Posted by John Dewan on November 07, 2016
Published in the Bill James Handbook on November 1st of every year, Bill James and Baseball Info Solutions create player projections for the following Major League Baseball season. Let’s look at the projected 2017 leaderboards for home runs and batting average.
For 2017, the projected leaders in home runs are as follows:
|Player||Projected Home Runs|
|Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs||42|
|Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles||39|
|Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins||39|
|Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners||38|
|Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays||38|
|Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins||38|
|Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies||36|
|Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics||36|
|Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers||36|
|Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels||36|
|Mark Trumbo, Baltimore Orioles||36|
Kris Bryant is projected to hit the most home runs (42) during the 2017 season, topping his 2016 total (39) by three. Chris Davis and Giancarlo Stanton are expected to finish tied for second in home runs with 39 in 2017. Davis’s placement is no surprise, as he finished first in home runs for all of Major League Baseball for two of the previous four seasons. Stanton is expected to bounce back with 39 home runs after two sub-30 home run, injury-shortened seasons in 2015 and 2016.
Mark Trumbo led baseball with 47 home runs in 2016, and he is projected to tie for seventh in home runs for the 2017 season with 36. Four of the top 10 2016 finishers fall short of the projection leaderboard: Brian Dozier (30 projected HR), Chris Carter and Todd Frazier (both with 33 projected), and Robinson Cano (28 projected).
The projected leaders in batting average for 2017 are as follows:
|Player||Projected Batting Average|
|Jose Altuve, Houston Astros||.319|
|Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox||.317|
|Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers||.316|
|Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels||.313|
|Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs||.310|
|T.J. Rivera, New York Mets||.309|
|Raimel Tapia, Colorado Rockies||.309|
|DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies||.308|
|Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox||.307|
|Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh Pirates||.307|
|Hyun Soo Kim, Baltimore Orioles||.307|
|Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers||.307|
MVP candidates Kris Bryant and Mike Trout are the only two players to appear on the leaderboard for both home runs and batting average. It is no surprise that Jose Altuve is on top of the batting average leaderboard. He has finished in the top 10 for the past three seasons, finishing first in the American League in 2016 and first in all of Major League Baseball in 2014.
The 2016 batting champion, DJ LeMahieu, is eighth overall in the 2017 projections. Last season's silver medalist in batting average, Daniel Murphy, falls short of the projected top 10 with a .302 average, 45 points lower than his 2016 batting average of .347. Five of the players in the top 10 for 2016 batting average appear on our projections leaderboard.
For more information on how we do projections, and some insight into the new projection system we are developing, there is an actuarial webinar that I presented called “Thinking Outside the Strike Zone: Predictive Analytics and Baseball” that can be found at the link below. There is a charge for the webinar.