Still Not a Rookie: Adam Lind
The Travis Snider projection got me thinking about Adam Lind this morning. We did a Not A Rookie piece on Adam Lind last March. All the background information there is still good, of course, so I thought it might be interesting to review the projections and see how they came out compared to reality.
2008 Projections for Adam Lind:
Shandler: .261/.313/.433 .746 OPS -21BA/-3OBP/-6 SLG
Actual Result: .282/.316/.439 .755 OPS
PECOTA: .256/.322/.441 .763 OPS -26 BA/+6OBP/+2OPS
Sickels: .270/.325/.449 .774 OPS -12 BA/+9OBP/+10 SLG
ZIPS: .276/.326/.457 .783 OPS -6 BA/ +10OBP/+18 SLG
James: .297/.349/.500 .849 OPS +15BA/+33OBP/+61SLG
James was the big outlier here, not unexpected given that his system tends to be too optimistic at times. Shandler was closest on OBP, missing by just three points. PECOTA was just two points off on slugging, but Shandler wins the prize for most accuracy on this one. My own projection system came up with a middling outcome, as it usually does.
Lind is still just 25 (26 in July). Can he build on what he did last year, or is he just going to be a decent-but-not-excellent hitter going forward?
Shandler .284/.328/.468, .796 OPS mentions possible breakthrough in 2010.
PECOTA .270/.324/.455 .779 OPS
James .300/.349/.494 .843 OPS
ZIPS .276/.323/.443 .766 OPS
CHONE .275/.328/.447 .755 OPS
All pretty close, with James the most aggressive again. Note Shandler is more optimistic than PECOTA, ZIPS, or CHONE about Lind.
Comps for Lind are all over the place. Sim Scores show him comparable to Chet Ross, Darryl Motley, Don Baylor, Bob Chance, Kevin McReynolds, Lee May, Norm Siebern, Richard Hidalgo, Glenn Wilson, and Jeffrey Hammonds. PECOTA's top ten are totally different: Lee Thomas, Jim King, Leron Lee, Terry Whitfield, Andre Ethier, Luis Gonzalez, Ryan Langerhans (?), Jerry Lynch, Cecil Cooper (??), and Geoff Jenkins. PECOTA comps farther down the list include Al Oliver and Paul O'Neill. Basically there are a wide range of possible outcomes with Lind.
None of this is earth-shattering. But this is another example of how the more I study players, the less confident I get in making firm predictions about what they will do. Ironic, since my job is to make predictions. But at a deeper level, my job is to tell the truth about what I see, and with Lind I see a guy who could still turn out to be a really good hitter, but who isn't quite there yet and may never get there.
This goes back around to trying to integrate "makeup," intangibles, psychology, and other esoteric notions into baseball analysis. I have a long essay I'm still working on regarding these notions. At this point it is mostly a page of scribbled lines, but someday it will all come together.