Over at Fangraphs, most of the best publicly available projection systems are readily available for you to view, free of charge. Plus, in addition to the raw projections for each player, Fangraphs maintains a projected depth chart, which parses out the available playing time in a full season to the players most likely to receive it in the coming year.
There will always be players who exceed their projections in any given year (see the 2014 version of Michael Brantley) and there will always be players who fall well short of their projections (see the 2014 version of Jason Kipnis). But that does not mean the projections are useless.
Each projection system tells you the most likely thing to happen that year. Though a big part of the beauty of baseball is the unexpected — if the projection systems were perfect, then we wouldn’t bother playing the games — grounding your expectations in reality is wise.
So, as we celebrate the end of 2014 and look forward to the new year, just what does Fangraphs project for Cleveland in 2015?
Here is the link to Cleveland’s projection page. The current numbers only include Steamer projections, with the ZiPS projections still in the process of being released.
11.5 WAR, fourth in the majors
Only ranking behind the power rotations of the Dodgers, the Nationals, and the Mariners, Cleveland is projected to easily have one of the best rotations in all of baseball. It helps having the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner at the top of the rotation, but Cleveland’s starting pitching is more than just Corey Kluber.
Currently, Kluber is projected for a significant step back, only expected to put up 4.0 WAR. But Steamer sees Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar as above-average pitchers in 2015, as well as projecting Gavin Floyd (due to his injury history) and T.J. House (due to likely spending some time in the minors) for around half of a season of average pitching.
Plus, Steamer is not high on Trevor Bauer, seeing him as a roughly replacement-level player due to his struggles in the not-so-distant 2013. But if you believe 2013 was a year of adjustments for Bauer — essentially making the data flawed and useless — then the right-hander’s projection is quite low, giving Cleveland’s rotation plenty of upside.
The projections do not have any Cleveland pitcher projected for crazy stats, yet the team still ranks in the top-five with room to grow. As of right now, the rotation looks to be in good shape. Read More…
From Indians Baseball Insider, December 31, 2014