We are big fans of Dave Cameron and Fangraphs, but his latest piece for ESPN.com is a bit puzzling (thanks Thad).

First is the prediction that the Rays won’t win 70% of their games…

So, while the Rays’ record is sparkly, and even their Pythagorean Expected Record is impressive, there are chinks in the armor. With Carlos Pena struggling, Ben Zobrist hitting like it’s 2006 again and the team struggling to find a productive designated hitter, this isn’t the offense of a team that will win 70 percent of its games.

Winning 70% of a team’s games would mean a final record of 113-49. So Cameron’s big point is that the Rays won’t win 113 games? We are not sure who Cameron is arguing against. On the scale of bold predictions, this one falls just in front of predicting Albert Pujols to get a hit this year.

But what really gets us in that previous statement, is the assertion that Ben Zobrist is “hitting like it’s 2006 again.”

Sure the home runs haven’t been there, but that doesn’t mean Zorilla hasn’t been productive. Let’s compare Zobrist’s 2010 numbers to those from 2006 and 2009, when Zobrist finished 8th in the AL MVP voting. And in doing so, we will use numbers found on Cameron’s own site, Fangraphs.

If Cameron thinks Zobrist is back to his 2006 ways, Cameron just isn’t paying attention.

Yes, the Rays numbers with runners on base are high (.294 AVG) and likely to regress a little bit. At the same, their overall hitting numbers are still a little low (.261 AVG) and likely to rise. And in the end, the Rays will still score a lot of runs. Will they win 115 games? No. But last time we checked, you don’t need 115 wins to make the playoffs. About 94 will do.

 
 

4 Comments

  1. Brian H says:

    i am not ruling out proving this guy wrong. This team is good and still has improving to do. sure luck has rolled our way this year. doesnt it have to, to win 115 games?

    I am holding out on the fact that this team overtakes the seattle mariners win total of 01′.

    But i am no dummy. I know its the least likely of all scenarios. but i am keeping my fingers crossed for a season that goes down in the history books.

  2. Greg says:

    I like where your head is at, Cork. Mid-90s win total is what we’re reasonably shooting for. Yanks and Sox haven’t played their best ball and we’ll regress back a llittle but it’s shaping up like a great race. The post by Cameron is sort of a “duh!” kind of thing, but it’s worthy of a post because you jumped on the same thing I did with his comment on Zobrist. I imagine it was hyperbole, but it comes off as just ignorant. Instead of holding Ben to the 2009 standard he set, let’s allow Ben to do his thing for the rest of the year and see what kind of player he is. We’ll have a much better idea then I think. Hose Cork down…he’s on fire today!

    • ramedy says:

      Cameron and Jonah Keri got in a good-natured Twitter spat over that Zobrist comment. It’s always hard to tell on Twitter, but I think Cameron was being at least partially facetious. Here’s one comment he made: “II [sic] only he was hitting like the guy who put up a +8 WAR season last year, then I wouldn’t have to make fun of him on ESPN.”

      Still a pretty silly comment to make – any sensible Rays fan knew Zobrist wouldn’t have that type of season again (if anything because he’s playing a lot more RF this year, a less WARiffic position than 2B).

      Predictably, Keri stood up for Zorilla quite well.

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