Welcome to the initial launch of this year’s PECOTA forecasts. We hope you find them enlightening, useful, and predictive.
Let’s start with the business aspects of things. In order to access the PECOTA forecasts, you need to be a subscriber to Baseball Prospectus. Monthly subscribers will have access to certain PECOTA features but will not have access to downloads like the PECOTA spreadsheets. The best value we offer is a yearly subscription, which not only gives you access to the full PECOTA product offering, but also unrestricted access to our extensive prospect coverage, R.J. Anderson’s Transaction Analysis, in-depth analysis from the likes of Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and more, and the latest in baseball research from the likes of Russell Carleton and myself. If you feel you can pass on that, we offer our lower-priced Fantasy subscription, which give you full access to the PECOTA products and all fantasy-focused articles on the site.
We’ll also take this opportunity to remind you that the forecasts are a privilege of your subscription, and for your personal use. If you want to tell your friends not to worry about Roy Halladay because his forecast looks much better than his 2012, go for it. But please do not distribute copies of the PECOTA spreadsheet (or the Depth Charts, or the output of the Player Forecast Manager).
Now, to the fun stuff. As always, we’ll remind you that we’re weathermen, not soothsayers—we provide probabilities and best guesses, not tea leaves and the throwing of bones. We absolutely promise that we hold no ill will toward your team just because its forecasts aren’t as rosy as your hopes; we certainly will take no action against your favorite players to force them to perform more in lines with their projections if they seem to be exceeding them.
Our playing time estimates are based on the input of our staff, headed up by Jason Martinez of MLBDepthCharts. Keep in mind that most pitchers and catchers still haven’t reported to camp, and some key free agents, like Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse, haven’t even signed yet. So we will be updating these playing time estimates frequently as teams make roster moves and we see how rosters shape up in spring training. These aren’t etched in stone.
Right now, we’re rolling out the following:
- The PECOTA weighted means spreadsheet (also available under your digital downloads)
- The PECOTA summaries atop the player cards
- The Depth Charts (including the Visual Depth Charts and projected team records and standings)
- The Player Forecast Manager
- And the PECOTA portions of Team Tracker.
Over the next week or so, we will continue to roll out additional parts of the PECOTA product offering:
- The preseason version of the Playoff Odds Report,
- PECOTA projections for the Team Audit pages,
- The Scoresheet Draft Aid,
- And the full PECOTA cards, including 10-year forecasts, percentiles, and more.
As always, we haven’t left PECOTA alone between seasons. A full list of changes would be rather long and frankly a little tedious, but one of the things we’re happiest about is greater usage of the 2013 MLB schedule in coming up with these forecasts, particularly the park adjustments (in the past, projections were based on teams’ park factors from the previous season). That’s especially important for a team like the Houston Astros, which has seen its road park mix change drastically as it moves to the American League.
This is always an exciting time of year for us at Baseball Prospectus, partly because it’s the culmination of a winter’s worth of work, and partly because like you, we’re devoted baseball fans who know that PECOTA’s release is a sign that baseball season is just around the corner. From all of us to all of you, thank you so much for your continued support. And now, instead of staring out the window and waiting for spring, you can stare at Excel instead. I hope it makes the waiting a little more bearable for you; I know it does for me.
Quick notes for first-time subscribers: Once you subscribe, the PECOTA spreadsheet will be available to you at any time as a Digital Download. To access your Digital Downloads, click on "manage your profile":
Then, on that page, simply locate the item entitled "2013 PECOTA Spreadsheet Digital Download". You can look for the green highlighting, which we use to differentiate downloads that have been recently updated:
New versions of the spreadsheet will be available during the spring as rosters shape up, and you can always check back here to see if a new version has been released.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now
How do I sort the sheet by teams? or is there instructions built somewhere that I have yet to see. I am just waking up and coffee only begun to brew. So, it's possible I missed it.
You can manipulate the spreadsheet any way you like. There aren't separate tabs for teams, but you can sort the "Team" column alphabetically to get guys in order. You can also filter that column (in my version of Excel, Data-->Filter) to make players from only certain teams appear.
before I had my last message posted even.
I am checking it using your advice now.
Thanks again for the quick response, and yes, without my coffee, sometimes things just don't seem to be "all there".
I guess that sort of answers my team sorting question... how do I sort by column etc. or by team on the sheet itself if that is possible?
I'll keep trying to figure it out and let you know if I do.
Awesome guys! Stoked!!!
I don't see a "sort & filter", I have "copy, find, & go to".
If I go into find, it gives me the options... within(sheet, workbook)/search(rows,columns)/look in(comments, values) and also the options to check mark the boxes of "match by case" or "match entire cell contents".
Happy PECOTA release day!!!
ps. probably a busy day for you guys I would imagine, even though you guys don't seem to have any trouble keeping busy....especially from now until October. :)
When will UPSIDE (and particularly, ten-year UPSIDE figures) be available? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is simply Baseball Prospectus's most valuable and unique tool available, particularly for those of us interested in prospects. So let's make it available!
Also - there is no batting average category for the hitters on the PFM, but there is for the pitchers. Is that an oversight or intentional?
I raced through all the depth charts to find the projections that left me scratching my head, and I came up with 5 "too bearish" and "too bullish" categories (IMHO of course).
PECOTA has love for (IP/ERA)
I think the common thread here is a veteran group of pitchers with excellent, lengthy performance histories before last year, but I see last year's drops as "real" because of observable major losses in "stuff" or "health".
PECOTA is hating (relative to my expectations) on...
Here, we see the opposite phenomenon at work where these guys dont have lengthy histories of performance excellence yet PECOTA, in my opinion, is missing the boat.
Dickey's age kills him per PECOTA yet he's a knuckleballer so we know the normal rules dont apply. PECOTA has whiffed on Vogelsong for two straight years, I think he has been so outstanding, and with better peripherals than normally acknowledged, that you have to give more weight to the last two seasons than the absence of excellence banked in PECOTA's database during his 20's. He's really a new, unprecedented guy whose "stuff" and repeatable delivery suggest that he can repeat his performance. Miley I dont get, I expect regression too but up to a mid 4 ERA? Dont see how the peripherals from last year justify that unless his minor league numbers before were far weaker. Samardjza is another guy who seemed to have the requisite perhipherals last year, which is more probative to me than his lack of them two years ago. PECOTA disagrees.
All interesting, thanks again for putting these up.
"As a result of its revamped weighting, PECOTA is going to be more bullish on players coming off a bad year and more bearish on players coming off a great year than many other forecasting systems. Weâ€™re okay with that. We believe that a full accounting of the historical data supports what weâ€™re doing with PECOTA, and we think a forecasting system with a uniquely accurate outlook is more valuable than one that conforms."
Would be interesting to see how PECOTA fared against these other systems, in 2012, in predicting players whose 2011 was substantially at odds with 2009 and 2010.
On the "too bullish" side I'd list (obp/slug)
Yasmani Grandal .360/.423 (PEDs and ballpark make it hard for me to think he's gonna be that good that soon)
Mauer .401/.455 (Highest obp I think of all the projections, I love the guy but find it difficult to see given his age and increasing durability concerns that he's gonna outpace all of baseball in obp)
Youkilis .362/463 (Moreso on the obp side at this point)
Perhaps VictorMartinez and Berkman too (.360/423 and 379/476) given , again, my concerns about their perceived skills aging more rapidly than I think PECOTA is building into its projections. Again, less obvious to me than some of the pitching errors.
All just my opinions. On the "too bearish" side there were a LOT more in my view than on the "too bullish" side, maybe I'm just perceiving more leaguewide offense than PECOTA.
Several Angels (Kendrick, Trout, Hamilton), Astros (Wallace, Altuve 311/380?!, JMartinez), Rays (KJohnson 310/388, Escobar 328/352, Joyce 341/441, Jennings 319/381) seem low to me. Pitcher's parks that I'm undercorrecting for?
Also, Kemp 344/487 seems way too low, Bruce .325/480 is consistent with past performance but skills and age/development curve augurs better IMO, Heyward .346/443 seems low for similar reasons, Castro .326/421 same. REddick .295/424. Moustakas .307/434. Granderson 328/466. Crawford .316/399.
Lot of outfielders and/or younger prime guys in my list.
Again, BP thanks for getting out PECOTA early, and I should say that overall I think your system is the best, and I intend to ride it to fantasy glory this year.
The Nats, well... think of it as every team starting from 81 wins, that is to say average. If you look at how teams perform, it's a lot easier to get to 61 wins from there than it is to get to 101 wins. That puts a drag, so to speak, on how high a team's win projection can get. Especially since, in this kind of environment, you kinda have to figure out where to take away wins from other teams to give to the Nats. I think we may start to see a bigger spread in the PECOTA win projections overall as the depth charts start to firm up a bit more, but 88 wins and a comfortable division win isn't shabby at all.
One question: based on rough calculations, Braves' position players are slated to earn roughly 9 more WAR than Mets' position players (with the pitching relatively equal). If that's the case, why are the Braves only slated to win 2 more games than the Mets (rather than 9 more)?
- patent pending
Do other people use these prices as a guide or do you do anything to adjust (what I perceive to be) this overly heavy weighting on SB'?
Q. Who are the three comparables for (almost) every HS hitter from the June draft?
Can someone explain how those hitters end up as essentially the default comps for every 19 yr old quality position player prospect? And given their ubiquity in a process that's supposed to find unique and individual career paths, then is PECOTA implicitly stating that it is impossible to come up with good comps for this type of player?
It'd be nice to have a explicit explanation of what PECOTA seems to be implying.
I've also noticed that very young prospects with slightly more experience or better pedigrees seem to default to the Upton Bros and/or Mickey Mantle quite often.
PECOTA: 3.49 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
Steamer: 4.10 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
Actual: 3.37 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
I point out Peavy not to suggest that one example proves anything, but rather because I thought the projection was pretty unbelievable last year, yet he out-pitched even that.
For example, total BWARP assigned to all hitters in 2012 and 2011: 433 and 414 respectively, or about 14 per team. This year PECOTA doles out 619 BWARP, or roughly 21 per team.
Explanation must be a change in replacement level, no? (btw, this puts 2013 back on par with 2010 in terms of apples-to-apples replacement levels.)
I am curious why the system thinks a group of pitchers like this will decline by a full run off their career averages and more than 1.5 runs off last year in one season.
Pecota always hates everybody who did well last year, and loves guys like Nolasco who suck every year. Those new to the system need to just learn to slightly ignore it for pitchers... IMHO
(Although they are great predicting playing time)
Also, in your product roadmap, is there any plans to connect PFM via API hookups with Yahoo?
What's the best way to take bench spots into account in the PFM? Up to now, I've been splitting total bench spots evenly between P and UTIL, to get the total number of roster spots in the league to come out right; is there some other tricky way to handle it, or am I already doing it correctly (whatever "correct" means)?
It seems to think Adam Dunn warrants a 3rd round pick and that Soriano should be drafted before all starting pitchers.
Why is it hating on starting pitching?
The preseason version of the Playoff Odds Report,
PECOTA projections for the Team Audit pages,
The Scoresheet Draft Aid,
And the full PECOTA cards, including 10-year forecasts, percentiles, and more."
Over-promising and under-delivering is officially a pattern. I understand you want to put out a relatively bug-free product; give yourselves a more forgiving window to play with and you'll disappoint fewer customers.
Now I will extend long-term contracts (due today) without the ability to even see what PECOTA's previous 10 year forecasts were...