Community Projections: Felix Hernandez

Dave · March 24, 2008 at 12:14 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

In the second of our reviews of how the USSM/LL community expects the Mariners pitching staff to do (Jeff Sullivan will be starting the hitter reviews shortly), we tackle King Felix. Data first from the 65 projections, then commentary:

Average Projection: 204 IP, 192 H, 31 2B, 4 3B, 19 HR, 55 BB, 197 K, 6 HBP, 56% GB%, 3.38 FIP
Optimist (snoss): 207 IP, 200 H, 32 2B, 7 3B, 13 HR, 58 BB, 232 K, 7 HBP, 52% GB%, 2.72 FIP
Pessimist (Gomez): 200 IP, 208 H, 34 2B, 3 3B, 21 HR, 57 BB, 173 K, 12 HBP, 61% GB%, 3.87 FIP
Dave’s Projection: 200 IP, 190 H, 30 2B, 5 3B, 20 HR, 44 BB, 196 K, 10 HBP, 60% GB%, 3.35 FIP
Jeff’s Projection: 203 IP, 193 H, 38 2B, 3 3B, 20 HR, 60 BB, 189 K, 4 HBP, 61% GB%, 3.56 FIP

Quick note – there’s actually two projections with a higher FIP than Gomez’s 3.87 (Trev is the highest at 3.99) but both of them project very low hit totals, so while they’re slightly more pessimistic about Felix’s abilities, they apparently thinks our defense is going to be amazing. Thus, I couldn’t in good conscience call them pessimistic projections, so Gomez gets the Nattering Nabob of Negativity award of the day.

One of the first things that jump off the page is the similarity of all the projections. No one projects a FIP higher than 4.00 and only seven people project a FIP below 3.00, leading to a large group of people all hovering right around the average projection without much variance. When people disagree, they do it in shades; a dozen strikeouts here or ten innings there. Interestingly, the optimists and pessimists mostly just differ on home run rate in small magnitudes, ranging from 15 allowed for the optimists and 22 for the pessimists. As we’ve talked about, home run rates have a lot of non-pitcher factors involved, so a lot of the difference here isn’t even disagreements about Felix’s abilities, but rather just how those abilities will translate over 35 starts.

Again, no one thinks he’s going to get hurt – the low IP projection was 175 innings, with the second lowest being 189. So you all think Felix is going to be a picture of health. That’s good news.

Overall, this is another optimistic projection, though not as extreme as Bedard’s. The 3.35 FIP will make Felix an easy all-star, but the hit projections mean that you guys think he’s still going to struggle with balls in play, and that makes it unlikely that he’ll post an ERA low enough to get in the Cy Young race, especially if Bedard’s as good as you all think. However, this projection still represents a strong step forward and would establish Felix as one of the game’s elite pitchers rather than just elite talents.


7 Responses to “Community Projections: Felix Hernandez”

  1. Gomez on March 24th, 2008 12:53 pm

    Wow, my projection was the pessimist one! And I actually figured this would be his best season yet. Pretty funny.

    Felix will have a good year, one way or another.

  2. thenatural on March 24th, 2008 12:55 pm

    I would say he will land somewhere between marginal improvement and ascension to the throne…

  3. Mere Tantalisers on March 24th, 2008 1:01 pm

    Seems appropriate for this year to be the one in which he makes a major step forward. He’s got a couple of seasons under his belt, he’s matured and gotten comfortable on the mound, and we’ve got a new pitching coach who emphasizes changing speeds.

    I just hope the royal change can come back to complement the royal curve.

  4. Red Apple on March 24th, 2008 1:43 pm

    How many of those HRs do you suppose will be “establish the fastball” first-pitch strikes? Looks like most projections factor in about 20 or so extra hits due to bad team defense.

  5. mremis on March 24th, 2008 5:02 pm

    just out of curiosity what were last years projections.

  6. Librocrat on March 24th, 2008 5:13 pm
  7. Evan on March 25th, 2008 10:08 am

    I don’t remember – did the spreadsheet calculate BABIP for us? If not, that could explain some of those low hit totals. People may not have realised they were projecting a .220 BABIP.

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