Who Will Be The 2016 Statistical Leaders?

March 3, 2016

It is March 1. Today marks the beginning of Spring Training games, and we are just over a month away from Opening Day. With the majority of the offseason moves now behind us, we’ve just completed our annual spring update of the Bill James Projections. The full updates are now available for download, but here’s a sneak peak of the projected statistical leaders among hitters and pitchers.

First, here are the projected hitting leaders:

Projected Hitting Stat Leaders, 2016
Stat Player Projected Total
AVG Miguel Cabrera .322
  Buster Posey .317
  Jose Altuve .316
HR Giancarlo Stanton 43
  Chris Davis 40
  Mike Trout 39
  Jose Bautista 39
RBI Paul Goldschmidt 110
  Jose Abreu 109
  Miguel Cabrera 109
Runs Mike Trout 125
  Kris Bryant 112
  4 tied with 110


Based on the last three seasons, it’s become pretty apparent that Mike Trout is the best hitter in baseball. That said, there is interesting diversity among the Bill James Hitter Projections. Trout is projected to lead the league with 125 runs, and he also shows up in the top three in home runs, but a different hitter is projected to lead each category, and no hitter shows up in the top three of more than two categories. None of those projected leaders is exactly surprising. Each leader has finished in the top three in baseball in his respective category within the last two seasons.

Next, here are the projected pitching leaders:

Projected Pitching Stat Leaders, 2016
Stat Player Projected Total
Wins Clayton Kershaw 21
  Jake Arrieta 18
  Zack Greinke 18
Saves Trevor Rosenthal 51
  Kenley Jansen 49
  Mark Melancon 48
ERA Clayton Kershaw 2.31
  Jose Fernandez 2.58
  Matt Harvey 2.76
K Clayton Kershaw 253
  Chris Sale 248
  Max Scherzer 245


This is your annual preseason reminder that Clayton Kershaw is really, really good. The Bill James Projections expect Kershaw to lead baseball in wins, ERA, and strikeouts this season. The Pitching Triple Crown is not quite as rare as the Hitter version. When Miguel Cabrera won the latter in 2012, it was the first time a hitter had done so since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Kershaw himself won the Pitcher Triple Crown in the NL in 2011 and is one of five pitchers to accomplish the feat since the turn of the century. However, winning the Pitching Triple Crown for all of baseball and not just the AL or NL is much rarer. If Kershaw pulled that off this season, it would be the first time since Johan Santana did so in 2006.


COMMENTS (5 Comments, most recent shown first)

I'm kinda disappointed that the Mets pitching staff -- which, though unproven, is clearly exceptional -- didn't get much love in the Handbook, or here, save for Harvey, in ERA list. No deGrom. No Syndergaard. Is it because they are hard to spell?

The Handbook barely mentioned the Mets at all, even though they were one of the last two teams standing.

I realize of course that you are looking at this all dispassionately, and I am decidedly not. ;-) Still, you might be overlooking something....
6:11 PM Mar 5th
Jake Arrieta got a mention, but nary a mention of Bryce Harper? Both had peak years last year. Perhaps the Cubs potential quality make Arrieta's wins likely. Curious at how these conclusions were derived.​
11:40 PM Mar 4th
Clay - I don't know whether or not they're available anywhere online. They are published each year in the "Bill James Handbook".
2:33 PM Mar 4th
Where are these projections available for download?
1:19 AM Mar 4th
I love that my country-man Miggy is your favorite to win another batting title; but I love even more that two of my country-men and a coworker are the top three for the batting average category (yes, the same guy that signs Buster's paycheck signs mine).
1:23 PM Mar 3rd
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