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Bill James 2008 Predictions Up

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Fangraphs has Bill James' 2008 projections, and the numbers are looking pretty good for the Jays. Here are the projections for the batters:

Adam Lind: .297/.349/.500
Lyle Overbay: .282/.361/.456
Vernon Wells: .276/.333/.471
Alexis Rios: .294/.353/.484
Troy Glaus: .261/.360/.490
Reed Johnson: .276/.350/.391
Matt Stairs: .260/.351/.452
Frank Thomas: .262/.374/.494
John McDonald: .235/.273/.308
Aaron Hill: .292/.346/.440
Greg Zaun: .245/.344/.381
Marco Scutaro: .256/.320/.384

I'm a lot more skeptical of pitcher projections, so let's save those for later. But these numbers look a lot better than the ZIPS ones. Lind, Overbay, Wells, Rios, Glaus, Stairs, and Thomas are all over .800 OPS, and Hill is just under (it'd be nice to see Hill get back to that OBP). The biggest problems I see are McDonald, those numbers aren't pretty at all, but Scutaro should offer some relief, and generally middling (at best) OBPs. The lineup looks righty heavy, but Lind would go a long way to balance that if he hits like James thinks he will.

I lead with Lind because that's the biggest news to me - James really likes Lind for '08, which is pretty impressive given how much Lind struggled last season. If those numbers are right or close, I'm not sure these Jays can afford not to Lind OPS-ing .850 from the left side, especially given Lind's strength as a defensive leftfielder last season. Maybe Lind should platoon with Sparky in left and Stairs can get his abs giving Thomas and Wells some rest (with Rios switching to center) against righties. Anyway, I don't think it's overstating the case to say that Lind could be one of the keys to the Jays' season (along with health and a return to form of Wells and Overbay, of course). I think we should get him into the lineup.

If you want to browse the Bill James projections, they're at the season stats section of fangraphs, not the projections section.