Last year, Baseball Prospectus shocked the world with their projected batting line of 311/.395/.546 for Oriole catcher Matt Wieters. Colin Wyers examined in depth how this indicated a severe problem with the Davenport Translations used to adjust the minor league data fed into the Baseball Prospectus PECOTA projection system.
I’m no Colin, and I won’t pretend to be. However, as I was browsing through the Yankee hitter PECOTA cards that are freely available, one particular projection caught my eye. Baseball Prospectus projects Jesus Montero to hit .291/.334/.481 in the major leagues in 2010. Superman Jr., anyone?
The current leader among projection systems, Sean Smith’s CHONE, projects Montero to hit a much more subdued .255/.296/.425, and Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projects a .273/.315/.416 batting line for Montero.
What could be causing PECOTA’s optimism about Montero? It looks to me like it’s the same thing that caused PECOTA’s interesting optimism about Wieters last year. According to Montero’s PECOTA card, his .317/.370/.539 batting line at Double-A Trenton was equivalent to a .312/.354/.529 batting line in the major leagues. That doesn’t seem right, does it? Aren’t the majors harder than Double-A? A lot harder?
Unfortunately, this author is merely a replacement-level Colin, so our brief investigation comes to a close here. How many millions do you think they pay on the free agent market for Complex Learning Above Replacement Colin – Keeping Everything Neatly Together?