Archive for Projecting X

Steamer and I: Zack Greinke & James Shields

The Steamer and I series concludes as I finish with the last starting pitcher comparisons. Today, I check in on two pitchers of whom the Steamer projections are significantly more optimistic than my Pod Projections.

As per SIERA, Zack Greinke is coming off the second best skills of his career, driven in part by a rebound in his slider usage. He’s managed to post sub-3.00 ERAs for two straight seasons now, which has made him the 10th pitcher off the board on average in NFBC drafts. James Shields hit the free agent jackpot by signing with a National League team and remaining in a pitcher friendly home park. He, too, is loved by drafters, who are nabbing him 22nd among starters in NFBC. Let’s see why Steamer and I disagree on these two fine lads.

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2015 Pod Projections: Justin Verlander

The Pod Projections are back! My projections are based on the methodology shared in my eBook Projecting X, and the process continues to evolve and improve.

After winning both the American League MVP and Cy Young awards back in 2011, Justin Verlander followed up strongly the next season, finishing second in the Cy Young voting. But in 2013, his fastball velocity slipped for a third straight year, which drove a decline in his peripherals and resulted in his highest SIERA mark since 2008. It got even worse last season, as his velocity dipped another mile per hour, his strikeout rate fell to its lowest mark since 2006, and he couldn’t strand runners at the rate he used to, while poor defense behind him added more fuel to the fire. All told, his ERA jumped above 4.00 for just the second time of his career.

At age 32 and with a seemingly clear explanation for his recent struggles in the form of the velocity loss, it’s no surprise that fantasy owners aren’t sure what to expect from Verlander this season. On average, he’s just the 46th starting pitcher off the board in NFBC leagues at pick 186, and his pick range sits between 93 and 253. That’s quite the discount for someone with his track record who may have had just one poor season. So let’s get to the projecting.

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Steamer and I: Shane Greene & Jesse Hahn

The Steamer and I series continues this week as I move onto starting pitcher comparisons. Today, I check in on two pitchers of whom the Steamer projections are significantly more bearish than my Pod Projections.

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2015 Pod Projections: Jacob deGrom

The Pod Projections are back! My projections are based on the methodology shared in my eBook Projecting X, and the process continues to evolve and improve.

Interestingly, I have seen many commenters ask for advice when choosing between this Monday’s Pod Projectionee, Carlos Carrasco, and today’s choice, Jacob deGrom. You’ll see when I unveil my full deGrom projection below, but it’s a rather close call, as they have very similar forecasts.

With that said, deGrom essentially came out of nowhere last year to post a sub-3.00 ERA in 22 starts and earn NL Rookie of the Year honors. He generally posted ho-hum minor league peripherals, but perhaps fueled by a faster slider, his coming out party occurred in the Majors. Before beginning my projection, I shared four reasons why deGrom was for real. Since I gave it away above by comparing the projection to Carrasco’s, I’ll tell you that I still feel the same way.

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Steamer and I: Jose Abreu & Giancarlo Stanton

Last week, I posted the first comparison in this new series discussing discrepancies between the Steamer and Pod Projections. I began by looking at Corey Dickerson and A.J. Pollock, two players I was far more optimistic about this season than Steamer is. Today, I’ll look into a pair of sluggers who Steamer likes better than I.

Steamer doesn’t like many hitters better than I do. Of the 328 hitters we both project, Steamer projected at least .001 wOBA points higher than I did for just 83 of them (25.3%). On the other hand, I am more bullish on 232 hitters (70.7%), while we project identical wOBA marks for 13 hitters (4.0%).

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2015 Pod Projections: Carlos Carrasco

The Pod Projections are back! My projections are based on the methodology shared in my eBook Projecting X, and the process continues to evolve and improve.

If there was just one thing to be thankful for last year in baseball, it was Carlos Carrasco. I had written a lot about him heading into the season and his performance upon returning to the rotation prompted more articles salivating over the quality of his stuff. So he was a rather obvious candidate to earn the honor of my first starting pitcher receiving the Pod Projection treatment.

For those who forget (how dare you!), Carrasco posted the following line over his final 10 starts of the season:

IP ERA WHIP K% BB% GB% xFIP
69.0 1.30 0.81 29.8% 4.2% 49.1% 2.16

Despite those sizzling results coming over a relatively small sample size, fantasy owners are going gaga over Carrasco. He is currently the 115th player off the board in the NFBC and is the 28th starter selected, ahead of more established veterans like Gio Gonzalez and Hyun-Jin Ryu. And no, I haven’t stuffed the ballots by joining every single NFBC league and drafting Carrasco.

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Steamer and I: Corey Dickerson & A.J. Pollock

You know that I develop my own player projections, of which I have lovingly dubbed Pod Projections. With over 500 players projected, I thought it would be interesting to compare them with the Steamer forecasts. So Steamer and I is a new mini-series in which I discuss a pair (maybe more, maybe less) of players who I have projected for dramatically different results than Steamer. To do this, I simply compared my wOBA projections with Steamers’, calculated the difference and then sorted.

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2015 Pod Projections: George Springer

The Pod Projections are back! My projections are based on the methodology shared in my eBook Projecting X, and the process continues to evolve and improve.

For Pod Projectionee numero tres, I decided to take commenter Cason Jolette’s (Jason Colette’s mysterious brother?) suggestion to discuss former uber prospect, Astros sophomore outfielder George Springer. His coming out party was cut short by a quad injury, which ended his season two months prematurely. But he was quite impressive at the plate, posting a .352 wOBA, while displaying excellent patience and elite power. But coming off a minor league performance a year prior that included 45 stolen bases, he disappointed with his speed in Houston, as he swiped just five bags in seven tries. Let’s figure out what’s in store for Springer in 2015.

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2015 Pod Projections: Yasmany Tomas

The Pod Projections are back! My projections are based on the methodology shared in my eBook Projecting X, and the process continues to evolve and improve.

Today’s Pod Projectionee is Cuban rookie Yasmany Tomas, who I drafted in last week’s LABR mixed league. It’s hard enough projecting Major League veterans and even more difficult forecasting rookies with only minor league data to rely on. But trying to predict exactly what a player with no professional experience in a stateside league might do is a true shot in the dark. So this was a challenge and one I would like to share with you.

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2015 Pod Projections: Anthony Rendon

The Pod Projections are back! My projections are based on the methodology shared in my eBook Projecting X, and the process continues to evolve and improve.

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