BtBs 50 Best of the Next 5 Years - Intro and Methodology


Over the next two weeks we will unveil our (and when I say our I really mean the data's) list of the 50 Best Players of the Next Five Years.  You first question is probably, "How is this going to be any different than Fangraph's Trade Value Series?"  The simple answer is that this list will ignore contractual status.  This list approaches the problem from a "all the contracts in MLB have been ripped up and we're picking teams playground style" angle.  With that premise in mind the goal was to come up with a data driven list rather than an author(s) opinion list.  The particular data in question is 5-year projected WAR using inputs I will outline for everyone now.

For position players I used pre-season CHONE projections to derive wOBA which I then aged over the 5 years using results from MGL's aging study.  For the defensive component I used my own defensive projections when available and CHONE for players that I hadn't projected.  I did not account for position switches over the course of the five years that were projected.  Playing time was the most difficult component to project.  Since the list is meant to be a "playground style list" it made sense to me to give all position players "starter caliber" playing time.  To that end I found the average of the top ten in PA by position over the last two years.  I then averaged each players last two years of PA and regressed towards the positional average.  The modeled PA was the maximum of the positional average and the regressed averaged.  Applying that playing time across all of the WAR components leads to the overall WAR value .

For pitchers I used CHONE's context neutral ERA and an innings pitched projection that mirrors the PA projection above.  The only difference is I looked at the top 80 starters and relievers to get the positional averages.  For aging I leveraged this blog post from MGL.  The cliff notes are that the curve is flat from 21-26 and then goes up 0.2 runs allowed per season.

A couple caveats worth mentioning

  1. The projections are the mean projections and do not address the uncertainty levels.  This is especially important since we are projection a lot of young players where the uncertainty level is going to be very high.
  2. The same aging curves were applied to all players.
  3. The playing time estimations were not aged (i.e. same number of PAs/IPs over the 5 years).
Even with those caveats, I still think the method will generate a pretty solid list that will be well worth discussing, so please stop by and discuss what the computer has spit out.  I doubt anyone (even me) will agree with the list in it's entirety so come back with good points and counterpoints about who should be included and excluded.  The schedule for posts will look something like this

Monday May 31 - Intro and Methodology
Tuesday June 1 - Players 50-41
Wednesday June 2nd - Players 40-31
Thursday June 3rd - Players 30-21
Monday June 7th - Players 20-11
Tuesday June 8th - Players 10-1
Wednesday June 9th - Wrap Up (Interesting tidbits and a full data dump)
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Beyond the Box Score

You must be a member of Beyond the Box Score to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Beyond the Box Score. You should read them.

Join Beyond the Box Score

You must be a member of Beyond the Box Score to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Beyond the Box Score. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker