Just a few days ago, the Bill James Handbook Projections were added to each of the player pages. Today, I will look at the top projected fantasy hitters going into the 2013 season.
A few items to keep in mind.
1. The projections are provided to FanGraphs by Baseball Info Solutions. Our agreement with them states that the data is only to be on each player’s page and not in one location. If you want the complete data, it can be bought from BIS. Don’t ask for a full list, it can’t be given out.
3. I completed 3 rankings. The first ranking used the 5 values (AVG, HR, RBI, Runs, SB) as the Bill James Projections reported them with no adjustments. The second list, I adjusted all the numbers to 600 PAs and rounded to the nearest integer for ease of reading. Finally, the third list, I used my work from last season that predicts Run and RBI numbers as if the player hit at an average lineup position on an average team. Yes, some player on better teams will have better numbers, but this ranking helps to isolate true player talent.
4. Bill James projections are normally overly optimistic when it comes to setting a player’s talent level. Compare them to other projections as they become available.
Ranking 1: Non-adjusted rankings
Ranking 2: Everyone adjusted to 600 PA
Ranking 3: Runs and RBI Normalized
1. Mike Trout projects to be the clear #1. The elite number of SB to go with the HR and AVG projects him to be the league’s best player.
2. The projections love Paul Goldschmidt. He looks to be Ryan Braun lite. The issue is that his Run and RBI seem a bit inflated in the non-adjusted table. He drops from 9th to 19th when the Runs and RBI are normalized.
3. When players are adjusted to 600 PA, a few names stick out. Chris Davis is projected to set career highs in HRs and AVG. Newcomers, Mike Olt and Will Middlebrooks are both going to hit 30 HRs. Starling Marte is going to be near a .300 AVG with 34 steals. The projections seem extremely optimistic for these unestablished players.
4. The normalized list is a ranking I would expect to see as it gets closer to draft/auction day. Huge jump for Joey Votto compared to the other two lists.
Most of the top hitters are the same as the past few years, but a few new names are included. On Wednesday, I will look at how the top starters and relievers rank with these projections.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.