I stumbled across a fun tool on espn.com today. It’s called Career Assessments and allows you to project the rest of a player’s career. Now this is obviously meaningless because Mussina retired. But if you are very bored, as I was, you can project Mussina’s career had he chosen to make a run at 300 wins. James system allows you to find these things out. From espn.com:
Bill James invented Career Assessments as a projection method to predict final career totals for players. The formula presumes that a player has (42 – age)/2 seasons remaining, but not less than 1.5 seasons, and it is determined using the player’s age on June 30 of the previous year. If the player is a catcher, his remaining seasons are multiplied by 0.7. Using the established norms and years remaining, the final total is projected, and the chance to reach that total can be derived. No player can have more than a 97-percent chance to reach any goal.
I input Mussina’s numbers in the projection machine, waited for it spin up and it spit out some interesting information.
Based on his age, your player can be expected to play for 1.5 more years, at an average of 14.5 per year. At that rate, he will finish at 291 for his career. He has a 22 percent chance to reach 300.
If Mussina had chose to stay and pursue 300 victories, his chances stood at an unencouraging 1 in 4. But then again what are the chances of a 39 year old pitcher winning 20 games?
You can see that projection here or check out his chances for 3,000 strikeouts. Try not to get sucked into the projection machine’s vortex trying to figure out Joba’s chances at 300 wins or Jeter’s chances at 4000 hits.