Tuesday, January 23, 2007

PECOTA Likes Bonderman

Earlier, in the week, I looked at Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections for Tigers hitters. Today, I'll talk a little about the pitchers. However, this is premium content for paid subscribers so I can only give you a peek. I do consider BP to be a worthwhile purchase if you like statistical analysis.

Last year, PECOTA forecasts revealed that several of the young Tigers pitchers were candidates for break out seasons or at least improvement. Based on this, Baseball Prospectus analysts were among the only people outside of Michigan to suggest that the Tigers could contend last year. They were even more optimistic than most Tigers fans. It turned out that they were right.

What does PECOTA say this year? Well, PECOTA practically guarantees that Jeremy Bonderman will improve this year. His 88% improvement rate makes him the most likely pitcher in the Majors to outperform his average of the last 3 years. His potential for break out (a 20% improvement over the past three year average) is also high at 45%. His ERA projection (3.62) is the 3rd highest in the American League. PECOTA is very optimistic about Bonderman's future. I am too. And so is Brian at Tiger Blog (scroll down to January 21 at that site).

The rest of the Tigers 2007 pitching outlook is a mixed bag:
  • Justin Verlander has a 45% collapse rate (a 20% drop in performance).
  • Kenny Rogers has a 39% collapse rate and 40% attrition rate (potential for his innings to be cut in half).
  • Nate Robertson has a lot of potential for improvent (60%). The three pitchers to which he is most comparable are Gary Peters, Woodie Fryman and none other than Kenny Rogers.
  • Joel Zumaya's closest comparison is Pedro Martinez. Don't count on it though. He's staying in the bullpen. His collpase rate is 44%.
So, the pitching outlook is not as favorable as last year. Hopefully, PECOTA is right about Bonderman and Robertson and that a couple of the others avoid regression.

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