This is the first in a series of posts I’ll do about players and how they fared, compared to their various projections. Luckily, FanGraphs stores projections so it will be an easy comparison to make. Let’s start at one of the most important positions on the field: behind the plate.
Jorge Posada had a vaguely healthy year, playing in 120 games. He came up to the plate 451 times, the most for him since 2007 (589). When he did play, Jorge did hit pretty well. The average wasn’t pretty at .248, but his OBP was good at .357 (13.1% walk rate) he hit for good power, a .454 SLG and a .206 IsoP. His wRC+ was 122, just off his career mark of 127. He wOBA’d .357. So how did Jorge do against his projections?
Batting Average: Jorge fell short of all five projections–Bill James, CHONE, Marcel, ZiPS, and Fans in terms of batting average. His high projection was .281 by Marcel and his low projection was .256 by ZiPS. Before moving on to the other rate stats, it’s worth noting that none of the five systems expected Jorge to play as much as he did. The highest PA projection for him was the fans at 426. That Jorge was able to out play those projections is pleasing.
On Base Percentage: Jorge beat CHONE (.349) and ZiPS (.336) in terms of OBP and fell short of the others, which were .361, .363, and .372. Jorge’s IsoD of .109, however, beat each system’s projection which means he really did out perform his projections.
Slugging Percentage/IsoP: Posada beat ZiPS (.430) and CHONE (.453) while falling short of the rest. There is, though, a caveat: Jorge’s strong .206 IsoP beat each projection system by at least 11 points.
wOBA: This is where the systems really nailed it with Posada. All the projections were in the .340-.365 range and Posada was just about in the middle of that–more towards the high end–with a .357 wOBA. As for the ones Jorge fell short of (this goes for BA as well), we could easily attribute that to some batted ball differences between the projections and what actually happened.
Jorge’s BABIP was just .287 this year (.318 career). No projection system had him lower than .307 for his 2010 BABIP. Despite a drop in IFFB% which would indicate better contact, Posada’s line drive rate fell to 18.5% (21.3 in ’09, 20.2 career), so some of the poor BABIP could be blamed on Posada and a bit of weak contact. If he was able to reach his projected BABIP numbers, he could’ve met/exceeded more of his projections.
Jorge Posada stayed more healthy in 2010 than we thought he would, after playing in just 162 games in ’08 and ’09 combined. He may not have met everything the five systems set out for him, but he was never wildly below them (or above them). I’m not exactly doing this all justice because I’m not taking into account standard deviations, but I’d be willing to say with (some) confidence that Posada’s numbers are not many standard deviations away from the average projection. I’m very happy with Posada’s offensive year. Any time you can get an IsoD over .100 and and IsoP over .200 from a catcher, your offense is in pretty good shape.