The last thing the baseballblogosphere needs is another cleverly-named projection system for players. And that's exactly why we at Walkoff Walk decided to add our collective voice to the statistical noise: we're just a bunch of jerks. Introducing the first-ever player projection forecasting system that dispenses with the OBPs and the FIPs, instead deciding to group every single player by age and write something mildly interesting about them. We call it BONILLA, or Based On Nothing Interesting, Let's Look At Age.
Inspired partly by the Nate Silver's PECOTA projection system, Sean Smith's CHONE, Tango Tiger's Marcel, and of course Free Darko's Every Player Preview from 2007, we won't necessarily try to predict how your favorite player will perform, nor will we give you any sort of fantasy baseball insight. Think of these short previews, spread out over the next three weeks, as more of a reflection on the past and a hopeful look towards the future; we're all baseball fans at Walkoff Walk and we want to see everyone shine, baby.
Today, in no particular order, we look at players born in 1974:
Bobby Abreu, RF: As of press time, still teamless and still kind of annoyed that unemployment insurance maxes out at $405 in New York State.
Chad Bradford, RP: When asked whether his knuckles ever get dirty due to his submarine style of pitching Bradford replied, "No, that's just poop." Has pitched for 6 teams in 11 years.
Emil Brown, OF: Negated a strong 2008 start after realization that he was Emil Brown. Trying to forget again.
Sean Casey, 1B: Often noted as the nicest guy in the game. So nice he refuses to make pitchers feel bad by hitting home runs. Hasn't hit more than 9 in a season since 2004. Unemployed at press time.
Matt Clement, SP: A walking harbinger of calamity, has not thrown a pitch since 2006. Signed by the Toronto Blue Jays for upcoming season. Could be first ever human to turn into a brushfire or mudslide.
Jermaine Dye, RF: Has received MVP votes in two of last seasons. Has received hideous ties from mother every Christmas since puberty.
Darin Erstad, OF: Played 140 games for Houston Astros but still somehow most popular Anaheim Angel. Sleeps with a chunk of surfwax by his head.
Derek Jeter, SS: Hasn't won a title in 8 years. Posted 3rd lowest OPS of career last season. Rear end smells like Rob Iracane's face anyway.
Braden Looper, SP: Gave up 216 hits in 199 innings last year. If he retired right now he'd have a sandwich career too! The Cardinals rotation stinks.
Mike Lowell, 3B
Mike Lowell, 3B: Lots of people are wondering if he'll recover from hip surgery well enough to be effective for the Red Sox in 2009. Um... he had cancer once. Wife is named Bertica, which I have never heard anyone else be named in human history.
Gary Matthews Jr., OF, DH: Makes crapload of money to not do very much with the Angels. Last year OPSd at .676 in 426 ABs. Hit 8 HRs. Still clubhouse champ at that touchscreen game where you have to find the differences between two naked pictures, so we'll see how that effects his playing time in '09.
Bengie Molina, C Favorite Clash album? Sandanista! Favorite Molina brother? Himself!
Magglio Ordonez, RF: Some people like his hair. Some people like his hitting. I like that after all of these years he's still friends with Rich Garces. And that Rich Garces is the president of Venezuela. THE TIGERS ARE GONNA SCORE 3000 RUNS THIS YEAR.
Richie Sexson, 1B: Sexson has hit 30 or more HR in six seasons and 40 or more twice. My college girlfriend used to be attracted to him. He has a car that runs on shed pet hair. He is unemployed. The only thing he and I have in common is that last point.
Miguel Tejada, SS: ERROR MESSAGE.
Jose Vidro, DH: Have you ever seen Jose Vidro and The Loch Ness Monster in the same place? No because The Loch Ness Monster isn't real, AND because Jose Vidro only played in like 80 games last year. Lightest hitting DH in baseball. I'm talking about Vidro, not the monster.
Luis Vizcaino, RP
Luis Vizcaino, RP: There is nothing wrong with Luis Vizcaino that can't be solved with what is right about Luis Vizcaino. Except his pitching.
Jarrod Washburn, SP Is Jarrod Washburn the best pitcher to ever come out of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh? Probably. But he's not the best State Treasurer to come out of UWO. That's Jack Voight.
Mark Hendrickson, RP: The Orioles brought Hendrickson on board presumably cause he throws hard and he likes Utz Crab Chips. That or they think he's the guy that invented Hendrickson's Disposable Time Machines. HE ISN'T.
Hideki Matsui, LF: Since he arrived in 2003 Hideki Matsui has always scared me the most coming up in big situations. Everything he hits seems like a line drive and he does a really creepy Dracula impression.
Tad Iguchi, 2B : Iguchi's first couple of years in the league were very productive. He hit a rough patch in SD last year, and was traded to the Phils. He won a World Series there. So did a bunch of other players because baseball is a team sport.
Thanks also to Sean Lahman for his invaluable database.