Early Offensive Predictions, 2006

I've been meaning to do this for a week or so, and with ubelmann's post about playing time, this seems a good time to jump into the fray.

You'll find the numbers below, with commentary on most of the primary players following.  Let's open it up.

Offensive Statistics, 2006

Name            GAM   AB  HIT  2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB  BB   SO   AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
Torii Hunter    152  541  147  35  2  24   83  26  52  111  .272  .335  .477  .812
Justin Morneau  151  523  139  28  2  31  104   0  55  107  .266  .336  .505  .841
Luis Castillo   148  542  166  21  7   5   36  27  67   58  .306  .383  .398  .781
Rondell White   143  522  146  31  2  18   85   1  48   91  .280  .344  .450  .794
Joe Mauer       139  535  170  34  3  17   96  10  77   64  .318  .403  .488  .891
Jason Bartlett  137  438  122  21  3   4   32  11  40   65  .279  .339  .368  .707
Shannon Stewart 127  424  116  22  1   8   42   4  31   54  .274  .323  .388  .711
Tony Batista    120  357   93  19  0  21   47   6  18   63  .261  .296  .485  .781
Michael Cuddyer 114  384  106  17  1  14   45   4  31   72  .276  .330  .435  .765
Lew Ford        102  337   94  26  2   7   38  14  38   51  .279  .352  .430  .782
Jason Kubel      86  240   68  15  1   6   28   3  26   38  .283  .391  .429  .820
Nick Punto       70  168   43   9  3   3   11   9  14   42  .256  .313  .363  .676
Luis Rodriguez   66  152   40  11  1   1    8   7  13   30  .263  .321  .355  .676
Mike Redmond     54  124   36   6  0   2   13   0  11   19  .290  .348  .387  .735
Juan Castro      51  112   26  11  0   6   12   0   8   24  .232  .283  .384  .667
Ruben Sierra     26   65   18   3  1   2    8   0   4   25  .277  .319  .400  .719
Glenn Williams   21   57   16   3  0   1    3   0   6   15  .281  .349  .386  .735
Garrett Jones    13   43    9   1  0   3    5   0   5   12  .209  .292  .442  .734
Chris Heintz     10   24    4   1  0   0    0   0   2   10  .167  .231  .208  .431
Terry Tiffee      8   21    3   0  0   0    0   0   5    9  .143  .308  .143  .451
Alex Romero       6   13    4   1  0   1    1   0   2    5  .308  .400  .615 1.015
TOTALS          162 5622 1566 315 29 174  694 122 553  969  .279  .343  .438  .781

Torii Hunter
Torii proves he is at full health in 2006, and ends the season leading the team in games played.  He has a slightly above average season but still belts 24 homers, but because of his lower place in the batting order (6th) he tallies only 83 RBI.  He doesn't quite steal bags at the break-neck pace of 2005, but still swipes 26.  He leads the team in doubles and strikeouts.

Justin Morneau
Morneau takes a number of steps in the right direction, increasing his numbers across the board.  Having a full offseason to train pays off.  He leads the team in a number of offensive categories, including home runs, RBI and SLG.  Possibly missing a stretch of 3-5 games due to a minor ailment, he misses no major time.

Luis Castillo
Castillo is exactly what he hoped he would be:  a great on-base guy at the top of the order.  There isn't much power, but he finds a way to reach base.  He leads the team in steals, and is second to Mauer in hits, walks and OBP.  One possible stretch of missing 5-7 games.

Rondell White
Avoiding major set-backs, White has his first 500 at-bat season since 1999.  Statistically he's not great but he does what he can, making the most of his time in the clean-up role.  Not as much power as we'd like but he drives in 85, good for 3rd on the team.  He's also third in doubles, strikeouts and OBP in the every-day lineup.

Joe Mauer
Coming in at only 139 games, most of Mauer's days off are day-following-night game situations.  He may have a couple streaks of missing 3 or 4 consecutive games.  Performance wise he's fantastic and takes the next step in virtually every phase of the game.  He developes a decent power stroke, mostly to the gaps that helps him be second on the team in doubles.  At his young age he's still quick, and nabs double-digit swipes for the second year in a row.  He leads the team in many offensive categories:  hits, walks, OBP and OPS.

Jason Bartlett
Bartlett turns in 137 games at short, and turns himself into a serviceable piece of the offensive puzzle.  His OBP is still lower than you'd like, but he drives 21 doubles and steals 11 bases en route to an improved season.

Shannon Stewart
Stewart misses two major bits of time in 2006, missing three stretches of 7-10 games that keep him from finding his rhythm.  This missed time hides the fact that, while his speed is dropping off and his defensive abilities are still liabilities, he can hit if he stays healthy long enough to do so.  He finishes on a downward skid and has another sub-par year.

Tony Batista
A majority of Batista's time comes in the first half of the season, playing 75 of his games and hitting 15 of his home runs before the break.  A bleak second half sees his starts and AB/game drop off.  His displays of power make for a deceivingly average OPS.

Michael Cuddyer
Cuddyer wins the RF job out of spring training and holds it down for the first couple months of the season.  He's spelled regularly by Lew Ford, then more and more often by Jason Kubel.  When it becomes apparent that Batista's skills at the plate are creating a hole in the lineup, he's moved back to third where his offensive numbers begin to slip.  His shows finesse at the plate and an improved overall game, but the constant switching of positions never lets him get comfortable.

Lew Ford
Most of Ford's major playing time comes in the middle months of the season when Cuddyer is in transition to third base, when Stewart is injured, and when Kubel is still getting his feet wet.  He sees lots of partial games, and in spite of the inconsistant time improves his numbers.  At season's end when Kubel has taken his place in right field, Ford's time mostly comes in left field during Stewart's games out of the lineup.

Jason Kubel
Kubel is brought to the club late in May, initially as a bench player.  As the summer wears on his time becomes more consistant, and his numbers begin to rise.  His injury is behind him, although he is not at his previous playing levels, and he misses no time other than days off.  Right field is his everyday role by August.

Nick Punto, Luis Rodriguez, Juan Castro
These guys all split utility time, with most of Punto's time at 2B and SS, Rodriguez's time at 2B and 3B, and Castro's time at SS and 3B.  Thankfully there are only 2 or 3 days where they are all in the lineup together.

Naked BP
Redmond plays his backup role well, and is productive when he plays, notching a good average and OBP.  He doesn't have a lot of offensive opportunities, but he makes the most of them when he does.

Ruben Sierra
All of Sierra's time comes early in the season as an injury callup.  When the Twins try to option him back to AAA, he refuses and is released.

Glenn Williams
Williams gets random starts at 3B, but never more than 2 in a row.  All of his time is after the All Star break, and while he isn't as impressive at his short time last year, he'd be a decent stop-gap player for a couple weeks if we needed him to be.

Garrett Jones, Chris Heintz, Terry Tiffee, Alex Romero
Heintz and Tiffee prove why they'll never see Twins uniforms again.  Romero is a monster in the final 2 1/2 weeks of the season, getting sporatic at-bats but being quite successful at the dish.  Garrett Jones isn't quite as successful but is a bit more flashy, getting only 9 hits with 3 of them being extremely long home runs.

What I missed...
I forgot to calculate Runs Scored, but at this stage of the game it's time for bed.  Also there's this dude who goes by the name of Wooten, who I think may have better luck as a third catcher than Heintz 57.

Coming up is a long weekend, but hopefully I can get my pitcher predictions up by late Sunday night.

Was I too optimistic in certain areas?  Too pessimistic?  Discuss and debate...

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