Thursday, July 18, 2013

Preseason projections revisited.

From Wikipedia:

PECOTA, an acronym for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, is a sabermetric system for forecasting Major League Baseball player performance. The word is abackronym based on the name of journeyman major league player Bill Pecota, who with a lifetime batting average of .249 is perhaps representative of the typical PECOTA entry. PECOTA was developed by Nate Silver in 2002-2003 and introduced to the public in the book Baseball Prospectus 2003.[1] Baseball Prospectus (BP) has owned PECOTA since 2003; Silver managed PECOTA from 2003 to 2009. He was responsible for the PECOTA projections for the 2003—2009 baseball seasons. Beginning in Spring 2009, BP assumed responsibility for producing the annual forecasts. The first baseball season for which Silver played no role in producing the PECOTA projections was 2010.[2]
One of several widely publicized statistical systems of forecasts of player performance, PECOTA player forecasts are marketed by BP as a fantasy baseball product. Since 2003, annual PECOTA forecasts have been published both in the Baseball Prospectus annual books and, in more detailed form, on the subscription-based website.[3] PECOTA also inspired some analogous projection systems for other professional sports: KUBIAK for the National Football League, SCHOENE[4] for the National Basketball Association, and VUKOTA[5] for the National Hockey League.
PECOTA forecasts a player's performance in all of the major categories used in typical fantasy baseball games; it also forecasts production in advanced sabermetric categories developed by Baseball Prospectus (e.g., VORP and EqA). In addition, PECOTA forecasts several summary diagnostics such as breakout rates, improve rates, and attrition rates, as well as the market values of the players. The logic and methodology underlying PECOTA have been described in several publications, but the detailed formulas are proprietary and have not been shared with the baseball research community.

Now that you know all this....I'm going to revisit the preseason PECOTA projections for several key Reds players and compare the results and see if certain players are going to overachieve, underachieve, or pretty much match their projections.

I will be using the standard "slash" stats (avg/on base/slugging), WARP (wins over replacement player) and certain other cherry picked numbers such as HR. I am not factoring in RBI as RBI is a team dependent statistic based on where you are batting, who is ahead of you, etc. I will also not be looking at pitcher W/L record, but for pitchers I will be looking at ERA, FIP (fielding independent pitching), and WARP. 

Please note-defense and baserunning is also figured in WARP for offensive players.

Joey Votto-projection- .300/.401/.532, 29 HR, 6.0 WARP
Votto at the break-      .318/.434/.506, 15 HR 4.3 WARP

On base is ahead of projections, slugging is slightly down, mostly due to a lack of doubles, HR is slightly below pace but a hot streak could flip that quickly. Joey Votto continues to be one of the best players in baseball, despite what the talking heads in the Cincinnati media would want you to believe. 

Shin-Soo Choo-projection-.276/.368/.462, 21 HR, 19 steals,6 caught stealing, 4.0 WARP
At the break-                     .287/.425/.468, 13 HR, 11 steals, 6 caught stealing, 3.8 WARP

Choo has greatly exceeded expectations, mostly due to his high on base percentage. He could basically be a crappy player the rest of the year and meet his WARP projection. He's been pretty bad defensively, being 4 runs below average, which is almost 0.5 WARP. He's gotten half those runs back with baserunning, and it could be better if not for the 6 caught stealing already. 

Jay Bruce-projection-.255/.326/.481, 28 HR, 2.9 WARP
                                .277/.325/.507, 19 HR, 2.7 WARP

I don't have much to add to this. Bruce has consistently been an above average player but not a superstar, and that is what he continues to be. If he could turn that on base percentage into the .350 or .360 range he would probably be an MVP candidate, but that's probably not going to happen at this point. He's 26 now, he is who he is, and he's pretty good.

Brandon Phillips-projection-.266/.314/.425, 20 HR, 2.4 WARP
                                           .266/.320/.413, 12 HR, 1.6 WARP

Projections are pretty much right on the fucking money.

Some more guys...but I don't want to type all this out:

Todd Frazier is right in his projection ranges, except for slugging and HR. He's been quite good defensively as well. 
Everyone's favorite whipping boy, Zack Cozart, has been a little bit under projection, but not super under. He's not that good of a player at his best, so I don't know what people are expecting. He's a slightly less than average shortstop (because there aren't that many great shortstops right now) and as Dennis Green would say:
Ryan Hanigan has been bloody awful, and way below projections, but I wonder if injuries are playing a part, or if he's just gotten old. Same thing with Chris Heisey, although he's not old.

I'll do pitchers on my next post. 

 Is anybody even reading these things? Leave a comment if you like this stuff I'm writing. Even if no one is reading it I find it fun to look this stuff up and analyse it, so I'll keep doing it regardless.

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