Baseball Prospectus releases 2012 PECOTA predictions

From SABR member Colin Wyers at Baseball Prospectus on February 8, 2012:

PECOTA has arrived.

BP’s projection system, at its core, follows the same basic principles as it has before. We begin with our baseline projections, which start with a weighted average of past performance, with decreasing emphasis placed on seasons further removed from the season being projected. Then that performance is regressed to the mean. After that, we use the baseline forecast to find comparable players (while also taking into account things like position and body type) and use those to account for the effects of aging on performance.

Every season we put PECOTA under the knife, looking for things we can improve to make sure we’re coming up with the best forecasts possible. Sometimes what we come up with is a minor tweak. At other times, though, what we unearth is not only more significant, but an interesting baseball insight in its own right, even aside from its inclusion in PECOTA.

This season, we’ve made some rather radical changes to how we handle the weighted averages for the PECOTA baselines—we still deemphasize past seasons, but nowhere near as much as we used to. With such a dramatic and counterintuitive change, we thought it best to give our users an explanation of what was changed and why so that they could correctly use and interpret the PECOTA forecasts.


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Originally published: February 8, 2012. Last Updated: February 8, 2012.