Cerutti's Projections Analysis 2019: the position players

Back in February and March, I unveiled my 2019 Projection Series for all of the assumed Cardinals position players and pitchers for the 2019 season. You can click on the link above to go back to any of those individual projections that you would like and even read the primer about my process and how I got into doing this in the first place if you have yet to do so.


I like to do a self-analysis when the season is over to see how I did. Let's start with the hitters. First, here is the projected stats sheet from prior to the season for position players:

When I go through them, I will start with whomever has the most plate appearances and continue down through the list until we are done looking at them. If a player has been better than I expected, the player art will be green. If their projection seems to be right on, the player art will be yellow. If a player has been worse than I expected, the player art will be red. These images are all thanks to Nicholas Childress. (The photos are an homage to and based on Cardinalsgifs' prior work with the cover art for individual projections in the offseason.)


Without further ado, onto the analysis:


Paul Goldschmidt

I projected him to be a .291/.397/.531/.928 hitter with a .410 wOBA, 103 runs, 34 doubles, 4 triples, 32 homers, 98 RBI, 16 SB, and 4 CS. I projected a 23.3% K rate and 13.9% BB rate.


Here is where Goldy finished:


682 PA, .260/.346/.476/.821 with a .346 wOBA (116 wRC+)

97 runs, 25 doubles, 1 triple, 34 homers, 97 RBI

3 SB, 1 CS, 24.3% K rate, 11.4% BB rate


Analysis: Goldschmidt simply did not have the batting average or on base percentage that I thought we would get out of him. He basically had exactly the power numbers I would have thought (.216 ISO compared to my projected .240 ISO) - slightly worse, but more homers than I thought without the singles and doubles I thought he would get. He also, despite the Cardinals running more often and more successfully than any time in recent memory, was basically non-existent in the stealing department.


Paul DeJong

I projected him to be a .252/.309/.458/.767 hitter with a .332 wOBA, 72 runs, 30 doubles, 1 triple, 26 homers, 81 RBI, 2 SB, and 2 CS. I projected a 26.9% K rate and 6.0% BB rate.


Here is where Pauly D finished:


664 PA, .233/.318/.444/.762 with a .322 wOBA (100 wRC+)

97 runs, 31 doubles, 1 triple, 30 homers, 78 RBI

9 SB, 5 CS, 22.4% K rate, 9.3% BB rate


Analysis: DeJong's second half was worse for the wear - literally, he played way too much baseball. The Cardinals had an acceptable replacement in Edman and refused to play him at SS. Even when Sosa was up in September, on a DeJong day off, Shildt would go to Munoz instead. Incredible. In any case, DeJong's power numbers were right about where I expected, and while his average was lower, his OBP was actually slightly higher. I almost got his wOBA perfect. With an extra 85 PA over my projections, he was able to beat my runs and RBIs by hitting up higher in the order more often than I was anticipating throughout the year (until the final two weeks or so when Shildt felt forced to move him down.)


Dexter Fowler

I projected him to be a .237/.341/.401/.741 hitter with a .328 wOBA, 62 runs, 18 doubles, 5 triples, 12 homers, 47 RBI, 9 SB, and 4 CS. I projected a 22.0% K rate and a 12.5% BB rate.


Here is where Dex is at:


574PA, .238/.346/.409/.754 with a .326 wOBA (103 wRC+)

69 runs, 24 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 67 RBI

8 SB, 5 CS, 24.7% K rate, 12.9% BB rate


Analysis: This is maybe the best projection I've ever had full season. He's completely in line with what I thought. This is spot on and I'll gloat if I want to. (A blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.)


Kolten Wong

I projected him to be a .258/.342/.393/.736 hitter with a .326 wOBA, 52 runs, 20 doubles, 4 triples, 8 homers, 42 RBI, 9 SB, and 3 CS. I projected a 14.6% K rate and 8.7% BB rate.


Here is where KoWo finished:


549 PA, .285/.361/.423/.784 with a .334 wOBA (108 wRC+)

61 runs, 25 doubles, 4 triples, 11 homers, 59 RBI

24 SB, 4 CS, 15.1% K rate, 8.6% BB rate


Analysis: Wong had a much better year than I projected. Now, I did allude to him having the potential to do something even more than my projection and this is about what I was thinking. He was who I wanted him to be all along. He took his chances swinging for a homer when he needed to, but was otherwise a gap-to-gap hitter and got on base a bunch, using the speed he has in a positive manner. Love it.


Marcell Ozuna

I projected him to be a .282/.338/.469/.807 hitter with a .350 wOBA, 78 runs, 23 doubles, 3 triples, 27 homers, 96 RBI, 2 SB, and 2 CS. I projected a 19.8% K rate and a 7.4% BB rate.


Here is where the Big Bear finished:


549 PA, .243/.330/.474/.804 with a .337 wOBA (110 wRC+)

80 runs, 23 doubles, 1 triple, 29 homers, 89 RBI

12 SB, 2 CS, 20.8% K rate, 11.3% BB rate


Analysis: Ozuna's batting average was well below where I thought it would be, but his OBP was fairly close and his slugging numbers were much more in line with what I thought they could be than last year. Overall, a decent season for Marcell, buoyed by an enormous first half that could not be replicated in the second half, unfortunately. However, in the second half, he was able to keep his K rate where it was at and walk at a better clip. He finished slightly worse than I thought by rate stats, but by counting numbers better, so we'll call it pretty close to my projections.


Matt Carpenter

I projected him to be a .252/.375/.484/.859 hitter with a .374 wOBA, 96 runs, 37 doubles, 2 triples, 27 homers, 73 RBI, 3 SB, and 2 CS. I projected a 21.2% K rate and a 15.4% BB rate.


Here is where the Galveston Grinder finished:


492 PA, .226/.334/.392/.726 with a .315 wOBA (95 wRC+)

59 runs, 20 doubles, 2 triples, 15 homers, 46 RBI

6 SB, 1 CS, 26.2% K rate, 12.8% BB rate


Analysis: Matt Carpenter was flat out MUCH worse than his projections in my system. That's really all there is to it. He struck out at a much higher rate, walked at a much lower rate, got hits at a lower rate, and slugged at a lower rate. His SB:CS was better than I anticipated and that is about it.


Yadier Molina

I projected him to be a .272/.323/.425/.747 hitter with a .326 wOBA, 56 runs, 26 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 72 RBI, 5 SB, and 3 CS. I projected a 12.5% K rate and a 5.8% BB rate.


Here is where Yadi finished:


452 PA, .270/.312/.399/.711 with a .303 wOBA (87 wRC+)

45 runs, 24 doubles, 0 triples, 10 homers, 57 RBI

6 SB, 0 CS, 12.8% K rate, 5.1% BB rate


Analysis: Yadi finished about where I thought he would, minus the HR power. His average and on base were there, minus a few walks. His slugging just lagged. I was close.


Harrison Bader

I projected him to be a .259/.328/.421/.749 hitter with a .328 wOBA, 72 runs, 20 doubles, 3 triples, 17 homers, 54 RBI, 16 SB, and 9 CS. I projected a 27.1% K rate and 7.2% BB rate.


Here is where AyBay finished:


406 PA, .205/.314/.366/.680 with a .293 wOBA (81 wRC+)

54 runs, 14 doubles, 3 triples, 12 homers, 39 RBI

11 SB, 3 CS, 28.8% K rate, 11.3% BB rate


Analysis: At the break I said this of Bader: "Harrison Bader is flat out a lot worse hitter than I expected. My numbers expected him to basically repeat last year. He's nowhere close right now. He's not getting enough balls in play luck (or skill?)." His numbers (except for his BB rate and his SB:CS) got worse after the first 81 games. Oof.


Jose Martinez

I projected him to be a .288/.349/.442/.791 hitter with a .346 wOBA, 49 runs, 20 doubles, 1 triple, 12 homers, 55 RBI, 4 SB, and 2 CS. I projected a 17.6% K rate and an 8.4% BB rate.


Here is where Cafecito is:


373 PA, .269/.340/.410/.751 with a .323 wOBA (101 wRC+)

45 runs, 13 doubles, 2 triples, 10 homers, 42 RBI

3 SB, 0 CS, 22.0% K rate, 9.4% BB rate


Analysis: Jose Martinez just didn't hit with the power that I thought he would. He was only short about 40 plate appearances, but short 7 doubles and 2 homers of where I thought. That severely damaged his chances at RBI and frankly at opportunities down the stretch. We know Mike Shildt also prefers players who make contact over those who don't and Martinez made much less contact than I thought he would this year (a K rate 25% higher than I thought it would be).


Tommy Edman

Tommy Edman did not break camp with the major league club despite having a fantastic spring training. Were I to have projected him to finish at approximately 350 PA (he had 349), here is what my system says of him: a .258/.313/.373/.686 hitter with 45 runs, 14 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 30 RBI, 14 SB, and 3 CS. I would have had him at a 16.3% K rate and 6.9% BB rate. Here is where Edman finished:


349 PA, .304/.350/.500/.850 with a .357 wOBA (123 wRC+)

59 runs, 17 doubles, 7 triples, 11 homers, 36 RBI

15 SB, 1 CS, 17.5% K rate, 4.6% BB rate


Analysis: By any definition of the words "better than expectations," Tommy Edman fit them. He was fabulous for us this year. That is all.


Matt Wieters

I projected him to be a .230/.301/.372/.672 hitter with a .298 wOBA, 16 runs, 6 doubles, 0 triples, 5 homers, 20 RBI, 0 SB, and 0 CS. I projected a 19.0% K rate and an 8.6% BB rate. Here is where Wieters finished:


183 PA, .214/.268/.435/.702 with a .292 wOBA (81 wRC+)

15 runs, 4 doubles, 0 triples, 11 homers, 27 RBI

1 SB, 1 CS, 25.7% K rate, 6.6% BB rate


Analysis: Based on my numbers and his numbers, to me it looks like Wieters absolutely sold out for more power this year. It worked out for him. He got the starting spot more often when Yadi was injured. That said, my numbers were fairly close considering he approached hitting (again, it seems that way) differently as a backup catcher.


Yairo Munoz

I projected him to be a .256/.304/.382/.686 hitter with a .301 wOBA, 47 runs, 18 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 48 RBI, 6 SB, and 6 CS. I projected a 20.0% K rate and 5.8% BB rate. Here is where Munoz finished:


181 PA, .267/.298/.355/.653 with a .281 wOBA (73 wRC+)

20 runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 13 RBI

8 SB, 3 CS, 20.4% K rate, 3.9% BB rate

Analysis: Munoz was even worse than I thought he would be this year, leading to him being the forgotten man down the stretch, getting a minuscule amount of PA late.


Tyler O'Neill

I projected him to be a .251/.325/.500/.825 hitter with a .355 wOBA, 63 runs, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 24 homers, 72 RBI, 8 SB, and 2 CS. I projected a 29.6% K rate and 8.9% BB rate. Here is where TON finished:


151 PA, .262/.311/.411/.723 with a .308 wOBA (91 wRC+)

18 runs, 6 doubles, 0 triples, 5 homers, 16 RBI

1 SB, 0 CS, 35.1% K rate, 6.6% BB rate


Analysis: Even in July, when O'Neill was given a chance to start for a while (and performed fairly admirably), his power stroke just wasn't what the Cardinals needed it to be. O'Neill was also injured too often to get enough plate appearances (which is why his stint in July ended prematurely.