Of course many of you know that the 2007 Pirates ZIPS projections are out and you have probaly already reviewed them and formulated your opinions on them. I, however, did not get a chance to review them until lately and there were a few things that struck me as important and worth noting, so here goes.
Pitching: Age ERA W L
Zach Duke 24 3.92 14 12
Thats a great year from Duke. The best projected year of any Pirate starter and its not even close. If Duke has a year similar to these numbers, I would consider that great progression for the kid.
Paul Maholm 25 4.63 8 9
Here is what gets me about Maholm. They project him for 30 starts and 177 innings but only 17 decisions. They expect him to average less than six innings, or a possible quality start, everytime out. This, of course, can not happen if the Pirates want to keep their bullpen healthy and fresh.
Sean Burnett 24 6.15 5 12
This guy means so much to me as a Pirate fan. Another young lefty, that if he returns from injury to 100 percent, would make him or any other young starter extremely expendible in a trade. The projections sure aren't good, but let's hope they aren't right either.
Other Projections of Note: Ian Snell only other starter to win double digit games (10), Gonzo would lead team in ERA (2.45), Matt Capps would pitch in 88 games,
Offense: P Age AVG OBP SLG HR RBI
Jason Bay lf 28 .279 .378 .521 30 88
Ouch, ouch and Ouch. Oh and ouch. 88 rbi's? For the team's best hitter? .279 average for an all-star? There isn't much to say. If this actually becomes Bay's 2007, the Pirates won't amount to much anyway.
Xavier Nady rf 28 .280 .341 .467 16 57
Second on the team in batting average, third in home runs, and based on only 407 at bats. ZIPS just does not believe the Pirates are going to score runs and it shows.
Others of note: One .300 hitter (Sanchez), McLouth (21) and Duffy (22) over 20 stolen bases but Lillibridge trumps all with 32, Bautista hits 18 bombs, Eldred 14 homeruns and 11 walks in 215 at-bats.
So there it is. Just some things that initially caught my attention and I am sure with more in-depth focus, different predictions can be made.