Thursday, January 12, 2006

Zipping Around The Stats

Dan Szymborski, one of the Baseball Primer gurus, has released his ZIPS projections for next year. (Here's the background on the projections)

Here are the stats for the key Nats:
Nick Johnson     .283  .402  .475
Jose Vidro .293 .368 .443
Jose Guillen .284 .341 .476 23 HR
Ryan Zimmerman .309 .343 .481
Ryan Church .282 .352 .459
Alf Soriano .248 .295 .439 27HR
Brian Schneider .259 .325 .389
Marlon Byrd .264 .325 .394
Cristian Guzman .241 .279 .338

They're just a data point, and certainly not perfect. Although I haven't crunched any numbers with it, it seems that it's typically overly charitable to young players (does anyone really think that Zimmerman is going to out-produce Soriano, let alone by that much?) and to young pitchers. It also usually projects older players to decline pretty sharply.

Using those projections, someone at Primer crunched some numbers and came up with a wildly optimistic 85 wins, with the caveat that they gave Nick Johnson and Jose Vidro a full season of playing time. Last season, ZIPS was pretty accurate on the macro level, being one of the few projection systems to give the Nationals a chance. (100 sims of last year's projections nailed the team's 81-81 record).

On the micro level, it wasn't as good. Here are last year's projections, and last year's actual stats.


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