The Z Files: Tips for Projecting Playing Time
The Z Files: Tips for Projecting Playing Time

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

Pssst, hey, c'mere, you wanna know a secret? Doing your own projections isn't so bad. In fact, it's rather easy. The trick is relying on someone else for the rate of production, then you massage it with your own playing time. Piece of cake.

The truth is, while those doing projections all have their breakouts to target and land mines to avoid, the projected skills of most players are fairly consistent. What separates different sets is playing time. Hence, to generate your own projections, find a source you trust and adjust to your own PAs and IPs. Maybe even average a couple sources together, then apply your playing time estimation.

What follows are some guidelines when assigning playing time. They're applicable whether you formally do it on a spreadsheet or more casually.

Let's first frame the logical number of plate appearances batter can garner. This is dependent on two things: quality of team and spot in the batting order.

From the desk of Lord Obvious, higher-scoring teams get more plate appearances (PA), lower-scoring squads get fewer. In 2019, the Red Sox led MLB with 6475, followed by the Astros, Twins and Diamondbacks. The Twins, Astros and Red Sox scored the second, third and fourth most runs in the league with the Diamondbacks checking in at 11th. The Yankees led MLB in scoring but finished 15th in PA as they were highly efficient, scoring a huge percentage of their runs via 306 home runs.

The Padres total of 6019 PA was

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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