I didn't go into any detail about specific players, but did predict better overall results in the categories of batting average and slugging percentage which is precisely what happened (OBP stayed roughly the same). I went on to note that since several of the players had significant experience at the AAA level with good results, I saw no reason that trend wouldn't continue. Players such as J.B. Shuck, Brett Wallace, Brad Snyder, Scott Moore and Jimmy Paredes performed as I expected while players such as Justin Ruggiano, Angel Sanchez and Fernando Martinez outperformed my expectations. And Mike Hessman's 35 home runs didn't exactly hurt the team slugging percentage.
This is how things shook out:
2011 - .260/.341/.381 with 4.33 runs scored per game
2012 - .282/.349/.434 with 5.34 runs scored per game
Much as I noted for Corpus Christi's rotation, it really wasn't a stretch to predict that an opening day rotation of Jordan Lyles, Aneury Rodriguez and Henry Sosa (all with significant major league experience), as well as Dallas Keuchel and Paul Clemens (both of whom had gotten their feet wet at AAA the prior year) would be an upgrade over Ryan Rowland-Smith, Nelson Figueroa, Andy Van Hekken, Sergio Perez and a younger version of Jordan Lyles. Little did I know that Rodriguez and Clemens would struggle and Sosa would leave the team after only six starts. Keuchel and Lyles both performed well, however, and ended up in Houston.
It took several players who didn't start the season with Oklahoma City, such as Brett Oberholtzer, Wes Musick, Armando Galarraga and Jarred Cosart, to keep the starting rotation from taking a big step backward from last season. Mickey Storey showed great consistency out of the bullpen, but he was the exception rather than the rule.
On paper I saw the 2011 and 2012 staffs (at least the way they were drawn up on opening day) as being roughly equivalent as translated to wins and losses but that was if the pitchers showed no improvement. I anticipated that they would most definitely show improvement, but as noted above, the results were mixed and ultimately the staff did not perform as well as I had hoped.
This is how the pitching stacked up:
2011 - 4.63 ERA/1.561 WHIP/5.01 runs allowed per game
2012 - 4.91 ERA/1.508 WHIP/5.30 runs allowed per game
With the offense overperforming somewhat and the pitching (overall) underperforming a bit, it was kind of a wash and this turned out to be my closest prediction.
2011 Actual - 68-75/.476 win percentage
2012 Prediction - 76-68/.527 win percentage
2012 Actual - 78-65/.545 win percentage
I underestimated the number of wins in 2012 for these four teams by 26. I was under by four on Lexington, a whopping 14 on Lancaster, six on Corpus and only two on Oklahoma City. Little did I know that this group of four teams would go from a cumulative win percentage of .414 to a cumulative win percentage of .538 in one season. I thought that my cumulative prediction of .489 might be too ambitious, but I also hoped that the individual teams would prove me wrong by winning more than I projected. This is one instance when I'm very, very happy to have been wrong.