Steamer Predictions Part 1: Kolten Wong

Most of you probably know what a Steamer prediction is, but for those of you that don’t, it’s a prediction system that forecasts a player’s performance in the upcoming season based on past performance and minor league history.

I thought I’d look at the Steamer predictions for a few of our players, particularly our young players coming off their first full seasons. Today I’ll start with Kolten Wong.

As usual I have to say I’m nowhere near as much an expert as the folks at Steamer are. I’m just a hopeful fan with no scouting background whatsoever. Anyways, here we go.

2014 Stats

Games Plate Appearances Home Runs Batting Average On Base Percentage Slugging Percentage
113 433 12 .249 .292 .388

 

Steamer Predictions for 2015

Games Plate Appearances Home Runs Batting Average On Base Percentage Slugging Percentage
122 476 11 .263 .312 .387

 

I was surprised by the projection system’s low home run total when I saw it. Other prominent systems had him hitting around the same total, with the highest estimate being 13. Checking his minor league stats, I can see why it’s pessimistic as Wong had never hit for much power in the minors. However, while I can understand their skepticism, I think Wong is just a late developer power-wise and has the potential for 15 to 20 home runs.

Steamer does project an increase in batting average, but it’s a modest one. I think that Wong, who was a .300 hitter in the minors and is becoming more familiar with major league pitchers and their tendencies, could easily hit .285 or higher. Maybe not next year, but in the near future. I realize I’m being wildly optimistic here, but that’s part of what the off-season is about, being hopeful for next season.

Steamer predicts 476 AB’s for him. I think he’ll play more, especially with Daniel Descalso and Mark Ellis gone, and will get over 500 AB’s.

Steamer predicts Wong will fall just short of 20 stolen bases with 19. Since he stole 20 last year, I’m taking the over and saying he’ll steal around 25 as he’ll play more and thus be on base more, leading to more stolen bases. He might even have 30 in him, depending on how often he gets on base.

What would help in the area of getting on base and thus stealing more bases is if Wong took a few more walks. Steamer predicts him to get 31 walks. I hope he develops better plate discipline and gets more, but I’m agreeing with Steamer on this one. I hope he proves me wrong.

Just a small look at Kolten Wong’s potential for 2015.

So what do you think, am I too optimistic? Feel free to let me know.

As always, thanks for reading.

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