Over the years a lot of people have claimed that the Bill James projections are optimistic. In a straight player to player comparison it will often seem that way, but the league average of these projections is important to consider. For example, let’s consider a couple examples.
Player A is projected to hit .330 wOBA, league average is .330 wOBA
Player A is projected to hit .340 wOBA, league average is .345 wOBA
Player A looks a lot better with his .340 projection, but it’s actually slightly worse than league average whereas in the first one he’s projected to be exact league average.
This year’s projections do not include hit batters and only a few projections include ROE so the best we can do is ignore them and we reach a league average of .335 wOBA. Adding in the HBP and ROE would probably increase it to at least .340 and it’s almost certainly going to be higher than any other projection system. Moving on.
I expect we’ll see LaHair projected to be the best or second best among the current signed player in most projections. If you’re curious, Carlos Pena is projected to hit .353. Aramis Ramirez is projected to hit .362.