Continuing right on with the reviews. Part 2 was supposed to come yesterday, but college interfered with my schedule, so it comes in all its glory today. This is the rest of the position players, the pitchers will come early next week, probably Monday depending on how the schedule works out.
BCB Community Projection: .314/.381/.575, 96% of playing time
Actual line: .304/..365/.501, 684 plate appearances, 4.2 WAR
Braun's line didn't live up to our lofty expectations, but there is certainly no way to complain about his production and his year didn't turn out as bad as the public seemed to believe about halfway through the season. As best as I can tell Braun's fielding actually did show some improvement this year from last, and though his value wasn't quite as high, he's been between 4-5 WAR in each of the past three years and there is certainly nothing to complain about with that kind of production. I still fully expect Braun to have an insane year in one of the next few, but we'll take the production he's put up so far.
BCB Community Projection: .255/.314/.373, 70% of playing time
Actual line: .247/.298/.357, 318 plate appearances, 1.1 WAR
Back in the spring, I continually tried to point out that even if Gomez were able to hit at replacement level, he would produce a decent amount of value for the Brewers. Even though he didn't meet our expectations as a hitter, he still wound up with about 1 WAR over 318 plate appearances, and 2 over 650 or so is about average. So, at his current production, Gomez looks to be about an average centerfielder overall. That has real value. Even though we may not see Gomez ever becoming the hitter it seems like he could be, he is an asset that should be taken seriously as a trade chip or player.
BCB Community Projection: .276/.329/.457, 80% of playing time
Actual line: .283/.340/.525, 614 plate appearances, 3.4 WAR
This was one projection that we were thankfully off on. Hart outperformed everyone's expectations this year, putting up a 3.4 WAR season while he still maintained substantially below-average defensive numbers. The contract extension can certainly be debated, but Hart's production this season was a nice, unexpected bonus and gives the Brewers a solid asset to work with moving forward.
Back in spring, the only catcher I had any of us project was Gregg Zaun because there was a cloudy picture involving four potential backups. As a result, the only projection we have is Zaun's, and he was lost for the season early on. Going forward, the solidified starter seems to be Jonathan Lucroy, so in the interest of completing the look at the roster here's his line:
Actual line: .253/.300/.329, 297 plate appearances, .9 WAR (based on defense only including stolen bases)
Lucroy's production doesn't look to great, but similarly to Gomez, catchers as a group are such poor hitters that if Lucroy can improve his production next year even slightly he looks to be something close to an average catcher, and an average position player is a valuable position player. I'm actually encouraged by his performance, and I have a lot of faith that his hitting will improve with age and seasoning.
BCB Community Projection: .261/.344/.362
Actual line: .250/.322/.319, 230 plate appearances, .6 WAR
It was difficult to expect that Counsell could reproduce his stellar 2009, but he did a fine job as utility infielder again this year. We'll see if he's back.
BCB Community Projection: 271/.335/.436, 26% of playing time at 3B
Actual line: Only recieved 17 plate appearances
It was another one of those years for Gamel. He's proved in AAA that he's fully ready for a full-time big league job, just circumstances out of his control have limited his ability to contribute so far. Next year (and this offseason, of course) will be very interesting to see what the Brewers have in store for him.
BCB Community Projection: .269/.334/.380
Actual line: .254/.331/.401, 160 plate appearances
All in all, it was a productive offensive season for the Brewers, and we were quite successful in projecting the lines. If I get time I'll compare us to a well-known system and see how we fared. For now though, I'm done, we'll be back with pitchers next week.