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: http://mykbostats.com/teams).
Here are the results, as of opening day (4/1):
Top 10 Hitters
Using our overall offense metric, ABR, where .263 is KBO league average:
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:
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.