Mets360 2013 projections: Jonathon Niese

Welcome to the second edition of the Mets360 projection series. After discussing Ike Davis last time out, this time we turn our attention to Jonathon Niese. Last time, I mentioned how none of us have a detailed projection system and that instead this is just how we feel the player is going to turn out. For the most part that’s still true but there is one slight modification this time around.

Friend of the site Eric Stashin, aka The Rotoprofessor, has graciously agreed to contribute to the project. Stashin makes projections for his site and has done so for years. If you play fantasy sports and are not familiar with his work – bookmark his site and visit there often.

With the trade of R.A. Dickey, Niese essentially becomes the ace of the staff, at least for 2013. Johan Santana will likely draw the Opening Day start but it is difficult to predict either the innings or the results for Santana to make him the actual ace. And while Niese probably will not grab the Opening Day assignment, it’s not out of the question he won’t pitch on the second day, either, if Terry Collins wants to split up the lefties in his rotation.

Anyone know the last time a team’s projected ace pitched third the first go-thru for a club? Perhaps there’s someone who was coming off an injury, but can you think of a healthy guy?

Regardless, here are our individual projections for Niese:

Niese Projection IP ERA Ks BB WHIP
Gray 185.1 3.90 145 57 1.320
Groveman 196.2 3.46 183 52 1.181
Hangley 189 3.57 160 73 1.295
Joura 210 3.60 175 58 1.215
Koehler 195 3.80 150 45 1.200
Mcwilliam 147.1 4.69 130 45 1.400
Parker 185 3.70 135 55 1.350
Rogan 192 3.30 158 48 1.166
Rogers 185 4.00 150 50 1.550
Stack 195 3.55 165 51 1.250
Stashin 200 3.47 173 55 1.190
Vasile 195 3.50 160 45 1.200
Walendin 205 3.70 165 56 1.210

Since we did not forecast all of the individual numbers that go into ERA and WHIP, we are going to use median for those numbers and average for the counting numbers to come up with our Mets360 forecast. Here is what our group as a whole projects for Niese in 2013:

After back-to-back seasons of putting up stronger peripherals than results, Niese broke the trend last year. Nearly everyone sees him putting up an ERA in the threes, unlike the 4.30 ERA he posted over the 2010-11 seasons combined. Bryan Mcwilliam is the pessimist in the group, as he predicts fewer innings and a higher ERA for Niese than he’s had since becoming a full-time starter in 2010. It will be interesting to see if he can address his thoughts about this in the comments section.

Finally, let’s close with a table comparing the Mets360 numbers to those of two projection systems – Bill James and ZiPS.

Niese Projection IP ERA Ks BB WHIP
Bill James 190 3.98 153 54 1.347
Mets360 190.2 3.60 158 53 1.215
ZiPS 177.1 3.91 150 49 1.274

The Bill James numbers are usually thought of as the most “optimistic” among the detailed projection systems. It’s hard not to notice that our projections are even more optimistic. To me, the interesting thing is that compared to James, our projections are extremely similar in IP, Ks and BB. Where they are more optimistic is in ERA and WHIP. Since the walks are similar, obviously we feel Niese is going to do better in the hits allowed category.

James forecasts that Niese will allow 202 hits in 190 IP for a H/9 mark of 9.6 for the year. Backing out from our other numbers, we are essentially predicting that Niese will allow 179 hits for an 8.5 H/9. ZiPS projects a 9.0 H/9 for Niese in 2013.

Check back Saturday for our next entry in this series.

11 comments for “Mets360 2013 projections: Jonathon Niese

  1. Name
    January 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I’m actually really bullish on Niese next season. Low Expectations and being overshadowed by other more high profile names will allow him to relax and play without much pressure.
    One of the problems that Niese used to have was that he would be really good for 5-6 innings, and have 1 inning that was really bad in which he would melt down.
    He seemed to have curbed that last season, and down the stretch in the 2nd half he posted a 3.01 ERA.

    • January 24, 2013 at 11:52 am

      I think you will notice that I was equally bullish. He has the potential to really take that next step although I don’t think he could ever quite surpass that #2 pitcher level.

      • Name
        January 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

        To be honest, there are only a handful of true aces in the game. I could probably count them on both hands.

        • NormE
          January 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm

          Huh?

          • Name
            January 25, 2013 at 12:46 am

            To clarify what i was talking about.
            David said that he doesn’t think that Niese will ever be more than a #2 pitcher,so basically saying he will never be an #1(an ace).
            And my reply back is that there really aren’t that many true aces in the game so it’s not that big of a deal if he never does take that step past #2.

            Off the top of my head:
            King Felix, Kershaw, CC, Verlander, Price, Weaver are bona fida true aces.
            Some other players who could be but aren’t quite at that level(or used to be but have fallen a little bit) are:
            Dickey, Grienke, Josh Johnson, Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Strasberg, Cueto, Gonzalez.

            Ok. so there were a bit more candidates than i thought, and i probably missed a few, but the club is still pretty exclusive.

            • NormE
              January 25, 2013 at 11:23 am

              Hey Name, thanks for clarifying your point for me.
              My “Huh?” was aimed at what I thought was your humorous use of “only a handful” in one sentence and “count them on both hands” in the next. That’s what prompted my comment.
              But, you’re probably correct about the exclusivity of true aces.

              • Metsense
                January 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

                @NormE: I also got a good laugh at Name’s Yogi-ism BUT I knew exactly what he meant after spending a summer of game chatter with him. We might not always agree but he knows what he is talking about, even when he speaks in Yogi.

    • Frank
      January 25, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. He has a lot of upside but has to feel less pressure to build on. Then, he will be able to rely on experience in later pressure situations. It all comes down to his rhythm. He can be hit or miss far too much.

      True story: I went to see him pitch a few years ago and he had a no-hitter through 4 or 5 innings. Then, the rain delay. TC brought him back out and he gave up four runs in 1/3. He has to turn that corner in consistency.

  2. January 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Yeah, I felt as though Niese would improve on Hits Allowed next year while keeping around the same amount of BBs, hence my projected WHIP. I feel like Niese is just so close to really breaking through, maybe as soon as next year.

  3. January 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Hey folks.

    I based my pessimistic projections of Niese on a good old fashioned gut feeling.

    When I saw his name come up in our projection list my gut gave me a signal that Niese was going to have a bad year. It could have been indigestion, but I’m sticking with it being a gut feeling. I’m the type of guy that always listens to his gut, especially when it comes to sports and food.

  4. Metsense
    January 25, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Another good composite projection. Niese seems like an Andy Petite type . Sometimes pitches as an ace, sometimes as a three but always steady and reliable. His rankings among the 86 NL starters that pitched at least 80 innings squarely puts him as a #2 starter and it is obvious that we all agree (except for the fellow who needs an alka seltzer)

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