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Who Will Be The 2016 Statistical Leaders?

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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.

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