2/19 3:45 Update: I have updated the workbook to include the Zips projections: 2013 Batter Projections Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and I should have the pitching side out shortly.
3:54 Update: Initially I had foolishly included PECOTA projections from Baseball-Prospectus forgetting that these forecasts are pay-for-play. I have since updated the attached workbook so that it does not contain this resource from BP. I do this without them having asked, because it’s the right thing to do. I have since included the CAIRO projections that are free of charge from the Replacement Level Yankee Weblog. Much thanks to them, Brian Cartwright, the crew at Fangraphs, and the guys behind Steamer for not only busting their butts, but also allowing the community free access to their labor of love. If you can give them a dollar, you should. Hopefully, we’ll be able to add Tango’s Marcel and Dan Szymborski’s perennially excellent Zips Forecasts to this as well, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for the Bill James forecasts because they are also pay-for-play, in addition to being roundly mocked. Cheers!
Dock of the Rays will be hosting what we like to call the Superliga this year. In a nutshell, the Superliga is a dynasty league where you play with the same people every year and how you do determines which Tier you will be in in the following year. This will be year four of the Superliga and it should be as competitive as ever. We’re still looking for teams, so go here if you would like to know more and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to play. The more the merrier as the beauty is that we can run as many tiers as we want. Last year we had 40 teams and it would great if we could get even more.
On to the task at hand. There are a ton of different projection systems out there that want to tell you how a player will perform this year. They all work similarly, but the nitty gritty details are what separates one from another. If you want to know what each system thinks about a player you have to do some legwork to go through all these different projections. Well no more. I’ve created a tool that can quickly compare each of the players and also an aggregate projection of the player using each of the projection systems. Click here to download the Excel file –> 2013 Batter Projections Seriously, do it, you’ll thank me later.
The aggregate is an average of each of the rates of each statistic. So for instance, if the Fans think that Mike Trout is going to have 122 singles in 705 plate appearances then that’s a rate of 0.173. Meanwhile, Steamer thinks that he’s only going to have 110 singles in 702 PA for a rate of 0.157. You can check out the Raw section of the “Summary” tab to see how the other projectors treated this, but when we average the rate of each forecast we get 0.169. The average number of plate appearances for each system is 673 so when we multiply these two we get an aggregate projection of 114 singles. We can do this across the board to cover most of the common fantasy categories and my favorite all in one offensive metric wOBA.
So you should have a handle on the Rate and Raw sections, but what about that last set? Well having the raw projections is really nice, but if you’re a hardcore fantasy player you want to know how those raw numbers stack up to the rest of the league. Enter the “Standardize” function in Excel. We can take the mean and standard deviation for each of the categories for the top 300 batters sorted by wOBA. We then compare each players to this league rate to see how many standard deviations the player is from the norm. For instance, Mike Trout is projected to have 43 SB in the aggregate. If we turn to the “League Rates” tab we can see that the aggregate average of stolen bases league-wide is 7 with a standard deviation of 8. This puts Mike Trout 4.77 standard deviations away from the league average player, in the positive. Again, we can do this across the board and then sum up all these z-scores to get an aggregate total of 24.49. That number doesn’t mean a whole lot on it’s own, but it’s essential for comparing the total skill-sets of players against one another.
Ok so now you have a ton of background that you probably don’t care about, but how does this thing work? Simple. Just enter the name of the player that you wish to see projected in the yellow cell of the “Summary” tab. The workbook will do the rest of the work. You can see how each projection system forecasts the player as well as the aggregate projection for all systems. I do not have Zips in here yet because they are not easily found on Fangraphs, yet, but they will be and at that time we will be able to include it in with the rest of these projectors. The great thing about the aggregate is that as we add more and more projections we should get closer and closer to what a player will actually do due to the “wisdom of the crowds” theory. Beyond Zips I would also like to see CAIRO, Marcel, and the Bill James projections included.
But wait, there’s more! After you’ve pulled up the projections for a player you can easily compare players. Simply select and copy the data in the blue’d cells and then click over to the Compare tab. Next you just need to right click –> Paste Special –> Values in an empty row. You can then pull up the projections for another player, rinse and repeat, until you have all the players that you want to compare. You can also compare each players Z-Score or use any of the individual projection systems. It’s all up to you whatever you want to copy and paste, I’d just stay consistent from player to player. For best use you may want to change the formula for the Total Z-Score so that it only includes the categories that your league uses. For example, you probably aren’t playing in a league that uses singles or wOBA or walks so don’t include those in your calculations. On the other hand, it might make sense to include PA since it acts as a nice proxy for playing time. Play around with this and customize it as you like.
I hope you find this useful when making your keeper decisions or in deciding who to draft, but the tool will also be handy throughout the season as it relates to waiver wire and trade decisions. Good luck on your upcoming fantasy season and hopefully you’ll come back and give a big thank you once you’ve dominated your league.