Originally posted on The Nats Blog old  |  Last updated 2/27/13
  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

Luke Maye sends North Carolina to the Final Four with game-winning shot

Singer Darius Rucker cries as South Carolina clinches Final Four berth

Rockets take shot at Westbrook's MVP candidacy

New info shows just how much Las Vegas wants Raiders

Tomlin: Steelers are preparing for Roethlisberger's retirement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bills reporter: 'Only a matter of time' before GM Whaley is fired

Report: Patriots, Revis have not discussed possible reunion

Video of LaVar Ball playing basketball surfaces and he doesn't look great

Reporter: Giants 'would not go near' Adrian Peterson

Report: Browns unlikely to give Josh Gordon another chance

Popovich: Owners interfering with player rest is risky

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

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

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker