Earlier this year I asked Rays fans to take a simple survey on how they thought the near-term future would go for rookie sensation William Bradford Myers. The dynamo was coming off a season when he put up a slash of .293/.354/.478 good for a wOBA/wRC+ of .357/131. Tantalizing doesn’t even begin to describe the season put up by the 2013 Rookie of the Year. While folks have heard of regression, it would appear their powers to understand this phenomenon rarely go past lip service.
The above link shows the basic form, in which, I wanted to ascertain what fans thought Wil was likely to put up from 2014 – 16 in such basic statistical categories as K%, BB%, BABIP, and ISO. Using these four inputs it is possible to construct a passible version of a batter’s line and this method helps to remove some of the bias that fans are going to have when they’re used to seeing things in slash form. In order to insert some serious anchor bias I let the respondent know the figures that Myers put up in each category in his fantastic 2013:
8.8 BB%, 24.4 K%, .362 BABIP, and .185 ISO
Here’s the results from the 28 people that took the few minutes that this survey required:
We start off with the actual line that he put up where he struck out a quarter of the time, which was a little more than people expected this year. He also walked slightly more than people though he would, but his BABIP and ISO were far removed from the high bar that was projected. His Iso was basically half of what people thought it would be, while his BABIP was closer to league average. You can also look ahead to how people think his game would evolve over the years as he became a hitter that walked more, struck out less, had better success on balls in play and hit for more power. Let’s extrapolate these out to get an idea of what this looks like:
Note that I have used formulas to derive each of these lines based off of the previously shown inputs. There will be subtle differences between his actual line and what I’ve shown here because I’m not including minutiae like sac flies, and because it can get tricky to perfectly peg batting average from BABIP due to home runs being included in at bats, but not BABIP. This version is very close to actual and that same formula is used throughout so you should have some confidence in this stuff. Additionally, it can be difficult when distributing hits so you may notice slight differences there. I hope that doesn’t detract from your appreciation of this read. Also, here’s a chart for those that prefer that sort of thing:
Readily apparent is how close folks were to pegging his K/BB numbers this year. Unfortunately, this also showcases how much went wrong. Respondents saw marginal improvements across the board with Myers approaching the end of the MVP discussion by 2016. It’s still possible that 2015 and ’16 end up looking a lot more like this, and for that we will rejoice, afterall, 2014 is one data point, but it’s proximity to the present means we should be looking to temper our expectations a nudge compared to where we were close to a year ago.
Wil Myers still has a chance to be a very good offensive player for the Rays despite how poorly 2014 went. So here’s your chance to vote again on this. Please take the barely triple-digit seconds you will need to complete this survey and I hope to present the results before the beginning of this next season.