Revisiting Our Gavin Floyd Projection

The early release of Dan Szymborski's ZiPS projections reminded me of the time I put in building a better projection for Gavin Floyd. At the time, there was some general discontent over the projections of some of the White Sox pitchers, and Floyd in particular.

Rather than open it up to the masses for one of our Community Projections, I decided to take the opportunity to scratch the surface of how a projection was built in the first place, to see why we felt other projections were missing the boat on Floyd, and finally, to build a projection of my own.

So how did I do? Judge for yourself...


G IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Gavin Floyd 30 193.0 178 93 87 21 59 163 4.06 1.23 7.6 2.75 0.98
Cheat's Projection 30 192 199 107 97 28 61 153 4.55 1.35 7.15 2.85 1.33

Floyd bested his 90th percentile PECOTA projections in most categories, and his 75th in virtually all of them. And while he exceeded my own projection across the board, by applying some critical thinking to his previous rate stats, I was able to come up with a projection much closer to the actual result.

Now the point of revisiting this projection wasn't simply to pat myself on the back. After all, you can easily browse the archives and find that I picked the Indians to win the division and thought the Tigers were the most likely team in baseball to be in fire sale mode by May. I was also "done" with Floyd by the time he turned it around starting the night of our outing. The point is that we were able to sift through the noise of Gavin's unsustainable hot start in '08 and rocky minor league career to find a better approximation of his true talent.

Without diving into another spreadsheet again, I'd say that Floyd is unlikely to best his '09 numbers in '10. His HR/9, in particular, seems like an outlier; but I'd say he's a good bet to beat his his '10 projections, though ZiPS is the only one available thus far.

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