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.


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.


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.


  1. Sky

    February 2, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Jacque Jones will never face a left-hander pitcher, greatly increasing his expected OPS. Plus, he’s a defensive addition.

    How do Tiger fans view Bonderman? What’s with his first inning struggles and late-season collapse last year. An injury? There’s just no way you can’t like his skills and peripherals. Is he another Glendon Rusch type?

  2. Dave BW

    February 2, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    The general consensus is that his late-season troubles were due to pitching through an injury (Bonderman’s said as much). The 1st inning problem can only be a bizarre psychological handicap.

  3. billfer

    February 2, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Sky – It depends who you ask. I’m pro Bonderman, but he does have to put a full season together soon. Fans have tagged him as mentally weak which I don’t really buy into.

    As for his struggles last year, he was pitching with a sore elbow for quite awhile.

  4. Dave BW

    February 3, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Stupid BP. How am I supposed to judge a player if they don’t even tell me his OE%?

  5. Eric Cioe

    February 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Dave – you’re not.

  6. Dead Rabbit

    February 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    seeing if the ban has been lifted

  7. billfer

    February 3, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    It was never a ban. It was a one week suspension which I explained in the numerous emails I sent to you.

  8. fordfieldrow2

    February 3, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    i’m worried about pitching staff.

  9. Lee Panas

    February 3, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Sky, I’m still pretty high on Bonderman as long as his elbow is healthy. He got off to a strong start last year and then completely fell apart when he tried to pitch through the elbow problem. The PECOTA estimate looks about right to me.

    He seems to get flustered on occasion when he doesn’t have his his best stuff but I think the mental aspect gets overplayed.
    The bigger problem is his lack of a good third pitch beyond his fast ball slider.

  10. David G.

    February 4, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Ah, yes. Spring Training is almost here, get ready for the numerous pieces on how Bondy is working hard on a changeup and how it’s really coming along well, maybe even how the old veteran Kenny R. is helping him with it. And then get ready to completely disregard that on 3/31 & beyond as won’t have a 3rd pitch whatsoever.

  11. Eric Cioe

    February 4, 2008 at 11:31 am

    David G.,

    If you go to the pitch f/x graphs for Bonderman, it shows that from a sample of about 800 pitches, he threw 5% changes. So he has it, but he probably throws 2-5 a game.

  12. David G.

    February 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    That was kind of my point, to be honest, I was perhaps using a bit of exxageration. Obviously a pitch you throw 2-5 times a game is not exactly an effective pitch, you really can’t even set much up with it.

  13. Dave BW

    February 4, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    David –

    Come opening day, Bonderman will shock and awe us all with the unprecedented greatness of his changeup. It will make women swoon, men weep, and possibly cure cancer. Just you wait!

  14. Chris in Dallas

    February 5, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Dave BW haha on the cancer curing changeup. I think Bonderman will surprise some people if he can stay healthy. He really needs to refine the 3rd pitch though (where have I heard that before?). Methinks his elbow problems in the second half were due to throwing 3419 sliders in the first half. If he’s got a reliable third pitch, maybe he doesn’t have to do that…