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Squint Projections

Rule number one in fantasy baseball writing, is to always use a somewhat catchy, somewhat corny, title or name for your projection system or series of posts.

I am merely a mortal man, as such I too fall victim to the same perils that many a fantasy writer before me have suffered.

With that, I introduce to you my Squint Projections.

What are Squint Projections?

Think of a particular player's Squint Projection as if we were living in a similar, but slightly different baseball universe. Say in a baseball universe wherein Jake Bauers was the starting first baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays from May 15th on, in 2018.

In the baseball universe we currently exist in, we find Steamer and FanGraphs Depth Chart Projections currently placing Bauers in 40-42 games played for 2018 (162-175 Plate Appearances).

But what else do we know about this baseball universe that has Bauer's projected for 40ish games played?

Answer:

This universe also has Brad Miller projected for 420 (nice) Plate Appearances at 1b and Daniel Robertson for 210 PA's at the position.

Brad Miller:

Here's what we know:

  • Had a huge power season in 2016, hitting 30 home runs.
  • Was a slightly above average hitter in terms of wRC+ - 111
  • Played in only 110 games last season.
  • Was a slightly below average hitter in terms of wRC+ - 83
  • ISO dropped from .239 in 2016 to .136 in 2017.
  • Swung less often and in turn raised his walk rate to an impressive 15.5% in 2017
  • Actually hit the ball harder in 2017 according to Hard% (38.4%) as compared to 2016 (35.1%)
  • Pull% dropped from 42.5% in 2016 to 34.5% in 2017, which could explain the drop in total home runs.

Daniel Robertson:

Here's what we know:

  • Not a first baseman
  • According to a report from Eric Longenhagen, Robertson lacks the power necessary to play third base or second base daily - see point one above.
  • The Rays would sign one of the remaining free agent first baseman before entering the season with Robertson as the back-up first baseman. (Okay, speculation on my part, but come on)

Jake Bauers:

Here's what we know:

  • Has been young for every level of minor league career.
  • Not projected for typical first base power
  • Has shown strong batting eye and ability to hit line drives in the minor leagues.
  • Is currently projected by Steamer to hit:

162 PA | 4 HR | 18 R | 17 RBI | 4 SB | .243/.327/.382

In the current baseball universe we live in, this is a perfectly defensible projection. In fact, my current projection has him with an even worse batting line.

But remember, we must also look at things from our universe slightly further away, perhaps we even need to squint some to see it...

Oh you know I just did!

What if again, Jake Bauers is recalled mid-may.

In this universe - the Squint Universe, Jake Bauers would now be projected for nearly three times the number of games played.

All of a sudden our projection is for around 485 trips to the plate (PA)

To build our SQUINT Projection, we must determine certain inputs, such as:

  1. Plate Appearances
  2. SB% - success rate
  3. BB% - walk rate
  4. IBB% - intentional walk rate
  5. K% - strike out rate
  6. BABIP - batting average on balls in play
  7. GB% - number of balls in play hit on the ground
  8. LD% - number of balls in play that are line drives
  9. FB% - number of balls in play hit in the air
  10. HR/FB - number of fly balls that leave the park
Among some secret sauce inputs that make the Pip Turpins Projections and SQUINT Projections super powerful fantasy baseball tools.

After the inputs are determined, a final projection is created and the two universes can be compared. Depending on the players and team context of each particular universe comparison, the results and in turn, fantasy implications will vary.

For example, doing this exercise last season could have netted you either Cody Bellinger, as it did myself in many leagues, or a lesser fantasy asset, such as Aaron Hicks, who was very helpful in American League only formats.

To see how this universe showdown plays out and for many more fantasy baseball thought provoking posts, please reach out to Pete Rogers - FakeTeams Managing Editor - and tell him you'd like to read more from Pip Turpins right here on:


FakeTeams!

Make sure to follow me on Twitter for even more updates and Periscope hang outs.

UPDATE: IT WORKED

I am happy to announce that I am now writing here at FakeTeams.

Now that I’m officially writing for the site, it’s time to make good on my tease above.

2018 SQUINT Projection: Jake Bauers

485 PA | 10 HR | 61 R | 56 RBI | 7 SB | .244/.336/.378/.714 | 0.134 ISO | 0.317 wOBA

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