Archive for the ‘Projections’ Category

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels

If talk is cheap, Spring Training workout talk is “wheelbarrow full of devalued currency” worthless. Everybody is in the best shape of their life, everybody is primed for a big season, everybody is ready to leave last year in the past.

When it’s Mike Trout who starts making noise about improving over 2013 and being in the best shape of his life, people tend to notice. In a pre-camp State of the Franchise address with Angels media, Trout expressed a desire to bring his stolen base totals up after swiping a mere 33 bags in 2013.

Stolen bases aside, the question of Mike Trout’s future performance is a very interesting one. Specifically: how much better can he get? And on the flip side of that question, what would it look like if he got worse?

Read the rest of this entry »

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres

The San Francisco Giants are, as constructed, a decent team. Probably not as good as the Dodgers, probably a little better than the Diamondbacks (but with a lower floor on their win total.) They didn’t add much this off-season, save the addition of veteran starter Tim Hudson and slugger Michael Morse, but the talent they have is pretty good.

The Giants have areas of concern (left field), areas of adequacy (SS, 2B, CF), and areas of quality (RF, 1B, 3B). To their credit, they do not look anything like a “stars and scrubs” program until a single player gets hurt, at which point they’re cooked.

There is one position the Giants have a serious advantage. At one position, the Giants are the class of the league. Not because of any platoon but because of one man. The Giants have Buster Posey and he’s really great.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Houston Astros

If you are a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels, or Los Angeles Dodgers, holding onto belief that your team still has time to make an impact in the playoff races, you don’t care much for projection systems and playoff odds. Cold arithmetic isn’t going to heal your wounded heart, nor will it temper your excitement should your chosen franchise string together a few wins, infusing said heart with valuable hope.

If you aren’t a fan of one of those teams, you can look at Fangraphs new projected standings/depth charts feature and laugh until your sides hurt. Because, according to “the numbers”, it’s all over but the crying.

Read the rest of this entry »

Baltimore Orioles v Minnesota Twins

It is hard to let go of the past. With baseball players specifically, the past does not always inform the future as much as we’d like. It becomes harder and harder for a once-great player to recover the form which made him great in the first place as he ages. Add injuries to the mix and a former MVP turns into a role player in just a few years.

If you needed to choose between the careers of Justin Morneau or Adam Lind, you would pick Justin Morneau every single time. Morneau is more decorated, played longer, made more money and simply has a better career to date.

Career is one thing, the future is another. While Adam Lind is less than an ideal fit for the left-handed side of the Jays DH/1B rotation this year. Realistically speaking, he isn’t that much worse an option than the big Canadian currently playing out the final year of his contract for the Twins, despite Morneau’s recent overtures.

Read the rest of this entry »

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals

The granddaddy of them all, the PECOTA projections, strode onto their virtual stage today. Any time you bill your product as “deadly accurate” it invites additional scrutiny but, for many people, PECOTA is the gold standard. Whether or not it lives up to that billing, that is a matter for taller foreheads than my own.

The system is more than just spitting out slashlines based on ageing curves and the like. Adjustments are made for ballparks (both home and away) and playing time. For many people, it justifies the expense (nominal as it might be) of a full BP superscription for the year.

Enough with the passive-aggressive sales pitch, let’s put these numbers to work: how to they expect the Marlins 23-year old masher, Getting Blanked raison d’etre, Giancarlo Stanton, to fare in 2013?

Read the rest of this entry »

Jurikson Profar is one the top two prospects in baseball. Like the other top prospect, Dylan Bundy, Profar made a cameo appearance at the big league level in 2012. The Rangers used Profar sparingly, as they already have a terrific shortstop in place. Soon, Profar is sure to force the Rangers hand and insert himself into their lineup.

There just aren’t that many teenaged, switch-hitting shortstops who make the big leagues at 19. Profar is on the fast track, a player Keith Law describes as one who improves even as the level of competition increases and shows no holes in his game.

The Rangers are on to something quite special – and they have the luxury of taking their time with this incredibly valuable asset. Profar ranked as Law’s top prospect in baseball after his midseason update and sat atop Kevin Goldstein`s midseason list as well.

What if they did jump him to an everyday job in the big leagues in 2013? What if they traded him, perhaps in a fabled Giancarlo Stanton package? What kind of numbers would the 20-year old put up this year? Let’s ask the projection systems what they think.

Read the rest of this entry »

When Sandy Alderson shipped R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays, he did so with an eye on the future. According to the Mets GM’s latest WFAN radio hit, a key piece of that future could debut with the Mets sooner than later. Alderson hinted that Travis d’Arnaud could open the season with the big club, via New York Daily News:

“I just don’t want to rule anything out,” Alderson said. “But at the same time, I don’t want to create false expectations for our fans or put pressure on Travis. He hasn’t played since last June (because of a knee injury). . . . As far as Opening Day is concerned, he could be with us. But we have a very capable veteran in John Buck as well.”

Read the rest of this entry »