This post is part of a contest in which you could win a free Let's Go Tribe t-shirt. In order to enter, just copy and paste the template at the bottom of this post into the comments, then fill in each category with your own prediction for how this player will do in 2014. Position players and pitchers will be featured as two separate contests. You need not submit predictions for every single player in either contest in order to win, but doing so will increase your chances, as points will be awarded separately for each player.
For position players, you'll be asked to predict each player's plate appearances (PA), home runs (HR), stolen bases (SB), batting average (BA), on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging percentage (SLG).
The comments on each post in this series will remain open through Saturday, March 29.
In a year in which the Indians were full of surprises, Gomes very well may have been the biggest. Practically an afterthought heading into camp, Gomes got a shot in early April and took off running. Well, kind of. He actually went 0-7 in his first two games, but by the end of the year, that inauspicious start would be a faint memory. A .294/.345/.481 line with 11 HR in just 322 PA would be a great line from anyone - from a catcher with a rocket arm, great defense and an incredible talent for managing a game, that is out-of-this-world good. Good enough, in fact, that he displaced the Indians best hitter and took over as starting catcher by the end of the year.
So now Gomes comes to camp as the team's starting catcher - no competition, no fighting for a roster spot. Carlos Santana will be his primary backup, but we should expect to see a full season of Gomes defensive brilliance on display. The question, of course, is what kind of offense he will bring to the table. As great at 2013 was, he still has only posted 433 career PA, far too small a sample size to just pencil him in for a repeat performance.
Before providing my own thoughts, let's start with a variety of projection systems, as displayed on Gomes's FanGraphs player page:
My Two Cents
Suffice it to say, most Tribe fans won't be thrilled to see Gomes put up a line matching any of those three systems. As a side note, Oliver projects all players to 600 PA, so take that 20 HR with a big grain of salt. Gomes will be much closer to 400 than 600 PA this year. So what do I see him doing? I'll split the difference between 2013 and the projections: 17 HR and 2 SB with a .273./.316/.445 line.
You're welcome just to pull numbers out of thin air, but if you want to compIndians 2014 preview and predictions: Carlos Santanaute the rate stats more scientifically, here are some easy to use links that will help you with batting average, with on-base percentage, and with slugging percentage.
There will be an additional post with some "extras" to predict, including how many games in which Santana will play third base, but for now we're just talking offensive production.
To submit your entry, simply copy-and-paste the text below into a new comment, then fill in your predictions: