Hello BP Readers!
As we discussed in our 2023 Offseason Primer, we’re launching our PECOTA player projections earlier than ever. We noted that they’d launch in mid-December and…
[looks at calendar]
[blood drains from our faces as we realize how soon the Annual is due to the printer]
…haha, that’s now, isn’t it!
As we go about putting the book together, you can go about checking out our player projections in a number of ways, some old and, yes, some new! And before you ask: This PECOTA launch does not include standings projections, The Ax, or SSDA, or really anything on the team level. It is focused on individual player projections. Additionally, keep in mind that these iterations of the projections will change, perhaps substantially. The most obvious input for this is depth chart adjustments, but it is possible other aspects may be fine-tuned.
As we’ve done forever, the downloadable spreadsheets of player projections are available on the usual landing page. You’ll note, however, that we do not have accompanying articles or explainers to go with them. That’s because one side effect of supplying PECOTA at this time of year is that we’re at a particularly limited bandwidth. Our PECOTA Week launch that usually happens in February will still be happening around that time of year, and that’s when we’ll provide all the context, nuance, and fun you’re used to seeing accompany the projections themselves. Also, we’ll know where everyone’s playing by then, which is kind of useful.
We felt providing PECOTA this time of year was a good thing to do since we have it ready, and fantasy players especially could make use of it, but it is more of a no-frills offering than our standard launch.
As it stands, if you are a subscriber to BP at either of our yearly levels (Premium or Super-Premium), you can already access PECOTA on the leaderboards by ticking a little box above the various tabs. If you’re not an annual subscriber, BP 360 is running through Wednesday (12/20) and is the best way to access all of BP.
When you do, though, it defaults to a specific order that isn’t manipulable, and can be somewhat frustrating to interact with. It’s basically best used as a means to download as a CSV and go from there.
No longer, though! As part of our 2024 launch, we’ve been hard at work redesigning how you can interact with PECOTA directly on the website, and we expect you’ll be happy with the results. Now, you will see the option to select the PECOTA leaderboard right alongside our current Hitting, Pitching, Fielding, and Baserunning leaderboards:
When you do, if you are a subscriber to the aforementioned tiers and logged in, you’ll get the below:
…but with a bunch of names and all these projected stats below it. As you might note, there are now:
- Filters for both age and position
- A percentile dropdown filter
- Ranges from 1-99 at specific intervals
- consist of our final pre-season player projections from prior seasons
- These are limited to 2020-present.
There are also four tabs present. The image above shows Hitting Summary, which will have your standard counting statistics, slash line stats, plus the core components that roll up into WARP at the right-most column on the page. We also have:
It’s likely self-explanatory, but the above are the rates at which we project each batter to produce for the various metrics.
As with the Hitting Summary, so too for pitching:
And likewise with pitching rates:
If there is anything that you’ve come to rely on in the spreadsheet that is not represented in these tabs, fear not! The spreadsheet categories have remained unchanged.
Our player cards have also received something of a significant update!
When you check out one of our current player cards, you can scroll down a bit and find the traditional batting seasons under the Stats tab, and can further scroll through to check out Batted Ball and Plate Discipline metrics, as partially shown below:
You’ll note that there are two other tabs in Stats Breakdown and PECOTA (the latter of which is visible and accessible to, you guessed it, yearly subscribers who are also logged in). Stats Breakdown provided a bunch of tables ranging from our detailed WARP report to DRC component figures to fielding stats to baserunning metrics.
We looked at all this and decided: too much scrolling, not nearly enough tabs:
The new player card format will largely match the layout and functionality of our leaderboards. The same top-level tabs exist (Hitting, Pitching, Fielding, Baserunning, PECOTA), and the same sub-tabs exist for each of those top-level tabs, and you’ll find the same statistical categories on the player card tabs that you will on the corresponding leaderboard.
We will note that this does mean the location of various stats has shifted, but hope you will find both the leaderboards and cards easier to use as the familiarity of one will translate to the other. We’re quite excited about these changes.
As for PECOTA specifically, that tab should now be visible to anyone who visits our player card, but the information will only be available to yearly subscribers who are also logged in. As discussed above, there is a shared format from the leaderboards, so if you can access PECOTA, you will see the same Summary and Rates options there that you did on the leaderboards, as well as the same season and percentile filter options:
Both Hitting and Pitching tabs will show up regardless of player position for now, but a projection will only populate based on whether the player is a hitter or pitcher.
So there you have it. That’s the long and short of our updates to our leaderboards and player cards alongside our earliest ever launch of PECOTA. As with anything new like this, we expect there will be certain things that don’t work perfectly right, straight off the bat, despite our best efforts to rigorously test them. Feel free to let me know or leave something here in the comments. One example: Our Stats Overview in the top right of each player card won’t populate anything at the moment. That should be addressed over the course of the offseason, and be ready in time for the regular season when it’ll be a bit more useful.
We’ve got a bunch more ideas and tweaks in the hopper and look forward to bringing them to you soon. Your support helps us get them done, and move on to our next fun new idea, so thank you for reading and subscribing to Baseball Prospectus.
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