2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections: Top 192 Hitters by Steamer

Matt Holliday swinging at a pitch

The best way that I have found to come up with Fantasy Baseball projections is to take an existing statistical projection, and translate those numbers into fantasy value.

Projections that use statistical models free players from fantasy analysts who have biases against players; “I’ll never own player X again after last year”; “He won’t be able to produce on that offense.” These are mistakes I see fantasy analysts make all of the time, and in the former assertion analysts make assumptions about a player’s future performance based off of a meager sample size, and in the latter situation analysts attack a player’s team, which matters some but not as much as some would like you to think.

At the beginning of last year I took every statistical projection I could find (Zips, Steamer, Oliver, Marcel, FANS), averaged them together—statistical projections that aggregate a group of projections have proven to make forecasts on a particular topic 20% more accurate—and then translated those numbers into player rater value with the conventional means that rotisserie value is calculated. Last year the fruits of this labor produced Paul Goldschmidt and Adam Jones as top fifteen hitters when few other pundits had their pecking orders calibrated in such a way.

Because the only projection system that I could get a hold of at the moment is the Steamer projection, these numbers should not be the end all be all, but it is still interesting to look at why these rankings are constructed the way they are? Said another way, what do these projections see in player X from a statistical prospective, that qualitative forecasters miss the boat on?

Here are the Steamer batter rankings for the 2014 MLB season (These rankings are not adjusted for position, because I did not feel the desire to manually enter each player’s position into a spreadsheet for the next hour, but these rankings are still directionally correct):

Miguel Cabrera3911312530.32912.65
Mike Trout2611579340.3059.85
Paul Goldschmidt33102105150.2888.60
David Ortiz329910620.2917.05
Jacoby Ellsbury149875410.2896.62
Andrew McCutchen238986220.3046.59
Adrian Beltre298710510.3056.46
Prince Fielder299810510.2896.26
Matt Holliday26959650.2986.09
Chris Davis398910140.275.95
Ryan Braun278386180.35.94
Robinson Cano26899840.3025.92
Troy Tulowitzki29859830.3045.81
Hanley Ramirez248589200.2835.31
Yasiel Puig257984220.2854.98
Joey Votto24928660.34.92
Adam Jones288195110.2814.88
Adrian Gonzalez26849910.2944.83
Torii Hunter21978650.2854.20
Michael Cuddyer23819090.294.13
Evan Longoria30879730.2684.09
Dustin Pedroia149281160.2924.08
Giancarlo Stanton36818940.2663.98
Anthony Rizzo30889370.2623.96
Shane Victorino158979250.2783.95
Buster Posey20809020.3073.88
Pablo Sandoval22848820.2923.53
Carlos Beltran24809050.2853.48
Hunter Pence227989110.2793.41
Billy Butler20828910.2993.40
Adam Eaton109460270.2873.22
Victor Martinez17838720.33.19
Ian Kinsler199868200.2653.13
Austin Jackson1410268150.2772.97
Matt Adams28769030.272.70
Josh Hamilton26789040.272.66
Jose Reyes117864260.2942.64
Alex Gordon189668110.2772.64
Yoenis Cespedes257588100.2632.42
Bryce Harper237879140.2662.38
Kendrys Morales26788910.2712.36
Jose Altuve88354330.2862.34
Carlos Gomez206574340.2572.32
Eric Hosmer187580110.2852.29
Mark Trumbo31779050.2492.21
Jean Segura107856360.2792.20
Coco Crisp168558290.2652.10
Alex Rios186874240.2691.86
Starling Marte137751330.2771.73
Mike Napoli28858520.2481.72
Ben Zobrist168478120.2681.69
Jay Bruce28728460.2571.67
Joe Mauer13787530.3011.59
Will Middlebrooks26748460.2591.58
Justin Upton227668100.2761.47
Carl Crawford138457220.2761.46
Curtis Granderson288078120.2381.45
Shin-Soo Choo178855170.2731.43
Domonic Brown23677990.2711.34
Jedd Gyorko25728540.2611.24
Gerardo Parra118957170.2791.23
Freddie Freeman21717320.2891.09
Josh Donaldson21727760.2731.08
Jon Jay99055140.2861.02
Nick Markakis14847140.2820.99
Aaron Hill19767190.2720.98
Adam Lind25718010.2670.91
Jason Heyward218260110.2660.88
Jason Kipnis148062210.2640.83
Martin Prado12826270.2920.82
Matt Carpenter11886140.2940.82
Elvis Andrus58155300.2750.79
David Wright176468120.290.75
Salvador Perez16687710.290.59
Paul Konerko22707700.2750.53
Jayson Werth19775980.2780.44
Norichika Aoki87947200.2910.36
J.J. Hardy23797620.2550.32
Ryan Zimmerman21647430.2780.21
Dayan Viciedo24687610.2650.18
Kole Calhoun167068110.2720.14
Rajai Davis76046480.2610.11
Brett Lawrie166963140.2710.02
Erick Aybar87761170.2760.00
Nick Swisher21727710.259-0.15
Wilin Rosario24557240.276-0.18
Alfonso Soriano246475100.245-0.18
Alex Rodriguez21697280.254-0.22
Carlos Santana20757340.255-0.22
Ichiro Suzuki76557220.284-0.30
Brandon Phillips16647570.271-0.30
Pedro Alvarez28667720.243-0.37
Desmond Jennings147656230.249-0.41
Brandon Moss26667240.248-0.43
Chase Headley167169110.258-0.50
Chris Colabello22717230.254-0.51
Starlin Castro107456140.276-0.58
Ian Desmond165664160.271-0.66
Brett Wallace21697520.255-0.68
Alejandro De Aza117349200.269-0.75
Mitch Moreland22667220.256-0.81
Nate McLouth147260220.244-0.83
Omar Infante10636190.292-0.86
Angel Pagan87244200.283-0.87
Jimmy Rollins137656200.249-0.96
Chris Carter26657520.237-0.99
Aramis Ramirez19606820.275-1.00
Ryan Doumit19707310.257-1.05
Marco Scutaro7785440.29-1.08
Brandon Belt15596570.279-1.10
Manny Machado13686790.263-1.18
Alcides Escobar57458220.261-1.22
Adam Dunn29707410.219-1.24
Chase Utley16626190.269-1.25
Kyle Seager16636590.261-1.35
Matt Joyce19656770.249-1.37
Nolan Arenado15606930.274-1.37
Alex Avila17747120.249-1.38
Daniel Murphy96749120.283-1.56
Ryan Howard23596910.251-1.64
Jason Castro17687020.254-1.66
Jonathan Lucroy14576350.28-1.68
David Freese14586530.279-1.69
Jed Lowrie15676610.266-1.70
Michael Brantley85858130.28-1.85
Michael Bourn56839290.264-1.88
Chris Johnson14556520.281-1.88
Will Venable146148200.253-1.99
Neil Walker13596340.275-2.00
Mark Reynolds25656840.224-2.00
Wil Myers17606070.258-2.03
DJ LeMahieu45453170.29-2.04
Adam LaRoche20616720.249-2.04
Ben Revere16033320.284-2.08
Brad Miller126158110.264-2.11
Junior Lake125556220.253-2.12
Alexei Ramirez95456170.271-2.16
James Loney11626330.273-2.22
Miguel Montero15636800.26-2.26
Corey Dickerson135255100.278-2.30
Leonys Martin85346260.266-2.30
Asdrubal Cabrera13586180.263-2.34
Denard Span57241170.27-2.41
Mike Moustakas17586340.256-2.44
Yadier Molina11505550.296-2.47
Brian McCann19546320.257-2.52
Dexter Fowler96739140.273-2.58
Kevin Pillar85452200.263-2.65
Todd Frazier18546270.247-2.71
Stephen Drew12746060.242-2.77
Andrelton Simmons11585590.265-2.82
Mark Ellis9755460.256-2.82
Josh Willingham20586220.239-2.85
Matt Wieters18566120.252-2.89
Moises Sierra155860100.244-2.94
Juan Uribe16616540.244-2.97
Corey Hart18515630.262-2.99
Michael Saunders146749160.232-3.02
Nate Schierholtz15516060.258-3.05
Nelson Cruz18485440.266-3.07
Jarrod Saltalamacchia18596330.238-3.11
Justin Morneau15565900.264-3.11
Brian Dozier116453130.245-3.11
David Lough75846120.275-3.15
Chris Denorfia105746100.272-3.15
Justin Smoak20636510.23-3.21
Yunel Escobar9645650.261-3.23
Drew Stubbs125650210.233-3.28
Brandon Barnes125754170.239-3.28
Matt Dominguez16576210.251-3.29
Daniel Nava10635030.27-3.29
J.P. Arencibia24576620.219-3.39
A.J. Pierzynski14515610.271-3.40
Ryan Ludwick18536010.249-3.40
Conor Gillaspie13595520.258-3.52
Raul Ibanez19566010.239-3.55
A.J. Ellis13626320.246-3.55
J.B. Shuck35547120.279-3.62
Rickie Weeks15545880.237-3.67
Luis Jimenez104949110.266-3.70
Trevor Plouffe17525930.244-3.72
Eric Young34442340.251-3.78
Seth Smith14585720.247-3.80
Jonathan Villar84843290.237-3.82
Lorenzo Cain75044150.269-3.82
Wilson Ramos16455420.265-3.82
Ike Davis18555220.239-3.95
Andrew Brown17505730.244-3.96
Jose Iglesias55952120.254-4.04
Mike Aviles104947110.259-4.12
Anthony Gose65243290.23-4.26
Miguel Cabrera squatting on a practice field

Cabrera looks to retain his spot atop the Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. By lakelandlocal

The top ten has some jarring projections in it, so lets take each player in the top ten and give a one-sentence quip as to why Steamer made their projection; let’s get inside the head of Steamer.

  1. He’s still Miguel Cabrera.
  2. …And he’s still Mike Trout.
  3. The platoon troubles Goldschmidt had at the infancy of his career were growing pains.
  4. The lineup around David Ortiz will be able sustain the level of runs and RBIs, while the average and contact ability should take a bit of a dip.
  5. The bounce back in speed is for real, and the dearth of steals in 2010 and 2012 were an aberration when placed next to Jacoby Ellsbury’s true talent level.
  6. There’s no reason to suggest that Andrew McCutchen will see a decline in numbers in the peak years of his career; sounds like a safe bet, but don’t bet on the 31 home runs that we saw in 2012.
  7. Adrain Beltre, and players of his physical profile—height, weight, handedness, and position—have durability over the course of their career.
  8. This was a down year for Prince Fielder, and the power/contact ability will rebound to a familiar level.
  9. Matt Holliday? I must have been drunk when I made this projection. But really, there is something to be said when it comes to this level of stability.
  10. Chicks dig the long ball. But more importantly, if Chris Davis’ HR/FB ratio regresses to where it was in 2012, he is still in line for a big year.

Devon Jordan is obsessed with statistical analysis, non-fiction literature, and electronic music. If you enjoyed reading him, follow him on Twitter @devinjjordan.



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