Expectations and Reality

HOUSTON - AUGUST 07: Center fielder Nyjer Morgan #2 high fives left fielder Ryan Braun #8 and Mark Kotsay #25 after the final out as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Houston Astros 7-3 at Minute Maid Park on August 7, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

We're 115 games into the season, not exactly a milestone number but a good time to check in on the Community Projections from the preseason to see how our expectations are matching up to the actual performance so far.

Jonathan Lucroy: .259/.327/.387 projected, .283/.325/.405 actual. Power surge! We're actually just about on the money on this one. Lucroy started out very hot but has dropped off, though still has been an asset at catcher. Fangraphs rates his defense below average, at -4 runs, but he's been well above average hitting and is on pace for a season above 2 WAR. Well done sir.

Prince Fielder: .286/.409/.566 projected, .304/.420/.571 actual. That's certainly a pretty line to look at. It's just a touch off from Prince's career best line back in '09. No question that he's having a heck of a year, and has a 4.2 WAR to show for it. He's also been super clutch, with a WPA over 5. He's a legitimate MVP candidate for sure.

Rickie Weeks: .273/.366/.466 projected, .272/.346/.478 actual. His numbers fell a bit before the injury, but let's note that Rickie has had a fantastic year and was keeping pace with Braun and Fielder in WAR.

Yuniesky Betancourt: .261/.296/.389 projected, .268/.286/.391 actual. With his super-hot July, Yuni has finally matched our expectations for him this season. Our expectations were very low. If the Brewers make the playoffs, I would bet that Betancourt doesn't start a majority of the games played late September and the postseason.

Ryan Braun: .314/.384/.565 projected, .326/.395/.576 actual. Braun has improved his walk rate every year in the majors, from 5% in '07 to around 9% now. His wOBA right now would be a career high. There's nothing not to love here.

Carlos Gomez: .259/.305/.376 projected, .220/.270/.378 actual. Forget the hitting, he had a +10 (!) UZR and 1.8 WAR-- which is an average player's production given 600 at-bats worth of playing time. He's been an asset, and though it seems extremely unlikely he'll play again this year, it's worth noting his contributions to this team.

Corey Hart: .276/.333/.488 projected, .277/.353/.484. Hart exceeding our expectations has been an extremely pleasant surprise.

A shout-out has to go to Nyjer Morgan here, hitting .324/.358/.458. We didn't project him because he was acquired after the project was completed.

I'll take a look at the pitchers one of these days when I get some time. In the meantime, let's just enjoy the fact that just about all of the hitters are exceeding our expectations and the team is rolling. I'm looking forward to tonight.

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