Charting Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA

Last week I wrote about Baseball Prospectus’ 2012 PECOTA projections.  There was some great feedback from everyone, including Lee’s line which suggested that PECOTA isn’t so much projection for a specific player, but rather a projection for a similar player based on that player’s past performance and comparables.  (Lee runs Tiger Tales and his Beyond Batting Average is a great read for anyone trying to understand sabermetrics).   In light of this, what I wanted to do is take a little closer look at some of BPs 2012 projections, and discuss the accuracy of their 2011 projections for a few players. As Lee suggested, this may give us an idea on whether a regression or improvement is coming.

PECOTA projects quite a of information, but for consistency’s and brevity’s sake, I’m going to focus on OPS and WARP for hitters, and ERA and WARP for pitchers.  If there are other stats which you would like to compare for a player, let me know and I’ll pull them up.  Pitchers then Hitters, in no particular order.

Verlander – projected: 3.32 ERA, 5.5 WARP; actual: 2.40, 5.8.  BP projected a 3.05 ERA and 4.2 WARP for 2012, which would be his lowest WARP by a full run in the last 4 years.  I realize that Verlander’s 2011 was historic, but a full win less seems a bit extreme.

Scherzer – projected: 3.61 ERA, 3.6 WARP; actual: 4.43, 1.0.  I think that Scherzer falls nicely into the “due for a bounceback” bucket.

Valverde – projected: 3.37 ERA, 0.8 WARP; actual: 2.24, .7.  I don’t get why stud relievers have such low WARPs.  Valverde is currently at the top of my list of guys I’d like to share a beer or 10 with.

Porcello – projected: 4.40 ERA, 2.3 WARP; actual: 4.75, 1.1.  I think that everyone outside of Detroit still sees Porcello as a #2 starter.  I think that most of us think that this may be his last year to show it.

Cabrera – projected: .948 OPS, 4.2 WARP; actual: 1.034, 6.5.  I don’t know why anyone (including computers) bids low on Cabs.

Inge – projected: .694 OPS, 1.5 WARP; actual: .548 OPS, .1.  What I wouldn’t have given for a .694 OPS.

Jackson – projected: .704 OPS, 0.2 WARP; actual .681, 2.0.  PECOTA foretold doomsday for AJax mostly because of his outrageous 2010 BABIP of .396.  Well, he still had a .340 average on balls in play for 2011, so I don’t see that going away anytime soon.

Avila – projected: .720 OPS, 0.9 WARP; actual: .895/6.5.  I don’t know if PECOTA was more wrong about any player in 2011, definitely not any other player on the Tigers.  Avila’s tremendous season was buoyed by a .366 BABIP, so a return to normal there will probably lead to a regression in 2012 (PECOTA says .790/3.2).

Boesch – projected: .726 OPS, -0.1 WARP; actual: .799, 2.2.  Boesch’s 2011 projections were largely based on his atrocious 2nd half of 2010.  His improved eye coupled with a healthy season would give me hope that he could easily surpass the .765/1.4 2012 projections.

Fielder – projected: .922 OPS, 3.9 WARP; actual: .981, 5.3.  Fielder has a disappointing 2010 relative to 2009, which helps to explain why BP was aiming a little lower in 2011, but his 2012 projected (.952/5.5) is inline with a superstar who is 28.

Who do you guys see as over/under performing based on last year’s stats?


7 thoughts on “Charting Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA”

      1. Hey Andrew…thanks for recalling that memory.

        Of the many Ranger v. Tigers games that I attended I recall Carlos, Mags, and Ramon always coming out the 3rd base midfield foul line to stretch and run wind sprints after BP and just before the National Anthem was played. During that time, Carlos always smiled and recognized the Tiger fans sitting along the 3b line. He will always be a classy guy and good ballplayer.

  1. My favorite Carlos moment was watching him jack one into the river at PNC partk in 2006. Good beers, good friends, good times.

  2. PECOTA is not a rule of thumb. Go look at the Tigers players 2008-2011 projections and see how often those projections were wrong. It’s mind-boggling and should not be taken seriously.

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