NEIFI’s 한국야구위원회 (KBO) Team Projections for 2016

NEIFI’s 한국야구위원회 Team Projections for 2016

Introducing NEIFI’s KBO Team Projections for the 2016 season, which opens 4/1.

What is included:

–All standard hitting and pitching performances (including MLB/MiLB and NPB), translated into KBO-E’s (Korea Baseball Organization-Equivalents).

What isn’t included:

–Defense. We simply have not yet taken the time to generate KBO defensive metrics based on available data (let alone, for example, AAA-to-KBO defensive equivalents). We therefore assume KBO-average defense for players at their listed positions.

–Perfectly specific rosters.

Playing time is being estimated based on projected player quality, listed positions, and publicly available sources of rosters (most prominently the rosters and depth charts provided at myKBO:

Here are the results, as of opening day (4/1):

Team Wins
NC 81.92
Doosan 76.48
Lotte 74.41
Samsung 74.31
LG 71.59
SK 71.38
KT 69.71
Nexen 68.27
Kia 68.16
Hanwha 63.79


Top 10 Hitters

Using our overall offense metric, ABR, where .263 is KBO league average:

Player Team Age ABR
Thames, Eric NC 30 .357
Park, Sok-min NC 31 .313
Choi, Hyoung-woo Samsung 33 .303
Choi, Jeong SK 29 .299
Na, Sung-Bum NC 27 .299
Dorn, Danny Nexen 32 .297
Kang, Min-ho Lotte 31 .292
Kim, Tae-Kyun Hanwha 34 .292
Rosario, Wilin Hanwha 27 .291
Evans, Nick Doosan 30 .291


Top 10 SP:

Using an overall pitching metric we’ll term as “expected run average” (eRA), where KBO league average is fixed at 4.00:

Player Team Age eRA
Pino, Yohan KT 33 3.29
Rogers, Esmil Hanwha 31 3.38
Noesi, Hector Kia 29 3.38
Hacker, Eric NC 33 3.42
Yang, Hyeon-jong Kia 28 3.43
Lindblom, Josh Lotte 29 3.46
Stewart, Zach NC 30 3.49
Kim, Gwang-hyun SK 28 3.53
Woo, Gyu-min LG 31 3.55
Kelly, Merrill SK 28 3.56


The KBO saw a significant exodus of top players this winter, with two of its top five hitters (Byung-ho Park and Hyun-soo Kim) leaving for MLB, as well as Yamaico Navarro and Andy Van Hekken (the league’s best pitcher over the past two years) leaving for Japan. As usual, though, there are some new foreign imports who project to rank among the league’s best, particularly on the pitching side, headlined by Yohan Pino and Hector Noesi.

Seven of the league’s top 10 pitchers (including the top four) are foreign-born, compared to only four of the top 10 hitters.

Coming off a season when they went 88-56, NEIFI’s 74-win projection for the Samsung Lions might seem on the low side. However, the Lions endured a very difficult offseason. 3B Sok-min Park left the Lions for the NC Dinos, signing the largest free agent contract in KBO history (4 years, $8 million). In addition, all three foreign players on the 2015 Lions roster – Yamaico Navarro, Alfredo Figaro, and Tyler Cloyd – have now departed. Newcomer Allen Webster should capably fill one of the rotation spots vacated by Cloyd/Figaro, but Navarro and Park are huge losses. 3B Aarom Baldiris, brought over from Japan, should be a solid everyday player (.269 ABR projection), but nevertheless represents a massive downgrade from Park. Meanwhile, the Dinos, thanks to the addition of Park and the continued presence of Eric Thames (who, with the departure of Navarro and Byung-ho Park, now towers over the rest of the league to an even greater extent than before), are the clear favorites to win their first-ever KBO championship.

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