Fun With PECOTA Comps

PECOTA, for those of you who don't know, is a projection system developed and rebuilt and refined by the folks at Baseball Prospectus. It functions by taking everything it knows about a player - performance, size, etc. - finding comparable players throughout baseball history, and using the subsequent performances of those comparable players to come up with a projection for the original player being compared to.

While it sounds really fancy, historically it hasn't been shown to work much better than an assortment of other projection systems, if it's worked better at all. However, what's really fun about PECOTA is that it'll spit out the names of those player comps, which can be entertaining to browse.

Well, the 2011 PECOTA projections are here. I'm not going to share their numbers, since PECOTA is a subscription service and they'd probably frown on that level of generosity, but what I will share with you are my favorite groups of Mariner player comps. Sit back and enjoy.

Mike Carp

  1. Joey Votto
  2. Jeff Clement
  3. Gaby Sanchez

Johermyn Chavez

  1. Jay Bruce
  2. Brent Clevlen
  3. Justin Upton

Nick Franklin

  1. Adrian Beltre
  2. Willie Mays
  3. Hank Aaron

Rich Poythress

  1. Adrian Gonzalez
  2. Prince Fielder
  3. Kent Hrbek

Erik Bedard

  1. Pedro Feliciano
  2. Jason Frasor
  3. Paul Assenmacher

Now, obviously, it's hard to fault PECOTA here, as minor leaguers and guys who've missed a ton of time to injury can be nearly impossible to project. Not all comparisons are made with the same degree of confidence, and PECOTA acknowledges as much. But, man, fans already had a tendency to overrate their prospects, and this sure as hell isn't going to help.* Also, Erik Bedard is apparently a setup man now.

*Carlos Triunfel's top comp: Rennie Stennett. Wicked burn

For more established Major Leaguers, the comps are more accurate, and those are fun to browse as well for completely different reasons. Chris Bosio as Jason Vargas, for example. Or Roger Clemens as Felix Hernandez. It's with the established guys that, unsurprisingly, PECOTA's at its strongest.

I'll leave you now with perhaps my favorite comp group of the year.

Brandon Allen (Diamondbacks)

  1. Jason Botts
  2. Paul McAnulty
  3. Barry Bonds

According to PECOTA, Brandon Allen should end up somewhere between being a minor league journeyman and the greatest player in the history of baseball.

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