Stretching Out Chris Sale

Right now, we’re hedging our bets on Chris Sale, projecting that 29% of his innings come in relief. We have him throwing 129 IP with a 3.60 ERA, 9 wins and 15 holds. In this role he generates an impressive 9.8 K/9 with his 94.5 mph fastball. This line give him $9.30 of fantasy value making him our 72nd ranked pitcher.

But what if you don’t think Sale will make the rotation?

We give Sale 64 IP as a set-up man, Steamer forecasts a 3.34 ERA, a superb 10.5 K/9 and a fastball averaging 95 mph. Unfortunately, even with a handful of saves this line only provides $3.00 of fantasy value, making him roughly the 112th best pitcher available.

And if we let him face 850 batters over 30 starts and 200 innings? His strikeout rate falls to 9.5 K/9 and his ERA ticks up a bit to 3.74. He also wins 13 games, however, and throws his fastball at 94.3 mph. This makes him a $15.60 player, 22nd in our pitcher rankings.

Of course, Steamer doesn’t know how well his fastball will hold up over a full season and doesn’t know about his excellent changeup. But, based on what it does know, Steamer is bullish on Mr. Sale.

2012 Steamer Hitter Projections

Update: Version 3.0 of the pitcher projections is out. We adjusted Steamer to account for the lower run environment over the last couple of years.

The 2012 Steamer Hitter Projections are now available for download.

We’ve also uploaded version 2.0 of our pitcher projections. This version includes the projected fastball velocities that Steamer uses in its pitcher forecasts. For pitchers with prior MLB experience we generated these numbers using pitch f/x data from Fangraphs and Peter deserves a great deal of credit for laboriously typing in fastball velocities from the 2012 Minor League Baseball Analyst for the guys who haven’t yet made it to the show.

Enjoy and thanks in advance for your input!

Sorry Matt Moore!

A bug in our algorithm resulted in overweighing 2010 walk rates. This hit Matt Moore particularly hard and his ERA drops all the way from 4.04 to 3.68 with the fix.

Special thanks to Mike for the catch!

A new download is here.

Steamer Pitchers 2012 v 1.0

The initial run of the 2012 Steamer Pitcher Projections is now available for download. We’ll update our playing time projections more than once in the coming weeks and update our projections based on trades and signings. We’ll announce new downloads and new posts on our new twitter feed: @steamerpro.

We’re constantly working to perfect our system and find stats that are left unprojected and overlooked by the rest of the baseball world and the other projection systems so let us know what you’d like to see. Hopefully we can incorporate your ideas to further sculpt the system.

P.S. Hitter projections should be done within the week

Full Steam Ahead

Matt Swartz recently tested the 2011 player projections. Steamer held its own among the batter forecasters, landing in the middle of a tightly clustered pack with the other sabermetric systems. Steamer differentiated itself with its pitcher projections, however, which stood out from the pack and were the most accurate by each of Matt’s three measures.


This is the second straight year that Steamer’s pitcher projections came out on top as evidenced by MGL’s analysis of the 2010 projections. Our biggest improvement, between 2010 in 2011, was actually in our hitter projections which, after some careful tweaking, fared considerably better in 2011.

So, where do we go from here?

This year, we’ll be leaving our pitcher and hitter algorithms largely intact. In order to make our projections all the more useful to fantasy players, we’re aiming to provide our projections earlier and to have the most accurate playing time forecasts in the business.

Stay tuned!