Every spring at 213 we gather a whole bunch of projections for players and average them together to see what a conglomerate of baseball sources think a given player will perform over the year. It’s wholly unscientific – averaging averages and not weighting them for previous accuracy or amount of playing time they feel a player will see.
Last year we wrote about how Michael Conforto had two seasons in 2018. He started off struggling but then turned a corner about a week after the All-Star break where he hit .273/.356/.539 for the rest of the year (.243/.350/.448 overall in 2018). Computers took his season, and his .251/.349/.476 batting line to that point and spit out the following projections:
2019 Stats: 648 PA, 549 AB, 33 HR, .257/.363/.494, .865 OPS, 3.5 WAR, 122 DRC+
Before we get into it, that’s a pretty line, right? Sometimes I feel like I take Conforto for granted.
On the whole, models undercut with Conforto. He way outperformed in OBP, which makes us happy thinking about his future. He also out slugged all of his projections as well. Baseball Prospectus and ZiPS were the closest in projecting his success. They split the difference on his WAR, and Baseball Prospectus exactly nailed his DRC+. I’m not surprised that the models under-projected Conforto once I saw his 2019 stats in comparison with his other seasons. He had his second best season, just behind his All-Star season.
This puts Conforto in an interesting position when it comes to projections for next year. All the major sources under-projected him, how do they correct and do they end up over correcting in 2020?