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Marco Gonzales: How do the 2015 VEB Community projections compare to ZiPS, Steamer, PECOTA, & Oliver?

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Every year, MLB projections are released. They are based on regression formulas with various inputs. At VEB, we've decided to add a human element to the MLB forecasts. We collect stat predictions for various Cardinals players from the VEB Community at large, average them together, and then compare them to the math-based projection systems.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, we revealed the 2015 VEB Community projections for Carlos Martinez. Jaime Garcia's unfortunate case of arm fatigue has seemingly made the contest for to become the St. Louis Cardinals' No. 5 starter a two-man competition between Martinez and lefty Marco Gonzales. So I thought it would be appropriate to unveil the 2015 VEB Community projections for Marco Gonzales today.

As a reminder, we're looking at the following projections:

  • VEB (an average of the VEB Community projection submissions)
  • PECOTA (Baseball Prospectus, using their weighted means spreadsheet)
  • ZiPS (by Dan Szymborski and available for free at Fangraphs and a downloadable spreadsheet)
  • Steamer (freely viewable on Fangraphs)
  • Oliver (by Bill Cartwright and freely downloadable)

Here are the appearances vs. games started projections for each system:

  • Steamer: 41 G, 6 GS
  • VEB: 39 G, 9 GS
  • PECOTA: 26 G, 13 GS
  • ZiPS: 22 G, 18 GS
  • Oliver: 16 G, 13 GS
The starts versus relief appearance totals will help illuminate the innings-pitched forecasts, as well as some of the rate stats and the pitching "wins" and "losses." Now to the comparison graphic:

The projection systems generally like Martinez to have a better 2015 season than Gonzales. The VEB Community in particular does:

  • IP: Martinez, 147; Gonzales, 97
  • K/9: Martinez, 8.66; Gonzales, 7.34
  • BB/9: Gonzales, 2.78; Martinez, 3.22
  • ERA: Martinez, 3.47; Gonzales, 3.65
  • FIP: Martinez, 3.31; Gonzales, 3.80
What is interesting to me is that VEB collectively seems to foresee Martinez and Gonzales developing into pitchers that more closely resemble the statistical lines they posted in the minors. VEB sees Martinez's K rate climbing and Gonzales's BB rate dropping, as the most clear examples of this.

Gonzales has always been a control pitcher. He posted a 2.8 BB/9 in the minors, but that ballooned to 5.5 in the majors last year. Gonzales doesn't have the stuff to strike out enough batters to make up for such a sky-high walk rate. He will have to more closely resemble his minor-league self in terms of control if he's going to be effective in the majors. Hopefully VEB's optimistic projection with respect to Gonzales's 2015 BB/9 proves true.
From those VEB Community members who put their username to their predictions, here are the highest and lowest five submissions for the various statistical categories:

Highest 5 IP:

  1. ISawGibbyInGibby'sRightArm, 135
  2. amiesner, 135
  3. Hungry Jack, 125
  4. blakeford77, 112
  5. jppv86, 110
  6. jlh56ks, 110

Lowest 5 IP:

  1. Bherman, 44
  2. ldr, 75
  3. grammer, 76 1/3
  4. guayzimi, 78
  5. mattybobo, 80
  6. lightbulb, 80

Highest 5 K/9:

  1. grammer, 9.71
  2. Aranathor, 8.9
  3. ameisner, 8.5
  4. Bherman, 8.3
  5. Ben Cerutti, 8.3

Lowest 5 K/9:

  1. jdog55, 4.82
  2. Cardsfan7575, 5.6
  3. jlh56ks, 6
  4. Horsnby, 6.3
  5. zoomzoomj88, 6.8
  6. wyocardsfan, 6.8

Highest 5 BB/9:

  1. vances law, 4.2
  2. ldr, 4
  3. wyocardsfan, 3.8
  4. jdog55, 3.53
  5. zoomzoomj88, 3.3

Lowest 5 BB/9:

  1. dr. howl, 1.7
  2. Cardsfan7575, 2
  3. Hornsby74, 2.1
  4. ISawGibbyInGibby'sRightArm, 2.1
  5. Bherman, 2.2

Highest 5 ERA:

  1. monkeysareblue, 4.50
  2. lightbulb, 4.40
  3. Green Baloons, 4.01
  4. vances law, 4.01
  5. Bherman, 3.99

Lowest 5 ERA:

  1. amiesner, 3.08
  2. Aranathor, 3.24
  3. jdog55, 3.32
  4. grammer, 3.38
  5. Ben Cerutti, 3.43

Highest 5 FIP:

  1. ldr, 4.50
  2. Bherman, 4.40
  3. monkeysareblue, 4.34
  4. vances law, 4.25
  5. zoomzoomj88, 4.15

Lowest 5 FIP:

  1. Aranathor, 3.20
  2. amiesner, 3.22
  3. Craig Edwards, 3.34
  4. dr. howl, 3.37
  5. Ben Cerutti, 3.39

Highest 5 Pitching "Wins":

  1. Hungry Jack, 11
  2. dr. howl, 10
  3. amiesner, 9
  4. Cardsfan7575, 8
  5. Ben Cerutti, 7
  6. wyocardsfan, 7
  7. jlh56ks, 7
  8. balkeford77, 7
  9. Jacksonian, 7

Lowest 5 Pitching "Wins":

  1. grammer, 2
  2. mattybobo, 3
  3. jdog55, 4
  4. jppv86, 4
  5. Bherman, 4

Highest 5 Pitching "Losses":

  1. wyocardsfan, 9
  2. jlh56ks, 7
  3. Hungry Jack, 7
  4. jppv86, 6
  5. Bherman, 6
  6. birdbeak, 6
  7. blakeford77, 6
  8. dr. howl, 6

Highest 5 Games Pitched:

  1. jdog55, 85
  2. grammer, 63
  3. Craig Edwards, 58
  4. azta, 55
  5. Cardsfan7575, 55
  6. ldr, 55

Lowest 5 Games Pitched:

  1. dr. howl, 10
  2. Ben Cerutti, 19
  3. Horsnby74, 20
  4. mattybobo, 20
  5. Green Baloons, 22

Highest 5 Games Started:

  1. Hungry Jack, 20
  2. Ben Cerutti, 19
  3. amiesner, 16
  4. birdbeak, 16
  5. jlh56ks, 15

Lowest 5 Games Started:

  1. Bherman, 2
  2. guayzimi, 2
  3. grammer, 2
  4. Aranathor, 3
  5. azta, 4
  6. Craig Edwards, 4