I’d been meaning to do this post for a while, and I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at how the Yankee starting lineup is doing compared to their preseason projections.
Prior to the season I averaged the projections of the six major systems — Bill James, CAIRO, Oliver, Marcel, PECOTA and ZiPS — for each Yankee, so we’ll be using that average line when referring to “2011 projection.”
In addition to seeing who on the Yankees has over- or under-performed their projection, I also wanted to take a look at what kind of production we might reasonably expect from each player for the remainder of the season, also known as ZiPS Rest-of-Season (RoS).
2011 Projection: .285/.353/.397; .337 wOBA
2011 Actual: .260/.324/.324; .298
ZiPS RoS: .274/.341/.374; .324
2011 Projection: .257/.334/.464; .345 wOBA
2011 Actual: .282/.353/.615; .416
ZiPS RoS: .268/.343/.526; .380
2011 Projection: .276/.375/.513; .383 wOBA
2011 Actual: .250/.368/.534; .391
ZiPS RoS: .268/.374/.522; .390
2011 Projection: .276/.367/.513; .377 wOBA
2011 Actual: .288/.364/.515; .386
ZiPS RoS: .278/.369/.515; .388
2011 Projection: .302/.349/.489; .362 wOBA
2011 Actual: .284/.326/.508; .363
ZiPS RoS: .293/.341/.496; .362
2011 Projection: .256/.353/.469; .356 wOBA
2011 Actual: .227/.350/.367; .322
ZiPS RoS: .250/.354/.458; .356
2011 Projection: .254/.347/.442; .344 wOBA
2011 Actual: .227/.320/.378; .308
ZiPS RoS: .242/.340/.434; .341
2011 Projection: .260/.358/.369; .327 wOBA
2011 Actual: .232/.338/.429; .352
ZiPS RoS: .244/.355/.380; .333
2011 Projection: .266/.359/.369; .335 wOBA
2011 Actual: .282/.362/.426; .346
ZiPS RoS: .265/.356/.377; .340
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada have all wildly underperfomed their preseason projections, with Derek missing his average projection by .039 points of wOBA, Posada by .036 and Swish by .034. The good news for this trio is that ZiPS RoS still expects Swisher and Posada to more or less hit to their preseason projected wOBAs the rest of the way (.356 and 341, respectively), which would be of great help to a lineup that’s still managed a .350 team wOBA to date.
Additionally, for all the hand-wringing about the offense — and I obviously count myself as an occasional member of that group — the other six everyday members of the lineup are actually exceeding their average projections, which is all the more impressive when taking the depressed 2011 run environment into account. Unsurprisingly, Granderson is leading the Yankees in this category, hitting .071 points of wOBA higher than his average projection. A-Rod is bettering his averaging projection by .009, and is currently having what might be one of the quieter .386 wOBA seasons in recent memory (due in no small part to that heinous slump last month), while Tex is hitting .008 better than his average projection.
The 2011 Yankees are currently averaging 5.26 runs per game, which is essentially right where they were last season (5.3), and that’s without receiving the expected contributions of not just one but three key members of the offense.
If you toss the current lineup and their ZiPS RoS projections into the ol’ Lineup Analysis tool (obviously PAs and injuries are not taken into account here), we get a lineup that scores 5.48 runs per game, with the optimal version of the lineup scoring 5.55 runs per game. While the games of course aren’t played on paper, things would appear to bode pretty well for the Yankees going forward on the offensive side of the equation.
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