2012 Tampa Bay PECOTA Projections

Yesterday, Baseball Prospectus released it's 2012 PECOTA player projections. I'm not going to comment on the quality of them one way or another -- there's a discussion at The Book Blog, if interested -- but they are yearly among the most accurate projection systems out there.

The Rays' PECOTA projections are below the jump and edited a bit as to not cram all the information into an unreadable table. Also, I only included the players with MLB experience currently on the roster.

There may be two stats in the tables that you're unfamiliar with if you're not fluent in Prospectus speak: TAv and WARP. We tend to be a more FanGraphs-heavy site, so, if it helps, think of TAv (True Average) as the BP equivalent of wOBA and WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player) as the equivalent of WAR.

For reference, here's a chart of the average TAv from each position (1-11) in 2011:

POS TAV PA GMS VORP
1 .1476 5923 1297 140.35
2 .2519 19140 2429 676.61
3 .2839 20709 2429 686.93
4 .2575 20831 2429 484.88
5 .2567 20233 2429 554.69
6 .2536 20715 2429 684.73
7 .2628 20763 2429 484.34
8 .2664 21247 2429 758.89
9 .2804 20780 2429 769.66
10 .2787 9758 1134 274.12
11 .2266 5100 1847 -30.1

Now, on to the projections

Hitters:
NAME HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG TAv WARP
B.J. Upton 17 70 41 0.245 0.332 0.398 0.272 2.8
Ben Zobrist 18 71 18 0.249 0.344 0.413 0.282 3
Desmond Jennings 13 66 36 0.257 0.334 0.392 0.273 2.3
Evan Longoria 28 87 8 0.262 0.347 0.482 0.303 5.6
Carlos Pena 32 78 3 0.22 0.346 0.458 0.294 1.8
Matt Joyce 22 76 11 0.25 0.341 0.449 0.29 2.7
Sean Rodriguez 15 53 12 0.229 0.31 0.394 0.263 1.6
Luke Scott 19 58 2 0.238 0.321 0.432 0.279 1.5
Jose Molina 4 29 2 0.221 0.266 0.305 0.217 -0.4
Jeff Keppinger 3 29 1 0.266 0.312 0.355 0.252 0.8
Reid Brignac 5 27 3 0.229 0.272 0.335 0.228 0.3
Sam Fuld 1 9 5 0.239 0.32 0.328 0.25 0.4

The first thing I notice is the seemingly un-optimistic outlook for Longoria's slash line. Each of those totals would be below his career average. His BABIP was incredibly low last season and he battled injuries, yet he still managed to hit 31 homers. If his luck improves just a little and he manages to stay healthy, these projections should prove to be on the low side. On the bright side, his 5.6 WARP projection ranks second in baseball to only Albert Pujols, and his TAv is 18th. So even with a seemingly pessimistic projection, he's still quite good.

Unsurprisingly, Ben Zobrist has the second highest WARP on the team. His 3.0 total places him with Dan Uggla and Alex Avila in the projections. And any Rays fan would gladly take the 32 projected home runs for Carlos Pena in a heartbeat.

Pitchers:

NAME W L IP BB9 SO9 ERA WARP
David Price 14.3 12.3 214.3333 2.9 8.1 3.17 4.5
James Shields 13.1 12.5 201.6667 1.9 7.4 3.47 3.4
Jeremy Hellickson 10.2 9.8 156 2.8 7.2 3.36 3
Wade Davis 8.9 10.2 144 3.3 6.4 4.03 1.5
Matt Moore 8.9 9 138 4.6 10.4 3.56 2.3
Jeff Niemann 7.4 7 125.3333 3 6.6 3.83 1.3
Joel Peralta 3.2 1.6 61.6667 2.4 7.8 3.27 0.7
Alex Cobb 3.6 4.6 60 3.5 6.2 4.41 0.3
Burke Badenhop 2.8 1.4 57.3333 3 5.4 4.11
Alexander Torres 3.3 3.5 54.6667 5.3 7.9 4.45
Kyle Farnsworth 2.7 1.4 52.6667 2.9 8.3 3.67 0.3
Jake McGee 2.7 1.2 52.6667 3.8 8.6 3.84 0.2
Fernando Rodney 2.4 1.1 48.3333 4.9 8.1 4.24 -0.1
J.P. Howell 2.3 1.1 44 3.6 9 3.52 0.3
Brandon Gomes 2 1 39.6667 3.6 8.4 3.88 0.1
Dane De La Rosa 1.1 0.4 29.6667 3.4 8.3 3.74 0.2
Josh Lueke 1.3 0.6 26.3333 3.2 8 3.75 0.1
Cesar Ramos 1 0.4 22 3.6 4.8 5.06 -0.3

David Price's strikeout and walk rates go in opposite directions from his 2011 campaign, while James Shields' walks drop along with his strikeouts. The strikeout and ERA projections for Moore would be welcomed, but I don't think he'll have as much of a control issue as this states. He hasn't come close to walking that many people since High-A ball. There's been some concern over the reliever projections across the board, so take those for what you will.

Nevertheless, trying to predict anything in baseball is a rough job and I applaud those who try. The full PECOTA spreadsheet can be found here for subscribers. What did you all think of the projections?

Thanks to R.J. for helping out with the tables.

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