|By Chris Crawford||By 01-30-2013|
|1. By: maqman on 01-30-2013 11:49:14|
I was not impressed by the Zips projections, they are overly negative. Saying we have a poor bullpen behind The Bartender is just dumb.
|2. By: Edman on 01-30-2013 13:12:24|
I don't worry a lot about projections. I wonder how well the projections for the A's and O's worked out?
|3. By: Jason A. Churchill on 01-30-2013 13:12:41|
The bullpen is inexperienced with Capps, Pryor, et al. If a veteran setup man were available for one year, I'd jump all over it. They aren't going to be bad, but could use a proven veteran to some level. I just wouldn't go 2 or more years.
|4. By: DKulich44 on 01-30-2013 13:13:56|
So much for not bashing Dan much in the comments, eh? Got that out of the way on the first one hahah
|5. By: Mackie on 01-30-2013 13:17:01|
Thanks for the info, Chris. Cool to see the Seattle farm system getting consistently high rankings from those in the know!
Maqman, I also believe our bullpen is not to be bashed or talked about in disparaging terms. For what it's worth, an ESPN chart for bullpen rankings in 2012 shows Seattle at #5 in the AL.
I hope the M's don't tinker with the bullpen very much... at least it seems to me it is not an area of great need, and in fact it could prove to be a strength.
|6. By: DKulich44 on 01-30-2013 13:23:21|
Projections are an educated guess. You don't make an educated guess on how teams are going to do? It's just a computer simulation used for analysis, not life and death. Just because two teams beat their projection last year doesn't give any credence to whether or not they're useful. I hope the Mariners beat their projection, and I think they will, for the reasons stated above. I don't care if you don't pay attention to projections, that's one thing, but using two teams to say they are wrong is flawed logic. What if all 28 other teams were exactly correct?
Like Dave Cameron put it today: Projection systems are like weather forecasts. They provide useful information based on what we know. The forecast might say a storm is coming that never does, but at least we're prepared for the storm then. We who like projections (be it for fun, fantasy, to play GM in our brain) think they're pretty useful for this reason.
Again, not bashing you or anything, just explaining why some of us value projection systems vs. you not caring.
|7. By: Mekias on 01-30-2013 13:29:26|
These projections have about as much chance of being right as any others I guess. It doesn't matter how much work is put into them, trying to predict the future is a useless endeavor.
It's kind of fun to look back on these predictions after the season is over though.
|8. By: Mekias on 01-30-2013 13:39:25|
DKulich44, the difference is that a given baseball player can have a massive variance in his potential performance level. Given the large number of players going through a team during a season, each having sizable variances, trying to predict the performance of an entire team is nothing more than pointing your finger in the middle of a giant ocean of possibilities and saying, "around there I guess".
Weather forecasting has a lot of equipment and satellites that provide information for short-term predictions. Maybe if the weather guy was trying to predict the weather a month down the road, the comparison might be valid.
|9. By: Wishhiker on 01-30-2013 14:02:07|
I think there's far more upside from those projections than downside. If true, these aren't the middle ground they're purported to be. A lot of young players would seem to skew things. Sophomore slumps don't seem to be accounted for much in them. Age arcs are probably used to an extent, but there are a few that have underperformed their talent to an extent that no prediction would even approach their upside. Park effects in Safeco for 2013 are only a vague guess. I haven't looked in to protections in quite a few years because at that point they were only a vague educated guess. Breakouts are almost never caught early. If there is anything to the effect of veteran leadership, none of these systems account for it. I would bet that 26 year olds with a couple years experience are still among the most inaccurate predictions as they were years ago when i bothered looking into predictions. That's only about half the roster right there alone.
Beaven, going into potentially his first full MLB season at 23 is expected to stagnate? Ackley is the only hitter expected to improve on his 2012 stats more than just slightly? I'm not ragging on the particular system, nobody expects much more. I mean, look around at other projections. This team would be lucky to win 72 games. That's not anything I'm buying.
I'm confident they outperform the overall predictions by at least a significant bit. Some may not, but all the projections I've looked at the last couple days seem closer to worst case scenario than average chance.
|10. By: DKulich44 on 01-30-2013 14:07:52|
I couldn't disagree more. It's almost like you're assuming Dan just comes up with these numbers off the top of his head, or that some one that does that is just as valid. A ton of work and analysis, using tools like the satellites and equipment you talk about with regard to weather. In general, Dan's team projections are pretty damn accurate, and he makes changes and small tweaks to put out a better product every year. Yes, the variance a single player can have on from his projections is real, and there, but generally most players perform around or near their average projection. By projecting a team rather than single players, the projections become more accurate, not less accurate like you seem to believe.
I do think Dan's projections are a little conservative with regard to the Mariners, and a couple players should beat the projections. Does that make the projections wrong? Of course not, because the analysis that went into them is far from flawed and the rationale for why the Mariners are projected this way makes perfect sense. There's certainly more value in Dan's information that just pure guessing, as it gives us a mathematically and evidence based calculation on what we should reasonably expect from the Mariners roster. Ignore it if you want, but it's much better info to have than some one just guessing.
|11. By: jbltzfk on 01-30-2013 15:14:30|
My projections are that 1. Our bullpen will be among the top 5 in MLB; 2. That will partially offset a weak starting 5; Our infield will hit a combined average of .250 (factoring in Ryan's .220); 3. Our OF will be the best defensive OF in the AL, despite LF being sub-average; 4. We will win 85 +/- 5 games this year if Noesi isn't our 5th starter (otherwise subtract 10).
|12. By: diderot on 01-30-2013 15:28:04|
I appreciate the work, but it's an imperfect science--I don't know why everyone gets so upset about this.
Last year he had Ackley projected at 260/350/410, with an OPS+ of 111--higher than Ellsbury, Headley, Encarnacion, Hunter and Trout.
|13. By: Wishhiker on 01-30-2013 15:36:01|
I'm not upset, personally. Just explaining the problems I see with accuracy especially regarding this team.
We haven't seen Dave Szymborski's Zips projections yet, btw, so how could we bash them? I guess tomorrow we could. I'm actually talking about others that are out and the history I've seen with projections.
|14. By: Mekias on 01-30-2013 15:39:43|
DKulich44, if you were able to create a "perfect" baseball projection system, then the most you can say is that over a "very" large number of iterations, the team would average what you've projected. This still doesn't tell you anything about what will happen next year because so many different futures are possible. We'll also never have a perfect projection system because of the shear number of variables, many of which are qualitative instead of quantitative.
As for your statement that projecting a team is easier than projecting a single player, I don't get that at all. As you have noted, these projected aren't pulled out of thin air. They're based on the projections of individual players. If, for example, one player has only 10 possible outcomes in the 2013 season, you have a 1 in 10 chance of being right. The more players you add (like a parlay in betting) your chances of being right about their collective outcomes, becomes smaller and smaller.
All this being said, ZIPS and other projections systems can be fun but nothing can predict the future. If it could, I'd go to Vegas right now and lay down my bets.
|15. By: Jackson on 01-30-2013 19:02:29|
Wishhiker, the projections were posted to Fangraphs this morning.
|16. By: DKulich44 on 01-30-2013 19:25:12|
You basically explained to me what a projection system is, thanks. That's exactly what you want from a projection system. To give the user the most likely result. It isn't attempted to predict the future out of thin air, it's using math and science to predict the most likely outcome of a series events. What is so bad about that? It's very useful.
Projecting a team is much easier than projecting a single player because of sample sizes. If you want to determine the average speed you can throw a baseball, would you throw it once and be done? No, you'd throw it a bunch of times and calculate the average. This is why projecting teams is much more accurate than projecting a single player. Over a larger sample, the odds that the sample will perform to the projected average increase. Therefor, just by the nature of statistical analysis, you're more likely to be accurate projecting a team over a single player. That's basically how any type of statistical analysis works.
And if you were a betting man, you'd be much more wise to go to Vegas and bet via ZIPS than you would off the top of your head, or by gut feeling, because ZIPS is way more accurate than a random guess or a hunch bet would be. It's been statistically proven that's the case.
Projections aren't necessarily telling us the future, they're telling us scientifically and mathematically what the most likely outcome of the future is. If you can't find value in that, I can't really help you. I guess you weren't keen on Nate Silver's work for this past election. Guess his stuff was all magic and useless too.
|17. By: Mekias on 01-30-2013 20:59:19|
Yes, that's the goal of projection systems. Unfortunately, you can't create a baseball projection system that reaches it's goal. Like I said, there's far too many variables that you can't account for and can't be quantified. Even if you found some perfect system, your most likely outcome is still only going to be a small statistical probability simply because there are so many possible outcomes. If the most likely outcome occurred a large percentage of the time, that would be useful.
A team has a larger sample size than a player? What is a team doing exactly? You can't create an amalgamation of all hitters, call it "Team" and give them all the at-bats in a game. Player A can't draw on skills from Player B to help him in the batter's box.
I would sincerely hope that ZIPS is better than a random guess would be. Still doesn't mean that it's at all accurate over 1 iteration (i.e. season). I wouldn't bet my money on it.
|18. By: dewey on 01-30-2013 23:28:27|
As a mariner fan i hopr Zunino becomes at least avg and i hope some where in the big 4 these people have promoted we get 100 wins out of the 4 of them in a Marinirers uniform? By that time no one will ever remember the intinialz JZ and thats the facts. Im a Mariners fan but until JZ and Chuck and Howie go away we stink and alot of fake promisises bring Gillick back in some capacity he lives in Magnollia and loves baseball..
|19. By: DKulich44 on 01-31-2013 04:35:51|
So if something isn't perfect we should discard it completely and give it no credence? Interesting belief system. Guess we should through Physics,
Chemistry, Medicine, our understanding of the world completely out the door too. These things are far from perfect so they have no value.
As for why projecting a team is more accurate you're completely missing an understanding of statistical analysis. The projection system doesn't see players, it sees a series of events. The larger the series of events, the more accurate a projection system will be. If you have to guess a coin flip, you're going to be more accurate guessing 1000 flips than 1 flip. Projecting players is basically projecting a multi sided, weighted coin, with other factors that can affect the coin, and asking what is the most likely outcome. The projection system is just combining more outcomes to determine the most likely fate of a team. Has absolutely nothing to do with how the players interact, or whether they draw talents from each other. That's quite the opposite, and projection systems deem protection, veteran presence, etc statistically pretty useless. So does statistical analysis of the results.
So if you don't use ZIPS to bet, what would you use? This is what I am saying. Whatever method you would choose to gamble with is a projection system, regardless if you got there by complicated statistical calculations, throwing a dart at a dart board, or picking teams based on their nicknames. They're all projection methods, and compared to every other method possible, ZIPS is generally the most accurate. So If you gambled, and wanted to give yourself the highest probability of winning, going with ZIPS is a pretty good idea.
|20. By: Mekias on 01-31-2013 05:33:29|
Well, it's obvious we'll never agree on this matter. No use going on about it any longer.
Go M's! Hopefully we'll win like 95 games and blow away all projections.
|21. By: DKulich44 on 01-31-2013 06:30:55|
Guess not, I suppose the Biologist in me sees that this is how everything I do is done every day. Evidence based. Perhaps that clouds my judgement or makes me biased towards an analytical and scientific approach. Also the conversation gave me something to do while bored at work. And of course I hope the M's blow away their projections. Like I said, I think ZIPS is a little lower on the Mariners than it should be, but I understand the rationale.
|22. By: maqman on 01-31-2013 11:28:47|
ZIPS is just number crunching based statistical averages, without reference to the space and weather they will exist in. ZIPS doesn't allow for the deadwood the team jettisoned after their last season or what other teams in their division have done that will make them better or worse or the realistic probability of improved performances by such as Smoak, Ackley, Montero, Ryan, Guti or the possible contributions by players such as Zunino, Franklin, Romero, Paxton, Hultzen or Maurer. It pretty much allows for a little improvement but not much and I would say not nearly enough. The team played over .500 the last half of last season has added two MOTO bats in Morse and Morales (forget Bay and Ibanez is a bench bat). ZIPS says the three outfielders (Morse, Saunders, Guti) will add only 4 WAR total and the bullpen together will add just one WAR. Given that some of the players named in the projections are not longer with the team is indicative of a sloppy process and a worse result.
|23. By: DKulich44 on 01-31-2013 14:06:11|
ZIPs not only says Ackley and Smoak will improve (Ackley by probably not enough, Smoak by probably too much) it also doesn't care who was jettisoned. That's the idea. That kind of stuff clouds our judgements. We may FEEL like this team is significantly better, but there's a good chance it's not. They made sideways moves this offseason, swapping in power and veteran leadership for defense and on base ability. ZIPs also LOVES Zunino and thinks he's going to contribute much more than he probably will (depends on when he's called up, which may not be until September). I think you're definitely overrating the possible contributions from the young pitchers, there's a good chance they don't contribute much. History shows us this, rarely do young arms make a huge impact in their first season in the majors especially after the struggles they saw last year. Saunders was pretty awful until last season, when he took a big step forward, ZIPs thinks his actual ability level is somewhere between his performance last season and his current big league record to that point. I think that's a fair assessment. I hope he improves, but it may not be likely. ZIPs will be shocked if Guti plays a whole season, and we should be too. I think ZIPs did vastly underrate the bullpen because of the poor showing in the majors of the young pitchers last year and the lack of velocity data it has for some of them. Also, if you read the disclaimer, Dan states why those players who aren't with the team are on the list, there's no grouping in the program for free agents, so they remain with their former team unless signed. However, their results were removed when looking at the overall affect on the team, so its a moot point. Basically, they needed to be included some where. Trust me, coming from some one who used to do this type of thing, one thing Dan is not sloppy.
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