Friday, January 23, 2009

a peek through pecota...

hi everybody. honored to be making my first post at brewedsports. as you may or may not know-- i'm a baseball supernerd. so much so, that in the offseason, while waiting breathlessly for the new pecota projections to arrive, i like to look through last year's pecotas and the subsequent year's performance and predict what each player's new pecota projections will be.

i've developed a system of sorts, that works pretty well, where i take the percentile hit this year, regress it to the mean to some degree, take that percentile, and move it forward one year on the player's card. this is not perfect or even rigorous, and it's subjective. however, it's fairly accurate usually.

i've been getting asked a lot in the comments why i'm more optimistic about the brewers than most. while the following set of numbers might not totally explain why, it is the foundation of my optimism (i'll explain further in a later post, if i'm not booted off the blog by then):

rickie weeks 257/360/445
mike cameron 258/333/478
ryan braun 302/366/577
prince fielder 281/373/540
corey hart 273/342/495
jj hardy 277/335/457*
hall/lamb(avg) 249/320/416
jason kendall 244/316/316*

now, that's a pretty damn good lineup. it looks worth 780 runs to me. sure, the shape of some these lines will change-- braun and hart walk less than we expected while hardy has more power than we expected, for instance. but for a "back-of-envelope" calc, i like what i see here. especially given that potential in-house solutions exist for the 7 and 8 hole in the lineup.

* it's interesting to note that only jj hardy and jason kendall outperformed their pecota weighted mean last year.


Chris said...

I have to say welcome but have to point a funny thing

Ahren swore he would never read the WSB ever again because of a Ron Stanto Screed by ESK and now they are both posters at the same blog.

You never know where life is going to take you lol.

Sorry but I do find that funny on many levels :)

PaulNoonan said...

Huh. I did not know that.

And it is interesting to note that only 2 starters outperformed their PECOTA projections and they still made the playoffs. That is in fact good reason for optimism.

Chris said...

Wait check that my bad I really need to double check thing before I comment on them it was friend of yours named Azor or at least that is how he signed the comment

It might be the same person or I might be taking my first step into the wonderful world of Alzheimer's

so my apologies for this :)

DannyNoonan said...

I find your stat-nerdiness impressive Ahren. I found it more impressive before I read the email Paul just forwarded to me in which you indicate you finished last in your roto league.

PaulNoonan said...

Eh. I don't think I've ever finished higher than 6th in a baseball roto league. Most Roto leagues reward free time more than knowledge in my experience.

E.S.K. said...

I certainly hope it's accurate, however it assumes that every starter (aside from Kendall and the platoon) outperforms their career average OPS. Some (Weeks, Hart and Hardy) significantly so. Those three clearly could outperform their averages since the current sample is relatively small. It assumes smaller productivity increases from Braun and Fielder, which seem reasonable.

I don't see an improvement in Cameron's offense at all. He is 35 and you have him projected to improve upon last season. He didn't play at all the first month of the year and was still terrible in September. That doesn't give me a lot of confidence that he'll be able to match last years numbers, much less improve up them, with a 36 year old body and a longer season.

For those numbers to bear out a lot of guys have to play better than their current major league norm and I think that may be asking a lot.

Of course, I hope to hell you're wrong and those numbers are way too conservative, but I remain unconvinced.

ahren said...

one thing to keep in mind is age. the brewers are quite young, with 5 starters (fielder, braun, hardy, hart, weeks) all at an age where they are more likely to improve each year than get worse. additionally all 5 are in that age 25-28 range where you expect career years to happen (i'll have a post on this later).

with cameron... yeah, i agree with your assessment generally-- i'd expect him to get worse at such an advanced age too. the line you see though is basically his 2010 pecota from his 2008 card minus a little bit.

this makes a little sense the more you think about it too. considering context-- mike cameron played almost his entire career in terrible hitter's parks-- seattle, shea, san diego... so just by virtue of moving to a neutral park, you might expect him to start outperforming his career numbers despite his age. additionally, his 2 main offensive attributes-- power and patience-- are skills that tend to hold up with age.

Greg said...

Your 780 run estimate for that lineup is even a little low according to Pinto's lineup tool (I used the numbers for all #9 hitters across the NL)

ahren said...

cool. i like that all the best lineups have the pitcher batting in front of kendall.

E.S.K. said...

That run estimate should be revised upwards drastically now that the Cubs have acquired Heilman.