Monday, February 23, 2009

Projecting ARod

Nate Silver's got a pretty good track record predicting things. So what does he have to say about ARod's career HR totals?

I took Rodriguez's top 20 PECOTA-comparable players and averaged their performances over each remaining season of their careers. Actually, the process was a little more complicated than that (each comparable's performance was adjusted for his park and league context, as well as his previous track record, and we had to make an accommodation for guys like Manny Ramirez who made A-Rod's comparables list but have yet to conclude their own careers). But the basic idea is simple: Comparables like Frank Robinson, who aged well, have a favorable effect on Rodriguez's forecast, and players like Caminini just the opposite one.

PECOTA's best guess is that Rodriguez will finish with 730 lifetime home runs, running out of steam after another three or four seasons and leaving him just shy of the marks established by Aaron and Bonds. Of course, there is a lot of uncertainty in this estimate. If Rodriguez follows the path charted by Aaron or Frank Robinson, he could finish with well in excess of 800 home runs (and possibly as many as 900). On the other hand, if he draws Albert Belle's ping-pong ball, he might not top 600. Overall, the system puts Rodriguez's chances of surpassing Aaron at only about four in 10 and of surpassing Bonds closer to three in 10.
Using the chart to the right, this 10 year deal won't look so good pretty darn soon and damn ugly after the next three years. But hey, the Yanks would save some cash in bonus payments not made.



Alex K said...

Many people smarter than I have looked foolish by disagreeing with PETCOA, but the drop off seems too sharp for me. I think he'll hit 30 more than two more times in his career.

JoeOrange31 said...

Go back again and look at the contract (If you can find the terms). You sent me (when the contract was signed) the cost per year. It's front loaded. Up to 30mil (if memory serves) sometime in the next two, and ends with him getting ten per over the last two. If he stinks after the next four years, it won't be nearly as costly. Not to mention, there are only two people on the face of the earth that think he'll finish as a Yankee: Both of his daughters.