Gleeman: PECOTA predictions beyond the 90th percentile

From SABR member Aaron Gleeman at Baseball Prospectus on June 20, 2018:

PECOTA is designed to produce a wide range of projections for each player, from the 10th percentile all the way to the 90th percentile, with the weighted mean typically drawing the most attention as the “official” one-stop-shopping projection. For instance, Jose Altuve is so great that even his 10th percentile projection had him hitting .281 this season. Jeff Mathis, meanwhile, still hits just .241 in his 90th percentile projection.

As we near the midpoint of the 2018 season, six hitters with at least 150 plate appearances have out-performed their 90th percentile PECOTA projections by at least 75 points of OPS (through Monday). As you’ll see below, they come in all different shapes and sizes—stars becoming superstars, former stars resurrecting their careers, post-hype prospects breaking out, journeymen thriving sans any expectations whatsoever.

However, five of the six hitters seem connected by a common trait, which is that they’ve possessed high-level plate discipline and/or strike-zone control regardless of their overall performance, and have found a way to maintain that approach while adding significant power. Perhaps that’s just a coincidence, but maybe it speaks to the current MLB-wide explosion of strikeouts and homers, and which players are particularly well suited to adjust their games to take full advantage of the changing environment.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 20, 2018. Last Updated: June 20, 2018.