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PECOTAs are out

PECOTA is the best projection system there is. most major-league clubs either subscribe to it or have developed a similar system of their own. they're only projections, not real numbers --- no need to point that out, anyone. lots of players will over- or underperform these projections. but they're still useful; if they weren't, every team in the majors wouldn't be using them.

the PECOTA numbers are proprietary; you have to be a Baseball Prospectus subscriber to get access. i'm a subscriber, so i have the numbers, but it'd be extremely uncool --- tantamount to theft --- for me (or any other subscriber) to post them extensively here. having said that, BP is pretty generous about teases; they generally don't mind if you give away little bits of the data. hell, they give away little bits of it themselves. accordingly, here are a few teases, in no particular order:

  • PECOTA sees ankiel as a legit 30-homer hiter; that's his projection, 30 homers. only 10 national-league players got 30-homer projections, and two of them are cardinals (pujols and ankiel).
  • pujols projects to be the best hitter in baseball, and it's not close. he leads all hitters in projected batting average (.327), on-base percentage (.427), slugging (.577), and equivalent average (.335).
  • PECOTA has colby rasmus at .245 / .327 / .437 with 21 homers. edmonds' projection is .240 / .327 / .415 with 9 homers.
  • PECOTA likes the cards' exchange of 3bmen, at least from the offensive standpoint -- troy glaus: .258 / .364 / .472 with 21 homers. scott rolen: .263 / .328 / .430 with 13 homers.
  • the loss of eckstein is no loss, per PECOTA --- his projected line (.274 / .326 / .352) is almost identical to brendan ryan's (.268 / .322 / .348). unfortunately it's a lot better than cesar izturis' (.251 / .304 / .299).
  • PECOTA's projections for the cardinal rotation are pretty much useless, because most of the candidates are projected as swingmen --- ie, their projections assume a large number of relief innings, which artificially lowers their era. even wainwright is projected as making 14 relief appearances, along with 24 starts --- his 2006 stats (all compiled in relief) trick PECOTA into assigning him a split role. (his projected era is 4.14.) both clement and pineiro have decent era projections (4.54 and 4.35, respectively), but PECOTA assumes only 10 starts and fewer than 100 total innings from each pitcher; over 180 innings, we'd have to assume worse numbers. the system still likes anthony reyes, projecting him to the 2d-best era (4.32) and 2d-highest innings total (115) among st louis' pitchers.
  • wainwright's list of comparable pitchers includes john lackey and aaron harang.
  • rasmus' list of comparables includes carlos beltran. rick ankiel's list of comparables includes jose cruz.
  • projected era for braden looper: 4.82. jeff suppan: 4.84. matt morris: 5.02. jeff weaver: 5.06.