Projections! PECOTA puts a number the 2018 Phillies

Today is a big day for fans of projections. Baseball Prospectus released its PECOTA projections for 2018, which seems crazy because the following players are still free agents:

Yu Darvish (still a Phillies possibility), Jake Arrieta (him too), JD Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Lance Lynn (also this guy), Alex Cobb (yes, Phils could get him), Carlos Gomez, Logan Morrison, Mike Moustakas, Neil Walker, Jaime Garcia and Jonathan Lucroy.

Anyway, the pre-someone-is-going-to-sign-right projections have the Phillies at:

Drumroll …


Hey, that’s good! That’s about where I’d put the Phils right now (in the 73-78-win range with an outside shot at being as bad as last year and a similar outside shot of being .500). PECOTA predicts a 20.8 total WARP (Baseball Prospectus’ wins above replacement player statistic); here is the spread of that WARP (players over 100 projected PA and 40 projected IP):

  • Aaron Nola: 3.2
  • Rhys Hoskins: 3.1
  • Odubel Herrera: 2.2
  • Cesar Hernandez: 2.1
  • J.P. Crawford: 1.9
  • Carlos Santana: 1.7
  • Vince Velasquez: 1.5
  • Jerad Eickhoff: 1.0
  • Aaron Altherr: 0.8
  • Nick Pivetta: 0.7
  • Nick Williams: 0.5
  • Edubray Ramos: 0.6
  • Hector Neris: 0.4
  • Luis Garcia: 0.4
  • Jake Thompson: 0.4
  • Tommy Hunter: 0.4
  • Adam Morgan: 0.3
  • Tommy Joseph: 0.2
  • Pat Neshek: 0.2
  • Roman Quinn: 0.2
  • Mark Leiter: 0.1
  • Ben Lively: -0.1
  • Jorge Alfaro: -0.1
  • Maikel Franco: -0.2
  • Cameron Rupp: -0.2
  • Pedro Florimon: -0.2
  • Zach Eflin: -0.2

The Santana projection feels the most egregious, but BP’s model has rated him at a lower WARP than other models over the last few years. Also I’d be surprised if Joseph is still on the team to rack up 0.2 WARP (I’m kind of surprised he’s actually projected to contribute positively). Anyway, 78 wins feels good, if not slightly generous.

Also PECOTA projects the Phils to be the third-worst defensive team in baseball at 25.7 fielding runs below average, better than just Detroit and Kansas City. Otherwise, they’re projected to be a slightly below-average offense and the third-worst pitching staff in the National League.

Wait, are we sure it’s 78 wins?

Anyway, the 78-win projection would put the Phillies in third place, two ahead of Atlanta and three behind the Mets. In short, second place is a real possibility for the Phillies this year, but then, so is fourth place.

Prospect list

Plenty of top-prospect lists have been released lately; BP’s top-101, which came out Monday, is charitable for the Phillies:

  • 13. Sixto Sanchez
  • 14. J.P. Crawford
  • 31. Scott Kingery
  • 36. Jorge Alfaro
  • 46. Adonis Medina
  • 68. Franklyn Kilome
  • 92. Arquimedes Gamboa

That’s the highest I’ve seen Sanchez on any list like this, while Alfaro gets a sweet position in a top-40. Gamboa is apparently a choice of BP’s Jeffrey Paternostro (called him one of his guys), and it’s interesting to see him crack a list like this (and not, say, Adam Haseley). Paternostro also said he wished to get in Jhailyn Ortiz.



  1. Jay R.Lohrman

    February 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I’m thinking if the team only needs 2 solid starters to compete for a playoff spot and they can easily afford to without going over the luxury tax… it’s a no brainer…go get them! Your fans deserve to watch a much better product if financially possible! Trying to develope young pitchers is understandable, there would still be 2 spots left to compete for. Watching Nola & then 4 unproven starters is just not giving the fans any hope of finishing over .500! If the front office gives our new manager some ammunition in the rotation, maybe the team can reach .500 or a little better. If your a small market team and can’t afford a free agent or two, I would understand. However, our beloved Phillies are not in that position! So why aren’t we trying to get a proven starter or 2? I would like to see management actually “try” to win games THIS year!

    • Mike Fassano

      February 11, 2018 at 7:46 am

      I still think the Phillies will come away with one starting pitcher this year. They have all but promised starting jobs to Nola, Eickhoff, and Velasquez. Personally, I think that Pivetta will be a stud, and many members of the Phillies staff seem to agree. Injuries and inconsistency have plagued the pitchers in the last couple of years.
      Rather than sign a FA starter it might be more feasible to trade for one. Kansas City needs help everywhere, and wants to keep Hosmer. Maybe Williams, Lively/Hernandez, and a boatload of cash can get the deal done for Duffy.

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