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Bill James 2014 Sox Projections


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#1 Section30

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:14 PM

Bill James has released his predictions for WMB and the rest of the Red Sox for 2014 via Edes.

 

http://espn.go.com/b...ns-were-on-mark

 

He has Middlebrooks with a line of .310 OBP/.800 OPS/ and 32 hrs. He is also pretty bullish on Bradley Jr. and Bogaerts.

 

I hope he is right.



#2 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:37 PM

Broke this out.

 

From Edes:

 

 

Among all those dissing the Red Sox's chances entering 2013, one optimist stood out: Bill James. 

We don’t know what he was telling the Sox privately, in his role as senior adviser of baseball operations. Proprietary information and all that, although we can tell you that his influence on the Sox roster extended all the way down to Mike Carp, a complementary piece that James lobbied the Sox to sign. He wasn’t the only one -- the Sox had liked Carp for a while -- but his voice was heard. 

 

2013 Hitter projections and results:

 

 

Looking at individual players, some of his projections were spooky. Ellsbury, for example. James projected a .781 OPS for Ellsbury; he finished at .782, with fewer home runs (15 to 9) and more stolen bases (52 to 37) than forecast. 

David Ortiz was projected to hit 32 home runs with 103 RBIs. He finished with 30 and 103. The projected OPS was .919, the actual .959. 

Mike Napoli was projected to have an .847 OPS with 29 home runs and 75 RBIs. The actual OPS was .842, with 23 home runs and 92 RBIs. 

Jonny Gomes was pegged for 16 home runs and a .778 OPS. Gomes hit 13 home runs with a .770 OPS. 

James said Shane Victorino would hit 14 home runs and steal 29 bases. He hit 15 and stole 21, despite season-long hamstring issues, and outperformed James’s projection for OPS, .804 to .752. 

He said Stephen Drew would hit 11 home runs; Drew hit 13, and like Napoli had a higher OPS than projected, .776 to .736. 

James missed on Pedroia, predicting 17 home runs and an .825 OPS, compared to the nine home runs and .787 OPS actually posted by the Sox second baseman, James’s computer models failing to anticipate that Pedroia would tear a thumb ligament in the first game of the season. 

 

Bill James red Sox Projections
BILL JAMES' 2014 PREDICTIONS -- HITTERS      
Player OBP OPS HRs
Jacoby Ellsbury 0.348 0.774 12
David Ortiz 0.384 0.914 30
Shane Victorino 0.336 0.751 14
Jonny Gomes 0.336 0.769 16
Stephen Drew 0.332 0.730 12
Dustin Pedroia 0.371 0.814 14
Mike Napoli 0.348 0.819 26
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 0.313 0.750 19
Daniel Nava 0.377 0.812 11
Will Middlebrooks 0.310 0.800 32
Jackie Bradley Jr. 0.329 0.749 15
Xander Bogaerts 0.357 0.807 19
BILL JAMES' 2014 PREDICTIONS -- PITCHERS      
Player W-L ERA  
Clay Buchholz 12-9 3.46  
Felix Doubront 8-10 4.39  
Ryan Dempster 9-10 4.02  
Jon Lester 14-9 3.67  
Jake Peavy 11-7 3.31  
John Lackey 11-11 3.93  
Koji Uehara 23 saves 1.8  
 
 



#3 glennhoffmania


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:40 PM

Some things that stuck out:

 

Carp wasn't signed.  They traded for him.

 

He has Dempster with a lower ERA than Felix.

 

Peavy's ERA seems way too optimistic.

 

Who gives a shit how close he was with any of his RBI projections?



#4 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

Some things that stuck out:

 

Carp wasn't signed.  They traded for him.

 

He has Dempster with a lower ERA than Felix.

 

Peavy's ERA seems way too optimistic.

 

Who gives a shit how close he was with any of his RBI projections?

You want Edes email address?



#5 glennhoffmania


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:44 PM

Sure.  I have some great jokes I can forward to him too.



#6 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:53 PM

Some things that stuck out:

 

Carp wasn't signed.  They traded for him.

 

He has Dempster with a lower ERA than Felix.

 

Peavy's ERA seems way too optimistic.

 

Who gives a shit how close he was with any of his RBI projections?

 

Agree about Peavy, almost to the point where I wonder if there isn't a typo there. 4.31 and 3.81 are possible typos that would be more plausible.

 

About the RBI projections--right, RBIs are meaningless in terms of real value, but when it comes to projections they are somewhat of a proxy for opportunity, and therefore being close on RBI projections means you had a pretty decent guess as to how much the guy would play and/or where in the order he would hit, which I would think is worth something in terms of prognosticatory bragging rights.



#7 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:09 PM

The JBJ numbers are interesting - he pegs his patience/OBP a little lower than I would but envisions a surprising amount of power. 15 HRs, really? I guess Bradley did hit 13 across the ML and AAA levels this year and maybe James think that's emerging power that will continue to develop.

#8 Hoplite

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:18 PM

Not to nitpick, but Bill James doesn't actually have anything to do with these projections anymore. In the words of Theo Epstein, "they just slap his name on it."



#9 smastroyin


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:19 PM

Minor League numbers only:

 

2012:  Age 22, 575 PA, 42 2B, 9 HR, 167 ISO

2013:  Age 23, 374 PA, 26 2B, 10 HR, 194 ISO

 

In the majors he had 8 XBH (5 2B, 3 HR) against 10 singles, a 148 ISO.

 

I don't think it is too unsurprising that he would be projected with a bit of power.



#10 Devizier


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:45 PM

I always thought the Bill James projections were the most optimistic of the bunch. I'd be curious to see what was projected for the Blue Jays this season.

 

Of course, the 2009 Chris Davis projections were awfully prescient...  in 2012.


Edited by Devizier, 18 November 2013 - 04:48 PM.


#11 Manramsclan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:03 PM

The JBJ numbers are interesting - he pegs his patience/OBP a little lower than I would but envisions a surprising amount of power. 15 HRs, really? I guess Bradley did hit 13 across the ML and AAA levels this year and maybe James think that's emerging power that will continue to develop.

 

I agree. Doesn't a .329 OBP look low for a guy who posted a .404 OBP in a little less than 1,000 ABs in the minors?  

 

Can someone speak to how OBP is typically translated and projected from the minor leagues?  That seems like a big hit to me. Basically reduced by 18%.



#12 Hoplite

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:18 PM

 

I agree. Doesn't a .329 OBP look low for a guy who posted a .404 OBP in a little less than 1,000 ABs in the minors?  

 

Can someone speak to how OBP is typically translated and projected from the minor leagues?  That seems like a big hit to me. Basically reduced by 18%.

 

If you plug his AAA numbers in to the good ol' minor league equivalency calculator, you get .239/.322/.402. Steamer projects him to hit .256/.334/.399.


Edited by Hoplite, 18 November 2013 - 05:18 PM.


#13 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:52 PM

 

I agree. Doesn't a .329 OBP look low for a guy who posted a .404 OBP in a little less than 1,000 ABs in the minors?  

 

Can someone speak to how OBP is typically translated and projected from the minor leagues?  That seems like a big hit to me. Basically reduced by 18%.

 

I'm assuming that James' low OBP projection mostly reflects a low batting average projection, which hinges on the assumption that JBJ's BABIP and K rate will be considerably worse than they were in the minors, though not nearly as bad as last year.

 

However, the lower you assume JBJ's BA projection will be, the higher his ISO projection must be (since we know James is projecting a .420 SLG). So it gets kind of interesting--if you assume, for instance, that James is projecting a .240 BA, that means a .180 ISO, which is surprisingly high. If, on the other hand, you assume a .160 ISO--still pretty high--then the projected BA goes as high as .260, which in turn implies a .069 IsoD, far lower than JBJ has been at any level where he's had significant PA.

 

I assume James' real BA projection is somewhere between .240 and .260, but I'd be curious to know exactly where.



#14 JimBoSox9


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:12 PM

If he's got an all-fields approach with that loopy swing, I'd buy an argument that he projects favorably to the Monster, but I agree the projection's relative strength of power vs patience seems unreasonably out of whack.

#15 nvalvo


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:33 PM

If he's got an all-fields approach with that loopy swing, I'd buy an argument that he projects favorably to the Monster, but I agree the projection's relative strength of power vs patience seems unreasonably out of whack.

 

All the HR are pulled, but a fair share of singles, doubles and flyouts go to LF. More balls fielded by the LF than the RF. 



#16 Super Nomario


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 07:22 PM

 

I agree. Doesn't a .329 OBP look low for a guy who posted a .404 OBP in a little less than 1,000 ABs in the minors?  

 

Can someone speak to how OBP is typically translated and projected from the minor leagues?  That seems like a big hit to me. Basically reduced by 18%.

That .404 is inflated by a .480 OBP in Salem. He's been at .373 in AA and .374 in AAA. Also, projection systems are going to factor in his .280 OBP in MLB this year. It's a small sample size (107 PAs), but that's a little over 20% of his 2013 line and just under 10% of his professional career.

 

One thing I'm curious about is whether HBP rates are discounted somewhat. JBJ had 14 HBP in 2012 and 12 this year. I wouldn't be surprised if projection systems tend to assume a little more randomness in HBP and regress it more than some other stats.



#17 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:12 PM

One thing I'm curious about is whether HBP rates are discounted somewhat. JBJ had 14 HBP in 2012 and 12 this year. I wouldn't be surprised if projection systems tend to assume a little more randomness in HBP and regress it more than some other stats.

 

Yeah, I noticed that too. It's significant enough that if you counted HBP as walks, JBJ's minor league walk rate goes up from an excellent 13.3% to a ridiculous 15.7%. And he's shown the high HBP rate fairly consistently on his way up (it was least in evidence in Portland, but even there it would translate to 10 HBP over a 650 PA season), so you have to assume it's a skill, not an anomaly--though like all skills it will probably be attenuated a bit on the big stage, at least at first.



#18 Super Nomario


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:21 PM

 

Yeah, I noticed that too. It's significant enough that if you counted HBP as walks, JBJ's minor league walk rate goes up from an excellent 13.3% to a ridiculous 15.7%. And he's shown the high HBP rate fairly consistently on his way up (it was least in evidence in Portland, but even there it would translate to 10 HBP over a 650 PA season), so you have to assume it's a skill, not an anomaly--though like all skills it will probably be attenuated a bit on the big stage, at least at first.

HBP rate in the AL this year was about 75/10000, in the IL it was 100/10000. So I think you'd knock off 25% of his HBP rate on league difference even before adjusting for skill and regression to the mean.



#19 nvalvo


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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:11 PM

That .404 is inflated by a .480 OBP in Salem. He's been at .373 in AA and .374 in AAA. Also, projection systems are going to factor in his .280 OBP in MLB this year. It's a small sample size (107 PAs), but that's a little over 20% of his 2013 line and just under 10% of his professional career.

 

Okay, but you're basically saying that he was merely excellent as an age-appropriate player in Portland and Pawtucket, instead of amazing in Salem, also as an age-appropriate player.

 

And then bad, briefly, in Boston.






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