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. The computers last year were so wrong about Jacob deGrom.
Jacob ended the 2017 season with a 3.53 ERA, up half a run from 3.04 in 2016 which was up half a run from 2015. Computers took a less bullish prediction on 2018, seeing him perform slightly better:
2018 Average Projection: 189 IP, 3.39 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 1.166 WHIP, 9.88 K/9
2018 Actual: 217 IP, 1.70 ERA, 1.99 FIP, 0.912 WHIP, 11.2 K/9
Jacob had a historic season. I forgot how his ERA increased from 2015 to 2016, and then again from 2016 to 2017, so I can’t blame computer programs for not coming close. deGrom was just so dominate last year. When you look at each computer projection program, the lowest projected ERA was 3.31 from ESPN.
The first projection I’ve seen for next year is not low-balling deGrom. Baseball Reference sees him posting a 2.76 ERA with a 1.090 WHIP over the same 189 innings that all the projections last year averaged him pitching. While 2.76 is a drastic increase, it would still be close to a repeat, Cy-Young season.
Out of all of the players we look at this month, I don’t think any will outperform their projections quite like Jacob deGrom.