Before we get started, PECOTA itself which is an acronym for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm. It’s a sabermetric system for forecasting Major League Baseball player performance.
From Baseball Prospectus:
PECOTA is Baseball Prospectus’s proprietary system that projects player performance based on comparison with thousands of historical player-seasons. PECOTA analyzes similarities with past player-seasons based not only on rate statistics, but also height, weight, age, and many other factors.
Baseball Prospectus releases the info just in time for the start of Spring Training so the fans who have a grasp in sabermetrics have something to argue over before players are even finished with their physicals.
Now, in surprising news, PECOTA is predicting the Yankees to be a 92-win team which would put them ahead of the rest of the AL East and in the lead for best record in the entire American League.
Say it with me now, “What the what?” What about the Blue Jays? Or even the Red Sox?
Well, the Red Sox are projected to finish second and the Jays – even with all of their moves this offseason – are projected to finish in third place. And I didn’t even mention the Tampa Bay Rays who are also projected to finish in second place with the Sox.
So what does this all mean? Nothing. PECOTA isn’t psychic. But it is amusing to see the “old, brittle” Yankees projected to be the best team in the American League East after seeing some predictions from people coming in as low 75-wins.
And speaking of low, PECOTA is not being kind to the Baltimore Orioles at all and is predicting a big drop for them in 2013 – a 74-win season.
As for individual player results, PECOTA thinks Kevin Youkilis will have the highest TAv of the team. For those who don’t know what it is: True Average (TAv) is a measure of total offensive value scaled to batting average. Adjustments are made for park and league quality, as such the league-average mark is constant at .260.”
It’ll be interesting to see what happens this season and if any of these projections actually come to fruition. Most Yankee fans are jokingly saying that the Yankees are now doomed because PECOTA is predicting a first-place finish for them but let’s hope 2013 isn’t doom and gloom and that the Yankees pleasantly surprise us all.