Let me just start this post with this disclaimer. These projections should not be taken seriously at all. There are players in this article that won’t even sniff the big leagues in 2018, but still have projections for what they would do at the major league level.
As a huge analytical guy, I love projections. They are great tools to use for analyzing baseball, especially in the offseason. Fangraphs recently made the 2018 Steamer Projections, one of the more respected projection systems, available on their site. The interesting thing about Steamer is that they their projections go past players currently at the major league level. They have projections on basically every player for what they will/would do at the major league level. For example, there is a projection for the 2017 1st overall pick Royce Lewis, even though it will likely be years before he reaches the majors.
Here are the links for the 2018 Steamer600 Projections (hitters prorated for 600 PA, catchers for 450 PA, starting pitchers for 200 IP, relief pitchers for 65 IP).
Some interesting bits I found also…….
- The Royals are projected to have one (yes….. one) above-average hitter in 2018. That hitter is Jorge Soler, with a projected line of .240/.329/.433. Not ideal for your best hitter.
- It looks like Ryan O’Hearn is projected to be the best hitter coming up from minors, with a line of .236/.301/.405.
- Should note that the projected backup catcher situation is interesting. Prorated over 450 plate appearances, Drew Butera is projected for 0.7 WAR. Nick Dini and Cam Gallagher are both higher, both projected for 1.1 WAR.
- Jake Junis is projected to be the Royals third best pitcher, coming in at 1.7 WAR.
- Sam Gaviglio is projected to be a serviceable fifth starter for non-conteder, coming in at 1.1 WAR.
- Sam Selman is projected to have the highest K/9, with a rate of 9.2.
- Josh Staumont is projected to have a high 7.2 BB/9/
- Based off FIP, Richard Lovelady (projected 4.27 FIP) is projected to be the Royals fifth best pitcher.
Photo Credits: Joe Camporeale