It's Friday, and on Friday anything goes. It's jeans day or casual Friday or whatever your office calls it (maybe you work from home and everyday is casual Friday). So for Friday I'm going to post what is simply a thought experiment.
The other day one of my co-workers (if you're reading this: hey co-worker!) was browsing the internet about baseball and noticed some information about Steamer projections. The idea behind projections is simple: using historical data to project future data. He grasped that concept with ease, but the problem was he didn't know what the data meant. He saw that Alex Gordon was projected to hit 16 home runs, but he didn't know how many home runs 16 home runs are. It's more than 15 but less than 17, but what does that mean in the context of things? I know 16 home runs is above average for 600 plate appearances but he didn't and I'd venture most fans don't know what the league average rate is. A lot of casual fans will rant off that Joe Smith could hit .300 with 25 home runs and 150 RBI without knowing exactly how good (or underestimating/overrating) that projection/prediction is.
The idea of league-weighted metrics have been around since at least the inception of ERA+, if not further back, so we aren't breaking ground here but more so simplifying the projections.
So I decided to calculate (more so plug the formulas into excel) the Royals Steamer projections weighted to the league Steamer projections. So every point over/under 100 would be 1% better/worse than the Steamer league projection for that stat (see notes). For metrics ending in +, over 100 is good and those metrics ending with - under 100 is good.
Let's get one thing out of the way: this is entirely just for fun/thought. While the metrics below are usable and true, they aren't necessarily worth using outside of the context of this article given the wide criteria used to calculate them as well as they are being based on projected performance.
Some notes before the numbers:
When calculating the Steamer projected baseline average for the weighting I limited it to players projected to receive 150 or more plate appearances.
While the counting stats for the league average are un-adjusted, for the Royals players they have been prorated to 600 plate appearances.
Rate stats for the league-average are not from Steamer projections, but instead based off the 2014 league average. I couldn't quite get the results I was looking for calculating the Steamer league average rate stats so this is simpler. For instance my Steamer league average OBP is .3135 and the actual 2014 OBP average was .314 so the results shouldn't be noticeably different.
Steamer only maxed Sal Perez at 450 PA and there's reason to believe he'll receive more than that so I adjusted his counting stats to 550 PA. That might be too much or too little, but it's what we're going to use, damnit.
WAR+ is entirely just for fun, more so than any other metric here and is probably pointless, but you know...it's Friday. For the baseline I used 2.0, which is essentially a league average player.
For starters, the minimum projected innings pitched is 90. For Relievers, it's 20.
Also, unERA-/unFIP- are most assuredly not the same as ERA- nor FIP-. Neither metric has park and rather than an AL/NL split for the average, it is the entire MLB.
For relievers, the maximum innings projected to pitch was 65, meanwhile the baseline fWAR/RA9-WAR was 0.5.
Cain and Dyson are good at stealing bases, the Royals soon to be full time DH (Kendrys Morales) is expected to be ~70% worse than an average player, as is the projected starting right fielder Alex Rios.
Strikeouts remain an issue for this team.
No surprise here. The three best Royals relievers project to be really good again while Royals feature two other average relievers in Finnegan and Hochevar.
Meanwhile, the Royals may potentially carry Jandel Gustave for the entire season as mandated by the Rule 5 rules (if they want to retain him), but as shown above, he may not be MLB ready.