2020 Pod vs Steamer — SB Upside by Mike Podhorzer March 2, 2020 Last week, I compared my Pod Projections to Steamer and calculated which hitters I was more bullish on and more bearish on for home runs. Today, I’ll do the same for stolen bases. Similarly to homers, I’m going to calculate a PA/SB rate first and then extrapolate that projection over 650 plate appearances so we’re only comparing stolen base projections and playing time forecasts don’t factor in. SB Upside Player Pod PA/SB Steamer PA/SB Pod SB – 650 PA Steamer SB – 650 PA 650 PA Diff Jarrod Dyson 15.1 19.3 43 34 9 Jon Berti 19.2 24.3 34 27 7 Franchy Cordero 43.4 55.3 15 12 3 Starling Marte 22.4 25.0 29 26 3 Harrison Bader 37.0 43.6 18 15 3 The positive difference in stolen bases quickly declines toward 0, which isn’t too surprising as every season I’m a bit more bearish on steals than Steamer has been. Given that steals continues to decline each year, I have been right so far. Amazingly, Steamer and I are projecting identical OBP marks for Jarrod Dyson. Even more amazing, perhaps, is that the OBP forecast range among all projection systems is super narrow, sitting between .313 and .317. That’s crazy! Anyhow, the stolen base difference here clearly isn’t because I’m more bullish than Steamer on Dyson’s OBP. So it’s most likely more aggressive aging effects than I applied. It’s worth noting that Steamer is easily the most bearish among projection systems for Dyson’s plate appearances per steal. So apparently Pod is more bullish on Jon Berti’s OBP than Steamer, and actually the rest of the projection systems, but not by a significant amount. That probably accounts for a couple of steals of difference. I’m guessing the other is age, like Dyson, as Berti is already entering his age 30 season. FRANCHY! I was a huge fan of Franchy Cordero heading into last season as he fought to win time in a crowded Padres outfield. Sadly, he got hurt and ended up with all of 20 plate appearances. While I’m a bit more bullish than the rest on his OBP (it’s still sub-.300), there’s a lot of guesswork here given the limited history and return from injury. He is definitely a classic sleeper though, so if he finds himself on the strong side of a platoon at the very least, he’s worth jumping in given his power and speed blend. Any time a hitter switches teams, there’s an open question as to whether he’ll continue to attempt stealing bases at previous rates. Now that Starling Marte finds himself an Arizona Diamondback, will he steal more often, less often, or the same? Even though his steals fell off last year, his home plate to first base time has barely risen the last two years. Interestingly, my OBP projection is once again identical to Steamer. Harrison Bader was a popular sleeper last year, but he only amassed 406 plate appearances. He once again finds himself in a crowded outfield, in addition to the possible future arrival of top prospect Dylan Carlson. But at least when he does play, I’m more bullish on his steals than Steamer. A lot of that is due to my much more optimistic OBP forecast.