Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Can't Be The Only Person To Notice That PECOTA Sucks Eggs

He Wasn't Good Either
Well folks, I've started the long and painful process that is fantasy baseball draft preparation, and it starts, as it has for the past 25 years whenever I've played in a league, with reading a phone book. Historically it was the Bill James Baseball Abstract, and I tend to go through it like it were, you know, a book. This means that I'm going to read way too much about fungible relievers, but so be it; the inefficient method is my way, and I'm not breaking this habit at this age.

But is it too much for the people who write Baseball Prospectus to, you know, come up with statistical projections that are, well, worth slightly more than single ply toilet paper?

Here is the amount that BP thinks will lead various categories this year. In the parentheses afterward, I will include the MLB leader in 2012's mark. For funsies.

HRs: 34 (43)
RBIs: 109 (126)
Runs: 98 (136)
SBs: 48 (61)
BA: .316 (.336)
OBP: .402 (.448)
SLG: .564 (.606)
Wins: 16 (21)
Ks: 205 (239)
ERA: 2.62 (2.53)
Saves: 38 (51)

This kind of numb nuts analysis isn't new; the book is rife with them. Joey Votto has been a major league regular for five years and is 29 years old; he has had injuries in one year, last year, which limited him to 111 games played. His other game totals are 131, 150, 151 and 161. BP projects him in 2013 to play, well, right around 440. Manny Machado was one of the youngest players in the majors last year, and the third basemen down the stretch for the borderline miracle Orioles. BP projects him with the same 200 ABs as 2013. Jim Johnson led the world in saves last year with 51 and has no competition for the job, along with a loyal manager. BP calls his 2013 for 18.

So here's a simple and small request for the BP guys, because otherwise I do enjoy this book... either don't print any projections at all, or grow a pair and actually, you know, put yourself at risk for actually being near the reality of league leading totals. Because this kind of weak sauce just makes me look at all of those numbers, and make me wonder if I can believe the rest of the book. Not a good moment for you.

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