Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Real Thing Versus Pre-Season Projections

Before the season started, I took forecasts from three popular projection systems listed below:

I entered projections from these three systems into a spreadsheet and calculated the averages for Tiger hitters and pitchers. When the season was a quarter of the way done, I compared the stats at that time to the pre-season projections and found that the majority of players were outperforming their projections. Now, with the season half of the way done and the Tigers roaring along with a 55-26 record, I thought it would be a good time for an update. To keep it simple, I use OPS for hitters and ERA for pitchers. The results are tabulated in the tables below. Here are the highlights:

  • Curtis Granderson (+.045), Magglio Ordonez (+.037), Carlos Guillen (+.062), Brandon Inge (+.040) and Marcus Thames (.239) are all performing above their projected OPS.
  • Placido Polanco (-.120), Craig Monroe (-.084) and Dmitri Young (-.370) are significantly below the projected OPS.
  • Chris Shelton (-0.025) and Ivan Rodriguez (-0.20) are both pretty close to their projections.
  • Kenny Rogers (-0.81), Jeremy Bonderman (-0.43), Nate Robertson (-1.36), Mike Maroth (-1.12), Zach Miner (-2.74), Justin Verlander (-0.85), Fernando Rodney (-0.81), Joel Zumaya (-2.53) and Jamie Walker (-2.96) are all performing better than their projected ERA.
  • Todd Jones (2.07) is performing well below his projected ERA.

There are more players (especially pitchers) overachieving than underachieving which explains why they are 56-25. This, of course, is a great result in retrospect. Looking ahead, it can be viewed as a good thing or a bad thing. The positive difference between projected and actual stats could mean that players are actually better than their statistical expectations and will continue to perform at the same level. Conversely, it could mean that they are off to flukey starts and will regress back towards their projection as the season moves along.


My guess is that the statistical expectations of Guillen and Ordonez were tempered by their injury history and that they will continue to perform at a high level if they stay healthy. I believe Granderson is a good hitter who is developing a little faster than expected and should remain ahead of his projection. On the other hand, I expect Thames and Inge to drop back a bit but maybe not all the way back to their projections. Polanco and Monroe will likely improve somewhat in the second half.


Pitchers are always more difficult to figure out than hitters but so many pitchers are so wildly overachieving that I have to believe that a few of them will regress towards their projections. I do think that their young staff is for real though and I wouldn’t expect a second half pitching collapse. Miner’s ERA will almost certainly go up. Maroth’s ERA will probably go up if he pitches in the second half. Some of the others might go up a little but I don’t think the current ERAs are too far out of line.

Table 1: Projected OPS Versus 81 Game OPS

Player

Proj. OPS

81 Game OPS

Actual-Proj

Granderson

0.808

0.853

0.045

Polanco

0.798

0.678

-0.120

Rodriguez

0.784

0.764

-0.020

Ordonez

0.841

0.878

0.037

Guillen

0.812

0.874

0.062

Shelton

0.873

0.848

-0.025

Monroe

0.792

0.708

-0.084

Inge

0.731

0.771

0.040

Thames

0.795

1.034

0.239

Young

0.813

0.443

-0.370


Table 2: Projected ERA Versus 81 Game ERA

Player

Proj. ERA

81 Game ERA

Actual-Proj

Rogers

4.53

3.72

-0.81

Bonderman

4.08

3.65

-0.43

Robertson

4.50

3.14

-1.36

Maroth

4.68

3.56

-1.12

Verlander

3.98

3.13

-0.85

Miner

5.33

2.59

-2.74

Jones

4.12

6.19

2.07

Rodney

3.60

2.79

-0.81

Zumaya

4.78

2.25

-2.53

Walker

4.13

1.17

-2.96

2 comments:

  1. Defense!
    Defense!

    Call it pitching all you want, but when you have guys whose ERA's go down like that without strikeouts increasing that much, you can chalk it up to defense.

    Why do you have a blog on the Tigers if you aren't a fan? :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Eddie, You are right about the defense. It has a played a big part in the success of all of their starting pitchers except Bonderman. You could say the same thing about the White Sox last year. Of course, there is no guarantee that their defense will stay #1 all year. I suspect the defense might not be quite as good the second half and the ERAs will go up a little because of it.

    Yeah, I know I'm not a fan. I'm just a bandwagon guy :-)

    ReplyDelete

Sabermetrics Book

Sabermetrics Book
One of Baseball America's top ten books of 2010

Blog Archive

Subscribe

501 Baseball Books

501 Baseball Books
Recommended by Tiger Tales

Stat Counter

Site Meter