David Price 2016 Projections: What Can Red Sox Expect From New Ace?

The Boston Red Sox and their fans understandably are predicting big things from David Price in 2016 and beyond. That’s what happens when you’re given a seven-year contract worth a reported $217 million.

What exactly can be expected of Price, though?

The obvious baseline for 2016 is what he has done in his most recent past. Here’s what the left-hander did in 2015, as our first point of reference:

32 starts
18-5 record
2.30 ERA
225 strikeouts in 220 1/3 innings pitched
47 walks
17 home runs allowed
1.076 WHIP
2.78 FIP

Obviously pretty good. Price was named an All-Star and came close to winning his second career Cy Young Award, finishing second to American League winner Dallas Keuchel. Price is 30 years old and still in his prime, so it’s fairly safe to assume he’ll continue to put up numbers like or similar to those in at least the first year or two of his Boston contract, barring any sort of injury.

There are mitigating factors, though, that could offer some variance when it comes to Price’s 2016 numbers. For instance, pitching in Fenway Park for half of his starts could play a factor. That’s where calculated projections come in.

Baseball-Reference.com, arguably the premier baseball stats database, recently started publishing projections on player pages. This seems as good of a time as any to say the forecasting system is formally the “Marcel the Monkey Forecasting System.”

“Actually, it is the most basic forecasting system you can have, that uses as little intelligence as possible,” developer Tom Tango says. “So, that’s the allusion to the monkey. It uses three years of MLB data, with the most recent data weighted heavier. It regresses towards the mean. And it has an age factor.”

With that very big grain of salt in hand, here are Price’s 2016 projections, per Baseball-Reference’s Marcel system:

13-8
3.09 ERA
193 strikeouts in 195 innings pitched
41 walks
18 home runs allowed
1.128 WHIP

Another trusted website in the Internet baseball community is FanGraphs. While its stats — and the volume of said stats — can be almost dizzying, there are troves of information to dig through, including projections for an upcoming season. In conjunction with SteamerProjections.com, FanGraphs already has released its 2016 projections, too. It also has a really interesting take on projections that’s probably worth your time, if you want to learn more.

As for FanGraphs’ 2016 projections, here they are for Price:

32 starts
16-8
2.94 ERA
220 strikeouts in 215 innings pitched
44 walks
1.08 WHIP
3.10 FIP

Basically, this is a long (and relatively uncertain) way of saying Red Sox fans can expect more of the same from Price in 2016, which, again, is no big surprise. But it’s December, and baseball still is months away, so we’ve gotta make do with what we have for now.

Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images

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