Monday, February 04, 2013

Projecting the Tigers 2013 Run Total

In previous posts, I discussed the linear weights measures - Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) and Weighted Runs Above Average (wRAA).  Another metric in the linear weights family is Weighted Runs Created (wRC) which estimates how many absolute runs (as opposed to runs above average) a player contributed to his team with his batting.

The wRC statistic is cacluted fairly easily from wRAA and MLB Runs per Plate Appearance (RPA):

   wRC = wRAA + MLB RPA x PA

For example, Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera had 57.3 wRAA in 697 PA in 2012.  The MLB RPA was .114 so Cabrera had 57.3 + .114 x 697 = 137 wRC which was the highest total in the majors. 

In comparison to wOBA and wRAA, wRC is generally not so useful for assessing the value of or ranking of players because it tends to give too much weight to playing time over performance.  A case in point last year was Delmon Young accumulating more wRC (65) than Andy Dirks (54).  Few would argue that Young was a more productive hitter than Dirks in 2012.  Young had more playing time, but provided below average hitting in those at bats.

The wRC metric is more useful at the team level.  A team's wRC total usually falls within 5% of its run scored total.  The Tigers combined for 763 wRC in 2012 which was 5% more than their 726 actual runs scored, so they were off more than most teams.  What does that tell us about the Tigers?  It suggests that they did not make the most out of their hits and walks and failed to scored as many runs as they should have.  Some reasons for that which have been discussed through the off-season are poor base running, too many double plays and a tendency to hit home runs when nobody was on base.

The wRC statistic is also helpful in projecting how many runs a team will score in the future.  Table 1 below lists Tigers projected players in 2013 and their estimated PA.  In the next column  is the three-year average of wRC adjusted for expected PA.  For example, Cabrera had 412 wRC in 2,033 PA over 2010-2012 which comes out to .203 Runs Created Per PA.  Multiplying .203 times 675 PA (his projected PA for 2013) yields his three-year average of 137.

The final column of the table is a projection for wRC in 2013.  In all cases, it is fairly close to the three-year average.  I adjusted it down slightly if a player is aging and/or coming off a major injury (e.g. Victor Martinez, Torii Hunter and Jhonny Peralta).  I don't expect any players to get significantly better, although I did add a couple of runs for Austin Jackson due to his youth.  The bench is a guess as to who will make the roster and get playing time.  However, the projections would not have been any different if I substituted Danny Worth for Ramon Santiago or Quintin Berry in for one of the outfielders. 

Aggregating all the wRC yields 820 for the team. Remember though that they scored 37 fewer runs last year than the "created".  Will that happen again in 2013?  The Tigers problems hitting home runs with runners on base last year was probably a fluke that should straighten itself out.  However, I suspect the problems with base running and double plays will continue.  That cost the team about 20 runs last year and I'll estimate the same for 2013.  So, 820-20 gives 800 runs scored for the year which coincidentally is exactly the same as the simulated result at Replacement Level Yankees blog.  .

Of course, the analysis above assumes no major injuries, but an an increase of 74 runs (7 wins) would be impressive.  Most of that comes from replacing Brennan Boesch, Ryan Raburn and Delmon Young with Hunter, Martinez and a full season of Omar Infante.  If all goes well, it should be a productive and exciting line-up this year.   

Table 1: Tigers Projected Runs in 2013

Player
PA
Runs Created
3-Yr Avg*
2013
Proj
Avila
450
61
60
Fielder
700
124
125
Infante
575
63
60
Peralta
575
64
60
Cabrera
675
137
135
Dirks
450
61
60
Jackson
650
83
85
Hunter
600
84
80
Martinez
500
76
70
Pena
200
16
15
Santiago
200
18
15
Boesch
150
17
15
Garcia
150
15
15
Others
375
---
25
Base Running/ DP
---
---
-20
Total Runs
6,200

800
*Adjusted for Expected PA in 2013

3 comments:

  1. For whatever it's worth Lee, my most recent set of 2013 projected standings actually have the Tigers scoring exactly 800 runs. So looks like you nailed this.

    http://www.rlyw.net/index.php/RLYW/direct/cairo_2013_v0.3_and_still_too_early_and_mostly_useless_2013_projected_

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I see you noted that in your post already... Oops.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I was thinking that I might have been too optimistic, so I looked around to see if anyone else had a projection before I posted. I was happy to see your post with the exact same total.

      Delete

Sabermetrics Book

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

Blog Archive

Subscribe

Ticket America

Purchase Tigers tickets at Comerica Park. Ticketamerica.com has access to Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers seats and STL Cardinals. Find and buy all MLB seats including Red Sox and NY Yankees here.

GoTickets

Get Tigers tickets for Comerica Park and watch them play the Seattle Mariners and other MLB teams. We also have baseball tickets, MLB All Star and World Series tickets.

501 Baseball Books

501 Baseball Books
Recommended by Tiger Tales

Other Stuff




Total Pageviews