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 opened up talking about how Mets it was to hold off Jeff McNeil‘s call up in 2018 because they wanted him to play second while the plan in 2019 became for him to play all over the diamond. Going into the season last year, we were all wondering what was going to happen to the player who slashed .329/.381/.471 in 248 PA’s in his rookie year with a 2.4 WAR and a 119 DRC+. The computer projection outlets had this to say:
2019 Stats: 567 PA, 510 AB, 23 HR, .318/.384/.531, .916 OPS, 5.0 WAR, 129 DRC+
So McNeil crushed it.
McNeil was another case where the computers mostly projected between a .273 and .276 BA, which is quite close together. He instead hit .318 and was one of the Mets best players last year. He performed 29% better than the average hitter, and was projected to be only 10% better. Basically he came to the plate with his same, if not better, ability to put the ball in play and get on base except he also hit homers.
So he smashed projections. I’m sure next month when we start 2020 projections we’ll see outlets try to low ball again, I’m guessing this time they won’t low ball him by so much.