .278

The Devil Rays pitching staff should look a little like this.
1. Scott Kazmir
2. Casey Fossum
3. Jae Seo
4. James Shields
5. Brian Stokes
CL Seth McClung
RP Dan Miceli
RP Shawn Camp

Scott Kazmir is the ace of this staff. He is not just an ace due to the fact that he starts opening. He’s an ace because he goes out there and duels with the number one guys on any team’s staff. He gives you a chance to win every game. This kid could win a Cy Young in the next 3 years. Here are his projected stats:
W L ERA G GS CG SHO IP BB SO
14 8 3.37 31 31 2 1 201 67 217

Seth McClung did a decent job as the Rays closer at the end of last season, converting 6 out of 7 opportunities. The closer job is his to lose and he could lose it easily if he doesn’t show he can handle the job. Projection.
W L ERA G GS SV SVO IP BB SO
4 6 4.38 51 0 21 26 63 34 54

This is certainly a team to watch. Do I actually think they have a legitimate shot at the AL East? Let me just say, everyone is tied for 1st when the season starts. The odds aren’t stacked in the Rays favor but this should be an exciting, progressive 2007 season for the Rays.

Full team-by-team lineups, projections, and projected standings should come s

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ronnie  |  March 12, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Hey there, living in Tampa Bay, have a hopeful outlook towards the season. Obviously they almost have no chance of first/second place starting the season, but with the new blood, rookies emerging, and the new manager, im really hoping for a fun year this year. I wanna be able to go to the games and have something to cheer about. I’m hoping Rocco, Young, and company produce that. Another interesting thing i’ve been hearing lately is the comparisons of BJ Upton to Chone Figgens. The Speed, and the position eligibility in fantasy leagues seems interesting.

    Good Review guys.
    ps. When I am leaving a comment just now, I noticed that in the 3 boxes above, the text is white text – meaning it blends in with the background. Just letting ya guys know about that, prolly should change it to black or something so its easy to see. (The stuff im talking about is the name, email, and site)

    Thanks for the review!

    Reply
  • 2. Ronnie  |  March 12, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Haha, sorry about the double post, but had to comment on the fact that you guys were actually the ones that made the Chone Figgens – BJ Upton resemblance in your NL Sleepers post. 😉 Thanks.

    Reply
  • 3. Jonathan  |  March 12, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for the comments. You’re totally correct about Upton. I do believe he will be a Figgins type still, it’s just too early to make the detailed projections on him. He has played SS, 3B, 2B, and RF so far this spring and looked great. I’ll be posting all player and team stats very soon and an Upton projection will be up. Thanks again for the comment!

    Reply
  • 4. BaseballWhammy  |  March 13, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Really good article guys. I honestly think that the Rays will come out of their shell and become the new Detroit Tigers. While it won’t be this season, nor next season, but it will happen. Their lineup is getting better, and they’ve got good young talent, that with good coaching, can be molded into superstars. All they need is a better rotation, and good closer, and they’re going to be set.

    I’ve always been a big fan of Jae Seo too. I thought he was going to have a huge year last season with the Dodgers, but didn’t pan out. I really liked the trade last season for Seo and Navarro for Hendrickson and Hall. Sure Hall was/is a good catcher, but I think the there is a greater potential in Navarro. I’ve always a small spot in my heart for the DRays because they’re the Dark Horse, well when they aren’t playing they Cubs.

    Reply
  • 5. Jonathan  |  March 13, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks for the comment! You’re totally right, the Rays are definitely a dark horse team. They may not win more than 70 this year and more than 75 next but they are a team to watch in the next 3 years. Your Cubs could use a healthy Mark Prior this season to get over the hump. They are in a division to watch.

    Reply
  • 6. BaseballWhammy  |  March 14, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Nah, I’m done with Prior. He’s going to end up as Ben McDonald. I would much rather have Wade Miller as their fifth this season whose command is soooo much better than Prior at this point. I hope Prior starts in AAA this season, but comes up when/if he ever regains his form.

    Reply
  • 7. Jonathan  |  March 14, 2007 at 7:58 am

    I feel you on that (Matt White anybody?)! A good friend of mine feels the same way. He grew up a huge Astros fan and was excited when they got Jeff Juden in 91 (90or 91, can’t remember) and he never panned out. But he also remembers having Johan Santana and losing him to the Twins in the Rule V draft. Prior is a tough situation. I’m rooting for him but I bet most Cub fans are ready to move on.

    Reply

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