Lest We Forget

James Click, February 2, 2006:

Lest we forget, this is only PECOTA’s third season; wait until you see where BP is three years from now.

evo34, February 27, 2010:

So let’s take a look at how PECOTA projects the top five hitting prospects in baseball to “grow” over the next five years [TAv taken from 10-year forecast]:

Jason Heyward (age 20):
2010: .282
2011: .276
2012: .277
2013: .276
2014: .271

Mike Stanton (age 20):
2010: .265
2011: .264
2012: .265
2013: .259
2014: .257

Desmond Jennings (23 years old):
2010: .269
2011: .269
2012: .278
2013: .273
2014: .270

Buster Posey (22 years old):
2010: .266
2011: .269
2012: .270
2013: .269
2014: .268

Pedro Alvarez (23 years old):
2010: .266
2011: .260
2012: .269
2013: .258
2014: .259

So, basically none of the top five prospects in baseball are projected to improve over the next five years. Apparently, each has already peaked as a mediocre MLB regular. Anyone who has used PECOTA projections over the years will understand how massively different these projections look than those of years past. They (Pease et al.) have essentially diluted the informational content out of prospect projecions to the point where all major prospects are projected to follow an eerily similar career path.

In short, this is worse than New Coke. Someone has significantly changed the algorithm (intentional or not), and there is no documentation of what has changed or why. There is simply no way to trust any of the PECOTA projections for this season — esp. those of prospects. This is extremely unfortunate as long-term projections were the last remaining competitive advantage BP had over competing forecast services (for data forecasts, not editorial content). A full article on this debacle (not another “Unfiltered” side-note) is warranted.

I am not trying to bash BP as much as I am expressing my personal disappointment at not having source for accurate long-term prospect projections for the first season in a very long time. I honestly don’t know of anyone else who takes a numerical approach to evaluating minor leaguers. If anyone does, please post.

So PECOTA makes terrible projections for the top position player prospects and thus PECOTA’s own value falls in a very Heyward’s-career-according-to-PECOTA way. What irony.

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