View Full Version : 2016 Red Sox projections

12-22-2015, 10:21 AM
Jason Mastrodonato examines some of the projections (http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox/2015/12/bill_james_projections_shine_light_on_david_price_ henry_owens?bc_em=andyvanasse@gmail.com&s_campaign=108stitches:newsletter) for potential members of the Red Sox rotation in the latest Bill James Handbook.

Worth mentioning: The cumulative projection for the octet of Price, Clay Buchholz, Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly, Henry Owens , Elias and Wright is a 3.76 ERA. In 2015, such a mark would have been more than six-tenths of a run better than the 4.39 mark (24th in the majors) that the Sox actually forged, and would have ranked ninth in the majors and third in the American League, behind only the Rays (3.63) and Astros (3.71).

James’ projections for Red Sox starting pitchers:

1. David Price, 30, LHP: 223 IP, 199 hits, 20 home runs, 42 walks, 214 strikeouts, 17-8, 9.9 baserunners/nine innings, 3.03 ERA

Analysis: This is why the Red Sox wanted an ace — they’re easily projectable. Moving on.

2. Clay Buchholz, 31, RHP: 171 IP, 164 hits, 15 home runs, 44 walks, 136 strikeouts, 10-9, 11.3 BR/9, 3.47 ERA

Analysis: Red Sox manager John Farrell must be disappointed with this projection, since he recently proclaimed Buchholz should throw 200 innings next season, though Buchholz’ three-year average of 156 innings is the highest of his career. If Buchholz finishes with these numbers, he’s the No. 2 pitcher the Red Sox covet.

3. Eduardo Rodriguez, 22, LHP: 182 IP, 186 hits, 15 home runs, 53 walks, 158 strikeouts, 10-10, 12 BR/9, 3.76 ERA

Analysis: James essentially took the 121-inning snapshot Rodriguez provided from his rookie season in 2015 and projected nearly identical numbers over a longer season in 2016, though Dombrowski also believes Rodriguez can throw 200 innings next year. If the young lefty can harness a strong work ethic and learn from Price’s tutelage, he could have an ERA much closer to 3.00 in his sophomore season.

4. Rick Porcello, 27, RHP: 192 IP, 214 hits, 21 home runs, 41 walks, 131 strikeouts, 10-12, 10.3 BR/9, 4.13 ERA

Analysis: Nothing to see here folks, just a standard projection that mirrors Porcello’s three-year average, painting the picture of a quality No. 4 starter. And thanks to a four-year contract he signed in April, Porcello will make $20 million next year.

5. Joe Kelly, 27, RHP: 144 IP, 139 hits, 13 homers, 56 walks, 104 strikeouts, 7-9, 13.2 BR/9, 4.25 ERA

Analysis: James must not be buying Kelly’s 7-1 record and 2.35 ERA over his final eight starts in 2015. He’s also not buying Kelly’s 3-6 record with a 6.11 ERA over his first 17 starts. James predicts Kelly will be somewhere right in the middle, good for 25 starts and head-scratching results that question the importance of velocity and talent.

6. Henry Owens, 23, LHP: 167 IP, 145 hits, 15 home runs, 77 walks, 158 strikeouts, 10-9, 12.3 BR/9, 3.66 ERA

Analysis: Does James have a prospect crush? Or does he believe in Owens’ devastating changeup and the idea that a 6-foot-6 lefty will one day throw harder than 92 mph? Still, these numbers appear optimistic.

7. Roenis Elias, 27, LHP: 147 IP, 146 hits, 16 home runs, 55 walks, 126 strikeouts, 7-9, 12.9 BR/9, 4.16 ERABoston Herald (Mastrodonato)

Obviously you need to take the projections with a grain of salt. Elias' projection, for example, assumed that he would be a SP or swignman with the Mariners but since he's got options there is a very real chance that he spends a good part of the season in PAW.

Feel free to add your own projections.

12-22-2015, 10:27 AM
I honestly think Price is better than what he's projected. Same as Kelly. I really believe Kelly goes 16 and 8 with a 3.4 and 190+ innings

Bo Sox Fan
12-22-2015, 11:57 AM
If Farrell expects Buchholz to pitch 200 innings I give up with this team. Even 171 is a massive stretch by Bill James projections, that's probably the ceiling.

I'll project him at 146 innings and that he opts for the DL down the stretch drive in September for the playoff run when we absolutely need him the most. (When now is the time to finally upgrade the #2 spot and move on from this piece of glass)

This team will never learn with him. Burned year after year after year...

12-22-2015, 12:57 PM
It's interesting, though, isn't it, that three FOs (maybe 2.5 since BC was an evolution of Theo) have found Buchholz enticing enough to keep trying? He'll always have that "what could have been" sign hanging around his neck. I really wish they could have leveraged his potential in a deal for another #2.

If there's good news on the Buchholz front it's that it's an even year. In his last three even years he's thrown an average of 177IP.

Bo Sox Fan
12-22-2015, 02:04 PM
I wish Clay had never thrown that no-hitter in 2007 because here we are in 2015, still waiting for this bulldog ace to break out. (LMAO)

The guy looks like Beavis from that old MTV cartoon "Beavis & Butthead" and he's about as durable as that stick man character.

When he hits the DL he can travel with the team and sit on the bench for moral support though, as long as the name looks good on paper because we apparently never expect him to get injured anymore. What a joke. Owens better be ready for a regular rotation spot.

12-22-2015, 02:34 PM
With that freakish haircut Clay had this year I thought that he looked like Jim Carey's Fire Marshall Bill character


12-22-2015, 03:57 PM
I wonder what James predicted about Brian Johnson

12-30-2015, 10:37 PM
I predict that the Sox "top 6" starters as listed above will fail to meet the total innings put down for them, by a substantial margin. They have 1079 innings (or almost 216 IP spread out over 5 slots). Injuries, suckiness.... no way. 190-196 range more like it.

The stats in aggregate are OK, typical of James way of looking at it.

01-15-2016, 10:54 AM
There were 23 players from 1961-2014 who compiled at least 170 hits and 35 doubles at the age of 22 or younger, as Betts and Bogaerts did in 2015. A mere five wound up with careers that would be considered disappointments for Boston’s two budding stars.

One was one of the biggest prospect busts in baseball history (Delmon Young). One saw his career wrecked by injuries (Grady Sizemore), and another saw injuries at least hasten his decline (Gregg Jefferies, who achieved the remarkable feat of receiving Rookie of the Year votes in back-to-back seasons). The jury perhaps remains out on the other two, but the signs aren’t good for Cub-turned-Yankee Starlin Castro or Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

The remaining 20 players who met those thresholds rank as some of the best players in the last half-century of baseball history. Ten of them are Hall of Fame-caliber players: Johnny Bench, George Brett, Miguel Cabrera, Ken Griffey Jr., Bryce Harper, Albert Pujols, Cal Ripken, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Trout, Carl Yastrzemski. The other eight all are or were bona fide stars in their primes: Dick Allen, Cesar Cedeno, Jack Clark, Manny Machado, Hanley Ramirez, Ted Simmons, David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman.

What brought down the five who failed to achieve the greatness of the others is more of a bad omen for Bogaerts than for Betts.

Young stands out on the list for a strikeout-to-walk ratio head and shoulders above the rest. He struck out nearly five times for every walk as a 21-year-old Rookie of the Year runner-up with Tampa Bay in 2007, a lack of plate discipline that has persisted throughout his career. He struck out almost eight times for every walk two years later.


The maturity and poise Bogaerts has shown since his call-up ahead of the World Series run in 2013 has not translated to his plate discipline the way many expected it would. He struck out more than three times for every walk for the second straight season -- only a marginal improvement in that area from his rookie season. It’s a particularly ominous sign given that Bogaerts already seemed to be sacrificing power for plate coverage last season and figures to take more of a power hitter’s approach in coming years.


Remarkably, the strikeout-to-walk ratio Betts posted last season (1.78) was higher than that of the free-swinging Sandoval in 2009 (1.60). But the regression Sandoval has seen in that area has been a significant part of his downward career trend. A hitter who once walked at least on occasion has seen his walk rate plummet and his strikeout rate climb -- resulting in a strikeout-to-walk ratio that jumped to 2.92 in his first season with the Red Sox. It’s that sort of regression Betts will aim to avoid as his career unfolds.
Plate discipline isn’t everything. Jefferies is one of only two players on the list who walked more than he struck out while hitting 40 doubles as a 22-year-old in 1990, and his plate discipline never abandoned him. He finished his career with more walks than strikeouts. But a series of injuries saw his career take a sharp downward turn after he signed a free-agent deal with Philadelphia at the age of 27 -- after he’d made back-to-back All-Star teams in his mid-20s.Providence Journal

01-15-2016, 10:58 AM
What will Hanley do?
14 players went from 2.0 WAR (or better) average over two years to a -1.0 WAR (or worse) season. Of those, just one (Kendrys Morales, who went from a 2.3 WAR at ages 29-30 to a -1.0 WAR at age 31 to a 2.4 WAR for last year’s Royals at age 32) returned to something approximating his performance in the two years that preceded his struggle. Two of the players (Morales and Tony Pena) posted a 2.0 WAR or better the season after their “crater” year, making them worthy of everyday roles.

But the vast majority of players in the Ramirez demographic performed the year after their “crater” at just above or below replacement level, and a shocking half (7 of 14) of the players experienced such extreme skill erosion that they never played beyond their age 33 season. Players like Brian McRae and Alvin Davis and Richie Sexson and Brook Jacoby endured sudden and irreversible descents from their place as quality everyday players, quickly finding themselves without teams.


Can Sandoval bounce back?
19 players went from a 2.0 WAR (or better) average over two years to a -0.5 WAR (or worse) season at age 27, 28, or 29. The outlook for Sandoval becomes slightly more promising when considering that three players ( Greg Luzinski, Jake Stahl, and Eddie Joost) enjoyed three or more years as 2.0 WAR players at least two years after their crater seasons. (Neither Joost nor Stahl played the year after they cratered, but when back on the field, they excelled. Luzinski had a second straight bad year at age 29 before a strong age 30-32 performance – albeit one where he was about half as valuable as his age 26-27 heights.)

In short, the small sample of players in the classes of Ramirez and Sandoval suggests that the odds are against either player enjoying a bounceback to their pre-Red Sox levels in 2016. The odds that both of them will do so, at least based on the limited precedents, thus appear remote.

01-15-2016, 04:11 PM
Panda is pretty much entertainment value at this point.

Hanley can improve, and I expect him to. He has the chance of being the improvement story of the year.