Phillies 2013 Projections, Part I: Bill James

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The projections from the Bill James model, which are probably on the optimistic side, translate to slight improvement over the 2012 offense.

This is the first in a series analyzing the 2013 projections for the Phillies. It reviews the Phillies hitters' stats from the Bill James model, the first set of projections to be published this year.

The James projections have been rather optimistic in recent years, and that was the case again in 2012, at least for the Phillies regulars:

12proj_medium

So the 2013 wOBA projections below are likely to be more optimistic than others that will follow over the next several weeks.

I made playing time assumptions and then converted the projected wOBA to runs created (using the Tango/Fangraphs wRC formula), given those assumed PA totals.

2013 Playing time assumptions

1) Each position will get the same number of PAs as in 2012
2) PAs to be distributed among 2013 players as below:
- 570+ PAs from both Utley and Howard
- Rollins and Young stay healthy and play almost the entire year
- without a Ruf projection, Mayberry is used as a proxy in Left
- Revere plays every game in Center
- Brown gets the bulk of the playing time in Right

1213pa_medium

Summary of Results: Runs Created by Position

1213james_medium

Biggest changes:

- Ruiz comes back to 2009/2011 levels
- Utley and Howard play the majority of the time and return to roughly 2011 levels
- Young improves on the 2012 hodge podge of third basemen
- Revere is the worst hitter in the lineup and falls short of Victorino/Mayberry's 2012
- Brown improves to a .792 OPS

By Position

1213c_medium
- Chooch: coming off a 25-game suspension, his wOBA returns to roughly the same level as 2009 (.338) and 2011 (.333)
- Kratz essentially duplicates his 2012

12131b_medium
- Howard's wOBA returns to nearly 2011's .355
- Mayberry's career wOBA is .329, although .325 would be a rebound from 2012's .303 (overall)

12132b_medium
- .350 would be Utley's highest wOBA since 2010

1213ss_medium
- Hopefully Rollins can stay healthy again

12133b_medium
- Young's .330 is comparable to his 2010 season, when he hit .284/.330/.444 (101 wRC+)

1213lf_medium
- The James model didn't include a projection for Darin Ruf, so this is uses Mayberry as a proxy.

1213cf_medium
- Assumes Revere plays every game, and falls well short of the Victorino/Mayberry 2012 production.

1213rf_medium
- Brown gets 80% of the PAs (say Mayberry plays against tough lefties)

2013 Totals by Player

13tot_medium

The Ruf/JMJ line includes Mayberry's time at first, as well as any outfielders not named Revere or Brown.

Base Running

Since FanGraphs removed base stealing from its wOBA, base running is not reflected in any of the above. I suppose it's among the many things included in the "1" that is the difference between the sum of the wRC's, and the actual runs scored in 2012, including timing/luck.

I would expect that with Revere replacing 2/3 of a Victorino season, and with Rollins and Utley a year older, it will be essentially a wash.

Conclusion

The Bill James projections are on the optimistic side and when combined with assumptions about playing time, work out to about 11 more runs than what the 2012 team scored.

However one factor that's pessimistic in these assumptions is using John Mayberry's overall wOBA. If he doesn't play full time he will likely face primarily lefties, which would improve his numbers somewhat.

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ADDENDUM: PITCHING

2012 Projections

The 2012 Bill James projections for the starting pitchers were not unusually optimistic overall:

12projp_medium

2013 Projections: Starting Pitchers

Starters are projected to improve, mostly on the strength of Roy Halladay returning to form with a 3.21 ERA:1213start_medium

2013 Projections: Bullpen

The bullpen gets a little trickier in that 2013 is limited by who does or doesn't have a projection. I've allocated innings as reasonably as I could given that restriction:

1213bull_medium

Given these playing time assumptions, the bullpen ERA is projected to drop from 3.94 in 2012 to 3.30 in 2013.

Total runs allowed, assuming the same ratio of ER to Runs as in 2012, is 623, compared to 680 last year.

Pythagorean Won-Lost Projection

With projections for both runs scored (695) and runs allowed (623), we can now project a winning percentage:

1213pyth_medium

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