Grading my Predictions

Some of my predictions were somewhat decent, but others were way off. I expected Edgardo Alfonzo to have a great year, but instead he slumped, while I predicted Cruz pretty solidly.

At the beginning of the season, I wrote three articles about the Giants new players. At the end of each article, I included some predictions as to how they would do in the 2003 season. Now, with two months left in the major league season, I feel it is a good time to grade myself.

Predictions must be graded in more than one way, especially if they are being analyzed before the season is complete. The most important factor is how close they are to the player's current numbers, but there is also the factor of how possible it is that they could climb or fall to the predicted stats by the season's end.

Ray Durham:
With this in mind, it is now time for me to begin looking at my expectations. For Ray Durham, I wrote: "I predict Durham will hit .292, have an .OBP of .380, and steal 35 bases. He will score 126 runs because he is batting ahead of Barry Bonds."

Sadly, Durham has not quite reached my expectations so far. According to ESPN's projections, by the end of the season, he will have stolen 10 bases and scored merely 71 runs. His batting average is .281, not that far off from .292, and his OBP is .367. There are several reasons for his stats. First, he had been injured for a couple of weeks in May. Looking at how often he played in his previous seasons, I expected him to have another full season. But no matter how you look at it, I was off. While my batting average and on-base percentage numbers were pretty close, I was way off in terms of runs and stolen bases. It is impossible for him to catch up to what I originally expected of him at this point.

Jose Cruz Jr.
For Jose Cruz. Jr. I stated: "I predict him to hit .275 with 25 HR, 90 RBI, 30 SB, 80 walks, and only 100 strikeouts. "
Grade: C

With Cruz, I was somewhat off, but not nearly as badly as Durham. While his batting average is .249, 28 points off my projected .275, he is projected to hit 23 home runs this season, only two off from my total. I actually under-estimated his total walks. He is on track to walk an impressive 102 times. However, my predict of 80 walks was still impressive, since I did correctly predict a sharp increase in his total. However, he is on track to strike out more than 123times, and I said he would strike out only 100 times. My RBI totals appear to be a little high, since he is currently being projected to drive in a total of 73 runs. Again, like with Durham, I was expecting to steal bases much more often and much more successfully than he has. But my expectations are not completely off in this case. He could easily match or exceed a total of 25 home runs. He could, with another good month or two, get rather close to the projection of 90 RBI, but for him to meet that expectation would be highly unlikely. His chances of reaching a .275 batting average are pretty slim. Overall, I would say this is my best projection, since I was able to successfully predict his improved patience at the plate.
Grade: B

Edgardo Alfonzo:
"All in all, I expect him to hit .315 with 20 home runs, 100 RBIs, and 100 walks. He will be a solid 5th place hitter, less powerful yet more patient Jeff Kent." Guess who this was about?

That's right… Edgardo Alfonzo. What the hell was I thinking? There is no way he will get close to any of my hopes or dreams. His line looks like it will end up being .252-10-67 instead of .315-20-100. I was way off target with everything here. There is no salvaging point, no bright spot. He had an off-year, while I was expecting a career year.
Grade: D-

Jesse Radin writes for and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to

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