While looking through the projections posted at FanGraphs, I noticed that some of the RotoChamp projections seem a bit optimistic. For example, Jim Thome is projected with a .419 wOBA. Thome had a good year last year, putting up a .437 wOBA over 340 PA, but he's also 40 years old, and even with a potential HOF career behind him, his career wOBA is only .407.
This looks like a simple case of under-regressing 2010 performance and not enough weight given to past performance. However, other optimistic projections fall out of this pattern. For example, Albert Pujols is projected with a .449 wOBA, higher even than his career .434 mark despite Albert now being on the wrong side of 30 (it appears the wOBA projections may not remove IBB, so Albert's career wOBA with his IBBs counted as nIBBs would be .444; closer to his projection, but still lower). Albert's 2010 performance, however, does not seem to be driving the high projection; he hit only .420 last year.
Does RotoChamp see something important in projections like these, or is the optimism misplaced? I find 20 different players listed in both the Marcel and RotoChamp projections who are projected at least .030 points wOBA higher by RotoChamp than Marcel. They are:
|Name||Age||Rel||Marcel||RotoChamp||diff||2011 PA ||2011 wOBA |
|TOTAL PA |
This does not include prospects who have not appeared in the Majors, such as Brandon Belt, who RotoChamp likes a lot (.385 projected wOBA). Technically, Marcel projects these players with a league average wOBA, so they could be included, but whether or not RotoChamp's prospect insights add value is a separate issue than what I am looking at here. Other than Brandon Allen, these players all have fairly established Major League track records with plenty of data for a projection system to work with, and RotoChamp is still seeing them very differently from Marcel.
The test here is simple. At the end of the year, will Marcel's or RotoChamp's estimates for these 20 players be better? Additionally, will this group signicantly outperform its Marcel projections, even if they still end up closer to Marcel than RotoChamp? After all, RotoChamp could be finding something that Marcel is underselling in these players and still be over-weighting that insight to end up with overly optimistic projections.
Most of the players on the list are in their 30s or 40s (all except Miguel Cabrera, Jed Lowrie, and Brandon Allen). Their average age is 34. Many, like Thome, Jose Bautista, and Andruw Jones are coming off big 2010 seasons, while some, like Albert and Manny Ramirez, are big names projected for bigger numbers than their 2010s would indicate. Continue Reading...