Baseball Prospectus Takes A Look At The Season That Could Have Been For Stephen Strasburg

Colin Wyers of Baseball Prospectus wanted to let everyone know that their state of the art projection system, PECOTA, will be unveiled in it’s 2011 form on Monday. As a teaser, he decided to give a preview of the system, showing what it would have projected Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg to do in 2011 had he never gotten hurt. 

Here’s what it came up with:


So there you had it, according to PECOTA the 22-year-old former number one overall pick would go 11-4 next season with a 2.42 ERA and 10.3 K/0, earning him a 5.1 WARP. Those numbers are pretty dominant, although based on the short bit we got to see him pitch last summer, probably pretty accurate. 

Interestingly, PECOTA only projected that he would have 23 starts in 2011. That’s a little surprising considering this isn’t supposed to take into account his Tommy John surgery. It could assume that the Nats would want to monitor his innings because of his youth and value, but 23 starts is pretty low for a guy who is posting otherwise Cy Young level numbers.

What’s scary, both in it’s accuracy and foreboding nature, is that the player PECOTA finds Strasburg most similar to is Mark Prior. In Prior’s sophomore season he went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 30 starts. Of course, his arm began to fall off the next season as he only made 21 starts and posted a 4.02 ERA.

I think this is a fair would-be projection. It is kind of depressing to look at, considering the 2011 which potentially could feature NO Strasburg at all, but we need to take what we can get.