Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 11/9/14
  Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus penned an article yesterday outlining 10 players that their proprietary projection system, PECOTA, predicted would decline in 2013. Two Washington Nationals, Gio Gonzalez and Adam LaRoche, were included in the list.  Here’s what they had to say about each:  LaRoche -  “LaRoche's lifetime stats paint a perfect picture of a league-average first baseman. He's been better than that in some seasons, including his stellar 2012, but career years at age 32 are rarely repeated. LaRoche's clubhouse leadership might make him more valuable to the Nationals, but not to your fantasy team.” Gonzalez -  “Gonzalez continued to make strides in 2012, but as much as his breakout was supported by positive indicators like a fifth straight season with a lower walk rate than the one before, it was also aided by balls in play bouncing his way. Gio's HR/FB rate was the lowest of any qualified pitcher's, and his BABIP was 12th-lowest. There's no reason why he can't continue to pitch at a high level, but if PECOTA's projection proves accurate, he won't be contending for another Cy Young Award this season.” While it’s disappointing to see two of the Nats key cogs on this list, it’s not entirely surprising. LaRoche had a career year in 2013 at the age of 32, while finishing in the top 25 in MVP voting, earning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award all for the first time in his career. LaRoche has always been labeled with the tag of “Good not Great” and it’s not surprising that a computer would project his return to the norm.  Gonzalez also had a career year last year but his case is obviously a little different. Gio is just 26, so some, including myself, would argue that his stellar 21 win, 2.89 ERA performance of 2012 was a result of him entering his prime years of production. I doubt that  BP would disagree with that assessment either, but the computer looks at indicating factors such as stats that are attributed to “luck” and they believe that Gio simply got lucky last year.  Only time will tell with either of these players, but it is important to note that  of the other eight players on the list, five were All-Stars and one (Mike Trout) was an MVP candidate. To me this asserts that this list was much more of a reasonable and conservative algorithm making predictions that numbers would return to earth rather than a bid of no-confidence.  For LaRoche, PECOTA predicts: 251/.320/.446 (1.5 WARP) For Gonzalez, PECOTA predicts: 3.67 ERA, 8.6 K/9 (2.4WARP) What do you expect from these two?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.