Last week, I reviewed an article I published in the preseason discussing the breakouts from 2018 and whether I felt they would be a 2019 bust or were for real. Today, I will be reviewing the 2018 busts. Like for the breakouts, I discussed seven busts from 2018 and determined whether or not they would remain a bust (meaning earn similar depressed fantasy value) or rebound.
Heading into the season, I published my first piece on previous season breakouts with a verdict on whether I believe the hitter is for real and will repeat or come close, or will be a bust in the following season. I discussed seven hitters in the inaugural edition, all of whom earned at least $13.90 more than in 2017. Let’s find out how my calls did.
Today, I move along to reviewing the six hitters whose 2018 xBABIP marks fell significantly short of their actual BABIP marks, suggesting serious downside in 2019. Let’s see how they ended up performing.
Today, I move onto reviewing my preseason BABIP calls, starting with the surgers. In late February, I used my xBABIP equation to identify eight hitters whose actual BABIP marks were significantly below their xBABIP marks, suggesting a potentially dramatic BABIP jump in 2019. Let’s find out if that did indeed occur for these hitters.
In mid-February, I compared the xHR/FB rate my equation spit out to the batter’s actual mark in 2018 to share a list of six batters the formula would suggest possessed significant HR/FB rate downside in 2019. The record home run rate this year is going to probably make the picks look bad, but let’s take a gander at the names and the results anyway to find out if that was indeed the case.
In mid-February, I compared the xHR/FB rate my equation spit out to the batter’s actual mark in 2018 to share a list of nine batters the formula would suggest possessed significant HR/FB rate upside in 2019. The record home run rate this year is going to probably make the picks look good, but let’s take a gander at the names and the results anyway to find out if that was indeed the case.
Let’s review the first Pod Projection I posted for the 2019 season, Yusei Kikuchi, who was to make his MLB debut from Japan. It’s difficult enough to project players with no Major League experience, such as rookies coming up from the minor leagues. It’s even more challenging to try the forecast game when that player with no MLB experience is actually coming from a foreign league. Translating their foreign league performance is more art than science. Luckily, the DELTA website helped by supplying some of the season metrics, which I did my best to translate to a Major League equivalent to use as a guide. Let’s see how he performed versus my projections and the rest of the systems.
As I have at the end of the first half since 2013, I grouped two sets of pitchers together and aggregated their results through the half based on the degree of SIERA outperformance and underperformance. I then asked you which group of pitchers would perform better from an ERA perspective over the second half, and which range each group’s ERA would fall into. This year’s poll and voting results are here.
I continue my review of my pre-season predictions, moving along to my bold pitcher league leaders. While the randomness of many of these metrics make it extremely difficult to get a call right, it also means that I have a much better chance of hitting on one than I did with the hitters. That’s because Dee Gordon has essentially a 0% chance of leading the league in homers, but with some good fortune, it’s in the realm of possibility that Steven Matz wins the NL ERA title. I did not boldly predict a wins league leader, because wins are dumb.
Let’s check in on my bold league leader predictions. While I rarely get any of these right, the hope is that some of the highlighted names outperformed and their appearance on this list gave you the nudge you needed to go the extra buck for them. We’ll start with the hitters.