Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tigers Batting Projections for 2007

Believe it or not, I am not going to discuss a new base running statistic today. With several Tigers pitchers already working out in Lakeland, it's time to start looking ahead to the upcoming season. Today, I'm going to look at statistical projections for Tigers batters in 2007. Some of the most popular systems are:

I entered projections for each of the systems into a spreadsheet and calculated an average projection over the 5 systems for each Tigers batter in the starting line-up and others who may get significant playing time. This method should drown out any projection by one system which seems to be overly optimistic or pessimistic for a particular player. I will only be giving you the averages and not the specific projections for each system as the Handbook projections and PECOTAs are proprietary.

The Bill James Handbook which contains the Baseball Info Solutions projections for all teams can be purchased at the above link. An an online subscription to Baseball Prospectus (see above link) gives you access to the PECOTAs. The ZIPS, CHONE and Marcles projections are public and can be found at Baseball Fan Graphs.

The table below is color coded. Every player projected to fall in the top 30 percent of the league’s regulars for a particular measure is coded in blue for that statistic. Every player projected to fall in the bottom 30% for a measure is coded in red. The middle 40% are in black.

Here are the highlights:
  • Carlos Guillen is projected to fall in the top 30% for all measures (.307/.377/.488 and a .865 OPS).
  • Gary Sheffield is expected to finish in the top 30% in OBP (.372) and OPS (.845). Thames is projected to make the top 30% in slugging (.501) if he plays.
  • Both Thames (.831) and Chris Shelton (.832) are projected to post higher OPS than Sean Casey (.777).
  • Three starters - Brandon Inge (.323), Craig Monroe (.317) and Ivan Rodriguez (.324) - are projected to fall in the botton 30% for OBP. Utility player Omar Infante (.307) also falls in that range.
  • Inge (.258), Infante (.258) and Thames (.254) are projected to finish in the bottom 30% for batting average.
These aggregate projections seem pretty reasonable to me for the most part. I really don't see them being overly optimistic or pessimistic for any player. Each of the 5 systems has a fairly good history of success but there are unexpected things that happen every season. It's very difficult to project who will get injured (although Baseball Prospectus tries to do that) and who will have a career year (good or bad).

What we can expect is that a couple of these players will perform either over or under their projections but that most of them will fall fairly close. Hopefully, the Tigers will follow last years trend of more overperformers than underperformers.

In future posts, I'll look at starting pitchers and relief pitchers.

Table - Average Projections for Tigers Hitters in 2007
















































































  1. Joe in ChicagoFebruary 11, 2007

    Outstanding Work Lee!

    I got an idea while looking at the numbers, to project how many runs per game the lineup will score. Last year the tigers scored 822 runs or 5.07 runs/game. Using the linup optimizer that bilfer posted last season, and using the projected starting lineup of,

    Granderson, Polonco, Sheffield, Ordonez, Guillen, Casey, Pudge, Monroe, Inge

    i found that they will score 5.22 runs/game.

    Optimal lineup was 5.335 runs per game
    Sheffield, Guillen, Casey, Granderson, Ordonez, Monroe, Rodriquez, Inge, Polonco

    Worst lineup was 5.08 runs per game
    Inge, Rodriguz, Ordonez, Polonco, granderson, casey, sheffield, guillen, monroe

  2. Thanks for doing that Joe. I'd be very happy with 5.2 runs per game. The line-up optimizer is a nice tool. I have a feeling Leyland would not buy into the otimal line-up though!



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