Every spring I collect several projections sources and average them together to do a meta-projection. Last year I pulled projections from Baseball Prospectus, ZiPS, Steamer, ESPN, and Baseball Reference. After spending a few days looking at fringe relievers and players not on the team any more, today we finally look at a player who will have a significant roll on the 2019 squad, Steven Matz.
Knowing the season the Mets had last year, our article last year with projections seems incredibly dated. We wondered about Matz after his 2017 year that saw him struggle start to start, missing consistency completely when the Mets rotation was seemingly full. At the start of spring last year the rotation was a deGrom, Syndergaard with Harvey, Wheeler, Matz, Lugo, Gsellman and Vargas fighting for the last three spots. Matz seemed like one of the odd men out, even with Lugo and Gsellman going to the pen. (It was a long time ago, but remember Matz ended 2017 logging only 66.2 innings with a 6.08 ERA and a 5.05 FIP).
2018 Average Projection: 109.6 IP, 4.17 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 1.328 WHIP
2018 Actual: 154 IP, 3.97 ERA, 4.62 FIP, 1.247 WHIP
Holding FIP off to the side, Matz outperformed his projections majorly in the amount of work he saw and his ERA. His WHIP was considerably lower than projected. MLB.com was the closest in predicting this. They had Matz at 130 innings and a 3.95 ERA. This is also the first time I think MLB.com was the closest in any projection. Steamer had his WHIP the closest at 1.3 (all of the WHIP were between 1.3 and 1.36).
If we are looking at trends though, all of the projections saw that Matz would have a bounce back year, even if they didn’t get the innings correct. Matz ended up bouncing back better than projected. Let’s see what 2019 brings!