The 2008 PECOTA’s are here

Baseball Prospectus has released it’s 2008 player projection system known as PECOTA. What’s available at this point isn’t the full results of the system, just the weighted mean. PECOTA offers projections across a spectrum which are available on the player cards which will be forthcoming. What we have now is the middle.

PECOTA is premium content so I won’t post all the projections here (I recommend a BP premium subsciption, at least for the next month or buy the annual). Still, I will note some items.

Offense

It was a surprisingly gloomy picture on offense when I opened up the spreadsheet. I didn’t expect them to forecast another batting title for Magglio Ordonez or another quad 20 for Granderson, but I was a little surprised how down some of the projections were.

  • Curtis Granderson’s 2008 is forecast to be much more like his 2006 than his 2007, but they do like him for a .486 slugging percentage and they give him a very high upside score (20th highest for position players).
  • The system hates Jacque Jones and sees only a .699 OPS. Players expected to significantly outperform that are Marcus Thames, Ryan Raburn, Brandon Inge, and Timo Perez.
  • But the Tigers do have some decent balance in the forecasts with 6 of the 9 members of the starting lineup projected to be at least 20 runs above replacement (and Edgar Renteria is at 18). Detroit is the only American League team that can claim that many.

Pitchers

The system likes the Tigers starters though.

  • Justin Verlander has Josh Beckett and Kevin Millwood as his top two comparables and is projected to headline the Tigers staff (and several other staffs as well).
  • PECOTA still sees big things for Jeremy Bonderman and he has the 22nd highest upside score bolstered by a 3:1 K:BB ratio.
  • The system likes Dontrelle Willis to rebound a little and be a league average pitcher with a 4.55 ERA. Not too shabby since that’s the highest projected ERA in the rotation.
  • One caveat on the above bullet is that PECOTA only sees Kenny Rogers pitching 57 innings. The list of pitchers in their mid 40’s throwing more than that is probably a pretty small number and his injury last year was probably also a large factor.
  • As for who might be eating those innings? PECOTA would go with Yorman Bazardo narrowly edging out Virgil Vasquez with either giving typical 5th starter type numbers.

If you want all the numbers, you’ll have to buy the book or a subscription. And keep in mind these are projections, not gospel. Players will over perform and under perform the numbers. But there is some science behind this stuff, and it’s a nice objective check compared to one’s gut – especially when it comes to your favorite players.

Take I75 North has some comments on the prospect projections.