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Thread: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    It’s that time of year again! Pitchers and catchers are due to report to camp very soon despite the threat of impending white doom here in the tristate. The former makes the latter bearable, at least for me as I tell myself, "it won’t be long before Old Man Winter’s icy grip melts away to the time honored sounds of Louisville sluggers striking cushioned cork encased in white Rawlings leather!" Even while shoveling the last acts of defiance of a season that can’t know the joys of hearing “Play Ball!” bellowed into the air or the delight of sharing the season’s first ballpark dog with your wide-eyed, awestruck kids, my mind drifts to the age old question oft asked both by 8 year old boys and the 8 year old boys existing within the psyche of grown men, “Is this the year for my Redlegs?”.

    Anyway, that was my mindset last week while sitting on I75 for several hours during the snowstorm. In order to see what the Reds chances in ’07 might reasonably be expected to be, I turned to the five projection systems that are currently available to the public: 1) Bill James, 2) CHONE, 3) Marcel, 4) ZiPS, and 5) Pecota. There are several advantages of using these systems. First, modern projection systems are really quite advanced these days though they predict offense better than they currently predict pitching. Second, and importantly, the projection systems are devoid of fan-related biases that may unknowingly exist when examining our favorite team. Third, by taking an average of all of the projection systems (which is how I approached the question), individual biases of any single system can reasonably be mitigated. These projections then could be used to estimate RS and RA in order to determine Pathagorean wins. One last word, this was a lot of work and I tried to thoughtfully be as unbiased as possible when making assumptions so please play nice when offering critiques (but please feel free to critique!). Here’s the summary (caveats and methodology below):

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Wow! A winning season! The projections indicate Krivsky has assembled a collection of guys that could theoretically be above .500. This suggests that, if things break right and some key guys beat their projections, the Reds could be in the thick of a pennant race again this year. However, I'm a bit skeptical about the playoffs. First, that's a lot of things that need to go right while assuming nothing goes wrong. The Reds have little margin of error as a significant injury to a starter or two could doom the Reds to a losing season. Second, projections for Griffey/Dunn don’t consider the shift. Both are predicted to rebound from last season but is there any reason to believe that the shift won’t mess with their BABIP’s similarly this season? Third this assumes Homer spends at least half a year in the bigs and other decisions dependent upon Narron. For instance, will he play Denorfia enough to meet his projections? Will the roster have Moeller on it?

    All that being said, there is reason to hope. If the Reds are in contention in July, the Reds might be able to get over the hump with the addition of a rent a player or perhaps small tweaks to sure up a weakness. My take on the 2007 Reds? If Krivsky was seeking to build a roster that hits the league mean with the hopes that the chips fall well and they catch lightning in a bottle, then he's achieved that. If 90 wins are required to win the divsion, then reds fans should expect to be in the division race until deep into September. Wohoo! I'm looking forward to some more discounted tickets and dollar hotdogs. This could be a good season or a season to forget. Most likely it will just be an average season with reason to hope for more. There will be plenty to cheer about.

    So a few words about my methodology and some caveats:
    1. Obviously, it is very difficult to predict what the roster will look like. I tried to make the best estimate of how the Reds will emerge from spring training. Also, there are more than 25 players listed above. Some are guys that will likely take the ride on the AAA shuttle during the course of the season so the projected 25 man roster reflects some fluidity.

    2. I’m assuming we’ll see Homer for roughly half of the season and I’m giving the nod to Saarloos as the 5th guy/swing man given his salary and the comments during recent press conferences that Lohse and Milton are penciled in at #3 and 4 in the rotation.

    3. A few words concerning the parsing of AB and innings. I first determined the average projected performances (averaging all five projection systems) for players on the projected roster. Using regression analysis, total team AB’s and IP by the starting rotation were estimated from national league totals from 2002 through 2006 by using the '07 Reds projected performance levels to find similar teams during the past. Once IP by the starters were determined, subtracting them from 1450 determined innings by the bullpen. I can post the equations but suffice it to say that I could predict a given team’s AB within .5% for any given year for instance. So once, these targets were determined, I examined the projected averages to see if individual players AB or innings needed to be adjusted. Fortunately, the projections were almost dead on with a few notable exceptions. For hitting, I decreased Hamilton’s at bats in order to give Valentine an addition 77 Ab. This was necessary in order to raise the total projected AB for Reds catchers to a reasonable expected number. Also, Elizardo’s projected innings were reduced from slightly over 100 to 61. Given these limited tweaks, I’m confident that personal bias didn’t dramatically influence the RS and RA estimates (other than decisions concerning who would be in the roster of course).

    4. In my original analysis, defensive estimates using PRM to runs (using ’06 data) were also included. However, for the projected roster, the net was -1 run. Given the uncertainty in the defense of the roster (i.e Griffey in RF, actual value of Denorfia and Freel etc), I felt pretty comfortable considering the roster neutral defensively and dropping defense from the equation for simplicity.

    5. No projection system is destiny-all have built in biases and flaws. If there is sufficient interest, I'd like to initiate a redszone fan-based estimate drive to compile a similar set of projections during spring training to see how fan estimates stack up against the projection systems. Hopefully this will be fun.

    GO REDS!
    Last edited by jojo; 02-12-2007 at 12:05 PM.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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  3. #2
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Jojo, your picture isnt working for me.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Good work. Here is what jumps out at me:

    1. Encarnacion with an OPS of .822 seems about right to me, but will be a huge disappointment to most of this board.

    2. Alex Gonzalez must be on HGH. That is a slugging % about 80 points higher than I expect and an OBP about 30 to 40 points higher. I can't see him creating more runs than Edwin and finishing second on the team there.

    3. Too many innings for Bailey and probably more should go to Lizard, Saarloos and Lohse (which would change things).

    4. Bullpen looks weak, but I expect that. Actually, Weathers and Cormier look better than I expect.

    5. If Narron would actually play Deno that much, the offense would have a real chance.

    6. Big year for Dunn!

    7. Hatte/Conine platoon looks pretty weak. If Gonzalez doesn't put up these numbers and Deno doesn't play as much, those RC numbers could drop a lot. Its hard to carry poor offense at 1B unless the up the middle guys make up the difference.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Jojo, your picture isnt working for me.

    It worked alright for me when I previewed the original post before submitting it. I've tried attaching the file to this post. The resolution doesn't seem to be quite as good. Let me know if you have trouble accessing it...

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    It worked alright for me when I previewed the original post before submitting it. I've tried attaching the file to this post. The resolution doesn't seem to be quite as good. Let me know if you have trouble accessing it...

    I could see it fine.

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Am I going nuts, or does that have Seabass creating more runs then EE?

    Btw, 82-80 is close to what I think. I have us going 85-77.
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    It's interesting that an average of the projection systems really likes Gonzo in GABP. Pecota was the only one that was somewhat down on him (.258/.309 /.426). The other four systems are remarkably consistent with their love for him.

    I guess that's one of the bigger surprises to me. Gonzo has more RC than EE. But he also gets more AB which accounts for the difference. That may be reasonable (the difference in AB) because who knows whether Narron will fall out of love with EE after an error and it's likely that Castro and Freel will get some at bats at 3b while its unlikely Castro replaces Gonzo in the late innings. I have to say that Pecota's projection for Gonzo's bat is more in line with what I was expecting.

    These projections also support the argument that Deno would be a definite upgrade over Griffey in center. The two are projected to be similar bats while few would argue Denorfia isn't a significant upgrade defensively.
    Last edited by jojo; 02-11-2007 at 04:57 PM.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Jojo, picture still doesnt work right for me, but I just quoted your post and stole the url to the picture and went and looked at it, so its good for me.

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    Manliness Personified HumnHilghtFreel's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    These projections also support the argument that Deno would be a definite upgrade over Griffey in center. The two are projected to be similar bats while few would argue Denorfia isn't a significant upgrade defensively.
    Defensively, I have no doubt that Denorfia is a significant upgrade over Griffey. However, I don't see what you've seen that could lead you to believe that they are "similar bats."

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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by HumnHilghtFreel View Post
    Defensively, I have no doubt that Denorfia is a significant upgrade over Griffey. However, I don't see what you've seen that could lead you to believe that they are "similar bats."
    If excellent defensive play saves 10 to 15 runs a year. Deno's defense (plus if he projects to be a number 1-2 hitter in his career and most people have him at that) and his offensive of .280/.360 (avg/obp) conteracts Juniors defense.

    Juniors bat is regressing. I really happen to think this line-up should be out there but wont be.

    Deno/Freel
    Hatte/Conine
    Dunn
    Edwin
    Griffey
    Phillips
    Ross
    Gonzalez
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled."
    -Hunter S. Thompson

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by HumnHilghtFreel View Post
    Defensively, I have no doubt that Denorfia is a significant upgrade over Griffey. However, I don't see what you've seen that could lead you to believe that they are "similar bats."
    First, I'm referring to the likely future not the past. if you're expecting '05 Griffey, those days are long gone IMHO. Like Dracodave stated, Griffey's bat is regressing.

    If you normalize Deno's at bats to Griffey's, the difference in projected RC between the two for '07 is about 4. Thats less than half a win. Thats pretty similar. What Deno lacks in SLG with his doubles power, he makes up for with greater projected OBP. Factor in the defense and Deno could be a 1.5 to 2 win upgrade in centerfield.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Those projections look a little optimistic for Gonzalez and Denorfia and a bit pessimistic for Encarnacion and Arroyo.

    I still struggle to believe that a team giving as many starts as the Reds to some combination of Milton, Lohse, Saarloos, Ramirez, and Belisle can win 80 games, especially since it's probably optimistic to think Harang and Arroyo can provide nearly 500 innings of excellent pitching this season. I still think 75-78 wins is most likely unless Bailey emerges as a Jered Weaver/Justin Verlander/Francisco Liriano talent this season.

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    Manliness Personified HumnHilghtFreel's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    First, I'm referring to the likely future not the past. if you're expecting '05 Griffey, those days are long gone IMHO. Like Dracodave stated, Griffey's bat is regressing.

    If you normalize Deno's at bats to Griffey's, the difference in projected RC between the two for '07 is about 4. Thats less than half a win. Thats pretty similar. What Deno lacks in SLG with his doubles power, he makes up for with greater projected OBP. Factor in the defense and Deno could be a 1.5 to 2 win upgrade in centerfield.
    No, I realize that Griffey isn't the player of old. And I also realize that if Deno can put it together for a full year like he did in the last couple weeks of last season he could turn into a solid leadoff guy. I just think they're too different of hitters to really compare, though I see now you're doing it from more of a win share from a position perspective.

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    part of BBN jmac's Avatar
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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    Nice work JoJo.....I would give you points if I had enough myself.
    Though our offense isnt what it was...I still believe it will be decent and better than what most think.
    All I can say is "Bring on ST "!!!!!
    Last edited by jmac; 02-11-2007 at 06:20 PM.

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    Re: Your Cincinnati Reds-Projected for 2007

    75-87, give or take a couple. I completely disagree with those numbers. Those numbers don't look like winning season numbers at all!!! The offense is horrible and Arroyo and Harang bumb up their ERA a little.


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