A Look Back at 2008 - WAR Style

I've posted a couple 2009 projections of the Twins and AL Central teams using Wins Above Replacement (WAR) projection methods. Over at Beyond the Boxscore, Sky had a great idea -

Saber-Friendly Blogging 101:Post-dicting 2008

...use the same projection spreadsheets with actual 2008 data, see what the WAR projections give us.

I've posted the full 2008 Twins sheet here. All players' stats are splits based on their performance at the actual position, fielding uses UZR/150 (from fangraphs),  pitching leverage is pLI from fangraphs, and I used FIP calculated from HR/SO/BB/IBB/HBP as a starter and reliever.

As you can see, from a WAR projection standpoint, the Twins "projected" to a total of 82.2 wins. I came out with a number a little bit higher than Dave Cameron's 80.5 wins here - Twins Team Win Values, but I suppose this is due to incorporating baserunning and using a bit different method for pitching WAR. 

In any case, the 82.2 wins is still well below actual (88) and pythagorean (89), meaning (as others have shown) "little things" (not necessarily repeatable) like hitting with RISP, moving runners over, etc. probably account for the difference. More on that later tonight.

I also found it interesting that as a team, the Twins fielded about 1.3 wins below average. With very good fielding up the middle (Mauer, Punto, Casilla, Gomez), I figured defense would come out above average. I didn't fully account for LF (nearly two wins below average, thanks Delmon), 3B (about one win below) and Brendan Harris nearly cancelling out Punto's defense in his time at SS.

I was also shocked that Livan Hernandez provided +1.4 WAR, twice what Perkins provided, and about what Liriano gave in a partial season. Very ugly, but somehow effective.