2014 Projections: Hitters

Everyone else is doing it this time of year, so I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring. I included each player’s ESPN and ZIPS projections, but know that I had completed my own analysis long before I looked at either of the other sources. Instead, I used the 2012 and 2013 seasons, as well as career averages in coming up with my projections. Initially, I wondered if I was being a little too optimistic, but a look around the web at different projection systems shows that I wasn’t too far off base.

So, if the computers think the Giants will have a solid offense, and the fans think the Giants will have a solid offense, does that mean we’re in for a treat this season? I sure hope so, and I do think it’s very possible that 3 or 4 of these guys will have 20-HR seasons. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Anyway, here they are, for your viewing pleasure.

Angel Pagan | Age 32  | 618 PA, .276/.331/.423, 7 HR, 54 RBI, 23 SB

ZIPS: 508 PA, .266/.316/.388, 6 HR, 47 RBI,

ESPN: 498 AB, .265/.319/.386, 5 HR, 55 RBI, 20 SB

Outlook: Pagan is one of the keys to Giants success this season. Can he stay healthy? If so, I don’t see any reason why he won’t perform near his career averages at the plate. He seems to alternate injury-plagued years with productive ones, so I’d like to think he’ll be back to his old self this summer.

Marco Scutaro | Age 38 | 515 PA, .281/.338/.359, 2 HR, 38 RBI

ZIPS: 547 PA, .283/.332/.370, 4 HR, 44 RBI

ESPN: 525 AB, .288/.339/.366, 4 HR, 49 RBI

Outlook: Scooter is still a productive 2-hitter, but his health is another key to success this year. I certainly don’t think we’ll see him on the field as much as he was in 2013, so 500 AB’s might be pushing it. But the options behind him aren’t exactly stellar, so maybe Scutaro won’t get as many days off as I’m anticipating this summer.

Brandon Belt | Age 25 | 600 PA, .297/.375/.485, 20 HR, 83 RBI, 7 SB

ZIPS: 562 PA, .264/.349/.441, 16 HR, 70 RBI

ESPN: 511 AB, .278/.355/.474, 19 HR, 75 RBI, 9 SB

Outlook: Belt was a completely different hitter toward the end of 2013, and I think those adjustments he made at the plate were more than just a temporary fix. He tends to go into mini-funks during the season, but if he can avoid doing so in 2014, I honestly wouldn’t be shocked by a 25-HR campaign. Either way, I think it’s a breakout year for the Giants’ hopeful 3-hitter.

Buster Posey | Age 27 | 588 PA, .306/.383/.479, 21 HR, 91 RBI

ZIPS: 583 PA, .293/.367/.467, 18 HR, 83 RBI

ESPN: 541 AB, .312/.386/.488, 19 HR, 85 RBI

Outlook: I’m going to assume that we’ve seen both Posey’s ceiling (2012) and floor (2013) as a big league hitter in the past two seasons. His commitment to strength training this winter has him looking beefed up heading into spring camp. I fully expect a return to normalcy at the plate in 2014.

Hunter Pence | Age 31 | 675 PA, .273/.331/.477, 23 HR, 96 RBI, 16 SB

ZIPS: 665 PA, .264/.319/.425, 20 HR, 93 RBI

ESPN: 623 AB, .274/.331/.441, 22 HR, 91 RBI, 10 SB

Outlook: The Pence deal was the steal of the offseason, and a very wise decision on the part of the front office. I don’t think he’ll have a career year by any means, but that streaky son of a gun always finds a way to get his 20 HR and a respectable average. He’s in tremendous shape, so I’m sure he’ll be running just like he was last year. All in all, he’s another above average hitter in the middle of that Giants lineup.

Pablo Sandoval | Age 27 | 604 PA, .297/.353/.470, 23 HR, 87 RBI

ZIPS: 555 PA, .279/.335/.448, 17 HR, 81 RBI

ESPN: 552 AB, .290/.346/.467, 21 HR, 90 RBI

Outlook: The Giants went hands-off with Pablo this winter, and so far it appears to be working. How much weight did he actually lose? Who cares, as long as he’s in shape? Unless Sabean decides to give him a major contract extension this spring, the Panda simply has to perform this year. I don’t think he’ll make it all season without getting nicked up, but I do think he’ll be motivated to put up big numbers. No guarantees here, but I’ll say this: If Pablo hits .300 with 20+ HR from the 6-hole this summer, the Giants will have one heck of a tough lineup.

Mike Morse | Age 32 | 465 PA, .254/.297/.445, 17 HR, 54 RBI

ZIPS: 427 PA, .253/.304/.415, 14 HR, 47 RBI

ESPN: 459 AB, .257/.308/.440, 21 HR, 59 RBI

Outlook: Morse’s season was a mess in 2013, so he’s got a lot to prove this year if he wants to be a relevant major league hitter going forward. There was a lot of griping and moaning over his signing, but you know what? I’m excited to see the dude hit. His health is certainly no sure thing, but I’ll tell you what: if he’s on the field, he’s got a chance to knock one out of the park. I have a hunch I’m low-balling him here, but I’m an optimist. 17 HR and a league-average offensive campaign from Morse would be A-OK with me.

Brandon Crawford | Age 27 | 538 PA, .262/.324/.361, 7 HR, 50 RBI

ZIPS: 500 PA, .238/.301/.351, 7 HR, 46 RBI

ESPN: 505 AB, .251/.311/.372, 10 HR, 52 RBI

Outlook: I have thought there was more in Crawford’s bat, since his first action in the bigs back in 2011. He showed flashes of that potential last year, adding some pop to the equation before slipping below .250 to close the season again. His batting line has been incredibly consistent the past couple seasons, but if the Giants give him some time off against lefties and he stays healthy, I think he’ll approach .260 for the first time. Is there a .270 season in his future?

Gregor Blanco | Age 30 | 403 PA, .261/.342/.349, 3 HR, 31 RBI, 16 SB

ZIPS: 441 PA, .238/.319/.333, 4 HR, 33 RBI

ESPN: 247 AB, .255/.335/.332, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 12 SB

Outlook: Blanco held his own at the plate for the most part last season. If I were to give him a monthly performance overview, it would look something like this: April/May – fine; June – superb; July/August – terrible; September – excellent. Essentially, two-thirds of his season was average or above (for his standards) offensively, while the other one-third was very poor. That seems to be the norm for him, and ideally he won’t get close to 500 AB this year. If Morse and Pagan stay healthy, I think Blanco will be a weapon off the bench, and may even hit for a higher average than we’re used to.

Joaquin Arias | Age 29 | 284 PA, .268/.289/.358, 3 HR, 23 RBI

ZIPS: 311 PA, .259/.282/.350, 3 HR, 28 RBI

ESPN: 151 AB, .265/.285/.358, 2 HR, 16 RBI

Outlook: Arias just signed a two year deal to stay with the Giants, and he should be another productive player off the bench for Bochy. At the plate, he doesn’t offer much for power or on-base abilities, but I think he does enough to hold his own in a spot-starter role. He’ll start the year as a defensive replacement for Pablo, but I could see him getting some time in a mini platoon role with both Crawford and Scutaro if the Panda proves he’s in good shape at third.

Hector Sanchez | Age 24 | 208 PA, .271/.305/.398, 5 HR, 28 RBI

ZIPS: 377 PA, .250/.291/.362, 6 HR, 47 RBI

ESPN: 142 AB, .268/.323/.380, 3 HR, 16 RBI

Outlook: Sanchez came to camp overweight and out of shape last year, and was never really able to get in a groove before being sent back to Fresno. He did look good in his late-season action though, and I think he could have a nice bounce back season. People often overlook his 2012 contributions, but Hector was a valuable asset for that team.

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30 thoughts on “2014 Projections: Hitters”

  1. Sabes had a very interesting response to a question at Fanfest about which young player he thinks is ready for a breakout, or something to that effect. I think everybody expected him to say Belt, but he singled out Crawford and said he had made some adjustments this offseason that he thought were going to pay off big time this season. I don’t know if he was just trying to deflect pressure away from Belt, but that’s a really interesting comment to me.

    1. I hadn’t seen that. Interesting. Maybe they both have breakout seasons?? I still think, deep down that Crawford has a .280 season in him. He just never looked that overmatched at the plate, even in his rookie year. If he could somehow find his way into the .265-.275 range, it’ll be quite the achievement for a guy the pundits never thought would hit .250 as a big leaguer.

    2. Very interesting. Craw had to struggle through the injury, put up bad stats because of it, it might be an attaboy that way too. Belt gets the bump due to Super2 that Craw has to wait on as well…

  2. Your blog is pretty darn good Covechatter. I think your undervaluing the power of Posey and Pablo. Both guys are entering the prime age of 27 this year and I always consider that the age when power hitters really take off. If Pablo can stay healthy and on the field I think he will go over 30 Hr on the year. Pablo went deep 23 times in 466 ABs In 2011. He is primed for a monster season. I hope the Giants lock him up in ST or I think he is going to be hard to sign.

    Buster had 24 HRs in 2012 the year after the injury. Last year was an aberration as Buster wore down somewhere in late July and had a major power outage. I think he came into 2013 quite a bit thinner than he was during previous seasons and that is part of the reason he wore down. It was probably a smart thing to do to take some weight off because there were some reports that his ankle still was hurting at times during 2012 but now that he is fully healed and has bulked back up I see him hitting for more power than ever before. 30 HRs is not out of the question. I have a real good feeling that the Giants are going to surprise the baseball world this year and finally put to rest the notion that we have just been lucky in the past World Series years when we take the division and go deep into the post season again.

    1. Thanks for the comments RBJ. I appreciate your kind words very much. Sometimes it’s easy to forget Pablo is still only 27! I do believe he is capable of that kind of power myself, but I projected him for 35 HR last season and fell flat on my face. I’m in “prove it to me” mode with the Panda at this point.
      With Posey, I think we’ll see a few more HR, but to me his gap power plays better at AT&T Park. If he played in the NL Central, I could easily see him hitting 25-30 HR every season. But playing 81 games in SF for a guy who likes to challenge the wall in CF will always dampen the power numbers a bit. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he hit 25 out this summer, but he’ll have to have a monster road trip through places like Milwaukee and Cincinnati if that’s going to happen.
      That was probably my biggest struggle here: I believe someone will hit 25 HR this year, but I just don’t know who. Maybe Pence or Pablo? Heck, even Belt and Morse have the potential to do it. Could be a fun summer!

  3. While I think Belt will have the bigger breakout in 2014, in terms of improvement, I’ve been saying all off-season that Crawford is the guy I think could surprise in 2014, as he hit very well early in the season, it was just spraining his two fingers that knocked his hitting in a tailspin. Then, once he got healthy, he seemed to lose his gas, just like Posey, near the end of the season. I think .280-.300 is not out of the question for BCraw, I’ve tracked his contact rate over 30 game periods and he’s often had good streaks where he’s over 85%, which is where the good players are, and sometimes at 90%, where the elite hitters generally are. He’s on the cusp, I think, and might have done it last season if he didn’t jam his fingers.

    And I think Pablo can improve even more, but he won’t be a breakout because he’s done it before. As DrB and I had commented elsewhere before, Pablo has the potential for a 30-40 HR season if he can play a full season, and I think he can when he’s fitter and healthy, like he’s appearing to be coming into spring training.

    The key to Morse, much like Sandoval, is keeping him healthy and on the field. I think if they can do that – and he says he feels healthy now – anything between his 2011 and 2012 season would be great to get out of him, and Blanco could cover the rest with his adequate offense and superlative defense.

    And if things break right for us, we could have five hitters who are very good in the lineup: Posey, Pence, Sandoval, Belt, Morse. I think at minimum, we’ll have three, which is still pretty good. Plus, Pagan, Scutaro, and Crawford wouldn’t be bad either, average, which means good in baseball. That can be a powerhouse offense to combine with dominating pitching, and we could have another runaway season, punch the Bridegrooms in the gut with all that spending and being left in the dust.

    1. Granted everyone stays healthy, I do think this lineup is capable of taking the west. At this point, I’m firmly in the pitching boat with DrB. The Giants have the bats to contend, but the season will hinge on the bounce back ability of the arms.

      1. Well, that’s the ying and yang of baseball, no matter how good your lineup is, if your pitching and fielding isn’t good, you aren’t going to win a lot of games.

        I see more question marks in the lineup than the pitching, actually. I believe in Posey, but his sharp drop in the second half was disconcerting. I know he did a lot this offseason, but what if it wasn’t enough? Pence had one of best seasons in a while, boosted by his amazing last month. What if that was a Winn-bounce, a one-month wonder? Sandoval might be thin and fitter now, but he lost a lot of time in the past with injuries I would call flukey, hamate bone (twice!), sliding and hurting his fingers, hamstrings from stretches on the field, so at some point you have to wonder if that’s his style of play that causes it. Pagan too. Scutaro is such a long time veteran, and I’m sure other teams’ doctors are smart too, so will the Giants trainers suggestions for improvement help that much? And I’m not even including Morse or Crawford.

        For the pitching, I see less issues and less need for bouncebacks. Bumgarner should be good to go. I believe Cain is too, I think he showed it in the last part of the season by being so dominating qualitatively (per my PQS research) when he wasn’t so dominating in the year or so after the Perfecto. So as far as I’m concerned, he bounced back already. And I see no reason to doubt Hudson’s recovery. And he’s shown his will to perform with how he came back from TJS pitching exactly, if not better, than he had before. If there is a history of pitchers not coming back from broken ankles, then I would see a need for a bounceback, but he actually pitched well in 2013, his high ERA masks good peripherals, he just had bad luck. That gives us the three aces we needed from 2009-2012 to dominate.

        Between Lincecum and Vogelsong, we can have one take the Zito role of low 4 ERA while the other one bombs, and, again, that’s the 2009-2012 model: 3 aces, one average Zito, one poor performer. I think the odds are pretty good that at least one of them can do the average starter role, mostly because that is what Lincecum did last season and I see no reason for him to regress this season. But I think Vogie could do that too, which is even better, but even if not, there is Petit, Escobar, Kickham to backup the last starter spot, and, again, we have survived a season with a poor 5th starter before and still competed, so it’s not like we need to have any of them perform that well, just as well as any other team’s #5 starter, which is not that well at all, 5-6 ERA.

        So that is why I see the lineup to be a bigger question mark than the starting pitching.

      2. You know OGC, if I’m ever feeling down about the Giants’ chances, I know I can always come your way and find an optimistic outlook. Personally, I’m just excited to get the season started. It may sound crazy, but I had a special feeling during that 2010 spring training. A feeling I hadn’t had since the Bonds/Kent days. It just seemed like they could really do something special if they came together. 2011 we all had high hopes, but even in 2012 I felt good about our chances. Having the new pieces in the lineup with Pagan and Melky definitely added a little excitement, but their play that spring just felt different.

        I hope that feeling comes back this spring. It certainly has the potential to, but I will admit I’m just a little hesitant to get too excited until we see how everything gels in camp. It’s a long season, and the team will undoubtedly change from start to finish. There’s a lot to prove this season, and I’m ready to see it happen. I appreciate your constant optimism… it’s very rare in sports these days.

      3. First I don’t feel that I’m constantly optimistic. I don’t know why people keep on labeling me with that. I’m optimistic if I see things to be optimistic about. I’ve been pretty optimistic since 2007, when a reporter asked what’s next after Bonds, because she didn’t see it, and I answered in my blog, “pitching, pitching, and more pitching.”

        That’s why I said at some point before they actually won it all, that they were going to be the team of the 2010 Decade, they just looked that good to me. I don’t see that as optimism, it was logic that I had worked out. I can’t help it if others are pessimistic when the data says otherwise.

        But even before that, I was viewed as optimistic when I didn’t think the Giants were as bad as everyone else thought it was, and they weren’t the 100 game losing team. But I still thought that they were a losing team, so where’s the optimism in that? I knew they were losers.

        And it is not like I think they are going to win it all every year. I know that a lot of things can go wrong, just like I know things can go right too.

        I did think that they would eventually win one, but when it got to the dark days of August 2010, I sure didn’t know whether we could pull that one out. Like a plane in a steep decline, I know that not every pilot can pull it up in time to save the day, some crash.

        And when Melky was suspended, and the Dodgers picked up all those players, I sure didn’t think that we would end up celebrating a second one. Or even in the playoffs when they reached elimination in both series, I knew the odds were horribly against us. I was hopeful because they were good, but I was anything but optimistic because I knew the odds.

        And I know you meant it to be nice, and I appreciate that, but my opinion is always based on what I see to be the situation to be. I knew from the 70’s to 80’s that the team was at best mediocre and rarely competitive, and I told my fellow Giants fans at school that. There was strong reasons to be pessimistic back then, just as I see many strong reasons to be optimistic now.

        And yeah, things go bad, but is it realistic? Sure one of our aces arms or bodies could go, but most do not. Hudson might not come back the same, but it was just a broken ankle, most players recover from that. Vogie is a huge question mark, I have no idea what he’s going to do, but we’re covered because even if he were bad, the Giants had survived that before to have a winning season, competitive to the end.

        The lineup is more problematic. Posey, Sandoval, Pagan, Scutaro, Morse all have question marks, Pence to some extent too. The good thing is that most likely, each should be OK to some extent. The odds of all of them being bad seems small to me, but the question marks are still there. Still, I feel good that we’ll be mostly OK there enough to win 90 games at least. That’s what the numbers say to me.

        And last year, it said that to me too, 90 wins, and we all saw how the many injuries and poor performances all added together to a poor season. But I don’t think it is realistic at this point to think that such an event will recur again in this season. But you never know….

  4. Hopefully optimism didn’t get OGC in the funny farm ( I kid). But that’s quite a reply to a compliment about being optimistic. I’ve been around Giants blogs long enough to know that OGC’s handle fits real well. The man can exhale arguments and counterarguments rife with statistics in one breath and he knows the system better than his own co-jones.

    Working on my own projection system. Has anybody ever tried to devise their own system? I ran into a wall just trying to calculate batting average from BABIP, K%, BB% and HBP, SAC info. I thought I could more easily derive the batting average from known rates. I’m always off by .010 – .015. I’m going to create my own regression and make this thing work. It will be a balance of past performance and hunch.

    Nice projections Kyle. I think Pagan takes it easy on the basepaths though. And I’m not that optimistic on Belt breaking out that much. Breakouts never happen when you expect them too.

    1. I took no offense to his reply, for the record. OGC is a dedicated fan and blogger, and he’s much more knowledgable than I am. All the differing styles/opinions have made this blog a fun place for me to keep going. That includes your opinions and input!

      I’m very interested in your projection system. That sounds pretty awesome, although a ton of work I’m sure. I looked at a ton of different stats when making these projections, but I decided to leave out a lot of them and post the ones that most people are familiar with. But I did log each player’s BABIP, K%, BB% and a few others. That was new to me (in terms of creating projections), but very enjoyable to learn more about advanced stats.

      1. No no no. I don’t want ton of work. I just want to use some rate numbers and hunches about trends in rate numbers that will determine a projection on the triple slash line numbers. I just discovered that homeruns are removed from the BABIP equation which seems ridiculous because the ball was in play and happened to be indefensible.

        Anyways, the average BABIP is .300. Crawford’s was .290 last year and .307 the year before. Belt’s was .360 two years in a row. Hmmm. Will Belt have BABIP that high again. Possibly. Joey Votto’s was also .360 last year and Freddie Freeman’s was .371.

    2. I know that Kyle didn’t mean anything bad by it, but in the main Giants watering holes I went to, I was dismissed (bullied, really, if I think about it) by those who disagreed by being called “optimistic” or a “Pollyanna”, so it’s a bit like PTS, I kind of flashed back. I’m back off the funny farm. :^)

    3. I don’t treat projections as gospel, rather, I use them to see how reality would look like if the projections are true. Any one projection will always be off, always. You can’t account for everything that can happen in life. However, if you bunch up a whole team together, it is kind of like how they talk about investing and spreading risk: the downs of one will balance the ups of the other, getting you closer to the answer, but never at the answer.

      So I use them as a guide to the truth. And each system has their own biases and weighting that they use. Heck, I’m working on this for a blog post, but I’ll share some data here. I’ve gathered up the projections for the players I expect to make the starting lineup or pitching staff (or if not available, like I think Hembree will make it but they only have Machi and Kontos, I use them two instead).

      Using Steamer, I get 4.24 RS (using the Lineup Calculator black box guts) vs. 3.81 RA (I had to estimate the unearned run average for some by averaging the Giants from 2009 to 2013), which results in a 89 Win winning percentage using the Pythorean formula. Using Oliver, 4.59 RS/4.03 RA, equals 90 wins (it favors Morse doing better). Using Baseball Forecaster, 4.50 RS/3.90 RA, 91 wins. And then there is Bill James, whose system is always very optimistic, 4.56 RS/3.76 RA, 98 wins.

      So I would say based on these, the Giants should be right around 90 wins, with an upside of 98 wins if things go well.

      Then sometimes I dig into the projections and tweak them when I disagree.

      1. Now for my projections, of course, it is a long process sometimes. I start off usually by looking at their 3 year combined stats (BB-Ref is great for this, you can select one year, click the third, and it adds it up for you; also, ESPN used to provide 3 year stats). If there are any funky seasons which looks like an outlier, I throw it out, though if it is an up and a down outliers, and the BABIP looks similarly up and down, I might keep it, you just know what to do in each case.

        Obviously, a newer player, it’s often only 1-2 seasons. Then I take a look at the BABIP and see if it makes sense for the player. If it is a high BABIP, is the guy speedy? If not, you probably need to tweak it downward. I look at guys minor league BABIP (I’ve seen no study linking the two as predictors, but when you look at the numbers in total, you can feel when something is off) to tweak up or down. Same for low BABIP and the guy is speedy. But if his minors BABIP is similar enough to his majors, I stick with it.

        For new players on the team, I would use his 3 year, but if I know his home park is an extreme hitters or pitchers park, I prefer using his road numbers only. Then I do the adjustments above.

        Then, because I’m aware of many players ups and down and things, I would adjust things. Like Huff, his BABIP was extraordinarily bad but his peripherals were very similar so I felt that he should rebound with us. However, as we learned with him, the stats don’t tell us anything about the player’s mind (though I suspected that he was one of those who can’t handle success once I learned about how he was in college and how Burrell brought him out of his shell).

  5. OGC, don’t take shit from turkeys. I always thought of you as super thorough whomever you were defending. I think of you more as defense counsel than prosecutor.

    Kyle, you may be pleased to know this, but my first projection that I’ve come up with is for Brandon Crawford and it’s in line with yours.

    I bring up his BABIP to .310. His K & BB make slight improvements and his ISO stays about the same. I get this:
    .266/.322/.381 (based on 8 HRs)

    I’m going to double check this to see if I’m still satisfied and then run some more. Call it an obsessive/compulsive hobby.

  6. Here’s my Scutaro:

    500 PAs, .289/.342/.369, 2 HRs

    I’m liking where these numbers are falling. The system is doing what I want it to do so far.

  7. I’m enjoying this back and forth on projections! I did look at the BABIP for each guy from 2012-2013, as well as the career average, and tried to make a prediction for 2014. I also looked at K and BB%, but I’ll admit I just confused myself more than anything. I’m not smart enough to do calculations that in depth, but I did try to use the BABIP as an indication of which way the batting average would swing. I did not use it to calculate the BA though. So, I guess you can say these projections are based on a mixture of statistics and educated guesses based on watching most of these players every night for the past 2 (or more if appropriate) seasons. Maybe I went a little high with Belt’s BA, but I put a lot of weight on his .326 second half. .285 with 20 big flies? I can DIG that!

    Feel free to post the rest of your projections here when you get them all compiled if you’d like Foothills. I’d like to see how mine stack up. Looking decent so far.

    BTW, OGC you don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff on this site. That’s not my style, nor will it ever be. You’re always welcome to express yourself as you’d like. And the more you write, the more I have to read about and learn. I’m not a long commenter, but I do try my best to respond to each comment I get here.

    Lastly… happy friggin baseball season!

  8. Here’s a look under the hood at my method for arriving at the projection numbers.
    Estimate PAs, project BB%, K%, BABIP, ISO and HBP, sac flies, and sac bunts.

    Multiply PAs by an estimate for players BB% based on previous year/s and even 1st & 2nd half splits. There’s your BB estimate. Then come up with an estimate on the times player gets plunked (HBP) and best guesses for sac flies and bunts. Some players do get him more often than others, like Shin Soo Choo and Craig Biggio. Some guys are more like to hit sac flies and others more likely to sac bunt. 3 HBP, 4 Sac fly, 1 sac bunt might be a probable outcome. I just look at their career trend and maybe trend for similar players. Add these three components. Now subtract BBs and the sum of those three from PAs. There’s your ABs.

    Subtract estimated K’s from AB’s (product of K% and PA). This should be the # of times the ball was put in play. However, for some reason, you need to remove homeruns from the equation. Subtract your homerun estimate from BIP (balls in play).

    Then the equation : BIP = (Hits-HRs)/BABIP

    Multiply your best estimate/guess/projection for players BABIP by BIP. This yields Hits-HRs. Add your HR estimate to this number and you will arrive at the estimate for hits. Divide hits by AB and voila, batting average. Add BBs & HBP to hits and divide by PA and there’s OBP.

    Add best ISO estimate/projection to batting average and there’s your slugging. I think that’s it. May contain errors. But it’s pretty much that. Blending number crunching and hunch taking.

    1. That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. It does make a lot of sense. I honestly never would have understood how to use BABIP in projections (or converting SLG%, for that matter). Your explanation was very clear, and I’m actually going to fool around with some numbers now. Practice for next year! I really appreciate you explaining your process.

      1. It’s not quite perfect though. I think I spotted a problem. I need to reinsert sacrifice flies into the total for balls in play. I think sac bunts should be kept out. This would raise the batting average and SLG by a hair. Yeah, just fool around with numbers for season of stats on fangraphs taking the rates and such and see if you can arrive at the actual batting average. That’s basically how I figured my way through BABIP.

    2. Yeah, I never understood that intuitively, just seems like it is a batted ball and should be counted, but from what I understand, Ball In Play can’t count homers because they were never in play, the OF could not get to it because of the wall or fence. Hence it is subtracted. I assume whichever nerd worked on this also tried analyzing with HRs included and concluded it was better without, but I don’t really know for certain.

      I’ve never done it down to such detail before. Thanks for sharing. I’ve done bits and pieces of this before, so this all looks good, nice job.

      For one season data conversion, I cheat by taking the batting line, I figure out what the “correct” BABIP is, find out the difference from regular BA, subtract that from OBP to represent the drop in BA, then I multiply the drop by “SLG/BA” to get the approximate SLG reduction (SLG goes down because the BA does down), and with the reduced OBP and SLG, I get the overall reduced OPS. I’ve never verified that this works mathematically, but it seems close enough to the truth that I keep using it.

      1. I’ll have to actually play with your method, OGC, to understand the why. But I know what you mean by correct babip. The number crunching works as I’ve described above. At least for Brandon Crawford. Sac Flies are part of balls in play, but obviously not AB’s. The only thing left is to create a spreadsheet formula whereby by the essential #’s are plugged in and the results spat out.

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