2016 Bill James Projections: Craig Kimbrel

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2010: 4-0, 21 games, 1 save, 20.2 IP, 0.44 ERA, 16 BB, 40 SO
2011 projection: 5-2, 63 games, 25 saves, 63 IP, 2.57 ERA, 47 BB, 100 SO
2011: 4-3, 79 games, 46 saves, 77 IP, 2.10 ERA, 32 BB, 127 SO
2012 projection: 6-3, 74 games, 44 saves, 74 IP, 1.95 ERA, 39 BB, 121 SO
2012: 3-1, 63 games, 42 saves, 62.2 IP, 1.01 ERA, 14 BB, 116 SO
2013 projection: 5-2, 64 games, 39 saves, 65 IP, 1.38 ERA, 22 BB, 109 SO
2013: 4-3, 68 games, 50 saves, 67 IP, 1.21 ERA, 20 BB, 98 SO
2014 projection: 6-2, 50 saves, 72 games, 74 IP, 1.34 ERA, 22 BB, 120 SO
2014: 0-3, 63 games, 47 saves, 61.2 IP, 1.61 ERA, 26 BB, 95 SO
2015 projection: 5-2, 65 games,  56 saves, 64 IP, 1.55 ERA, 23 BB, 102 SO
2015: 4-2, 61 games, 39 saves, 59.1 IP, 2.58 ERA, 22 BB, 87 SO
2016 projection: 5-2, 67 games, 45 saves, 66 IP, 1.77 ERA, 25 BB, 103 SO

The Criag Kimbrel trade was the very first big story for the Sox in an offseason full of them. When we found out that Kimbrel would be coming to Boston, we didn’t yet know that 2016 would be David Ortiz’s final season, or that he would soon be joined by David Price.

After the news broke regarding regarding the domestic violence investigation swirling around Aroldis Chapman, we learned that the Red Sox had previously been debating the merits of the two closers, ultimately abandoning their pursuit of Chapman when the domestic violence allegations came to light during a background check.

And so the front office traded a better prospect package to get Kimbrel, complete with more years of team control and a lack of criminal and league investigations.

So what will the Red Sox really be getting with Craig Kimbrel? Youth, for one thing. Former closer Koji Uehara will be 40 years old this season, and Kimbrel is twelve years his junior. While youth doesn’t automatically equal health, Kimbrel has consistently been able to stay on the field and perform at a high level.

As far as the jump from National League to American League, Kimbrel has already gone on record saying he’s looking forward to the challenge. While Bill James and his team calculated Kimbrel’s 2016 projections before the trade, they’re likely to give us a reasonable look at his production, and those numbers look pretty good.

Assuming Kimbrel gets a fair number of save opportunities, it looks like he’ll turn out to be a wise investment.

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