The end of the season is upon us, and the postseason hopes have been officially dashed. So how about those projections from the beginning of the season? Seems like the most interesting thing to talk about presently. For anyone new to the site or inexperienced in sabermetric stat analysis, I will provide a short glossary and some links.
At the beginning of the season I averaged together all the pitching rate stat projections scaled to ERA readily available at fangraphs.com. I think the ones available were ZiPS, CHONE, Marcel, and Fans. Anyways, let's see how averaging these projections together worked out for just a few players analyzed:
Over half the 7 pitchers listed outperformed projections, only a few did not (Lohse had midseason surgery, and Moyer didn't pitch that much either. And Carp's projection was probably a bit too optimistic overall. But he still had a great season.) I think this further illustrates the amazing achievement Garcia had for a rookie season (any other year and he'd probably be ROtY).
What stands out most are the seasons Wainwright and Halladay are having! Waino has outperformed his projection by .53, and Halladay's by .15. Very impressive especially for Wagonmaker.
Speaking of outperforming projections, I also did a segment about comparing the best case scenario projection (or cherry picking a best projection for a player from the available projection services). Here I used FIP as well as pitcher's WAR as one of the stats:
Moving right along, some hitting projections, and the outcomes for the Cardinals lineup (cradtastic)
So next time someone says that Rasmus is not performing up to expectations, you have full right to slap them upside the head. Keep in mind that these are averaged projections, not best case. It's pretty amazing that Brendan Ryan has almost 1 WAR while putting up a weighted on-base average of .254. Yeesh. Actually everyone but Holliday and Rasmus did not live up to expectations. Ludwick actually matched his WAR projection, but mainly because he all the sudden became a premium defensive RF'r. Holliday did the same except he also outperformed his hitting projections. Final conclusion is that Schumaker is a replacement level player at second base. Now, here is how the Phillies hit this year compared to their projections.
Jayson Werth was, ahem, well worth his contract this season. And that's probably an understatement. He seems sort of comparable to Holliday. Looks like we are paying Matt a lot to get better at defense! hahahah
Anyways, Carlos Ruiz is the shining star of this offense. Sort of their anti-Yadi. Look at how far he overperforms projections! Looking at the projections makes it look like the Phillies won the NL East because no one else wanted it. Speaking of, what did the Braves do?
uh, ok! I guess they do have Jason Heyward at .377 wOBA and 4.4 WAR. Now how about the Reds:
As you can see, this is why they won the division. Except for Jay Bruce who continues to not meet expectations, an aging Orlando Cabrera, and Drew Stubbs, who only slightly underperformed, the team did quite well at offense. Votto shattered projections at .442 wOBA, better than even the mang himself. Scott Rolen also was an amazing surprise for a Reds fan. It's as if he never got injured (another of the many not-fair moments for a Cards fan in '10).
It's also notable to mention that the Reds are tied with the Tigers in team BABIP at .313, the best in the major leagues. Votto is at an absurdly high .361 BABIP for the season. For comparison the Cardinals were a much more normal .297 (almost in the bottom third of teams), while Pujols' BABIP matches the Cardinals' .297. I think the only conclusion you can pull for the season is that it was a very unexpected season. The Cardinals somehow ended up with some of the worst players in the major leagues on their roster for a significant part of the season.
The sum of Aaron Miles, Nick Stavinoha, Jeff Suppan, Randy Winn, Skip Schumaker, Mike MacDougal, etc all add up to garbage island, or in sabermetric terms, negative WAR. That's right, only shining superstar Aaron Miles was worth much at .2 (grit! to adust for grit factor, simply add .2 WAR). Just for fun, Kyle Lohse was worth .6 WAR this season.
2010: A Really Mindbendlingly Messed Up Odyssey
Finally, Here's the SABR glossary and links list:
FIP means fielding independent pitching. a number of environmental elements are factored to correct for statistical distortion or anomaly, such as putting a league average defense behind a pitcher and correcting for league, ballpark, etc. please add to the definition in the comments if you will
If you are still thinking, hey, that sounds like a bunch of hogwash, here's one of many articles that explain why ERA is not all that great of a stat: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-most-convoluted-statistic-era/
WAR means Wins Above a Replacement level player. Genius mathematicians have figured out what a league average player is. Then if you are really good at both defense and offense, you will be worth about 6 or 7 Skip Schumakers (sorry, 2010 Skip Schumakers, not 2009 ones).
Some are only valuable for defense. Others, defense is a big liability (think Brendan Ryan vs Adam Dunn... one shouldn't be fielding, and one shouldn't be hitting). The main drawback about WAR is that the defensive component of the stat is not entirely accurate. Yet. Looking forward to new metrics!
wOBA means weighted On-Base Average. linear weights (more mathemagic at work) and park factors, etc are applied to key offensive stats such as on base percentage, slugging.... Basically, wOBA is a more accurate version of On Base Plus Slugging % (OPS).
Here are some links
this article describes why on-base percentage is more quotable than batting average
Here is a baseball stat glossary
more on wOBA
and the ever useful http://www.fangraphs.com and http://www.baseball-reference.com