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Leaderboards vs. the projections: the hitters

Sep 29, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

Jose Bautista Reuters

For those who may not know, I do a big set of projections every year over on Rotoworld, and while I’ll be doing an in-depth review of those over on that site in the next few weeks, I thought it’d be fun here to take a look at how the leaderboards compared to my picks.

I’ll be listing each player with their actual total and then where I had them ranked and projected.

Batting average
1. Miguel Cabrera: .344 (5th, .315)
2. Adrian Gonzalez: .338 (13th, .308)
3. Michael Young: .338 (40th, .291)
4. Jose Reyes: .337 (44th, .290)
5. Ryan Braun: .332 (11th, .310)
6. Victor Martinez: .330 (24th, .297)
7. Matt Kemp: .324 (42nd, .290)
8. Jacoby Ellsbury: .321 (31st, .294)
9. Hunter Pence: .314 (38th, .292)
10. Joey Votto: .309 (30th, .296)

There were no huge surprises in the top 10; I projected everyone here to hit .290 or better. No. 11, on the other hand, was a big shock; David Ortiz came in just behind Votto at .309. I had him projected to hit .261.

None of my top four choices finished in the top 10. Those were Joe Mauer (.323), Albert Pujols (.322), Hanley Ramirez (.317) and Ichiro Suzuki (.316).

Home runs
1. Jose Bautista: 43 (6th, 37)
2. Curtis Granderson: 41 (24th, 29)
3. Matt Kemp: 39 (15th, 31)
3. Mark Teixeira: 39 (6th, 37)
5. Prince Fielder: 38 (3rd, 39)
6. Albert Pujols: 37 (1st, 40)
6. Mark Reynolds: 37 (10th, 36)
8. Dan Uggla: 36 (13th, 32)
9. Mike Stanton: 34 (6th, 37)
10. Ryan Braun: 33 (12th, 33)
10. Ryan Howard: 33 (3rd, 39)

Granderson going from 24 homers in his first year with the Yankees to 41 this season was the big upset on the home run leaderboard. I had Kemp building on his total of 28 homers from last year, but I couldn’t project that much of a breakout.

My projected leaderboard had Pujols and Adam Dunn at 40, followed by Cabrera, Fielder and Howard one behind. Dunn, of course, ended up with 11 homers. Cabrera, although he was the AL’s second best hitter behind Bautista, dropped from 38 homers in 2010 to 30 this year.

RBI
1. Matt Kemp: 126 (20th, 99)
2. Prince Fielder: 120 (3rd, 118)
3. Curtis Granderson: 119 (72nd, 80)
4. Robinson Cano: 118 (10th, 113)
5. Adrian Gonzalez: 117 (6th, 116)
6. Ryan Howard: 116 (1st, 120)
7. Ryan Braun: 111 (12th, 107)
7. Mark Teixeira: 111 (3rd, 118)
9. Michael Young: 106 (53rd, 86)
10. Adrian Beltre: 105 (21st, 98)
10. Miguel Cabrera: 105 (5th, 117)
10. Jacoby Ellsbury: 105 (181st, 56)
10. Paul Konerko: 105 (30th, 94)
10. Troy Tulowitzki: 105 (13th, 104)

I didn’t exactly call Ellsbury’s power outburst, even if I did project him to hit more homers (11) than he did in either of his previous full seasons (nine and eight). I had him slugging .418, compared to his actual mark of .552.

The RBI leaderboard did have a lot of the usual suspects, though. The most notable absence was Pujols. I had him projected to finish second with 119 RBI, but he came in at 99.

  1. ditto65 - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    So what your saying is you don’t really know what you are doing.

    • ditto65 - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:22 PM

      I just compared the projections to the results and made an observation. Thumbs down away, but job performace like that would have you looking for another job if you worked in, say, sales. Or manufacturing. Or anything other than meteorologist.

  2. Jonny 5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Matt, how do project rbi? Past performance, or some kind of formula?

    • Matthew Pouliot - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:58 PM

      No formulas, though I do weigh in a player’s lineup spot and the typical run and RBI percentages produced from said lineup spot.

      • ditto65 - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:10 PM

        Sounds scientific. Most science ignore formulas and such.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:19 PM

        Science beats me most years when it comes to projecting raw performance. However, I beat science when it comes to projecting playing time. I tend to fare pretty darn well in contests against projection systems.

        You can continue snarking away now.

      • ditto65 - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:31 PM

        Sorry – just feeling a little froggy.
        You devote way more time to understanding and predicting the game than I do.
        I am acting disrespectful, but do appreciate.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:40 PM

        It’s all good. There’s definitely some truth to what you’re saying. I’ve certainly wondered at times whether I might be better off using a projection system for the raw data and then I could just worry about the playing time myself. I’d certainly have a lot more time for myself each December and January.

  3. dihigosghost - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Just goes to show that no one can predict the future, kinda like predicting stock market performance, although you came in very close with the home run and RBI totals, not as much so with batting average.

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