The Curious Case of Geovany Soto

28 04 2009

I’m not a projections guy.  I’ve never tried to design a formal projections system and when I try to make speculative predictions, they usually look ridiculous.  I have a rough sense of the math behind PECOTA, and a pretty good sense of how seat of your pants BS works, but I’ve never worked on designing a projections system.  My specialty has been to take a projection system and use it to valuate players, which I’ve done pretty effectively, even without using a good projection system.  (My initial method was to assume stats will remain the same as last year’s.)

Nonetheless, I was pretty shocked to see Cubs catcher Geovany Soto’s projections for this year.  Yahoo! had him projected as the 54th best player in the game.  For reference, last year, Yahoo! ranked him 148th.  What’s the precedent for expecting a second year player to, on average, leapfrog 100 players up the ladder, essentially a guarantee of considerable improvement after a strong rookie season.  Yahoo! wasn’t alone; of the four projection systems at fangraphs, CHONE and Marcel projected Soto as the 3rd best catcher, whicl  ZiPS has him as the best.  Only Oliver, which uses a pretty strange ranking methodology, has him outside the top 5.

Anyway, I’m not all that shocked to see Soto struggling mightily; through 14 games (and having rested for 4), he’s batting .119, with 0 homeruns, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, and a remarkable .418 OPS.  At some point Soto probably will start to hit, but I’m thinking a better estimate for his performance may be to just assume his stats will remain the same as last year’s.




One response

15 05 2009
Upside, Downside, and Everything in Between « you like a da juice?

[…] off the hook.  Not only is Upton looking really good, the managers had already kept a catcher, Geovany Soto.  If your keeping score on catchers, Mauer OPS: 1.343, Soto OPS 0.561, Wieters OPS 0 (has yet to […]

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