Credit: Arturo Pardavila III

2016 Blue Jays Projections: Marcus Stroman

JAYS FROM THE COUCH WILL REVIEW PROJECTIONS MADE BY VARIOUS ENTITIES TO PREDICT MARCUS STROMAN‘S 2016 STATS FOR BLUE JAYS

 

Marcus Stroman had a legendary season, coming back from a torn ACL to dominate in 4 late regular season starts, then go on to become the most consistent Jays’ starter in the playoffs.

Stroman is a player who historically in the minors had struck out a ton of batters, didn’t walk many and who was pretty good at managing hard contact. Since coming up to the majors Stroman developed this beauty, which comes from Joshua Howsam at Blue Jays Plus:

Credit: Joshua Howsam at BlueJaysPlus.com
Credit: Joshua Howsam at BlueJaysPlus.com

This contributed to Stroman’s ridiculous ground ball rate above 58% (64.1% last year), most of this contact was of the weak sort. So he sacrificed some strikeouts to be one of the best contact quality managers in the league. Now, the sacrifice of these strikeouts, and how many he might have next year, is by far the biggest question and concern in the upcoming season.

Let’s take a look at the projections:

Projection GS IP K% (K/9) BB% (BB/9) ERA FIP WAR
ZiPS 18 104.2 20.3% 5.5% 3.80 3.55 1.8
Steamer 31 193.0 19.8% 6.5% 3.66 3.70 3.3
Fans (27) 29 193.0 7.55/9 1.96/9 3.18 3.11 4.7
Marcel (BR) N/A 80.0 7.8/9 2.4/9 3.49 3.37 N/A

I would immediately recommend to ignore all four innings predictions. They don’t know. Stroman does not have a history of being healthy or injured. If I were to guess, Fans and Steamer are probably closer to right.

If you look at K% (K/9) they are predicting a league-average rate, pretty much across the board. Looking at BB% (BB/9), only Marcel projects an average walk rate, with everyone else just being varying degrees of above average. If the rate stats end up coming true here, then I believe we should be happy.

BUT: Stroman is a pitcher who went from a high ground ball type to one of the highest ground ball pitchers out of any starter in the league, and this has not been factored substantially into projections because they have to look at past years, where this was not the case. Stroman also sacrificed some strikeout power for this ground ball rate, we suspect, but we can’t be sure that it wasn’t the return from injury that caused the low strikeouts last year. Stroman’s projections are not going to be as indicative of the truth as, say, Sonny Gray or Clayton Kershaw who have several years of similar strategy on the books.

Stroman will probably have the K rate they predict, but it’s not inconceivable to imagine a world where he strikes out either 6/9 or 9/9. He will probably have a BB rate they predict, but it wouldn’t shock me if he were to walk either 2.5/9 or 1.3/9 either.

What we should take from this: Stroman will be good. Everyone thinks he will be good, human or machine. Now, Stroman might also come out and be an ace, but where people are split on this, the machines don’t have enough to take the leap. The projections are there to be a very conservative prediction. No outlandish bad or good projections are easy to find in any of the systems.

My personal prediction for his line is: 30 GS, 195 IP, 22% K%, 6% BB%, 3.30 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 4.2 WAR.

I’m excited. Be excited with me in the comments.

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: Arturo Pardavila III UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

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Cole Nefsky has been in love with baseball from before he could walk. Cole is a candidate for a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. He has been involved in the game of baseball as an elite level player for various clubs around Toronto, coached the AAA Minor Bantam Vaughan Vikings and even umpire for several years. Cole enjoys long form analysis, coming from statistics and analytics; and mechanical analysis.

Cole Nefsky

Cole Nefsky has been in love with baseball from before he could walk. Cole is a candidate for a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. He has been involved in the game of baseball as an elite level player for various clubs around Toronto, coached the AAA Minor Bantam Vaughan Vikings and even umpire for several years. Cole enjoys long form analysis, coming from statistics and analytics; and mechanical analysis.

  • JRedmond14

    Its crazy to say that an injury might have been the best thing for a player but it might be the case for Stroman. He seemed to do some pretty good mechanical work with the people at Duke when he was injured (its pure speculation but maybe he wouldn’t have done it, if he hadn’t gotten injured?) and it seemed to pay dividends at the end of the season. We can only hope his continued hard work in the offseason will allow him to do it for a full season and to show his true potential as one of the best pitchers in the AL and MLB!

    • Cole Nefsky

      Maybe. If you look at the pitching mechanics themselves, there was no real change from year to year. Where he changed year over year was the actual pitches. His change, slider, curve and sinker all started spinning differently than before. This might have been the time off, but as a pitcher, you work on pitches every day, no matter where you are. What the time off could have done for him, though, is that it certainly motivated him. Stroman has historically been a guy who thrives on doubt, so he just ate up the type of uncertainty cast on him.