Were 2018 Stat Projections Correct? – Robert Gsellman

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. At this point last year, were still trying to figure out who Robert Gsellman would be. In 2016 he was the other half of the pair of rookies (Seth Lugo) that led the Mets to the Wild Card. In 2017, the injuries in the rotation forced a lot of pressure on Gsellman and he didn’t deliver.

Similar to Lugo, there was debate as to what Gsellman’s role would be in 2018. Pen? Starter? Long Man? Set-up guy? (Which wasn’t even considered until we saw how effective Lugo was out of the pen). He ended 2017 logging 119.7 innings with a 5.19 ERA, 4.89 FIP, and a 1.504 WHIP.

Computers gave him the following average projection and he responded with the following stats:

2018 Average Projection: 104.4 IP, 4.37 ERA, 4.345 FIP, 1.383 WHIP, 7.0 K/9
2018 Actual: 80.0 IP, 4.28 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 1.300 WHIP, 7.9 K/9

Gsellman did well in the pen and significantly improved off of his 2017 numbers, although the computer projections also saw this improvement in Gsellman’s future, even if they weren’t sure if he was going to start or not. On the whole, Gsellman performed better than his average projected line as well.

No individual projection from last year was quite right on Gsellman though. They either had his ERA considerably lower (MLB.com at 4.07, Baseball Prospectus the closest at 4.2) or higher (ESPN 4.87, Baseball Reference 4.5). None of them had his WHIP so low (probably due to starter/relief question) with MLB.com going the lowest with 1.34, ESPN the highest at 1.48.

With the Mets new additions of Diaz, Familia next season, Gsellman will probably see a drop of time in high leverage outings. I’m curious to see how the 2019 projections handle the new Mets bullpen with playing time, and how they see Gsellman continues his journey.

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