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Make your 2016 Royals player predictions

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Get your crystal ball.

One internet based offseason thing I like is Tom Tango's crowdsource scouting report for each individual player. In it, he asks baseball fans to build a scouting report for the defensive prowess of each player.

Baseball's fans are very perceptive. Take a large group of them, and they can pick out the final standings with the best of them. They can forecast the performance of players as well as those guys with rather sophisticated forecasting engines. Bill James, in one of his later Abstracts, had the fans vote in for the ranking of the best to worst players by position. And they did a darn good job.

So we're going to try something similar here for the Royals players specifically. However we aren't going to do just defense or just offense, but instead the overall value of a player based on their wins above replacement (WAR). For the purpose of this exercise we'll look at FanGraphs measure of WAR described as:

Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is an attempt by the sabermetric baseball community to summarize a player's total contributions to their team in one statistic. You should always use more than one metric at a time when evaluating players, but WAR is all-inclusive and provides a useful reference point for comparing players. WAR offers an estimate to answer the question, "If this player got injured and their team had to replace them with a freely available minor leaguer or a AAAA player from their bench, how much value would the team be losing?" This value is expressed in a wins format, so we could say that Player X is worth +6.3 wins to their team while Player Y is only worth +3.5 wins, which means it is highly likely that Player X has been more valuable than Player Y.

For batters it's relatively straightforward when adding together all the underlying metrics; batting + fielding + baserunning + position essentially with an adjustment for replacement level.

However for pitchers it's a bit more complicated. Since we are using fWAR we are ignoring ERA since in my opinion (and Fangraphs) it's not the best indicator for measuring a pitchers talent.

In order to match up with the theory behind WAR for position players, FanGraphs has traditionally used a context-neutral statistic (Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP)) in order to express a pitcher's value to their team. Here are a couple reasons why:

● FIP strips away the influences of team defense, focusing solely how variables that a pitcher has control over.

● FIP also involves considerably less regression than other ERA Estimators like SIERA and xFIP, making it a better measure of value added. While SIERA and xFIP estimate a player's hypothetical home run and BABIP rates based on different criteria, FIP uses a player's actual home run rate in its calculations.

● These factors make FIP a good middle-ground option. It strips away the impacts of defense and measures a pitcher's skill, but it doesn't merely regress away abnormal results. If a pitcher should have allowed 20 home runs (based on his regressed home run rate) but actually gave up 30 home runs, he was a less valuable pitcher to his team than a stat like SIERA or xFIP would have you believe. Those two stats are better at predicting the future, but FIP is better at capturing past value.

Now an argument can be made that with the Royals defense, pitchers can outperform their FIP in regards to their ERA. However this argument loses focus a bit as we are trying to measure the pitchers 2016 talent.

So below, I've listed the current nine main position players, five starting pitchers, and three main relievers.

A few notes:

1) This list is of course incomplete players wise. Though the bulk of the 2016 roster is in place there are of course a few pieces missing that will come in due time. This exercise will be revisited again after Spring Training.

2) Assume the player receives a full season of playing time and adequate health other than the usual tear of daily games

3) Here is a basic and loose breakdown for players when trying to benchmark their WAR

Batters:

5+ wins: MVP level caliber

3-5 wins: All Star player

~1.5-3 wins: average player

0-1 wins: Below average player

Pitchers:

5+ wins: MVP level caliber

3-5 wins: All Star player

~1.5-3 wins: average player

0-1 wins: Below average player

0 wins: replacement level

Relievers

~2+ wins: elite level closers/relievers (Craig Kimbrel, Wade Davis, Aroldis Chapman)

~0.5-1.5 wins: average to above average reliever - 7/8th inning guys (Tyler Clippard, Kelvin Herrera, Junichi Tazawa)

~0-0.5 wins: middle relievers (Luke Hochevar, Al Alburquerque, Franklin Morales)

As you'd expect, relievers don't really ever rack up high level win values because they usually top out at 60-70 innings per year or 1/3 of a starters normal innings. So think of relievers compared to their scale of other relievers. I imagine this will be the toughest task of the bunch but I didn't want to exclude relievers.

Even if you don't believe in WAR, use the above breakdown of win levels to assign a prediction to a player. Will they have an all-star level season? Average season? Etc...

All 2016 projections are courtesy of Steamer


Salvador Perez

Year PA WAR
2013 526 3.7
2014 606 3.1
2015 553 1.6
2016 520 3.1

What will Salvador Perez's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker


Eric Hosmer

Year PA WAR
2013 680 3.2
2014 547 0.1
2015 667 3.5
2016 649 2.4

What will Eric Hosmers' fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Quiz Maker


Omar Infante

Year PA WAR
2013 476 3.1
2014 575 0.5
2015 455 -0.9
2016 399 0.2

What will Omar Infante's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Alcides Escobar

Year PA WAR
2013 642 1.1
2014 620 3.3
2015 661 1.5
2016 641 1.5

What will Alcides Escobar's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Mike Moustakas

Year PA WAR
2013 514 1.2
2014 500 0.6
2015 614 3.8
2016 599 3.0

What will Mike Moustakas' fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Paulo Orlando

Year PA WAR
2015 251 1.0
2016 516 -0.1

What will Paulo Orlando's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Lorenzo Cain

Year PA WAR
2013 442 2.7
2014 502 4.9
2015 604 6.6
2016 628 3.7

What will Lorenzo Cain's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Jarrod Dyson

Year PA WAR
2013 239 2.5
2014 290 3.1
2015 225 1.8
2016 546 1.6

What will Jarrod Dyson's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Kendrys Morales

Year PA WAR
2013 657 1.3
2014 401 -1.8
2015 639 2.1
2016 626 0.8

What will Kendrys Morales' fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
online poll

Yordano Ventura

Year IP WAR
2013 15.1 -0.1
2014 183 2.4
2015 163 2.7
2016 195 3.3

What will Yordano Ventura's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Quiz Maker

Edinson Volquez

Year IP WAR
2013 170 0.9
2014 192 1.0
2015 200 2.6
2016 185 1.7

What will Edinson Volquez's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Danny Duffy

Year IP WAR
2013 24.1 0.5
2014 149 1.9
2015 136 1.2
2016 153 1.1

What will Danny Duffy's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Chris Young

Year IP WAR
2014 165 0.0
2015 123 0.9
2016 168 -0.4

What will Chris Young's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Kris Medlen

Year IP WAR
2013 197 2.6
2014 - -
2015 58 0.5
2016 172 1.7

What will Kris Medlen's fWAR be in 2016?
4+ wins
3-4 wins
2-3 wins
0-1.5 wins
Poll Maker

Wade Davis

Year IP WAR
2013 135 1.4
2014 72 3.0
2015 67 2.0
2016 65 0.9

What will Wade Davis' fWAR be in 2016?
2+ wins
1-2 wins
0-1 wins
Quiz Maker

Joakim Soria

Year IP WAR
2013 23 0.2
2014 44 1.4
2015 67 0.4
2016 65 0.5

What will Joakim Soria's fWAR be in 2016?
2+ wins
1-2 wins
0-1 wins
Poll Maker
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Kelvin Herrera

Year IP WAR
2013 58 0.5
2014 70 1.2
2015 69 0.6
2016 55 0.5

What will Kelvin Herrera's fWAR be in 2016?
2+ wins
1-2 wins
0-1 wins
Poll Maker

Polling will close Friday with the result posted next week