Thursday Thoughts: 8 Mets projections that are way off

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game One
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game One / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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With Spring Training finally beginning, projections are starting to come in for the 2023 MLB season. I took a look at some of the New York Mets projections on Fangraphs, and some of them are way off base. Here are eight 2023 Mets projections that are way off base.

The Bat X projects Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo to only score 79 runs  

Last year, Nimmo had a walk rate of 10.5%, an on-base percentage of .367, and he scored 102 runs. The Bat X is projecting that he’ll walk more (12.1% walk rate), get on base more (.369 OBP), but only score 79 runs. Considering the bats behind him in the lineup, that doesn’t make any sense.

Steamer projects Starling Marte will only have a .744 OPS  

Starling Marte has had an OPS of .814 or higher in three of the last four seasons, with the only lower OPS (.770) coming in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The only two seasons he’s had with a lower OPS were his rookie season (47 games in 2012) and his injury-shortened 2017 (77 games). When he plays, he produces, so this projection won’t be hard to beat.

The Bat X projects Pete Alonso only slugs .482 and hits 34 homers

In four MLB seasons, Alonso has never had a slugging percentage below .490. The only year he hit less than 37 homers was the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, when he was on pace to hit 45 homers over 162 games. All Pete has to do to beat these projections is stay on the field, which he hasn’t had any issues doing so far.

The Bat X projects that Jeff McNeil will only hit .274

It’s fair to expect some regression from McNeil after hitting .326 and winning the NL Batting Title, but this is crazy. .274 would be the second worst batting average of his career, only to his 2021 with a career-low .251 and .280 BABIP. The Bat X contradicts themselves in their own prediction again, because they have his BABIP at .302, so his batting average will be higher.

Steamer projects that Justin Verlander will have a 3.36 ERA

Steamer is projecting that Verlander’s ERA will nearly double from last year, which I have a hard time believing, especially when you consider he’s moving to the pitcher-friendly confines of Citi Field. He hasn’t had an ERA that high since 2017, and the last time he had an ERA higher than that was 2015. Expect some regression, but I’d still expect a sub-3 ERA from JV.

The Bat X projects that Max Scherzer will have a 3.39 ERA

All the projections have Scherzer’s ERA in the low 3’s, but The Bat X has the highest one at 3.39. It’s true that he’s probably due for some regression after posting a 2.29 last year, but this is too much. I’d expect him to be sub-3 again, same as Verlander.

ZiPS projects Jose Quintana will only make 26 starts

Last week, I wrote about how Jose Quintana is an absolute workhorse. I don’t know how these projection systems come up with their numbers, but given his track record of health pitching full season after full season, any projection that his him making less than 30 starts is invalid.

ZiPS projects Francisco Alvarez will hit 21 homers

Apparently ZiPS doesn’t know that Alvarez is starting the year in AAA to get everyday catching reps, because this is the only projection system that has him hitting more than seven homers and playing more than 45 games (119). I fully expect him to reach and best this for multiple years throughout his career, but it won’t be this year.

3 Mets already in the ROY conversation. dark. Next