PECOTA and the 2005 outfield
So the 2005 PECOTAs are out and available to BP subscribers. Here’s the interesting bit –I almost wonder if it ran the same stat lines three times for the outfield.
Ibanez: .270 .324 .420
Reed: .286 .353 .423
Winn: .277 .337 .420
Yeaaaaghhhh. Play Reed! Play Reed!
Mike Cameron, btw: .253 .348 .461 in Shea. Hee hee hee.
Ichiro! .311 .355 .415
Others have noted this, but this is the weakness of a system that relies on similarity projections. Ichiro is so far removed from other players that finding anyone like him has the unfortunate side effect of dragging him back to the pack. Does that make sense? How about this: if you try and locate a position by triangulation, that works best if you can get three sources in different directions the position. The closer they are, the worse your ability to locate.
Ichiro! is at the north pole. The pack is all in Vermont, say.
One thing I want to note — there is no meaning behind these, or any other projections. They’re spit out by a computer, and should be attached all the prophetic value of weather forecasts. If it spits out something you agree with, that doesn’t mean it’s right and that it’s made a realistic projection (because you don’t, and can’t, and won’t ever, know what that is) and if it projects something bizarre, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, in the same sense.
If you’re a real geek about this stuff, like me, and you read the forecast discussions on the NOAA web site, you can spend some time once the cards are published picking apart the “why” of the forecast. For instance, if you look at Beltre’s low projections and see that PECOTA’s picked a bunch of players of modest talent who started fast, burned out, and then had a career year, you might reasonably disagree on the basis of who got picked.
But that a particular forecast came out in some way does not validate or refute any particular view. 1+1 doesn’t = 2 because it’s got better lineup support this year. If you re-run PECOTA forecasts on the same set of data, you would get the same numbers. It’s a complicated formula, an algorithm for making guesses. Its reasoning reflects its design, and not some greater truth about any player, though in doing historical analysis of great numbers of players we do learn useful things.