A look at the hitters who could outperform their PECOTA projections in RBI.
One of the fun ways we all try to outsmart our opponents in fantasy is by searching for hidden value in players who, for one reason or another, we suspect have the ability to outpace their projections (and, relatedly, their draft cost). Our Darkhorses series features staff picks for players who could very well outpace their PECOTA projections for the year and provide the top overall production in one of the standard five-by-five categories. We’ve all picked one player currently projected by PECOTA to fall outside of the top 10 and one longer-shot player currently projected outside of the top 25. We’ll take a look at offense this week and pitching next. For the earlier editions in this series, click below:
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Five hitters and five pitchers PECOTA thinks will sink in 2013.
Yesterday we looked at five position players and five pitchers whom BP’s projection system, PECOTA, believes are in for big improvements in 2013. Today we’ll tackle PECOTA’s picks to suffer some of the largest declines.
Hitters Mike Trout, Angels
2012 WARP (639 PA): 9.1 Projected 2013 WARP (693 PA): 5.3 Projected WARP decrease: -3.8
Trout is projected to see the largest WARP decrease of any player—and to tie for the fifth-highest WARP among non-pitchers. It’s a reminder of how far ahead of the pack he was in 2012 that PECOTA can project him to be much less valuable than last year, but still more valuable than almost everyone else. Although he fits the profile of a high-BABIP hitter, Trout was likely a little lucky on balls in play—his batting average on line drives was over 40 points above league average. Some regression in that area, coupled with the adjustments made by opponents who’ve spent the winter searching for ways to get him out, might make Trout merely one of the most valuable players in baseball instead of the most valuable by far.
Rios, Ross, and Cuddyer highlight this week's Keeper list.
Alex Rios| Chicago White Sox
Shallow (30 Keepers): No Medium (60 Keepers): No Deep (90 Keepers): Yes AL-only (60 Keepers): Yes Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes
While Adam Dunn was struggling through his historically bad 2011 season on the White Sox, teammate Alex Rios was putting together a fairly disastrous season of his own. Overall, he batted .227 with just 13 homers and 11 steals—a far cry from the 21 homers and 34 steals of the year prior. Many fantasy owners gave up on him as a result, but Rios wasn’t done yet, rebounding to hit .304 with 25 home runs and 23 steals in 2012. Add in just over 90 runs and RBI and you get the 12th most valuable line as ranked by our PFM.
The White Sox center fielder is good, again, surprisingly (for now).
Every year, Baseball Prospectus releases a PECOTA projection for Alex Rios, and every year Rios makes us wonder why we bother by missing the mark on the forecast one way or the other. Rios’ volatility is as dizzying as it is bewildering.
The trend dates back to 2008. Rios had made back-to-back All-Star Game appearances, and the Jays had no reason to believe those would be the last. Toronto wanted to secure Rios and his intriguing blend of power and speed, and so they nailed down a contract extension— the damage: seven years and more than $69 million. Rios played well enough through the season’s end to bring his three-year line to .296/.347/.489. Over the time, his seasonal averages included 19 home runs, 41 doubles, and 21 stolen bases.
Which outfielders and DHs proved to be the biggest black holes in the majors?
Picking up where I left off on Friday, we continue hunting the fish at the bottom of the major-league barrel in search of the positions where teams got the worst production—worse than the Replacement-Level Killers, but without the burden of toiling for a contending team. As with their catching and infield brethren, the following players helped produce tornado-level disasters amid their lineups, often at salaries that represented far more than just soft breezes running through their teams’ bank accounts. These are the Vortices of Suck.
Alex Rios is tough to figure out, and is struggling once again. What does Craig think of his chances to rebound?
After a miserable 2009 season that saw Alex Rios set personal worsts in several offensive categories, he seemed to have rebounded in 2010. His final line of .284/.334/.457 with a .275 TAv wasn’t anything outstanding, but it was a huge improvement from the previous season. And it provided reason to hope.
Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.