We’re going to kick off our annual projection series with Amed Rosario. This marks the sixth year that we’ve done projections here at Mets360. The idea has always been to see if the wisdom of the crowd of (mostly) Mets fans could do as good a job, or better, than the computer projection models. The hardest guys to project, for both the computers and the humans, are guys with little or no track record in the majors.
Rosario came to the majors last August with a ton of hype. Unfortunately, he did not pay immediate dividends, at least not with the bat. He didn’t hit for much of an AVG, he almost never walked and he struck out way too many times. He finished with a .665 OPS, nearly identical to the .658 OPS that fellow rookie Dominic Smith posted. The Mets went the recycled veteran route hoping that Smith could return to Triple-A at the start of the season. You can say the Mets went the recycled veteran route at shortstop, too, as they re-signed Jose Reyes. But the hope is that Reyes plays very few games at shortstop and that Rosario settles into the position for a decade or more with the Mets.
So, why the confidence in Rosario and not Smith?
If you squint, you can almost see a .665 OPS being acceptable for a good defensive shortstop. No one feels that way about a first baseman. Or at least they shouldn’t. Yet we see this offseason that’s not the case, either with the Mets’ front office or the fanbase. And Rosario, while not particularly great in the field after his promotion, looked a lot better than Smith defensively. Finally, Rosario came to the bigs looking like an athlete. Smith came up looking more like what we’d imagine a competitive eater would be, if we hadn’t seen the skinny Asian guy wolfing down the hot dogs.
Do we see more from Rosario in 2018? Here are our individual forecasts:
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 Rosario in 2018:
The wild card column for Rosario is a forecast of where he will bat most in the lineup. Ideally, he’ll develop into a leadoff man but the majority of us don’t see it happening in 2018. Most of us feel he’ll be batting right in front of the pitcher for the greatest part of the year while the next most popular answer has him hitting seventh.
As you would expect with a young player, our other forecasts are all over the map. In playing time, we have a swing of 250 PA from our low projection to our high one. In HR, we have a difference of 15 between low and high, with Dalton seeing the least amount of playing time yet the highest HR output. Interestingly, 10 of our 11 panelists see a very similar AVG, with a range of .260-.276 from the majority. Only Charlie deviates from this, with a .289 forecast.
Typically, the predictions from the fans are more optimistic than the ones from the computer models. Let’s compare our group forecast to ones by the projection systems. The good news here is that the ZiPS numbers from the Mets have already been released, so we can include those right away.
Our group forecast is pretty much right in line with the computer models. Marcel will always project low on a rookie in terms of playing time. And our production numbers are higher than Steamer and ZiPS but slightly below Marcel. The biggest difference is 44 points of SLG between our high forecast and that of Steamer.
Check back Wednesday for the next entry in our projection series.