PECOTA projections and the Giants

Creative Commons

Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow, everybody. Until then, let's take a gander at some projections.

I love pre-season projections. There's just something delightful about computers spitting out streams of information about the upcoming season. It's like the baseball version of a terrified, fat groundhog being manhandled in front of thousands of onlookers in the middle of a small Pennsylvania town. Spring is almost here, spring is almost here, spring is almost here, so here are some projections.

Every year, Baseball Prospectus releases its PECOTA projections, and it's kind of a phonebook moment for me every year. They're out now. And if you don't subscribe, you're a silly person. Even if you limited your consumption to authors named "Miller," the subscription would pay for itself in a week. And the projections are so fascinating. If only the news were uniformly good. First, the offense:

Especially encouraging projections for hitters

N/A

Well, this is off to a rollicking start. PECOTA doesn't have a single hells-yeah projection down for any of the Giants. Now, part of this is that it's a pretty conservative projection system, so it isn't going to get too outlandish with anyone's projection. But you usually want to see at least one really, really encouraging projection from a prospect of young hitter, just to take the edge off.

Reasonable projections for hitters

Buster Posey
Pablo Sandoval
Brandon Crawford
Gregor Blanco

Average, power, and reasonable patience for the top two, with a repeat season for the bottom two. Neither Posey or Sandoval come especially close to their best seasons, but they're the only Giants expected to slug over .450, which is a start, and they're supposed to have good seasons, at least. They're the only two Giants expected to have a really good year.

Kind of depressing projections for hitters

Angel Pagan
Hunter Pence
Brandon Belt

PECOTA expects Pagan to lose a little power and average, Pence to have a repeat season, and Belt's OBP to go down to the .340 range, which puts him at 1.5 WARP. Gross. (I'll take the over.)

Really depressing projections for hitters

Marco Scutaro

Well, I'll be. Turns out that the projection system doesn't think much of an 80-year-old second baseman coming off a batting-average-inflated season, projecting him at .260/.322/.332. Considering the different second basemen who switched teams by way of trade or free agency, I still think the move was reasonable, dammit. He gives the Giants the best chance of winning in 2013, and I'll ignore any and all logical rebuttals to that point.

He's a pretty good candidate to get the full Aubrey treatment if he hits like that, though. Which is terrifying to think about.

Scoots13_medium

Ahhhhh. That's better. Now on to the pitchers.

Especially encouraging projections for pitchers

Tim Lincecum

He's back, dammit. The walk rate goes below 4.0 per nine innings, and the strikeouts stay over 9.0. He's projected to have the lowest ERA of any starter on the team, at 3.04, a hundredth of a point ahead of Matt Cain. The only reason he doesn't have the highest projected WARP on the staff is that he's supposed to pitch fewer than 200 innings. I still think we'd all sell a relative into intergalactic slavery for that projection, but I don't want to speak out of turn. I'd sell you -- the person reading this -- into it, that's for sure.

Reasonable projections for pitchers

Matt Cain
Madison Bumgarner

More of the same, more of the same. Which, considering how good they were last year, is pretty okay with me.

Depressing projections for pitchers

Ryan Vogelsong

Yeah, this almost falls on the Scutaro side of things. Vogelsong is old, and his success is something of a historical outlier when you compare his current success with his past performance. But I think we're all expecting something more than an ERA of 4.00 and a win above a replacement pitcher, defined by BP as Shane Loux. Which is to say, BP says that if the Giants were 90-72 with Vogelsong in the rotation, they'd be 89-73 with Loux instead. Yeah, well, THEY DON'T PLAY THE GAME ON PAPER, NERDS.

Whew. It feels kind of good to do that, actually. YEAH, YOU KNOW IT'S LIKE THAT SONG: WAR WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR. Say, that feels pretty good, too. I'm starting to see the attraction.

Dammit, Zito, I'm eating here

Barry Zito

I'll have a separate post about the hilarious and fitting comparable players that PECOTA spits out, but until then, I'll just note that Zito's three comps are Mark Redman, Bruce Chen, and Kaz Ishii, which is delightfully perfect until you realize how depressing it is. His ERA is close to four-and-a-half in these projections, which would be quite fitting for Zito's last season with the Giants (probably).

Zito-curve-descalso_medium

Better. Did I mention that I think Zito's rediscovered curve was the reason for his late-season improvements? Only 12 times? I can do better than that. Because it's my belief that Barry Zito's improved curveball is the reason he looked like an acceptable pitcher in the last part of the season. We don't know if it will show up again, of course, but I'm cautiously unpessimistic about Zito, to make a term up.

Now, I can't post all the exact numbers because then you won't buy a BP subscription. But the short version of the above: The 2013 Giants are supposed to be like the 2011 Giants, but with a healthy Buster Posey and a substantially worse Ryan Vogelsong.

Yay?

/watches Scutaro GIF for another hour

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join McCovey Chronicles

You must be a member of McCovey Chronicles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at McCovey Chronicles. You should read them.

Join McCovey Chronicles

You must be a member of McCovey Chronicles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at McCovey Chronicles. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker