The Saber's Edge: Stars are the Riskiest Picks
The Saber's Edge: Stars are the Riskiest Picks

This article is part of our The Saber's Edge series.

Last week, I examined how actual plate appearances deviate from projections. Now, I move to the next step, how overall hitting projections deviate from the results.

While owners might think the top players are the safest options, they aren't. Stars are the riskiest. Additionally, players with perceived risk provide the most future value because they have the chance to add playing time.

I wish I could just jump to the conclusions, which are simple to understand, but I need to run some calculations to back up the results. For my analysis, I will use 2010 to 2016 Steamer projections and find the actual results. To standardize the hitter values, I used 5-category (AVG, not OBP), 12-team SDP values from the 2015 NFBC season. Using a single equation allows all the stats to be combined into pre- and post-projection values spanning several seasons.

If I have any trepidation, it is with using the same equation for all league sizes. But it shouldn't matter as I am examining how expected values deviate from projections. The single formula should have component values close enough for the years examined.

Additionally, I am going to assume no position inflation for catchers or shortstops. While it might be interesting to see how position projections differ, I will limit the research to the top projected players regardless of position.

Finally, I combined the hitters into twenty 90-player groups by their expected production to compare to their actual production.

Like last week, I found the results starting

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Zimmerman
Zimmerman writes analytics-focused baseball and football articles for RotoWire. He is a three-time FSWA award winner, including the Football Writer of the Year and Best Football Print Article awards in 2016. The 2017 Tout Wars Mixed Auction champion and 2016 Tout Wars Head-to-Head champ, Zimmerman also contributes to FanGraphs.com, BaseballHQ and Baseball America.
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