## Thursday, April 5, 2012

### 2012 Astros Projections

Before I reveal the numbers, I want to explain how I came up with them. I'll keep it brief.

First, I needed to determine everyone's playing time. For this, I used the depth charts (may be behind a premium content firewall) over at Baseball Prospectus as a guide and adjusted where I felt necessary. Using those percentages and the average number of plate appearances per team last season I arrived at everyone's projected plate appearances. I used a similar idea for the pitchers' innings, again tweaking where I felt best.

Once I had everyone's playing time set, I turned my attention to the rate stats. For the hitters that meant walk rates, strikeout rates, rates of extra base hits, etc. Again, the process was very similar for the pitchers. These rates were derived from a loose averaging of the projections available at Fangraphs and the players career averages. Minor adjustments were made for those with very small major league sample sizes. From there, simple multiplication spit out their projections.

For the W-L record, I simply plugged the projected runs scored and runs against into the Pythagorean win theorem formula and out popped  the projected record. Last year our Pythagorean record was 62-100, meaning in theory we under achieved by six wins.

Obviously any major changes in roster make up (trades, injuries, etc) could change things dramatically.

I feel like it's a little optimistic, but I can't find any major errors in the formulas or calculations.

Screw it, I'm running with it!

 PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG OPS Lee 600 556 70 151 31 1 23 94 2 44 59 0.272 0.326 0.455 0.781 Altuve 578 556 66 160 32 3 5 58 19 22 72 0.287 0.314 0.382 0.696 Martinez 555 517 68 146 33 0 15 86 0 38 109 0.282 0.332 0.435 0.767 Schafer 489 445 60 109 18 3 4 24 23 44 107 0.244 0.312 0.326 0.638 Lowrie 478 434 59 112 30 4 10 61 2 44 82 0.258 0.326 0.417 0.744 Castro 455 410 53 97 19 2 5 46 0 45 81 0.237 0.312 0.332 0.644 Johnson 421 402 39 107 23 3 11 51 3 19 99 0.266 0.299 0.416 0.715 Bogusevic 414 378 51 97 19 2 7 35 10 36 91 0.257 0.322 0.378 0.700 Downs 404 373 46 94 30 0 13 52 1 31 77 0.251 0.308 0.438 0.746 Shuck 298 268 37 72 9 3 1 10 8 30 33 0.268 0.343 0.332 0.675 Ruggiano 297 278 35 70 13 0 9 33 5 19 75 0.250 0.297 0.398 0.695 Snyder 270 235 26 54 11 0 9 34 0 35 62 0.228 0.328 0.390 0.718 Gonzalez 270 256 29 68 13 2 2 23 4 14 35 0.265 0.303 0.357 0.661 Buck 231 213 25 51 13 2 6 25 2 18 46 0.241 0.300 0.399 0.700 Wallace 165 152 16 39 9 0 3 13 0 13 39 0.257 0.317 0.389 0.706 F. Martinez 164 154 17 36 8 0 3 14 3 10 34 0.231 0.278 0.339 0.617 Sanchez 61 57 7 15 2 0 0 5 0 4 9 0.256 0.307 0.309 0.616 Team Totals 6150 5683 706 1475 315 26 127 662 82 467 1110 0.260 0.316 0.391 0.707

So, how does the offense compare to last season? Well, that would give us 91 more runs scored, 32 more home runs, 66 more walks, 54 fewer strikeouts, and an OPS .023 higher than last year. To put it another way, these projections would give us an essentially league average offense. At first glance only Carlos Lee's numbers look especially optimistic to me.

How about the pitchers?

 IP G W L SV H HR BB SO R ER ERA WHIP W. Rodriguez 180 32 12 10 0 178 20 62 156 85 76 3.80 1.33 Norris 170 30 10 9 0 166 20 69 164 87 77 4.07 1.38 Happ 140 28 8 7 0 130 17 66 113 73 68 4.39 1.40 Weiland 120 34 6 9 0 127 18 54 79 67 64 4.81 1.51 Lyles 120 26 5 7 0 137 16 34 86 67 62 4.62 1.42 Harrell 120 49 5 5 0 163 8 64 83 78 63 4.70 1.89 Myers 70 52 4 3 23 70 9 22 56 34 32 4.06 1.31 Lopez 70 66 3 4 0 76 6 16 52 32 28 3.64 1.30 Sosa 70 13 4 6 0 71 9 30 51 37 37 4.75 1.44 Carpenter 60 50 2 6 7 61 7 27 57 28 28 4.23 1.46 F. Rodriguez 60 54 2 3 0 59 7 32 60 31 29 4.31 1.51 Lyon 50 40 3 3 7 53 5 19 34 25 23 4.20 1.43 A. Rodriguez 45 23 1 3 0 44 6 18 35 27 23 4.65 1.38 Wright 40 43 2 2 0 39 5 18 37 20 18 4.15 1.41 Abreu 40 42 2 2 12 36 5 19 51 16 16 3.68 1.37 Abad 40 53 1 5 0 43 7 13 30 23 21 4.75 1.41 Cruz 35 27 1 2 0 36 5 33 27 26 24 6.18 1.98 Del Rosario 20 21 0 1 0 24 1 7 10 12 10 4.53 1.58 Team Totals 1450 49 1513 171 601 1179 770 700 4.34 1.46

Nothing here really stands out as unlikely to me. Maybe Happ's numbers are too good, but that's actually very close to his career averages. It's very possible one or more relievers is particularly ineffective this year, but who? And if so, they wouldn't get many innings anyway. So again, how does that stack up to last year's squad?  We're looking at a team ERA just 0.17 better as they only give up 26 fewer runs that last year. Walks are up by 41 and strikeouts are down by 12. This squad does allow 17 fewer homers, according to my projections. To again frame these projections against last year's competition a 4.34 ERA would have only put us ahead of one other team.

So, assuming my math is correct, 706 runs scored and 770 runs against would give us a projected team record of..............

74-88!

Yes, I question my own sanity for actually publishing that, but there it is. Led by a potentially much improved offense it is entirely possible that the Astros will finish not last in 2012.

Anonymous said...

I actually think some of your projections are too low to be honest. Altuve had 12 walks in just spring so 22 for the year seems wrong. Snyder should have over 9 HR too. I honestly think you will see Shafer hit more in the .270 range this year too with more like 8-9 HR. He was hitting almost .400 in Spring and worked out like crazy in the Winter. Castro will hit better then .237 as well more like .250.

As far as the pitchers I think one of the young guys will break out with an under 4.00 Era as well, it is just hard to say which.

Overall I think we will see some guys falter like you have shown, but at least 1 pitcher and hitter breakout this season. I would bet on Schafer and Weiland if they stay healthy.

AGirlintheSouth said...

Bryan, Bryan, Bryan...if you question your sanity, it's likely you'd jump ship and go cheer for another team, so just go with it.

Like your previous poster, I think some of the offensive predictions are a little on the low side. But then again, I agree with you that Lee's numbers look higher than I would expect.

If this team wins over 70 games, it's the World Series....and I think that is ENTIRELY possible this year.

I'm woo'ed by stats as much as the next girl, but what they can't account for is the heart and passion of a young team. CJ's realization that to get results like his rookie year he has to work his ass off. JD Martinez commitment to overcoming his early lackluster scouting reports. These are kids determined to prove themselves in this sport. You can't factor that in a stats projection, but wow, can it make a difference.

Anonymous said...

I think this team supprises ppl....I think lee will be over 100 rbi this yr (prob not all with Hou). Altuve looks to have worked hard to improve walks and jd may not be a star but he still drives in runs. Should get triple the production from catchers and cj looks focused and determined to prove himself....lopez is gunna be a stud out of rhe pen and Norris prob will have a solid yr I'm saying 10-13 wins and 7-10 losses...