Let's see what 142 of you had to say about arguably the most difficult projection on the team:
BA: .283 (.014)
OBP: .347 (.015)
SLG: 512 (.034)
IsoPa: .063 (.008)
IsoPo: .228 (.023)
(Note: "IsoPa" refers to "Isolated Patience", or OBP - BA, while "IsoPo" refers to "Isolated Power, or SLG - BA. For the rate stats, the standard deviation is listed in parentheses. Thanks a million to reader Bryan McCulloch for helping out with the error calculations.)
You guys are optimistic. And that's not a criticism, because who the hell knows? On the one hand, Beltre's projected 2007 stat line would (easily) make for the second-best season of his career - loosely translated into a .292/.353/.533 line for a neutral park. The community, despite substantial Beltre-related frustration over the last two years, thinks he's going to be better across the board, from the average to the power to the walks to the strikeouts, and that's unusual to see. But on the other, he did have a monster second half in 2006, when he looked like a different hitter while posting a Safeco-deflated .892 OPS. Participants basically think he's going to repeat those two and a half months, only with a little less power. Makes sense, given that our most recent memories of Beltre at the plate are good ones.
Perhaps what's most interesting here, though, is the consistency with which optimism pervades the individual projections. Using an adjusted OPS (aOPS) - 1.7*OBP + SLG - 135 of 142 people think Beltre's going to be better in 2007 than he was in 2006. Only one person thinks he regresses back to 2005 form. In fact, more people think he ends up within ten points of his 2004 aOPS (10) than within ten points of his 2005 aOPS (9). That's incredible to me, and I think it speaks to just how badly every last one of us wants this bastard to hit. I'm not going to lie, I do think there's a bias here resulting in higher numbers, but with someone like Beltre, I can't say that for sure. His range of possible outcomes is just way too large, and this projected line is well within reach for someone of his talent level.
This year's Mariner lineup is going to score a lot of runs, but if Adrian Beltre can hit this well all year long, it's going to be one of the best in the league, and the sort of offense that can almost singlehandedly push a team into the playoffs. Cross your fingers, harder than you've ever crossed them before.