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Sometimes you’re not quite sure what your next column is going to be about, and then you get a pair of tweets like this:

And then you know exactly what your next column is going to be about.

Half of the fun of having a projection system is bragging about what went right. The other half is figuring out what went wrong. This article does a bit of both.

These are the position players and pitchers whose 2012 True Averages and Fair Run Averages PECOTA has come closest to and furthest away from predicting (minimum 200 plate appearances or 80 innings pitched). In keeping with BP tradition, each hit or miss is inexplicably accompanied by a haiku.

Batters

Hits

10. Will Venable

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.261

.263

-.002

.002

 

He can do it all
But can’t do it all that well
Check out away stats

9. Chris Davis

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.271

.272

-.001

.001


April was so kind
Might not be Quad-A after all!
All downhill from there

8. Jason Heyward

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.294

.293

.001

.001

 

Heyward back on track
Better power, baserunning
Best of all, not hurt

7. Andres Torres

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.258

.259

-.001

.001

 

Pagan and Torres
Similar before, but now
Pagan is better

6. Zack Cozart

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.247

.246

.001

.001

 

Cozart hasn’t hit
But whatever he does, he’s
Better than Janish

5. Jimmy Rollins                                                                      

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.245

.246

-.001

.001

 

Back in ’07
Rollins won the MVP
But he won’t this year

4. Derek Jeter

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.267

.266

.001

.000

 

Can’t hit right-handers
Can’t hit the ball in the air
Still above average!

3. Darwin Barney

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.244

.244

.000

.000

 

Best shape of his life
Twenty more pounds of muscle
Not a power threat

2. Miguel Montero

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.276

.276

.000

.000

 

With the extension
D-Backs sought more of the same
And they're getting it

1. Brett Lawrie

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.268

.268

.000

.000

 

More valuable
In 43 games last year
than 85 now

Misses

10. James Loney

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.219

.272

-.053

.053

 

We knew he was bad
But not that he was this bad
Hits like a catcher

9. Edwin Encarnacion

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.338

.284

.054

.054

 

Had him on my team
But stopped playing fantasy
A few years too soon

8. Kurt Suzuki

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.195

.257

-.062

.062

 

Game’s most-played catcher
Over the past five seasons
Maybe he’s tired

7. Austin Jackson

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.331

.266

.065

.065

 

Tigers MVP:
Not Verlander or Miggy
But Austin Jackson

6. Andrew McCutchen

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.368

.303

.065

.065

 

Only 25
He leads the world in WARP
It’s sort of scary

5. Melky Cabrera

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.335

.267

.068

.068

 

Maybe these are the
Saddest of possible words:
Sanchez to KC

4. Nick Hundley

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.181

.250

-.069

.069

 

Used to like Petco
Hitting .120 there now
Petco conquers all

3. Carlos Ruiz

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.350

.280

.070

.070

 

Most catchers can’t hit
And also play good defense
Ruiz can do both

2. Mark Trumbo

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.354

.284

.070

.070

 

Mark Trumbo’s home runs
Fly the farthest in baseball
So says HitTracker

1. Mike Trout

Actual TAv

Predicted TAv

Diff

Absolute Diff

.364

.289

.075

.075

 

No 20-year-old
Has won an MVP award
That might change this year

Pitchers

Hits

10. Edwin Jackson

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

4.52

4.43

.09

.09


This one was easy
Jackson’s stats have barely budged
As good as he gets?

9. Joe Blanton

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

4.38

4.46

-.08

.08

 

Most NL home runs
And league’s lowest walk rate means
Many solo shots

8. Justin Verlander

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

3.24

.316

.08

.08

 

Barring a bad half
Verlander will likely win
A second Cy Young

7. Phil Hughes

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

4.38

4.31

.07

.07

 

Some writers said that
Hughes was unpredictable
Not for PECOTA

6. Hiroki Kuroda

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

4.62

4.69

-.07

.07

 

Life’s three certainties:
Death, taxes, and Kuroda’s
Sub-4.00 ERA

5. Stephen Strasburg

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

2.80

2.87

-.07

.07

 

He does everything
Except surprise PECOTA
Hype was justified

4. Matt Moore

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

4.17

4.21

-.04

.04

 

Not every arm
Can mature quite as quickly
As Clayton Kershaw’s

3. Lucas Harrell

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

5.01

5.03

-.02

.02

 

Some scouts said Harrell
Was a good fit for the pen
Those scouts were not wrong

2. Jordan Zimmermann

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

3.83

3.84

-.01

.01

 

Zim could be an ace
If he didn’t share a team
With Stephen Strasburg

1. Jake Westbrook

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

4.72

4.72

.00

.00

 

Dave Duncan is gone
Which made everyone worry
But Westbrook abides

Misses

10. Hector Noesi

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

6.29

5.02

1.27

1.27

 

Pineda is out
But so far the Mariners
Are losing the trade

9. Clay Buchholz

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

5.87

4.49

1.38

1.38

 

The scary thing is
This would have looked even worse
A couple months back

8. Felix Doubront

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

4.47

5.90

-1.43

1.43

 

When pitchers are off
They’re worse than PECOTA thought
Except for Doubront

7. Jeremy Hellickson

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

5.30

3.86

1.44

1.44

 

PECOTA thinks more
of Hellickson’s strikeout rate
Than most people do

6. Tim Lincecum

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

4.45

3.10

1.45

1.45

 

PECOTA believed
In what Lincecum achieved
But it was deceived
 

5. Ricky Romero

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

6.34

4.86

1.48

1.48

 

Okay, so maybe
Romero isn’t as good
As he looked last year

4. Matt Garza

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

5.60

4.06

1.54

1.54

 

More of his fly balls
Have become home runs this year
Than all last season

3. Ervin Santana

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

6.38

4.39

1.99

1.99

 

When in Anaheim
Santana might seem to be
Better than he is

2. Mike Minor

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

6.52

4.53

1.99

1.99

 

The NL’s answer
To poor Ervin Santana
Is named Mike Minor

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

Actual FRA

Predicted FRA

Diff

Absolute Diff

6.09

3.98

2.11

2.11

 

Things were looking up
Until Ubaldo’s last start
Now they’re looking down


Thanks to Colin Wyers for research assistance.

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Behemoth
7/17
Warning you all now All comments must be haikus Or I will minus
Behemoth
7/17
Well, forty haikus That is really quite a lot Much more fun than prose
SGreenwell
7/17
This was awesome guys The #want made me warm in pants PECOTA's self-aware
Behemoth
7/17
This was a good try but too many syllables In the final line
MikeLHenderson
7/17
Accurate reads, though Gio Gonzalez wonders "Hey, who's the ace here?"
dianagramr
7/17
A 5-7-5 Rare play on the field or good Winning percentage
Michael
7/17
No one cares about FRA predictions; ERA would be more useful
dianagramr
7/17
There once was a man from Prospectus ... (oh ... wait) ....
WaldoInSC
7/19
Opining like homo erectus. He was no ex-jock spewing pablum and crock, but instead some well-researched invectus.
jfranco77
7/17
Yes, Cutch is the best His teammates clearly aren't J-Up as savior?
kdierman
7/17
Love for Dan Haren Is what Pecota Proposed Sadly a Runaway Groom
kdierman
7/17
Lust for Dan Haren Is what PECOTA thirsted Rejected again
dianagramr
7/17
Your skill with this verse Lead to next year's annual Haiku Prospectus
dianagramr
7/17
Someone has gone and Banged all the comments to date Not a haiku fan?
Behemoth
7/17
Positive ratings Have been given out to all Who make the haikus
Oleoay
7/17
Minus Diana? Her grit is valued highly, Queen of anagrams.
dianagramr
7/17
Richard is quite kind Anagrams are fun to do Haiku tough but cool http://valueoverreplacementgrit.com/2012/07/11/the-vorgs-all-haiku-1st-half-review2nd-half-preview/
Oleoay
7/17
Shameless plug for Di. Whiffleball on tee, I did. A home run she hit.
zasxcdfv
7/17
Mike Trout is so good At everything in baseball Shows much #want not #slack
Oleoay
7/17
Had Edwin myself. Traded him to Stromboli. For next gambling spree.
gweedoh565
7/17
Mostly great, Ben! BUT: "Slugging .376"; not five syllables
bornyank1
7/17
Yes, you are correct I have just altered the line Now it should be fine
sam19041
7/17
Sage PECOTA, Does it know everything? "Sorry, HAL!" it says.
sam19041
7/17
Sage PECOTA, Does it know everything now? "Sorry, HAL!" it says. (FIXED)
Oleoay
7/17
So, with PECOTA, After Annual publish. It cries "Do over!"
migueljsteele
7/17
Kudos, PECOTA But answer this: did you call Chris Davis's win?
Behemoth
7/17
This one is the best In my honest opinion A prize is needed
piraino
7/17
Enjoyed anecdotes, would love further analysis. An ANOVA?
Behemoth
7/17
Ben will do more work When you master the haiku It's 5-7-5
piraino
7/17
Let me try that again... Enjoyed anecdotes, would love more analysis. An ANOVA?
Behemoth
7/17
Sadly still not right The last line is just too short More #want is needed
kdierman
7/17
Oh Fernando :( Pecota No Se Gusta Senor Joe: "Bueno!"
BarryR
7/17
Will Venable dreads The long trip home to PETCO Where hits go to die.
beeker99
7/17
Freak off by a lot! Might be, in second half, a good bet to improve?
AndrewKoo
7/17
This is the greatest So renew your BP subs To enjoy this more
BurrRutledge
7/17
Verlander's so good, Predicted FRA ... what?!!! Alas, a typo.
BurrRutledge
7/18
Trout's noteworthy stats Are deserving of haiku. Not eighth syllable.
BurrRutledge
7/18
On second thought, I changed my mind on Mike Trout. He bends haiku rules.
tombores99
7/18
The AngelFish is Legen- (wait for it) -dary Do Trout swim upstream?
BurrRutledge
7/18
Poetic cadence Enjoyable as always. Thank you, Ben Lindbergh.
Scartore
7/18
Zack Cozart's bat sucks. But so does his lovely glove. Like unto a vacuum.
drawbb
7/19
Just wanted to say The Melky and Lincecum Haikus are golden
WaldoInSC
7/19
Get what you paid for: Horsehide erudition, yea! BP and its fans.
Oleoay
7/20
Haikus are quite fun. Alas on BP's home page They scroll off quickly.
Behemoth
7/20
After all is done We all have outwritten Ben Forty is too few