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Josh Bell 2017: Projections vs. reality

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Who had the best projection for the Pittsburgh Pirates rookie?

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With three days left in the 2017 MLB regular season, we continue reviewing our pre-season community projections with a look at Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell.

On March 11th the community projected 133 games, 462 at-bats, 65 runs, 132 hits, 30 doubles, 2 triples, 15 homers, 60 walks, 97 strikeouts, 3 steals, 2 caught stealing, 4 HBP, slash line .285/.373/.459, OPS .832.

With three games remaining the actual results are 156 games, 539 at-bats, 73 runs, 138 hits, 26 doubles, 6 triples, 26 homers, 63 walks, 115 strikeouts, 2 steals, 4 caught, 1 HBP, slash line .256/.333/.471, OPS .804.

The community was way off, missing Bell’s home run surge while overstating his batting average and OBP.

But the more sophisticated projection system were off, too:

ZIPS: .270/.347/.426, .773 OPS, 15 homers, 64 walks, 90 whiffs in 537 at-bats

Steamer: .280/.355/.424, .779 OPS, 12 homers, 52 walks, 77 whiffs in 455 at-bats

PECOTA: .281/.355/.442, .797 OPS, 15 homers, 54 walks, 88 whiffs in 456 at-bats

PECOTA came closest on OPS, while the community came closest on SLG.

Nobody saw the home run surge coming, while everyone over-estimated batting average and OBP.