Looking at the 2010 Fan Projections: Part 1

With the opening of the 2011 Fan Projection ballots I thought it would be interesting to look back at the 2010 Fan Projections. The ballots ask fans to identify their favorite team; this allows us to see how differently players are projected by fans of their team than by the fan community as a whole.

Here I will look at this question for the position players (I will look at pitchers in my next post) who had at least 10 ballots by fans of their team. This left 206 position players. I assumed that players would be projected more optimistically by fans of their team than by other fans, and this was the case. On average players were projected half a win higher by fans of their team, with 1.5 runs coming from higher fielding projections and 3.5 runs coming from higher batting projections. Of the 206 players, only 34 were projected worse by fans of their team.

The difference ranged from 1.5 wins for Colby Rasmus (4.6 WAR by Cardinals fans and 3.1 WAR by everyone else) to -1.3 wins for Mark Teahen (0.5 WAR by White Sox fans, compared to 1.8 WAR by everyone else). In Teahen’s case this might have been because he was traded during the middle of the balloting process and we are counting some White Sox fan’s ballots submitted while he was still a Royal.

Here are those 206 players plotted by their projected WAR by fans of their team and by everyone else. The red line shows were these two projections are equal, those above and to the left of the line have a higher projection by fans of their team, and those below and to the right have a lower projection by fans of their team. I labeled some of the extreme points.

Generally there is broad agreement between the two groups, with most players falling in a one-win band above the red line. That is to say, although the fans of a player’s team are more optimistic, there is broad agreement between the two groups. Interestingly, below-average players (less than two WAR) were the most likely to be projected worse by fans of their teams, with just four average-ish players, Magglio Ordonez, Alberto Callaspo, Ryan Theriot and Jason Bartlett, and just one star, Matt Holliday, projected worse by fans of their teams.

So it looks like fans are generally half-a-win more optimistic about players on their favorite team, but this optimism wanes for below-average players. I will check out the pitchers later this week, until then why not project some of the players in this article?



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Dave Allen's other baseball work can be found at Baseball Analysts.


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intricatenick
Guest
intricatenick
5 years 8 months ago

Could we have a follow up post comparing the actuals to the two sets of projections? I think it would also be fun to see which fan base is the “most optimistic” and whether that optimistic trend is stable over long periods or whether it could be stable.

Padman Jones
Member
5 years 8 months ago

I’d bet it’s because fans of a team look at a guy who’s below average, think ‘man, he REALLY sucks. We gotta replace that bum!’ and then rate him more harshly than an outside observer who would say something like ‘eh, he’s pretty bad, but whatever.’ It’s like the inverse of how fans of a team adore their hometown star and rate him better than what others would say.

See e.g. Conrad, Brooks: after his walkoff grand slam against the Reds, he was a studly bench bat who could come through in the 9th inning. After his NLDS, he was a bum. Comments on a post I wrote at Chop-n-Change included calls for him to kill himself. Odds are, your average White Sox fan wasn’t jumping to those extremes.

filihok
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

This is what I was going to say.

Minus the Brooks Conrad stuff

Sox27
Guest
Sox27
5 years 8 months ago

Well maybe not to that extreme, we however proposed the idea of trading Teahen to the Joliet Jackhammers of the Independent Northern League for 3 rakes and 2 bags of bullplen clay…the Jackhammers refused the deal since the WAR was so heavily skewed towards the Sox.

Padman Jones
Member
5 years 8 months ago

Well, bullpen clay IS expensive. Though I should clarify that I meant that White Sox fans didn’t have those extreme feelings about Brooks Conrad.

AJ
Guest
AJ
5 years 8 months ago

As a Royals fan, I still love Mitch! Maier and Alex Gordon while I still despise everything about Jose Guillen.

Mike
Guest
Mike
5 years 8 months ago

LOL Jose Guillen.

MikeB22
Member
MikeB22
5 years 8 months ago

Would we be able to see an excel file with all such players with their projected WAR by team fans and projected WAR of the community? If we could also see the accuracy of the extremes via a comp of the actual 2010 WAR, we might find certain team fans are more perceptive…or that correlations exist in some fashion. Thanks

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo
5 years 8 months ago

I haven’t been around much lately…but has there been a review of Fan Projections in total??

I’m still not sure how we did on the whole.

george bush jr
Guest
george bush jr
5 years 8 months ago

yeah, i check in at least twice weekly — did i miss a post? seems like a fans vs. marcel vs. chone vs. what really happened in 2010 post would be a no brainer. didn’t tom tango do something like this?

link to fangraphs “how did fan projections do” post?

Mustard N Brown
Guest
Mustard N Brown
5 years 8 months ago

An interesting start to the 2010 Fan Projections, but a more telling investigation would be one which explores whether or not projections of players by users having said team as their favorite are BETTER than the general population’s fan projections. Or, for that matter, if fan projections are BETTER than ZiPs, PECOTA, CAIRO or even Marcels. All of that assumes a decent definition of “BETTER”, of course.

spydog
Member
spydog
5 years 8 months ago

Speaking of CAIRO, ZIPS, etc….Has anybody seen the projections on RotoChamp? They have their own projections and the recent CAIRO projections. I wonder if they plan on adding any more projection systems. It would be cool to see a hybrid or composite of different systems.

george bush jr
Guest
george bush jr
5 years 8 months ago

yo son that exists, to a degree, or at least did last year on lastplayerpicked.com. unfortunately it’s largely spitting out projected dollar amounts on players but it will hybridize multiple projections systems for you.

cliff.ly
Guest
cliff.ly
5 years 8 months ago

when are we getting John Eric Hanson’s “Slapshot” projections up on FanGraphs? saw the rumor on that tangotiger link, thanks!

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